After a long, hard run today, I made a plan for my very first half marathon. It is not a conventional plan. It is not one that would be advocated by Jeff Galloway or any other running coach, but I think it will work for me.
My plan is to run hard and all out for the first 5 miles to get to the Magic Kingdom. Once I make it into the Kingdom at twelve minutes a mile, I will feel much safer to slow down and take pictures. Once I run down Main Street, through the castle and then through Adventureland, I can slow down and enjoy the last half of the race. I can stop and take pictures at the castle, with the princesses and with the characters on the way back to Epcot.
See, I have a completely irrational fear of getting swept. I think about it all the time. I have nightmares about it. While I have proven to myself I can go the distance at about fourteen minutes per mile pace, I am still scared. I can run hard and keep up a twelve minute mile pace for at least 6 miles, as I did today. Finding out I have a low bib number, and in turn hopefully an earlier corral does put me at ease a bit, but not enough.
I know that no running coach would approve of my plan, but I feel like it is right for me. I know you should take it easy the first half and go all out toward the end. If I did that, I would not enjoy the race. I would spend the entire race looking over my shoulder for the balloon lady (sweepers). To test my plan, I will put it into effect for my last long run this weekend. My endurance is high enough to keep going—at least walking— the whole 13.1 miles. My walking speed concerns me because I walk at about 17 minutes a mile. Knowing I have a decent cushion will allow me to enjoy the race and not be so paranoid.
Do you have a race plan?
A dream is a wish…