Thursday, November 4, 2010

9 Days: Expectations

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.)


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts, Kel. No one told me not to expect anything of my first races, I was too hard on myself. Thoughts on the hydration stations: Have you tried the drinks they are offering in leu of water? Make sure your tummy is used to it, if you decide you even want to take that. Also, think about whether you will stop all the way at a station or keep running with the drink in your hand, saving time. If you crush your cup and drink while you run, it won't splash all over you. Also, run in the middle of the road at the drink stops, everyone throws their cups & liquid off to the sides and it gets a little slippery. I think that's it. It's not really that big of a deal, just some advice, ha! :)


M. Brooks said...

You should do the Texas Half in January in Dallas - I am flying in to do it with my twin sister, my cousin, and my college roommate!