Running on gluten-free carbs…

My first half marathon of the year…and it’s a BIG one!

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon, Indianapolis, IN

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon, Indianapolis, IN

The day has finally arrived.  Since February, I’ve put a lot of miles on my feet and a lot of time into training for this.  In some areas, I’ve fallen short (hello, strength training!).  In other areas, I’ve really seen improvements.  I’ve run through injury.  I’ve run through rain.  I’ve run in the cold.  And I’ve slogged it out on the treadmill…all for this.

The nation’s largest half marathon.  Yes.  As in the biggest one in the country.  And the best part is…it’s close to home.  Just a short drive north to Indianapolis.

Tomorrow, my dear friends, I’ll be lining up in corral O and anticipating the start of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  I’ve had my eye on this race for awhile.  And, unlike last year when I ran my first half marathon ever (Chicago), this time I have trained properly and even learned a thing or two in the process.  Amazing how that happens.

I’m not going to lie…those pre-race butterflies are already kicking in.  I’m giddy with excitement.  I love running half marathons (despite only doing one and barely surviving).  I love a good endurance race.  And this one is a BIG deal.  I mean…it’s the largest in the United States.  Somewhere near 40,000 people run in this race.  That’s not an exaggeration.  And this year…I am one of them.

The weather on Saturday morning…hot and humid.  Yeah.  And it will only heat up as the day goes on.  I’ve done some running on hot days, and I tend to wilt.  So, I plan to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Just like I did when I ran the equally as hot Chicago Half Marathon back in September.  It worked then…I hope it works now.

I also know, now, that I have to eat more than a serving of cereal before running 13.1 miles.  So, last night I went to pick up a packet of peanut butter to throw on a banana pre-race.  I’ll also have my cereal and that should see me through.  If I need a boost while out running, I have one lonely pack of Annie’s vegan/gluten-free fruit snacks.  I’m still not very good at eating while on the run.  I have yet to master it without something upsetting my stomach or bringing on cramps.  But as I’m aiming for a marathon in the very near future, well, I best learn what works and learn how to do it.

This morning, I was up early to pack up my race clothes, shoes, and my overnight bag.  Right after work, I’m heading up to Indianapolis, stopping into the race expo, picking up my packet, walking around, drinking it all in, then grabbing something for dinner that won’t wreak havoc on my stomach, and then turning in for the night.  As I’m staying outside of the downtown area, it means rising earlier than I would like to head into the city, get the parking garage I hope to get, and getting to that start line.

I have quite a few friends who are running in this race with me.  One is in my corral.  The other one hasn’t told me where she is positioned, but I hope to run into her either pre-race or after.  This is her first half marathon and I want to wish her luck and congratulate her on finishing.  I hope it happens.

I have goals this year when it comes to my distance races.  Due to the heat that they are expecting tomorrow, I don’t think I’ll hit it on my first (of four) half marathon this year.  But…there is time to improve, time to work through some kinks, and other races that I can aim for those goals during.  I’d rather run smart in the heat then push too hard and not make it to the finish because of it.

So…first half marathon of the year and I’m doing it in a big way.

To all those running with me…best of luck!!  See you at the finish!


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