tomorrow morning i’ll be running in my second kentucky derby half marathon (which i dubbed ‘the derb’ a few months ago). i’m giving a final exam tonight until 7pm, and then i’ll have to haul tailfeather to louisville to make it to the expo in time to pick up my packet, bib, timing chip, etc.
a few thoughts in the eleventh hour:
- i honestly don’t know what kind of time to expect out of myself. my knee is fine, but i still have a noticeable muscular imbalance between my good leg and my surgical leg. i feel the biggest effects from that in my ability (or lack thereof) to sustain quicker paces for prolonged periods of time. which i really felt at the railrunner last month.
- that being said…i ran last year in 1:42:52. my goal was sub-1:45:00. this year…i mean i would love to be a badass and have the most amazing comeback race and PR. but speaking realistically? i ran an 8:23 pace at the railrunner. if i match that i’ll run a 1:50:00. now i think i’ll beat that pace for reasons to be detailed below, but…i’m okay with not breaking PRs tomorrow.
- unlike at the railrunner, i have a plan for tomorrow’s race:
- start at the BACK of the corral. i got placed in A (sub-8:00/mile pace) due to my time last year. i need to start in the back. like…butt in the B corral. because (a) everybody goes out fast, so (b) i’ll go out fast with them, and (c) that will be terrible.
- grab water at the 4, 7, and 10-mile stops. also eat some juju fish. fuel o’ champions.
- allow the first few miles to not be speed demons. my legs are way slower to warm up than they were pre-surgery. i need to be okay with that.
- WARM UP. a little run and some dynamic stretching. goal is to have a slightly elevated heart rate at start time. which is sometimes hard to do with the crowds and things, but…i’ll try!
- don’t get frustrated. i don’t run well angry.
- when the going gets tough, remember that less than a year ago i had my knee sawed into. i lost 30 pounds in five weeks and had an 11-cm difference between my quads. it took 2 months to be able to walk down a flight of stairs because my leg couldn’t hold my weight. and tomorrow, i’m running a half marathon. who cares if i don’t PR?!
so there’s my pre-race ramble. i have office hours in an hour, then a break, then giving this exam thang. i’m going to go get some coffee and a bagel. the next time i post, be prepared for photos of banged up feet and a shiny new medal!!