Thoughts before my half marathon

I’ll admit that I’ve assigned a lot more importance to this weekend’s half marathon than is probably justified. After all, it’s just a race, one of ten or eleven that I plan to run this year. It’s not even my first half marathon. But the LI Half Marathon is important to me, because race performance is a reflection of all the work I’ve done to train for the event. Races validate conditioning and reveal shortcomings.

I think of Sunday’s race two different ways. On one hand, I’ll wake up early and think about the fact that I’ll be racing a distance equal to traveling from mid-town Manhattan to Newark, NJ. Two-plus hours of constant motion — running, not walking. On the other hand, I think about how almost every Saturday, for the past eight weeks, I’ve run a distance at Bethpage that was progressively longer than any run I’ve done this year. No stress on those runs. I just ran until I finished.

I hope I keep the latter point in mind as I line up for the 8:00 AM start on Sunday. I definitely want to do better than last year and, thankfully, I am not suffering the same knee pain that made the 2011 race especially difficult. I have a stretch goal time, a realistic goal time, an expected time, and last year’s time. I’m curious to see what the timing clock says when I cross the finish line.

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