I was anxious before the race. I had all kinds of crazy dreams several days before including not having checked in by the time the gun went off to start the race and another in which I ran the half with Cameron and Mitchell from Modern Family. I didn't want to just finish this race, I wanted to finish it without stopping. It was stressing me out.
We did finish, and I'd love to tell you that I felt amazing at the end. That I could have gone farther, but I can't. Frankly, I've never been so happy to finish something in my life. I was tired, numb, had to pee like a mad woman, and a huge blister broke on my toe at mile 10. It was extremely painful. If it weren't for my training partner, Kelly, and my race day partner, Lorren, I'm not sure I would have made it to race day, let alone the finish line. But we did it!!!
Looking back I would like to give a few tips:
1) Just because you can run 10 miles, does NOT mean you can run 13. Every one says that. And tho I had trained up to 10, 13.1 definitely feels different.
2) I started training with Clif Shot Bloks on the recommendation of Andi. I'm pretty sure they saved my life, or at least my legs, that day.
3) Some people like to run "blind" as I call it(not knowing the course). I don't like not knowing where I am going or how far I have gone. If you can get a Garmin to track your pace and distance I highly suggest it. At the very least, drive the course before hand if you can.
4) Running. Partner. Get one. I had lots of days I wouldn't have even gotten out of bed to train if I didn't know Kelly was waiting on me outside in the cold.
5) Strength training. I don't think I focused on this enough. Those last 3 miles were tougher because my legs just weren't strong enough. Running alone probably won't get you there. (Not to mention in your 30's you start to lose lean muscle mass. Strength training helps this.)
6) Don't think you can't do it! We spend too much of our lives talking about what we can't do instead of just going for it. I don't know, maybe you can't, but life is too short not to try.