Saturday, August 23, 2014

God, grant me the serenity...

We all know how the prayer goes. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  I can be a bit of a control-freak... okay more than a bit LOL, so I struggle with this at times.

Tomorrow is my half marathon.  The one I've been pointing to all summer as my "checkpoint" in my road to my 2nd full marathon in October.  I've made no secret that I have huge goals for both of these races.  This half marathon was going to be my benchmark, letting me know if I was on the right track.  With the training that I've been doing, I truly felt like I was going to blow this race out of the water.  As I mentioned in my last post, I ran a PR by 2 minutes during the first 13 miles of a 16 mile training run.  My goals that I set in that last post totally seemed within my reach.

I forgot to take into effect the one thing that is truly out of my control: the weather.  For over a week now I've been stalking it.  It's changed frequently, as Ohio weather tends to do, going from rain to thunderstorms to clear.  What has not changed, though, is the prediction for heat and humidity.  We've been so very lucky to have a relatively cool summer this year.  Sadly, it came to an end about a week ago, and the typical hot and humid temperatures made their presence.

Tomorrow's forecast currently calls for 67 degrees at race start (7 AM), with humidity at 93%. Yep, you read that right, 93%.  Humid weather does not bode well for fast running, especially when, here in central Ohio, we've really only had to deal with it for a couple of weeks.  Our bodies are just not acclimated to breathing in all that moist air, and also sweating just doesn't happen when the air is overly humid, so the body can't cool itself.  The race organizers sent out an e-mail the other day, warning all participants to hydrate often in the days leading up to the race and of course while racing.  They'll have extra water at the water stops, and icy cold towels at the finish. 

How does this affect my plans?  Well, I've got the wisdom right now--I can't change the weather, and I've accepted this.  I've also accepted that I likely won't be able to pull off that "A" goal of a 1:45.  Who knows how I will feel during the race... I honestly can't even predict a time. Therefore, I've set a non-time goal to keep my goal-oriented self satisfied.  I want to figure out how to run without a fuel belt.  I ran my first marathon using my FuelBelt, which holds two 10-oz. water bottles, as well as my GU energy gels.  I've decided that I won't be wearing my belt for my 2nd full marathon, and I figured this would be a good race to try out drinking on the run.  During my first full, I did get water from a few of the water stops, but I relied mostly on my belt.  So during this race, I'm going to run with my handheld bottle (mostly because it's going to be so darn hot, otherwise I would carry nothing but my FlipBelt holding my GU gels), but I will rely mainly on the aid stations. There are 9 of them, so I should be okay if I get drinks at each one.

The main thing is that I don't want a recap of this.  Thus, I'll be monitoring myself closely to make sure that I'm not having symptoms of heat exhaustion.  I've promised my friends that I will walk if I feel at all bad.  That all being said... I'm psyched to race!!!  And I haven't forgotten my newly adopted mantras... stay in the moment, be content. Run like the wind, run with joy!

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