Monday, October 21, 2013

Half Marathon Nerves

My first half marathon is in 2 weeks time.  I'm starting to get nervous.  Here is a small sample of what has been crossing my mind the last week:

Can I even run that far?  My longest run so far is 16km and tomorrow I am scheduled to run 18km, so I'll see how that goes...

Will my verging-on-dodgy leg behave for that distance? I still get niggles in my IT band/vastus lateralis and foam roll regularly, but it is not getting worse. Yet.

How far apart are the water stops?  Just checked the website and they are at 4, 8, 11, 16 and 19km, and include water and Powerade.

What am I going to fuel with during the run? GU gels? (faves are Espresso Love and Peanut Butter)  Dried apricots/dates?  My stomach handles Powerade, but my head tells me that bright blue stuff is just wrong.

How often and when?  I took 2 gels last weekend, and will try 3 tomorrow merely to see if I can stomach it, no idea how many to take on the day.  What do you do?

Will those North Shore hills at the beginning tire me out?  We were over in Devonport last weekend so I made hubby drive the first part of the course - there are a few hills that made me feel not so great.  I worry.

Will I cope climbing the Auckland Harbour Bridge towards the end?  I am mentally prepared for this ('s only 33m...) but I think I'm going to be tired by then and 33 might feel like 333.

Will I be able to run all the way or will I have to stop and walk?  Depends on those hills, and my long run tomorrow - if I can run 18km, I can do 21.1km

Should I walk through the water stops? If they are uphill, probably yes!

What should I have for breakfast, and when?  Wholegrain oats and blueberries?  With the race starting at 7am, I need to eat it by 5:30am

What shall I eat for dinner the day before?  Meb K has spaghetti and meatballs, so I might try that too!

And lunch? Something healthy and carbolicious - suggestions?

What time do I have to catch the ferry to Devonport?  Just got an email this week saying get there early - a lot of runners arrived at once for the later ferries and not all could be ferried...  that would ruin the day.

What time do I have to leave home? 5am?

Or wake up? 4:30am?

Or go to bed? 6:30pm?

What am I going to wear?  I'm really fussy about what I wear - if it is uncomfortable or hot it annoys me.  So far it is my Lululemon black pace-setter skirt, Adidas blue racer back top, Nike cap, Under Armour Armour Bra, Nike SportWatch, Experia socks, Mizuno Wave Rider 16's.... - these are my faves so far.

Will it be hot or cold, dry or raining, calm or windy? Hubby happens to be a weather expert so problem solved.

What shall I take to keep me warm before the start?  We get gear bags at registration so can dump some overlayers at the start line.

Do I need new shoes? Possibly - my Wave Riders are 400km old and although they are still great some new ones would be nice :)

What is a realistic time goal?  I really don't know - 2:10 - 2:30?  Those hills are putting me off.  My recent training 10km time indicates 2:20 - so that was a good guess!

How fast shall I run? 2:20 equals 6:40 pace - sounds do-able to me.

Should I try to run faster than that?  My mile time trial and 5km time indicate times of  2:02 to 2:12 - can I do this?

Will my Nike SportWatch work on the day?  I worry about this, as it has had 'blank screen' a couple of times lately, and I've had to reboot it from my laptop.  I certainly won't have my laptop on me on the day...

Have I trained enough for this?  I don't think my endurance training has been enough.  I've had some ITB issues that prevented a good base training period.  Maybe next time.

Do I have enough endurance?  Probably enough to make it around the course, but not enough to run a fast-for-me time.

How will my family find me amongst the masses?  Yes - I'm the one in the blue shirt!  One of the most popular colours - maybe I should choose a colour that stands out.

Will my family be at the finish line?  They better be...

As I say, just a small sample...
Is your mind a flurry of erratic thoughts before race day too?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I saw yesterday on Nike that you'd run 18km - congrats!! 21.1km is achievable, don't doubt it. It's only another 3.1km after all ;) You can do it! Yeah, the early morning is starting to scream through my mind too - 4.45am is going to be my wake up time, breakfast at 5am (oatmeal for sure), then walking down to the ferry terminal to get there by 6am. I'm a little panicky too... That bridge... Good luck!!

    1. Yes I ran 18km, and feel more confident now.
      I'm trying to practise getting up early but it's not working!

  3. Races are such a mental game. You will be just fine!! You have put in the training and I have no doubt you'll be able to run 21.1!
    I say get there early. Thirty minutes less sleep won't do damage, but stressing about being late before a race might!
    Eat what you normally eat before a long run for breakfast and the supper the night before! Personally, I'd go with gels during the race since they're easy to slurp back, especially if you know your body handles them well!
    Otherwise, just trust in your training! You've got this!

    1. Thanks for your support and advice Abby!

  4. I carry a phone so I can call my husband at the finish, but last time it was too loud for him to hear the phone so it took a little time to find each other. I tried to wear a unique color once (orange!) and noticed that there were tons of other marathoners wearing orange that day!

    1. Hopefully everyone else decides to wear a unique colour and my common as blue stands out!

  5. You'll be fine! My mind goes crazy leading up to a race but I just have to keep myself distracted to not think of all the 'what ifs'. You will be awesome!

  6. P.S. Thinking of organising a running bloggers get together (coffee date) possibly the day before if you could make it?? Would be so nice to meet some of the people I already feel like I know from the blog world. Email me at for details if you are keen :)

    1. A coffee date sounds awesome Rachel - will email you!

  7. Your Q&A makes me feel both better and worse! You seem pretty prepared. I just need to remember that my usual route to the city is closed as it is part of the marathon course...

    1. Good point - you don't want to be like those runners last year who missed the ferry!


Thanks for commenting!

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