Tomorrow I am running my 4th half marathon, the Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon. The race takes place on the 443m track inside the Pettit National Ice Center. There are two “heats”, and I am in the later, more relaxed one with a time limit of 2:30 and a 130-person maximum.
Those of you keeping up with me the past few weeks know that I am decidedly less than thrilled about this race. Due to a “winter slump,” I am coming into it very undertrained. I signed up for this months ago thinking it would be a good way to keep my fitness up through the winter, but what really happened is that my motivation for running is at an all-time low. It’s hard to say if this race prevented me from giving up on running completely this month or if, without it, I actually would have enjoyed running more and wouldn’t be in such a slump right now. Either way, I am not exactly pumped about getting up early tomorrow to go run 48 laps around a track.
I love racing, so it’s a very weird feeling for me to be dreading a race instead of being excited for it. For the first time, I’m sitting here the day before a big race and not feeling jittery, anxious, pumped up.
But, some small nerves are starting to creep in.
Here’s what gets me about this race: I just have no clue what to expect. It’s so different than anything I’ve done before. I did a practice run of 12 miles on the race track a few weeks ago, and it didn’t really go that well. The run was fine, but I ended up averaging a pace of 9:15, which is much slower than it felt like I was running. It doesn’t seem to make sense, since most people say that running inside is supposed to be faster than running outside, although clearly that was not my experience at the Pettit.
Does this mean that being on the track inside will slow me down? Should I lower my expectations for finish time?
There are also a lot of logistical questions bouncing around in my mind: what’s the best way to count my laps? What if I lose count? Is it going to throw me off having to stop at a table for water and rely on the volunteers to find my water bottle for me? Is the track going to be too crowded for me to settle into a good pace?
I am hoping to end with at least a sub-2:00. This means that I’ll need to average roughly between 2:20-2:30 per lap, at least. That’s not in PR range for me, but it’s respectable and within my abilities even though my training has been lackluster lately. All 3 of my half marathons have been sub-2:00 and I would really like to continue my “streak” as long as possible!
If that’s not in the cards, well, I’ll be happy with a sub-2:05 and just getting this race over with.
I’m interested to see how I feel once I’m done tomorrow. Relieved? Elated? “Hey, that wasn’t so bad after all”?
Wish me luck. Not so much for my time or performance, but so that I can make it through running in 48 circles without losing my mind!! And don’t worry sillies, of course I’ll have a recap early next week so y’all know how it went.