My first half marathon is in 3 days and I am starting to … fret. I always get this way before doing a new distance. I develop a serious case of the self-doubts. I worry that I won’t finish, that I’ll hurt myself, that I didn’t train enough. None of this is ever true but it doesn’t stop it from worrying. My goal for the next 3 days is to stop the negative talk. Distraction helps so, let me tell you about the race!
My first half marathon will be the Dismal Swamp Stomp. Last fall, when I was contemplating my first half, the Another Mother Runners had Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World, on their podcast. The subject of the show was “does size matter” (of a RACE! Get your minds out of the gutter!) Bart’s advice was to try to find a race that you think you will enjoy and a first that sounds cool is always good.
Around the same time, Nike Women’s Half announced that they would be offering an inaugural half in DC in 2013. These are the same people who have local fire fighters give out Tiffany necklaces as the finisher swag. Now, Nike Women’s is super popular – I’m sure the presence of hot firefighters is just a coincidence! They have a lottery entry and it is still a big race. I don’t mind crowded races too much. Except when people line up at the front of the corral and then WALK from the start. Or hold hands with their friends so no one can pass. Or wear BELLS on their CamelBak so they jingle. Okay, maybe I don’t like crowds. But still, crowds mean lots of spectators and it’s nice to have cheering people out there, even though they aren’t necessarily cheering for you.
The other race under consideration was the Dismal Swamp Stomp. It is a smaller race, it is in flat Chesapeake, VA, it has a lot of community support, and it’s an out-and-back. In the end, DSS won. I’m pretty pleased with the choice so far. Packet pick-up will be a cinch and parking at the race won’t be a problem. The race organizers have a good reputation and have been responsive to various issues.
Even though they are small, they will still have pacers. If they have one at my pace, I plan to try to stick with them. My goal is a 2:30 race. If I’m with a pacer, I won’t go out too fast and it will give me an incentive to keep going. They have awesome carved herons as the age group awards. Maybe some day I can snag one of those!
My “B goal” is, as usual, to not finish last, to not hurt anyone, to not hurt myself. Also, get a good race picture!! No old ladies with canes or people blowing snot rockets in sight!
I know I can do this! I just need my brain to get on-board…