Last minute races: a definite do.
On Tuesday morning, while sitting in my apartment doing work and contemplating all this mileage I’ve been racking up over the last few weeks, I came across a Facebook post from Fit Chick In The City informing me that New York Road Runners had added a limited number of entries for the More/Fitness Half Marathon. Hmm, I thought to myself. I could so easily do that, couldn’t I?
The More/Fitness Half Marathon had actually been on my mind for quite some time now. A few months ago, after completing the Manhattan Half Marathon, I had intended on signing up for one more longer race before the summer – but missed the deadline for the event. Oh well, I thought. No big. And it wasn’t. With the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler rapidly approaching, I figured I’d instead turn my focus to running the race down south with a little oomph, and I’d satisfy my need for achievement that way.
Well, the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler came and went. It was an awesome experience, and afterward, I was excited not to have another race to prepare for (save for a 10k in June) for all of 5 minutes. It didn’t take long to hit me. My half marathon thirst couldn’t be quenched even with a wildly successful almost-half-marathon-distance race. At the same time, however, I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about signing up for a half marathon anytime down the road either.
Remember when I freaked out about the Brooklyn Half Marathon not long ago, saying that I just wasn’t ready to dedicate myself to true half-marathon training mode? I wasn’t pulling your leg. The thought of a half marathon mid-may still sounds unappealing to me, since it would mean I’d have to keep up my mileage for at least another month. Coincidentally, I happen to be in perfect race shape now. Which is why, as soon as I discovered that there was space left in the More/Fitness Half this weekend – right in my own backyard at that – the gears starting turning. Within minutes, I knew there was no turning back. My mind was set.
I have to say, now that I’m officially signed up with just 5 days to go, I’m really excited about the race. On the one hand, I know I’m ready, and if this makes any sense at all, I love that I never had to mentally prepare to physically prepare. I’ve trained; I just didn’t call it training. Between an amazing 12-mile run with my cousin, a great 10-mile race with friends, and a leisurely 8-mile run with Noah this past Sunday – and many, many, many consistent 4 to 6-mile runs throughout the week – I’m not sure whether I could have designed a better training program even if I had the time to do so. Whether or not it felt like it, I might as well apply all this hard work toward the greater good of a race, right?
Still, there are other reasons why I’m looking forward to the More/Fitness Half Marathon, and that’s the overall sense of familiarity I have with the terrain. I mean, how many times have I run those hills before? Granted, I vowed to never climb Harlem Hill twice in once day ever again after the Manhattan Half Marathon, but the last time I ran almost that exact course, it was 30 degrees and blizzarding. While I know that the inclines can be a real bitch, I’m thinking that there are enough elements working with me to get me through all 13.1 miles and to the finish line with relative ease.
So here I am. Less than 24 hours ago, I had nowhere to run. Now, I have less than 5 days to prepare myself for my third half marathon to date – my third in less than a year at that. I’m not gonna lie to you; part of me is filled with anxiety. It took all of 4 hours to develop an ulcer, in fact (not a joke). But a huge part of me is really proud of myself too, and for someone who puts a lot of pressure on herself, that can be a really hard feeling to find.
Now that my 5-day plan is out on the table, I’m also going to take this opportunity to proclaim that this will be my last blog post for the week. Since launching Will Run For Glitter in January, I’ve done a pretty solid job of managing my personal and professional life with my running and blogging. My impromptu decision to run the More/Fitness Half Marathon is going to swipe a big chunk of my schedule (and sanity) though in a very, very short period of time, and so in order to work, play, have two lovely dinners with my boyfriend’s family this weekend and manage to do laundry, the time I take to tell all of you about the aforementioned events is going to have to be put on hold – just until Sunday after the race. In truth, I don’t have that much going on this week anyway, now that I have to concentrate on eating veggies and whole grains, chugging water, and getting plenty of sleep.
The quick and dirty: On Tuesday night, Noah and I skipped Yoga Vida’s adanced class and instead went to an overcrowded flow yoga class with Alec Baldwin’s fiance. It was too much of a workout and not enough yoga (sorry Hilaria, I’m not a speedy girl); the two of us prefer flows that focus on extended stretching and whatnot. The class was definitely not for runners. Wednesday, I took a moderately paced 5-ish-mile jog along the East River with a friend super early.
In the coming days, I’m absolutely, positively throwing in a rest day – or even 2 – to better prepare my body for the race. It’s been a while since I’ve recharged my batteries, and if I know the hills of Central Park, I’m going to need a lot of lightening to power through them.
Over and out.
Have you ever made a last minute decision to race on a total whim? What was it, and how’d you feel right afterward? Are you running in the More/Fitness Half Marathon this weekend? What are your race strategies? What will you be wearing? Are you excited? A big good luck to everyone!