Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall / Winter 2012 Preview

It’s here. Race week. My first race longer than a 10K since April. I should be uber prepared from months of summer training, svelte and fit with many miles under my belt (that now buckles two notches further in around a trimmer waistline), and confident that I’ll obtain new PRs with each finish line I cross.

I SHOULD be, but nope, that’s not gonna happen.

This Saturday is the Jazz Half Marathon in New Orleans. At 7:00 a.m., runners will take off from a downtown starting line on a path that winds its way around the central business district, up St. Charles Avenue to Audubon Park, around the park and through the oak trees, and back down St. Charles for a finish near where the race started. This will be my first and only “long run” as part of my marathon training for the ING New York City Marathon that I’ll be running the following Sunday, November 4th.

I know I’ve talked about my unpreparedness countless times before. It comes as a standard in the lives of amateur runners who enjoy the weekend race regimen. Second guessing our ability and doubting the quality of training that we’ve put in prior to race day allows for “an out” should we fall short of finishing. This time, however, I know it’s not just nerves. I know I haven’t put in the work to better my best marathon time. And with that, I am ok.

I’ll run the Jazz Half this weekend. I’ll even finish the NYC Marathon next. Will it be pretty? Probably not. Will I have an amazing experience with one of my closest friends, take lots of photos, bring home a finisher’s medal, and have stories to tell for weeks? Most definitely.

I know this isn’t the last race I’m going to run. There’s always next year. Heck, the rest of 2012 is chock full of second chances. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, Baton Rouge Beach Marathon, Ole Man River Half Marathon, Walt Disneyworld Goofy Challenge, Louisiana Marathon, and Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon will keep me busy through February. I’ll get stronger and faster, maybe even outperforming the goals I set for myself. What’s most important, though, is that I keep getting out there and having fun new experiences along the way.

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