Going in to the Baltimore Half Marathon this weekend, I have a lot less nerves about running the race, but also, a lot less “care”. I just don’t seem to care anymore. When I signed up for this race in, um, April? I was having race fever because I typically run a race every Spring but due to my school schedule, it wasn’t feasible.
I haven’t had the greatest training. I’ve been traveling back and forth to and from DC and Philly so much the past few months, I’ve been stressed out, and I’m carrying about 10+ extra pounds than I was last year training for a half. Also, hills. Baltimore is hills. Yes, I know, all of these are just excuses. I find myself thinking of excuses a lot to explain why I think this race is going to go so poorly. But if you know anything about me, my excuses change my mindset, and in turn, alter my overall mental state.
Therefore, I’ve decided to just go in to the race with the goal of finishing. Sure, I could set a time goal, but I know that I’ll be disappointed when I don’t hit it. And if I do better than I expect, then I’ll just be happier coming out of it! Like most things in life, when you go in with low expectations, you have less a chance of being disappointed and more of a chance of being pleasantly surprised if things go well.
This will be my 4th half marathon. My first one (Ocean City, MD 2012) was great because nothing beats the first time you cross that finish line. It was slow, but I was a newbie and it was great. My second one (DC Rock’n’Roll 2013) wasn’t terrible. I improved my time by a whole 2 minutes. Training happened through my first year of PT school and it was rough. I swore I would never train for another race during school. Then Ocean City 2014 happened – trained through my second semester of my 2nd year of PT school – and hit a 12 minute PR. Twelve minutes! Let’s ignore the fact that this race is completely at sea level with zero hills, I finished in 2:05 and it was the greatest feeling ever. I never thought a half under 2 hours was in my reach, but this made that life goal feel real.
Enter half marathon number four – Baltimore. As mentioned above, I have a lot of excuses as to why my training wasn’t optimal and why I don’t feel I will do well. But that’s okay. Because at least I’m out there running it. And you won’t see me walking. And I may be cursing in pain as I cross the finish line, but I’ll cross it, and I’ll be all smiles when it’s said and done.
Then I’ll curse everything and swear I am never running any race ever again….
Then in a few months I’ll sign up for the Broad Street 10 miler and a few other Philly races I have on my radar…
Because running is just what I do. I may be slower than a turtle stampeding through peanut butter – but I’m a runner. And it’s what I do.
Here’s to HAPPY miles on Saturday. Good luck to anyone else racing this weekend!