In just over 10 days I will be participating in my very first half marathon. It has been an amazing journey for me and something I never thought I would hear myself utter. It is still very surreal to me - probably because I have yet to run that distance and have yet to complete the race so it is still intangeable to me. But that has not stopped the nerves from setting in. I am extremely nervous. It happens to me every time I prepare for a race but I think the fears are on a larger scale than before. With previous races, I may not have run the actual distance before, but I was pretty confident I could complete the race without too much trouble.
But with my last few outings, 10 miles seemed to really kick me in the face. I was tired, my legs felt like they could go no further and I could not wait to be back in my house and on the couch for the rest of the day. I was aided by my hubby's marathon friend who fed me gels and sports drinks and kept me talking the whole way, but I still felt that pain when all was said and done. I have a few more things I can change before the big day - subtle changes that are more race preparation than anything on actual race day, but that fear is still very present. Can I actually do this? Am I crazy for even attempting to do something so insane?
I am trying to repeat this mantra over and over again in my head every time that fear kicks in. I have learned that running is 60% mental and that if I tell myself I can do it, I will actually do it. Too bad that doesn't stop the fear from creeping in to begin with.
For all the experienced runners out there - how did you build yourself up mentally before that first big race? Any tips for a new comer?