Half Marathons, supporting a friend + challenging yourself

I felt compelled to write something about how I feel about the half marathon I have this weekend, but honestly, as I’m trying to write it, my thoughts are completely all over the place.  This may not make any sense, but I need to get the thoughts out of my head.

Before I start my whining/complaining/pity party, etc, I wanted to thank you guys for coming along with me on my journey.  Thank you for all of the encouragement along the way.  You have given me valuable advice that I really cherish and you have been a support when I choose not to follow your advice 🙂

So the Harbor Lights Half Marathon is this Sunday.  I’d be lying if I said I felt prepared.

My friend Diane is running it too – its her first half marathon.  She is going to do AWESOME.  She had logged some really solid training runs and I bet she’ll finish under 2:45.  She wants to start with the 2:45 pace group – yay for slow(ish) paces groups! I told her that she should attempt to stay ahead of them.  I will start with her and the 2:45 pace group, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull away from me, and that’s ok.  I want to try my hardest to keep up with them, if only for her.

I knew after my performance at Crawlin Crab and with all my silly feet issues that Harbor Lights was not going to be a stellar race for me.  I’d like to finish faster than I did at Crawlin Crab.

However, my goal is to finish and to finish healthy.  A few posts ago I talked about refocusing my running goals for next year. I really feel that half marathons should be a rare race distance for me, something that I do maybe once a year.  I have to recommit to the training for that distance. I’m very much looking forward to next year.

But I need to finish what I started this year.  I have contemplated not running Harbor Lights, but I know for me…I have to do it.  I told you guys about a really encouraging conversation I had with Danny about my “why.”  Why do I run? I run because its a challenge.  I want to do what I never used to be able to do.

Harbor Lights represents that “why” for me.  Its a challenge because I haven’t trained like I should (but don’t worry, my fitness level is safe for me to run it), its a challenge because I’m having feet issues, its a challenge because its a new race course…I will not be satisfied with myself if I don’t accept this challenge.

Most of all, I want to have FUN! I want to enjoy the course, I want to enjoy the weather (why is it going to be in the 60s, I want cold!!!!), I want to high-five every little kid on the course, and I want to thank and smile at every volunteer.  Races are about community – and running is one of the best communities I’ve ever been a part of.

Why do you run? What is your favorite part of a race?

Do you have any advice I can share with my friend Diane for her first half?

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10 thoughts on “Half Marathons, supporting a friend + challenging yourself

  1. I think everyone’s #1 goal should be to train and finish healthy, injury free, and still enjoying running when you finish. That’s the important thing, if you train so hard that you burn out and don’t want to run, is it really worth it? For me, having a time goal just sets me up for disappointment so I prefer process-related goals like staying focused during the whole race distance and not letting my mind drift, and really just running the best race I can that day- because not every day is going to be a PR day or course.

    As far as advice for first-time half marathoners… enjoy it, finish with a smile, and remember it’s an insta-PR. You can always set a time goal later and train again if you like the distance. So many people treat a race as if it’s the be-all-end-all when really, each race is just a part of the journey.

    • Thanks girl! I love that you set goals that aren’t related to time – I think that is a fantastic idea! I like to be able to smile at the end 🙂

      I shared your advice with Diane and she loved it. Thought it was very sweet!

  2. You’re going to have a fab race and you’re right, go out there and have FUN!!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!! I just did Richmond Half this past Saturday!! It was COLD!!! Eeek!! Have a great weekend girl!! XOXO

  3. You are already a winner Lauren for taking on the challenge and supporting your friend. You’ll do amazing!!! Just tell your friend for running a new distance have that time goal in mind but don’t lose sight of the special thing she is accomplishing. If she has that outlook even will go well. I run for the love of it, the challenge, and for my life. Running has literally saved me from a health condition that could have been bad if I hadn’t been running all this time. As far as races go I just love the feeling of electricity in the air and crowd support. Best wishes to both you and your chica I’ll be thinking of ya both 🙂

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