In 10 hours (and 11 minutes, but who is counting???) the gun will go off to start the Murfreesboro Middle Half Marathon. I have been training for this since February. You could say that tomorrow will be the highlight of my year- and it hasn't even started, yet.
My running group just left my house; I hosted a "pasta party" so we could "carb up" before our big day. We've been training together since early March, running 3-4 times a week. We don't run fast, we don't run hard, but we run. It has been a positive experience to grow with the group. We used to dread our 2 mile runs. Now 2 miles are our "break" days. I use 2 miles as a pressure release after work. Tomorrow's half-marathon will be the first half-marathon for most of the group (myself included). Excitement tangled with anxiety has kept me wired most of the day. I think anxiety is starting to consume my excitement...
I don't know how I will feel when I finish the race. Happy. Tired. Overwhelmed. Sore. Excited. And I know myself- "now what?" will be the first question that pops into my head. Running a half-marathon is a huge goal to accomplish (for me, the non-athletic, math-olympiad, rather-spend-my-time-in-a-library kid). I think I am also nervous about finishing. I know I have doubts. "What happens if I have to walk it out? What if my back starts hurting again? What if I don't fuel myself correctly?" I know I will press on. Or, at least, I tell myself so. A good friend of mine flew in from New Orleans to run with me (it is her first half, too). She will push me and I will push her and we may have to drag each other across the finish line, but we will do it. I have got to do it.
P.S. I'm ready. My gear is neatly laid out by my bed. My Gatorade is in the fridge, chilling. My alarm is set. I've pinned my bib to my shirt (#724!). Bring it.