In just a few days, I'll be headed out on a 13.1-mile quest. My thoughts before the Shamrock Half Marathon are all over the place. While there's part of me that feels like I've done a lot of half marathons, the reality is this is only the second one I've done with a racing frame of mind. My first 13.1 event in the summer of 2006 was used as a long run to get ready for the Virginia Ten Miler. I surprised myself by finishing in less than two hours. Then came last year's Shamrock in which I went out with a goal to beat my 2006 time and get as close to 1:45 as I could. This past summer I did the Lynchburg half marathon again, but that was really a long run in my marathon training. I wasn't really thinking about racing.
So what does that mean for this weekend? I would love to beat my time from last year. I have logged fewer miles in the past three months than I did last year, but I've been more consistent with building my mileage. I also have the marathon experience, which I think has really helped with maintaining being in shape. This year I had to recover from an injury, which hurt my miles, but gave me extra time to get over whatever the marathon did to my body. I do weigh a few more pounds than last year at this time, but I feel really good.
So I have this time staring at me in the face - 1:44:23. I'm ready to try and beat that, but if I fall short it's no big deal. Like last year, this event is really a springboard for the rest of the year. I've managed to stay in decent shape through the winter, and this gives me a chance to perform well all year.
I guess my pre-race thoughts are just mixed right now. I'm doing the "Dolphin Challenge" this weekend by doing an 8k on Saturday, but I have no intentions of running that hard at all. In fact, it'll be my slowest event ever I hope. For now, it's time to rest and try to clear my mind.