Sunday, December 1, 2013

Race 1: December 2013

RunGirl 13.1

December 8, 2013
Houston, TX
4 hour course limit

Why This Race?

Before my oh-so-triumphant return to racing last spring, I'd only done one women's race -- the Danskin triathlon.  I didn't really care about the concept of women's racing, other than that I preferred races with gender-specific wave swim starts.  Getting mauled by some huge guy in the water was not how I liked to start my races.  Since becoming a mom, though, I see something so wonderful about racing with a bunch of other women.  It felt like a kinder, gentler place to start back and I had a great race.  This isn't to say that women's races aren't competitive (I'm sure they are at all levels, even down to a middle-of-the-pack competition between friends) or that men aren't supportive (my husband brings our kids out to watch me race and nothing says supportive like watching four kids in the high-energy, crowded environment of a race).  The races just have a sense of camaraderie, especially at the back of the pack.  I figured that will help me with any first half marathon jitters I'm having.  Also, everything at this race is pink.  A cliché, perhaps, but I love pink.  The pink 13.1 sticker that comes in the race bag will also subtly let everyone who ever sees my minivan know that I earned that sticker, not my husband.


My obvious goal is just to finish.  The best thing about a new race distance is the automatic PR you get from finishing!  I am setting a stretch goal of finishing in under 3:30, since two races I'm doing next summer have that shorter course limit.


My plan is to try to start slowly and have a negative split.  I'm adding nothing new -- my shoes have about 300 miles on them, I've worn everything I'm wearing on long training walks.  I'm carrying one water bottle and a couple of gels so I don't have to stop on the course.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they still make tangerine PowerGel, since I last ate one over a decade ago.  Christian is always trying new gels, but I like to stick with my tried and true favorite.  For a while I felt that since I am walking, I didn't need to replace calories.  Christian talked me into trying it when I did my first 8-mile walk and it made such a difference with how I felt at the end.  

Starting the week after my Esprit de She race, I started training with this race in mind.  Assuming I make my three walks next week, I will have put in 289.75 miles specifically working up to this race -- that number somehow makes me feel more ready.  I can hardly believe I'm going to do a half marathon a week from today!

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