Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America and for me it will contain a new first, a half marathon. This year the term ‘first’ has been applied to many new endeavors as I am a newly minted athlete, former life long ‘couch potato’ and this half marathon should be the last of my ‘firsts’ experiences for 2013. The half marathon I am running is the Atlanta Track Club Thanksgiving day half marathon. Their catch phrase for the event is “Earn Your Turkey” and with 13.1 miles of running I am sure I will.
Last October/November I ran my first three 5k races ever (I lump these together as they are sorta a blur now). At that time I believed a 5k would be my max, maybe I could push for a 10k distance race. At that time I ran the 5k distance in around 45-46 minutes and it took days to recover. As last Thanksgiving rolled around and I scoured the web for running races I came across the Atlanta Half Marathon on thanksgiving day. It’s “Earn Your Turkey” moniker really stuck, but I could not conceive of being able to run that distance in a year, I had just began running. Deep down I filed this race away in my head and my dreams and I secretly thought it would be a great way to finish 2013, a year full of firsts.
Allot has changed since Thanksgiving time a year ago. I am a much more confident person and I have changed. I know what I can and cannot do and I know I can endure more pain and hurt than I ever thought possible. Up to this point, I have ran 10.5 miles and felt like a few more would have been doable. Tomorrow I get to run around Atlanta and see the city from the unique perspective of a runner. I know Atlanta and its sights, but the chance to run and see them should be really cool. I have simply chalked tomorrows Half Marathon up as a fun 3 1/2 hour limited sight seeing run. I figure instead of focusing on the mileage I would just focus on the major sights along the path. 2 Miles and I am at Centenial Olympic Park… 4 Miles Atlantic Center Station… 6 Miles I get to run through Piedmont Park for the first time ever… 10 Miles Oakland Cemetery (I once worked here as an archaeologist during renovation) home of numerous prestigious Atlantans including Bobby Jones… then the home stretch and I will be done.
Handling the run in this manner should get me to the finish line by the three and a half hour cut off time. When I ran my 10.5 mile run a few weeks ago I was slow but with an average pace around fourteen and a half or so, I should be able to finish by the maximum cut off time with a few more miles. Of course I know this course is hilly, but it cannot be any worse than the 4.5 mile loop I frequently run. I plan to incorporate a five to one run to walk ratio. While the Galloway running method prefers shorter run to walk ratios, I feel five minutes is perfect in giving me just enough time to get up some speed and get my legs moving before taking a break and recharging. When I start to feel tired and worn out I can always switch up my walk to run ratio, doing some two minutes running to one minute walking til I get enough rest and can get back to my standard five and one ratio.
This weekend I ran my final shake down run of five miles, a distance that would be light enough to loosen the legs and keep the stiffness at bay. Unfortunately I did not take it easy enough and I finished two minutes faster than the previous runs. On Monday I did an hour and a half recovery spin, low gear and high cadence,as well as spend allot of time walking, stretching and foam rolling throughout the week. Today, my legs feel great! I feel ready to run and I feel charged up for tomorrows run.
There are nerves of course, I am human after all, this is 13.1 miles and circles downtown Atlanta. Just thinking of that total number of miles makes my head spin and suddenly I truly respect everyone with a 13.1 bumper sticker on their car. I know what they had to do to earn their half marathon running sticker. While I know I can finish, even if i have to walk, I am still nervous. I always get a bit nervous before attempting a new unknown. But I also know from everything I have been through this year and my ability to conquer the unknown. Today I get to experience the expo and packet pickup, tomorrow I get race with 10,000+ plus people as we all run to earn our Thanksgiving turkey, gonna be an awesome day. Wish me luck. Til next time.
Any suggestions for my first half marathon?
- Double Digits!!!! (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Race reap: Williams Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa (proactiveoutside.wordpress.com)
- Kick Your Fall Race up a Notch: Go in Costume (epicasports.com)
- Confessions of a Non-Runner: Running a Half-Marathon (winetoweightlifting.com)
- Crossing the next think off my bucket list tomorrow morning: The half marathon (runningfornoobs.wordpress.com)
- Half Marathon Training Begins! (runofftheweight.wordpress.com)
- Race Recap: Silver Strand Half Marathon (aka G gets a PR!) (activeharmony.wordpress.com)
- The Annapolis Half Marathon (myheartandhamstrings.wordpress.com)
- Forward Momentum (fullmoonrunner.wordpress.com)
- Training for a Half Marathon (muffinchanel.com)