Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunday is Fast Approaching

On Sunday, I will be running in my first half marathon. The first thing most people ask (well, after you get past the first thing non-runners ask which is always, "Why?") is "Are you excited!?" and I always say, "Yes! Super excited!!" which is mostly true. But I'm also very nervous. Probably more nervous than is healthy. Why? Well, the obvious reason is that this is my first half marathon...13.1 miles brings a certain level of fear. The other is that I just have no idea what to expect in a race this big. I'm the kind of person who loves to know what is going on, I'm a planner. I make spreadsheets of all things that need to be packed whenever we go on vacation. Before parties, I set out platters and dip bowls as a kind of staging know, to make sure I've got enough, etc. I was the kid who drove my mother nuts with questions like, "Where are we going?", "What is it going to be like?", "What are we going to do once we get there?" and so on, and so on (OK, now I'm starting to sound down right anal!). So, the fact that I'm running in this big thing in a place I'm unfamiliar with (Fredericksburg, VA), running it alone and will need to get myself there without 'Team Renae' - my husband, boys, mother and step-father will all be there but no way am I going to drag them to the starting line at the crack of dawn. So, like a kid going to kindergarten for the very first time, I'm feeling a bit vulnerable.

Here is where all my fellow Mommy runners come into play! Help me pack! Help me focus! What did you learn after your first big race? I've got my bottle of Advil packed, a choice of two outfits (this past week has been more like late fall than spring in VA!) and I even painted my toenails hot pink. I know, no one is going to see my toes but something about that hot pink makes me feel fast! And spunky. Gotta have spunky!!


Crumbs said...

Renae - I definitely understand where you are coming from for this big race. I have to have it all set in my mind, too. My coach gave us a big prep sheet for the Miami marathon that is super helpful, but way too long to put here. SO - I copied it to a new post, but didn't publish it. Go to "Edit posts" and you'll find it there. Hope it helps! AND GOOD LUCK!!!!

cjamern said...

You certainly won't be alone. There will be at least 5 SMR runners from Fredericksburg Moms there - so look for our Astavita race jerseys and I'm certain there will be many other local SMR runners as well. And not to mention the other 6,000 runners!

Since I too am an OC planner, I'll share with you some of this things I always pack:

1. a garbage bag (in case it's a little chilly at the start, you can check your bag and still have your gbag to keep you semi-warm and simply toss is at the start)
2. chapstick - I always need one on these long runs
3. Dry clothes to check before the race (weather calls for showers on Sunday, I'm hoping it holds out). Nothing worse than being exhausted, cold and wet.
4. cell phone to link up with you fam at the finish (I still check mine though)
5. Disposable camera (pre and post-race potos with friends and family)
6. carry extra hairband in your shorts, just in case
7. Energy gels (if you use them)
8. And most importantly - don't forget to have fun! :)

P.S... just so you can mentally prepare yourself, the finish is a doozie. Same course as the Blue and Gray 1/2 Marathon we had back in Dec. The last 2+ miles are literally uphill. At least you'll have a few more days to mentally prepare yourself to be queen of the hill! :)

And I've heard a few other out there that use this same technique and it works for me:

"Pick up, Focus, Pass, Repeat" Best of luck to you - maybe I'll see you out there.

renae said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You guys are the best!!

Ashley, I printed out your list and feel so much better - a list!! Yahoo!! It is so helpful! And I had no idea about the hill lasting that long at the end. I knew there was one, but couldn't really tell from the couse map. Now I know to save some serious gas for the end! Gulp.

C - I am going to look for you guys for sure!! I owe you an email in fact. I think (??) my hotel is very close to the commuter lot off 95 on exit 133 so I may just get myself there and hop on a shuttle...
I hope I can find you all!! I'm sure friendly faces will help a ton with my nerves!

You guys are the best!!

renae said...

p.s....NEVER would have thought of the garbage damn smart.

Trice said...

This is goign to be so great for you. It is life changing and I'm so excited for you. I can tell you are already ready-- I found driving the route the night before was helpful and memorizing landmarks. I also have a bunch of kids and husband who I left behind my first big race-- literally got a hotel and just had them meet me after the race had been going on for an hour. Just take care of you and it does not hurt to have your children in cute t'shirts that say my mommy runs-- look for them when you pick up your packet.

Good Luck!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Renae! I just want you to know that I am so proud of you and can hardly believe that you started running in just the last year or so!

renae said...

Thank you guys so much!! I'm taking all your good thoughts with me! I'll be sure to post when I get home!
Jamie - I just emailed you!

carla said...