Close enough now to the race that I can see it on the 10 day forecast. I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, but the weather is forecast currently to be cool (30s to 60s for the day) and cloudy. Now, it’s Virginia, and as I like to say, the weather around here can change so fast it’ll give you whiplash, but I am really hoping for this forecast to stick.

I have talked to a few first-timers for this race this year, giving them what I can recall of my experience last year, and things I learned.

One thing I am going to do differently this year is I will wear my fuel belt. I didn’t last year and it was so warm last year (last year was Summer In March when we were having 80s and 90s in March) that I had to stop at every single water stop because of the warmth. Whatever the temps this year, I won’t lose as much time stopping for as much water.

I am probably going to leave my watch behind this time too. I was really hung up on my 2:30 half marathon goal time last year, and when I found myself at 10 miles at 2:10, I was devastated and the mental hit was as hard on me as all those hills were. This year, I recognize that even as hard and as well as I have been training, there is no comparison between training on the streets of Richmond and running in Pocahontas, and that 2:30 is an unreasonable goal. That said, my brain can’t let go of that magic number and so it would probably be to my benefit to have no clue what time it is at any point along the way. Just worry about the trail ahead of me and let the clock do its thing while I do mine.

I will take my music with me, aware that I will probably not want it the entire distance.

Obviously I will be watching the weather closely and make my clothing decisions based on that. I have a full spectrum wardrobe now and I have clothing appropriate for the 90s all the way down to the 20s.

I plan to wear my trail shoes and not my road shoes. They are the same make/model (Brooks Adrenalines), just different for trail/road. With all the rain/snow we’ve had this year, I expect damp/muddy conditions on some parts of the route (more rain is scheduled for mid-week next week), and the trail shoes provide better traction and protection from wet toes.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it here or not, but I chopped off 2 feet of my hair last week. No more running in a braid/in braids for me. This has proven to be a double edged sword. Actually, not even that: it has come out for a net-loss for running. I tend to sweat the heaviest from my head and all that hair used to do an excellent job of soaking it up; with so much hair, it was easy to hide the wet mess under a relatively dry top layer. Now, sweat just runs off the short curls and down my back, and I come back from a run looking like I took a bath. Worse, I have to actually style my hair too; not easily done after a lunch run with no shower options. I am sure it will be cooler in the summer, but for now, as far as running goes, the new ‘do is a pain in the butt.

I have no post-race festivity planned this time. Last year it was reservations for brunch at Can Can, which was nice but mostly wasted on me. I was done after a lovely cup of coffee and a croissant. The duck and mushroom omelet was completely wasted on my surgically-altered guts. Last year, we also celebrated with a fire bowl and beer in the backyard. Same as after the Richmond Half. This year, I am running stone sober, so no post-race beer, and the weather looks too chilly for sitting around the fire bowl. We will be attending an SCA event immediately after the race, so that will probably be sufficient post-race festivities for me.

There isn’t much training time left now. I ran Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and took Tuesday and Wednesday off due to work (court on Tuesday) and weather (snow/rain/wind yesterday). I may or may not get a run in this evening depending on whether or not we have gotten power back at home. I don’t like going 3 days in a row without a run, though. We’ll see. I intend to run tomorrow (Friday) and then 8 miles on Sunday.

My schedule for next week should work out to 3 miles on Monday, 4 miles on Tuesday, and 3 miles on Wednesday or maybe Thursday, instead. After that, I will rest until Saturday. No speed work next week, no hill training, no double digit runs. No funny or risky foods after Wednesday (nuts, dried fruits, other roughage, etc.).

If I follow my usual pattern, I tend to get very thoughtful, chatty, and ready to share the week of the race; posts will probably pick up even though I won’t have anything really new to say. I am already in my regular pattern of easily irritated, aggressive, and agitated in the 14 days before the race. At least the fights that have broken out have been minor and easily dialed back. My family has shown a lot of patience with me and I am enormously appreciative their forbearance.

Is it more than a little weird that I kind of wish I could get into some kind of MMA style activity after this race?

Sure it’s more than a little weird.

That’s just how aggressive and pent up I’ve been feeling.

Look out, World. It’s been all short skirts, short hair, and picking fights from me lately.


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