After enduring the most miserable run ever two weeks ago (recovering from a stomach bug, wind, cold, hills/bridge, constant runny nose, not enough food, total energy depletion, etc.) and then running quite a bit better this past weekend, I decided to push forward and run the Charleston half this coming Saturday.
At first I was debating running it at all because I’m fairly certain my time is going to be awful (compared to my previous times) and a PR is totally out of reach based on my current running times versus those of last year. So after a lot of internal debate, I decided to push my ego aside and just have fun with this race and be glad that my body is still allowing me to run at this point.
I have no plans to push myself on race day and I’ll be running at an easy, conversational pace rather than anything close to resembling a race pace. My strategy is to start slow (veeeery slow) and speed up along the way as I feel I can (or slow down or walk if I have to - I’m not in control here, the tiny human is. so I have to put that first).
I’ve also had to change up my fueling strategy because my body sucks away resources so quickly right now. My plan is to eat an entire Bonk Breaker Espresso Chip Bar at mile four and another again at mile nine. And as always, I’ll be carrying Lemon-Lime Gatorade with me. This is way more than I’ve ever needed in a race. Usually I’m good with a few Honey Stingers and orange slices or a few bites of banana along the way, but not right now. I could probably eat a full buffet halfway through the race and still need to stuff myself at the end. It’s a good thing there’ll be shrimp and grits waiting at the finish line of this race!
All of this slowing down is disappointing because this is the first race I’ve run where I’ll be running the course a second time. I did the Charleston half last year and if I weren’t pregnant now, I would absolutely be PR’ing significantly this year, so getting my head around that disappointment was pretty hard for me. But it gives me something to shoot for next year. I’ll most definitely be back and by that time, I should be nearly back to normal paces and able to PR on the course. But this year, the tiny human is along for the ride and we’ll be crossing the finish line together, even if it takes way longer than it’s ever taken me to finish a half before.