The thought struck me on today's run, when I had barely pulled on to the sidewalk and had fired up the Garmin and the Polar, when Flogging Molly had barely started to flog Molly.
In 72 hours, it will all be over.
I had to do some quick calculations since I didn't immediately trust myself. It was about 9:40 a.m., and at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday morning...
See, I told you. All over.
Sunday's half-marathon starts at 7 a.m. and I anticipate taking between 2 hours and 2 hours, 15 minutes to finish. So translate that into actual time, race starts at 7, I'll be done no later than 9:15. And I don't know why I say that so matter-of-factly, like I'll be driving from my house to the beach and anticipating it to take a certain amount of time with little physical effort on my part.
But yes, this race of mine will be over. And I can separate myself a little bit from the pre-race preparation, the race itself and the post-race festivities. Of course, today was my second-to-last prep run for the monster that awaits Sunday. As I felt on Wednesday after a quick gym session, I felt very encouraged by the stats.
5.07 miles, 49:07, avg HR 167, max HR 180, nipple pain moderate, fingers cold...
Okay, maybe the last two I'll have to work on a bit. I'll have to remember to take my vaseline and my gloves.
Anyway, my race strategy will be simple. Start slow but steady, build up to a strong late-middle portion and finish... well, not sure what condition I'll be in around, say Mile 11.5. I'd like to think that I'll be able to turn up the jets a little during the last portion of the race but if I'm sputtering, I'll just be thinking about the finish.
The key will be what I was keeping an eye on today and on Wednesday, and that's keeping my heart rate in check. I can't let it spiral too high too early. If I can maintain it at or around 160-165 for the first 2-3 miles, I'm going to be solid. If it's not too high over 170 by mile 4-5, that's going to be great. But if I'm scratching the 180s before mile 6.... not good.
Friday I'll do an interval run just to kind of give it one final push before Sunday. On Saturday, I'm going to spend the day dreading Sunday and being a nervous wreck in general... I mean, I'm going to spend the day preparing myself mentally for the race as well as trying to eat the right things (pasta) in preparation for Sunday.
I go nap now.