Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Countdown to the 2013 Halifax Hypo Half

At the finish of my first half marathon
2009 Halifax Hypo Half
So I've been waiting since November to find out if I'd have a spot in the Halifax Hypothermic Half Marathon. For those of you who aren't familiar with this race, it is what it sounds like: it's a half marathon in the middle of winter. I'm not kidding.

Last year there were close to 300 runners in Halifax's Hypo Half, and this year the race was sold out by mid-November. Yes, there really are *that* many people who want to run 21.1 kilometres in the middle of winter!

Anyways, I thought the pressure was off, because it was mid-January and still no word about whether or not I had a spot in the race. Which was ok by me, because despite my earlier delusions of grandeur and getting back down to PB time, not missing a run in the training cycle, etc, etc, the truth is, my training's been scuttled by a number of factors, including work travel, pre-holiday parties, holiday parties, holiday eating, then more work travel and another party.

All that to say that yes, I have missed quite a few runs in the training schedule, and yes, I have put on a few post-holiday pounds.

But then, lo and behold, I received an email in my inbox from a kind soul on Monday offering me her spot in the race. The pressure is back on!

This will be my third Hypo Half and my seventh half marathon. So, it's a distance I'm fairly familiar with. But I'm still struggling with easing off the pressure on myself. As my hubby said last night, "Do you realize how few people do what you do? And yet you get upset that you're not faster, that you were slower by seven minutes...Why can't you let go of that pressure?"

He's right. He really is. But as Marnie McBean writes in The Power of More (which I plan on reviewing for this spot sometime soon - it really is a great book), the trick is to balance that sense of realistic expectations with the desire for more. It's that desire for more that keeps us pushing to try and improve ourselves, even if it's by small, baby steps. Marnie calls it "the jammed cat theory." More on that later in my review of her book.

So there you have it - I've missed a few weeks of running, I've done most (but not all) of the long runs but not all of the weekly runs. I've gotten faster in my tempos and made it to eight hills, but still - I have no idea what will happen on race day.

That said, as a friend of mine said last night: I'm just happy to still be running. And that's what I should try to focus on, given that we have so many friends who are struggling with running-related injuries. At the same time...There's still that little part of me that wonders: just what is possible for me on race day?

Only four weeks to go till race day! W00t!?!?!

Stay safe and warm out there, fellow runners!


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