By now you know my primary goals are to have fun and finish. Having fun is a given. 9 running buddies will be there. Whenever two more of us do a race together a good time is had by all. We will meet before, try to meet after, and as this race is two out and back segments there are two chances for high fives during the race. Add to that, one of the group will be completing his first half marathon!
I'm confident I will finish. The course is walker friendly so I'm good to go.
So what about a time goal? I'd like to beat last year's time (2:37:19). It was during this race last year that my hip flexor injury began - although I didn't know that's what it was then - and I struggled a lot. I think I can do better.
Can I do better than the RNR race two weeks ago? (2:24:24). I THINK I CAN!. I'm going to just tell myself that throughout the race and see what happens. There are a few things that could make a negative difference and derail the train...
First - the bridge. The OC Half is flat with the exception of the bridge and it's a fairly large exception. A long slow climb then down the other side into Longport. Turn around and long slow climb again followed by down the other side back into Ocean City. I've done more hill work this summer than any of my previous training seasons. I have to believe that will help. I also have to relax, run tall and do my best on the upside and make up time on the downside. Managing the first 5 miles of the race - which includes the bridge - is going to be very important. I think I can do that.
Second - the weather. The forecast is waffling daily, in some cases more frequently, between high humidity and rain. I'd prefer the rain. I've had some of my best runs in the rain. Rain will make the boardwalk portion of the race slippery but I'd rather watch my step then have to force myself through the heaviness of 90+% humidity at the shore.
Third - my health. For the past ten days I've been up and down with some gunk. Not sure if it's allergies, a cold or flu- likely a bit of all three. One day I feel fine, the next I feel like someone ran me over with a truck. I had a good run on Tuesday. Good pace, easy, relaxed. Later that evening I went downhill. So now I'm going to spend any " down" time until race day (Sunday) resting, getting lots of fluids and repeating " I think I can".
Stay tuned and I'll let you know if I did.:)