24 hours to go – the calm before the storm?

In about 24 hours, I will have completed my first half marathon. That’s an exciting thought and at the same time I’m feeling a bit nervous. As my coach says, nervousness is excitement without breathing. I’ll do a lot of breathing today 🙂

In anticipation to my race, I have been getting up earlier and earlier this week, culminating to today’s 5am wake up call. Quite frankly, I did complain a bit earlier this week when I started this little project. I’m one of those folks who have a pretty strong “biological” clock. An hour off sometimes feel like a day off! I had two cups of coffee this week because of this change (I don’t normally drink coffee)

In any case, for tomorrow’s race, the start time is 6:30am, which is abnormally early. I haven’t participated many races, but the last Rock and Roll I ran, it started at 8am. When the 6.30am race time was announced, I had to make the decision to head up to San Francisco over night. I did not want to run a first half marathon without much sleep!

I’m also running the race with my brother-in-law, who is currently training for a tri. His projected finish is under two hours, which is about 40% faster than mine. Because of this, I will also take the “Early” start for the last corral tomorrow, with the start time at 6.15am. This way, we can finish as close as possible so we can all get to the FINALE, which is a nice, BIG, ole’ American brunch with family. I figured that waking up extra 15-20 minutes at this point would not make much difference. Either way, it’d be way earlier than I am used to!

Since I got up earlier this week, I had a bit extra time. I started to type up a page of notes of where, when, how of the race. By the end of it, I realized how much planning it took to run a race that wasn’t local. (Okay, some may argue that San Jose is still local in the San Francisco Bay Area) My last races were all within 30 minutes drive (that’s my definition of local!) I’m learning some serious operation management skills. One of the challenges with running a race in San Francisco is the coordination between driving a car, parking, and public transportation. Half of the page dealt with parking garage information!

Finally, I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. As I “test-walked” this morning at a nearby trail, I saw the sun breaking the clouds as sunrise approached. I thought to myself “wow, that’d be an awesome view as I run towards the Golden Gate Bridge” At my “simulation” walk, as the sun rose, it felt like the earth was waking up slowly. In a way, it felt ceremonial.

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