This Saturday -- not long after Ryan runs the National Half Marathon through both of our DC neighborhoods -- I'll be driving down to sunny Cary, North Carolina to run in the Tobacco Road Half Marathon. It's been a while since I last raced. As such, the excitement of race week is a somewhat foreign entity at this point. Though the weekend is a few days away I'm already starting to think about it, the excitement of travel and racing slowly settling in.
I've never raced a half marathon during marathon training. This week's race actually falls on an up week in terms of my long run (I'm supposed to run 18 on my long run), and I'm somewhat behind in terms of my training. With an up-mileage week in training, I'm not actually tapering for the half. Instead I'm running a 7/4/6/5 week. The nice thing about this is the fact that right now I'm more focused on the week's training than the race. I'm really not sure how the race will effect my marathon training, nor am I sure how my mileage this week will effect my race time.
This will be my first race in a year. It will also be my first time running with anyone. I'm pretty sure she'll kick my ass; accepting that now means that if she does I've already tempered myself for it. If not, I'll probably just act all nonchalant and be a cool dude about it. (My goal, for those interested, is to accompany her all the way to the finish -- that's the kind of agreement that friends make when a bit tipsy on vacation. My guess is she can run between a 1:45 and 1:50. I hope I can do the same.)
Also standing in the way is a wedding that I'm attending on Saturday, in DC. This means missing the race expo (and the inexpensive swag) and arriving in Carolina 12 hours before the start of the race. While not hugely convenient, it's obviously something worth dealing with. It also means that I'll miss out on Ohio State's (likely) second-round shootyhoops match on Saturday.
I'm a bit nervous once I start thinking about the race because I'm pretty sure that I'd be disappointed by my race result if I were to run it on my own. As much as I'd love to deflect from that point, it's still lingering. Hopefully with time it'll go away.
I've got a few distractions on my plate before the race, which is good. That said I may have too many -- and I may be over-training going into the race, which could backfire. I'm not going to get cool deals at the race expo. I'll likely be tired from traveling on race day. I'm changing a whole lot of variables all at once, and that probably won't work out well. I have no idea about how this is going to work out, but I'm not too worried: it's race week!