Perceptions and preparations

It’s funny how my perception of a half-marathon has changed in the past year. A year ago, when I thought about running 21 km for the first time, my stomach did somersaults.

Now I’m on my third half, and it kind of seems like it will be just another activity during a busy weekend.

But it’s only more reason to try and prepare ahead of time so I’m not scrambling on race morning. There’s nothing worse than having that bad dream – where you sleep in and arrive but the race has already started. (A variation of the ‘I slept through my exam’ dream or ‘showed up in my underwear’). A little preparation goes a long way to settling race-day nerves, and for me, it also means a sounder sleep the night before.

Here is my to-do list in preparation for Sunday’s run:

– Refresh my running playlist and download some new tunes.

– Charge my iPod and Garmin

– Pick out race day clothes according to the weather forecast and make sure they are clean and ready to go.

– Trim toenails to avoid ouchies (a recurring problem for me on long runs)

– Sleep lots. At least eight hours a night.

– Drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol.

– Eat carbs. Whoopeee!

– Try not to get sick. (Already failed this one. Had to make a stop at the walk-in clinic today)

I think that about covers it. As for my goal, I mainly want to beat last year’s time on this hilly, at times hellish, course. That means beating 2:16, which should be totally doable. I hope to come in under 2:10, which means a pace of slightly over 6 min/km, which I know I can handle. I’m not trying to beat my Fredericton time of 2:01 because the Saint John course it just so much hillier and I haven’t been running particularly fast lately.

I’m really looking forward to running in Marathon by the Sea for the third year in the row. It’s such a great event with so much enthusiasm, and there’s nothing like running in your own city.

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This adopted Maritime girl is ready to run by the sea!
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April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

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