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What's Running Through My Head Before Race Day

Alison Feller

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is just two weeks away. So theoretically—or so the experts say—most of my training is behind me, and I should be feeling pretty race-ready and psyched to begin the taper phase, right?


The truth is, even though I followed my training plan to a T (actually, I skipped a speed workout during the first week, so we’ll say I followed my training plan to an S or a U) and really feel that I pushed myself during my hard days, I don’t feel ready to race the Brooklyn Half Marathon.

There have definitely been some highs along the way—enjoying my own speedy long run after spending a morning cheering for friends who were racing, joining a group on Tuesday mornings in Central Park for “hurts so good” interval workouts—but I’m not necessarily feeling confident that I’m going to hit the goal time I originally envisioned for myself.

With two weeks to go, here’s how I’m feeling…

A little sore
I successfully completed my yoga studio’s 40-day challenge, which was amazing, but then I went a full three weeks without doing any yoga (#fail). This week, I made my way back to the studio and oh boy are my glutes and triceps screaming. I know having a strong core is crucial for running strong and injury-free, so I’m happy to have made my way back to the mat.

A lot tired
I would like to sleep until next week, please. After a long, hard, dark winter, I’m so happy to be waking up at 5 a.m. and actually getting to run while it’s light out. I’ve always been a morning runner, but by 3 PM I’m ready to snooze (no amount of dark chocolate will help, and I’m not a coffee drinker). The early morning wakeups are taking their toll, and I’m already looking forward to sleeping in Sunday after the race. Plus, my body itself is tired. My legs are dragging, and some days it feels like a major challenge just to reach for the peanut butter on the top shelf in the kitchen (always a worthwhile and rewarding struggle, though). (Not a morning person? Well Wake Up! 6 Get-Out-of-Bed Morning Motivators.)

Slightly older
I turn 30 next week, which means the Brooklyn Half Marathon will be my first race in a new age group!

Completely chafed
I know to use BodyGlide. It is without a doubt one of my favorite running must-haves. But sometimes I forget to use it or pack it when I’m traveling, and as a result I have scars and “ouch spots” on my inner thighs, underneath my boobs, and near my armpits. Running = forever glamorous.

A tad frustrated
As I mentioned, I am not feeling fast. I want to feel speedy, and I’m putting in the miles, so it’s discouraging not seeing my paces drop. But it is what it is, right? I’m still going to race my heart out in Brooklyn, and will cross the finish line knowing I did the work to get my finisher’s medal. (Running Goals Shouldn't Just Be About Being Fast.)

Definitely proud
Life has been pretty crazy for the past few months. Training started during a relentless and brutally cold, snowy winter, and then we were smacked with a bunch of wet, rainy, still cold days. But I kept training. Even when I was tired, even when it was snowing, raining, or windy, and even when my heart and head just weren’t into it. Because at the end of every run and at the end of every day, I run because I love it. And racing is the ultimate victory lap to celebrate all those miles along the way.

So no matter how race day goes in Brooklyn, I’ll keep running.

Alison Feller is a writer and editor in New York City. She has completed five marathons, 11 half-marathons, and many shorter distance races. When she’s not writing or on the run, Alison can be found in the yoga studio, on a spin bike, or (on very rare occasions) cycling outdoors with her fiancé. Keep up with Alison on her blog, Ali On The Run, or on Instagram and Twitter @AliOnTheRun1.


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