Next Saturday, I’ll be running my first half marathon at the Zionsville Anti-Mini Marathon, the same day as the Indy Mini. In central Indiana, the Indy Mini is like, THE race of the year. One of the biggest half marathons in the country, I think, with over 35,000 runners. It’s also $75 just to run, plus parking, food, and hotel. So I be doing the free one instead! I never was a huge fan of massive crowds, and I like the idea of running with 200 people instead of 35,000.
As it’s gotten closer, I find myself devouring websites about race preparation. What should I expect? How should I pace myself? What should I eat before the race? The anxiety grows even as I gain more information. Maybe BECAUSE of all the information! And I have my little hidden fears that get whispered to me in my head…
Hal Higdon says in my book about marathon training, “The best female runners are shaped like skinny men.” He doesn’t say that to discourage female runners, but it’s simply a matter of anatomy. Narrow hips and all that. But that would not be me, not even a little. I have things like hips and curves, plus I still want to lose another 23 pounds. I like my legs – they’re crazy muscular – but they are definitely chick legs.
And I’m not fast, not even a little. My average pace is about 10:30 right now. In my more morose moments, I wonder if I even have a right to run a half marathon.
And then I stumbled on a blog about running that talked about running your own race. Don’t think about the others. Don’t think about your prior expectations, hopes, plans, goals – just run your own race. Listen to your body. Know when to push, when to back off, when to fuel.Â Trust the work you’ve put in. Trust all those miles that you pounded out in all types of weather.
I like that idea. Because there’s one thing I DO know: I will finish. It might not look pretty and it might take a long time, but I’ll finish. Cuz I’ll be running my own race.