I am running the Mission Possible Half Marathon this weekend and if I am honest I am a little worried that this one might be a bit of a struggle. Since my first marathon two and a half weeks ago my main activities seem to have been watching episodes of Downton Abbey and eating Halloween candy. That healthy eating thing I was doing before the marathon seems to be in the distant past. With the dark evenings and seemingly never ending supply of bite size chocolate bars (yes some are from my kids’ Halloween bags, no they do not know I am eating them), I just have not been in any kind of running mode, much less training mode. I have done exactly four runs since October 20. And the two weeks before that I was in taper mode. Combine all of this with the fact that of the 7 different half marathons I have done, the Mission Possible race was definitely the hardest. This may not be pretty on Sunday.
I have tried to convince myself that last year it was a difficult run because it was only my second half and I did it 4 weeks after my first. I remember finding the rolling hills of this golf course run to be quite a test of endurance, but when I registered this year I convinced myself that my memory was probably exaggerating the difficulty level. To prove it to myself I headed out this week to run part of the course. Mistake! It is hard!
It really shouldn’t be as hard as it feels. There are no gigantic hills at all. There just don’t happen to be many flat spots either. And there are no straight paths, you are almost always turning a corner. There are also a couple of short, steep downhills that force you to slow down rather than speed up. If you picture running around and around a children’s roller coaster you will have a pretty accurate image of what this race is like.
I remember being disappointed last year when I finished in 2:06, but honestly that would be a dream time for me right now. I am thinking this will be more in the 2:15 range with some walking breaks being needed. But that is ok. This will be my final race of 2013 and if I manage to go out with something somewhere between a bang and a whimper I will be satisfied. It has been an amazing year of races for me and I don’t really feel like I have anything to prove. I’m still taking in the fact that I ran a marathon so anything right now is just icing on the cake 🙂