36 hours from now I will be running my next half marathon. I feel like this event snuck up on me. I’ve done a decent job of training, even if the last week wasn’t great. Since my marathon in January, I’ve run a 10 miler, two 12 milers, and one race distance run – which was 2 weeks ago. I’ve done some tempo runs and some hills. And at this point I may wish I had done a few more runs but, truthfully, there’s nothing to do at this point (except, of course, drinking water, eating right, and getting enough rest). And yet somehow I feel undertrained.
I’m having an unconventional weekend leading up to the race. I’m on-call today. Tomorrow morning the kids have ballet class and opening day for Little League. And then Tom and I are escaping into NYC for a grown-up night out. Tom “won” a night at the Kitano Hotel at a hospital benefit so we’ll stay there tomorrow night. And we’re going to see a Broadway show tomorrow night, Newsies – which is, appropriately enough, a Disney production. Tom was thoughtful enough to get dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant for my pre-race pasta dinner.
This afternoon I took the subway from the North Bronx down to Union Square so I could pick up my race packet. The Expo was nice. Much smaller than Disney but well-conceived. No identification was required to pick up my bib. The woman behind the counter wasn’t sure I was who I said I was. I gave my name, “North, Amanda.”. She looked at me and asked, “You’re picking this up for yourself?” Insert a skeptical look. I said, “Yes. I’m Amanda North.” and she still looked incredulous, “You’re 40??? Are you sure.” I had to convince her that I really am a 40 year old mother of 3 before I was allowed to collect my bib. My number is 10565 this year. Funny because last year I was 10545!
I then picked up my t-shirt. Explained to me why, at the largest women’s half marathon around, are the race shirts unisex cotton t-shirts. Really??? We can’t have cute women’s cut shirts? Or tech shirts? Or something that I might ever actually wear? I know the shirt isn’t the point but even at the Westchester Medical Center Half Marathon – which is a fraction of the size of this race – we got nice tech shirts. And I love the Disney shirts (by the way – I’m getting 3 Disney race shirts in January).
I wandered the race expo and found a cute running tank that will match my Sparkle Skirt. Since the predicted temps will be 80-ish, I figured that I needed a light-weight tank. And I got a $10 off discount. I got a few free samples and spoke to a few nice people before heading back on the north-bound subway. An enjoyable time at the expo.
I was planning to try for a PR at this race. It’s enough away from my full marathon that I’m fully recovered and I have no big races until the June 10k so I can take a week or two off to recover after the race. However, recent illness in my house (bad colds and the vomiting bug) plus recent vacation plus warm temperatures make this less likely. With the weather predictions being what they are, I will choose a very conservative run/walk ratio (probably 1/1) and maybe start with a slower pace than my target. I’m thinking about 12:30 to start and then increase on the 2nd lap if I feel good.
Ultimately when all is said and done I will receive the same medal as the 5th place finisher. And I know I can finish. So I figure I’ll live in the moment and collect my bling. I’ll likely update on twitter during the race (@anorth21) if anyone wants to cheer me on. Race starts at 8am (NY time) on Sunday morning.

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