Well the time has finally come – this Sunday, I will be running in the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon! This will be my first half marathon since June 2019, and my first in-person racing experience since the COVID-19 pandemic. What a time to be alive!
As I normally do, I’ll discuss my goals and strategy for my race. I’m so nervous, calm, and excited all at once! I’m happy to share my thoughts with you!Goals for the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon #runchat Click To Tweet
This is the first time that I’m running the Blue-Gray Half Marathon so I really don’t know what to expect. We’re looking forward to visiting Gettysburg over the weekend and having fun family time while of course staying as safe and socially distant as possible. This will be the first time that Baby E will see me at a race, so I’m super excited about that! Of course, it’s already Friday and I’m freaking out about what to wear and what to pack!
We’ll be heading to Gettysburg sometime on Saturday. I think we may try to see the historic sights if possible, but I don’t want to spend too much time on my feet. We’re staying at a hotel that’s right near the course start and finish, so that makes logistics much easier. Bret and Baby E will be together while I run but I don’t think there will be too many opportunities for them to see me on the course.
Here’s my plan from Coach Laura:
Start a controlled, comfortable effort for the first few miles, especially on the initial uphill. Then settle into a steady, sustainable effort (think moderate to moderately hard). Once you crest the big hill around mile 11, push yourself progressively harder and focus on finishing strong!
I was originally training for the Delaware Half Marathon (which was postponed to June), so I wasn’t really focused on running hills, though my neighborhood is pretty hilly! So we’ll see how it goes. I’m a bit nervous about pacing because the fastest I’ve been lately is around 11:30 minutes/mile, though the 12:00-12:30 is now my “easy” zone. I’m not sure how it will all translate for an in-person race. I just know that I have to resist the urge to start out too fast!!
I’m very comfortable with my hydration and fueling plan. I am still using the same stuff – Vitalyte powder for electrolytes and Honeystinger chews for fuel. I am now using a hydration vest I purchased from REI that has a bladder, and that has worked well on my long runs, though I’m still getting used to drinking from a hose!
Unfortunately, I’ve been tracking the weather all week and while the temperatures look perfect, it is definitely going to rain on Sunday morning. Fortunately, I have experienced running a race in heavy rain and I ran through a brief downpour earlier this week on my 3 miler. I am confident that I can handle the weather, but you just never know what race day can bring!
If you’ve done an in-person race recently, do you have any tips? Any fun plans for the weekend?