Thursday, October 10, 2013

Detroit International Half Marathon Plan

"I'm not making any plans. I'm just going to let the universe surprise me." -John Cusack

YES! That is right, I do not have a plan for the Detroit International Half Marathon I am scheduled to run on October 20th 2013.  Every single race that I have ran up until this one I have had a goal, a plan, a strategy but honestly I have got nothing other then have fun going into next Sundays race.  Normally 10 days prior to an event I have clothing picked out, pace charts, split times, studied the course map, and put all of my fuel and accessories in a little ziploc so I am overly prepared.  This time, not so much. 

So here is what I do not know:
  • What my splits will be or what my predicted finishing time will be.  In fact I will not even have a Garmin on for the race.  Last year I lost signal through the underwater mile and it messed me all up so this year I will sport my Road Id and my "Relentless" Endorphin Warrior bracelet and that is all.
  • What my body will do on race day.  With the up and down runs of the last several weeks, I could wake up with a sore and painful hip or I could wake up and feel great.

So here is what I know:
  • I will finish, and I say this knowing that unless something tragic happens I will finish 13.1 miles. That is a very strange shift in my mind set that has occurred since the 50k and 13.1 was considered a short long run.  Having those longer training runs, I am pretty used to a fueling plan of Island Boost right before and again at 6 or 7 miles and I can easily make it to 13.1, even though I will carry an extra one just in case.  Running early I am also pretty used to my pre race "breakfast" of a banana, Picky Bar, coffee and 24 oz of Nuun.  No need to plan there anymore since it's become second nature.
  • I will get the same medal if I finish sub 2 (which is highly unlikely given my difficulty returning to speed after the 50k) or 2:30.  (I do however want to finish closer to the 2 ish side knowing I have friends about to crush the full and I want to get to the sidelines, change out of my stinky running clothes and be ready to cheer for them.)
  • I have enough running clothes and shoes that I will be able to dress appropriately whatever the temperature is race morning.  And if all else fails I will go to my basic running "outfit"-Under Armor black tank, Moving Comfort black capris, Brooks black PR Skort, Saucony's new armwarmers with built in mittens, a pair of Pro Compression Socks and more then likely my Kinvara 4 since they are lighter then the Ride 6's.
  • I will have fun! This will be my 4th time running this course and the three previous times I was so focused on or struggling to finish I forgot to enjoy the experience. That is not going to happen this time, I will slow down at the top of the Ambassador Bridge to enjoy the sunrise, take in the spectators on the Canadian side and enjoy the beauty of the Detroit from the other side of the River.  I will take the time to high five the customs agents who not only are keeping us safe but cheering us on.  Since I do not plan on running this race again next year I want to run this year for the experience.
  • I will not stress or have anxiety about the race, now that does not mean I will not be getting excitement butterflies but I refuse to let myself stress about little "what ifs" and seconds/minutes.
  • I am very excited for this race, I cannot wait to see friends cross the finish line of their first 13.1 or 26.2 and celebrate their accomplishments with them!
  • I am enough! A number on a clock does not define me as a person or a runner, it does not define the handwork and miles I have put in over the last year.  I have ran farther and faster then I ever thought possible since the Detroit 1/2 Marathon in 2012 and I could not be happier with how strong I have become. (Thanks to Brene Brown and her books Daring Greatly & The Gifts of Imperfections for some eye opening aha moments this last year)
See you at the starting line...

Have you ever raced without a plan?  Have you ever just let go to see what you could do?  If so how did it go?


  1. Oh yes! Quite a few of them! They were great! :)

    1. Good to know! It make take all I have to not form a last minute plan. Letting go of that control is much tougher then I thought.