The NYC 1/2 Marathon will be over 1 week from yesterday. Terrified almost does it justice to how I feel.
When I signed up for this race back in December, I fully expected to finish the race strong. Now, I’m not so sure. Throughout my training, I’ve made a lot of mistakes so here is my “Do as I say, not as I do” list:
- Do not underestimate how much time it takes to train for a half marathon!
- The start of training was easy to do. 30 minute runs, 2-3 miles 3-4 times a week is doable while still babysitting, going to school, full-time job, a social life, etc. But when you factor in additional time at the PT and stretching for injuries plus increased mileage, it can really take over a big part of your life! It is totally doable, just make sure you have a schedule that can make it a priority when the time commitment increases.
- Do not burn yourself out!
- Running was never a part of my life up until last summer. Going from 0-60 in your running schedule and mileage is a quick incline, especially when balancing too many other activities. I started to feel like running was a “MUST” instead of something fun and I got burnt out. Just a few weeks from race day I took a full week off of running so I could start to enjoy it again. That did not help my endurance or training at all.
- Do not pick a timed race for your first race!
- If you have never even run a mile before, training to run 13.1 is a big challenge. Trying to put a time limit on that already big challenge was too much for me. The NYC 1/2 has a 3 hour race limit. Even if I had my longest run yet, I wouldn’t feel like it was good enough because my speed was still too slow for race pace. It was/is defeating and it is likely I won’t be able to finish the race with my poor training tactics.
- Do not eat like crap the week or two before the race!
- With a very busy schedule, including a work trip and a weekend with my sister, I haven’t made time to eat well. Being in Denver since Wednesday, I ate either room service or restaurant food for every meal. I have a week to eat better before the race but I babysit every evening and then Matt gets to town Friday evening (YAY!). I’ll do my best to make smart choices.
- Do not throw out your training plan a month before the race!
- I’m risking injury by running 13.1 miles under-trained. The pressure to get my training done with my over-committed schedule was just too much. Instead of stressing about it, I literally threw my plan away and ignored long runs for the past few weeks. I’m hoping my body can keep up on race day and I hope I don’t over-do it and injure myself.
I will do what I can in the next 6 days to make me ready for the race, although there’s not much room for improvement in a week.
Although I probably won’t finish this race, I’m excited that it is the first of many races I will run in my lifetime. The most important part of running is putting on your shoes and getting your butt out the door. I’ve gotten that far so it can only improve from here!