Tomorrow is the big day- Hapalua Half-Marathon day, and while it kind of snuck up on me (as in when a co-worker and I were looking at our calendars to schedule something and she said “Well, next Monday is the 11th…” my response was “That means this Sunday is the 10th; I think I’m running a half-marathon on Sunday.”), I feel ready for it.
I’m even fitter and faster than I was before I lined up for the start of the marathon, and the shorter distance makes me fee like I might be able to push myself a little harder to go a little faster. My ultimate goal is to finish the 13.1 miles in about 2:15, but I would be happy with anything under 2:30. My running cohorts tell me that this is totally possible, but they can’t hear the voice of dissension that creeps into my head and gets louder with every bead of sweat that I wipe from my brow.
I think I’ve worked hard enough to be able to trust in my training and ignore all of the “I can’ts” and the “I won’ts” and the “I’m dyings” that pop into my brain to try to steer me off course. While we didn’t cover as much distance training for the half as we did for the full marathon (and why would we need to, the race is only half as long- for many of us it will be over by 8:30!), we did train on an awful lot of hills- big hills, little hills, medium hills, long slow hills, short steep hills, long steep hills, hills that seemed friendly the first time we ran up them and then we ran up them again and again, hills where people were cooking breakfast or dinner and the smell of food wafted over us, hills where fathers were helping their sons train for football season, hills where bicyclists dismounted to walk up, downhills we sang the praises of in one direction that became uphills we cursed on the way home; there was no shortage of hills for the Windward Endurance training group. This is a really good thing because, while there is only one real hill on the race course, it is a pretty big one and it happens around mile 10.
The Hapalua has a fun challenge called Team Hawaii vs. the World where the best local runners compete against a few professional runners from other countries. The local runners get a head start and the professional runners chase them to the finish line. When I went to pick up my race packet yesterday, I spotted two of the professional runners taking a breather.
Don is sitting this race out because he has been too busy to train, but he and a friend who’s husband is running will be at mile 8 and at the finish line cheering us on. I’m enjoying my pre-race diet of carbs and ice cream (if eating ice cream before a race isn’t a thing, I vow to make it one) and am looking forward to this time tomorrow when I will have finished my run. Wish me luck, I’m going to take a cue from the pros and spend some time stretched out on the floor!