9 days to go. NINE days!!! Today I want to share with you my expectations for the race.
To be honest? I don't have many. I think because I have NO idea what to expect, I'm just sort of approaching the race with a "Hey, I'll just have fun and see what happens!" kind of attitude. Is that bad? I can't imagine standing at a starting line with 20,000 people lined up. I don't know what going through the water stops will be like. I don't know what the crowds on the course will be like, or what kind of pace I'll realistically be able to keep, since this is a distance I've not mastered before. Now, it's not like I'm going in completely blind, of course. I've figured out how to hydrate on my long training runs, I know about what I expect my pace to be, and I've run smaller races before-- but you can only prepare so much for a race of this size. Everything changes when you're talking about running with 20,000 people, in a town you've never run in before, on a course you've only read about.
So... my goal for this race? To finish! That may seem to be too simple a goal for a race I've been preparing for for months now. But for me, it's a good starting point. It will be my launching pad for improvement in all future races.
Since I don't really know what to expect, I may even find that I hate races. I doubt that will be the case, though. One other thing I do expect is that I will have fun. Even cheering on friends and family members at past races, I've learned this: something about the race atmosphere is just FUN. It gets me all hyped up! Now that I'm actually participating in a race, I fully expect it to be even more of a thrill!
So. This is my starting place. My expectation is to finish (I do have a goal time in mind, but I do not even know how realistic it is. It may be too ambitious a goal, or it may be too attainable for all I know) and to have fun in the process. I am going to run as hard as I can next Saturday, and do my best, and see where that gets me.
(I already have my sights set on another half marathon in March in Dallas. By then, I hope to have a little clearer idea of what to expect, based on my experiences in San Antonio next weekend.)