That is really the truth, running never does get easier, but in the last year and a half I have seen my pace improve significantly. Yes, I am still slow. Yes, I still come home sore and tired a lot. But I also come home a few minutes faster than I was running last year.
In two days I am running my second half marathon. I am beyond excited; this is the race that got me interested in running longer distances. Last year I had just started running and could barely run 6-7 miles when the covered bridge half marathon was taking place, but I went and cheered on my friends, and my heart told me "next year you HAVE to run this race!"
I am by no means a seasoned half marathoner. However, I feel confident about this race. I know the course. I have trained. I have already survived one half. I know I can do this. And I know I can and likely will (barring nothing disastrous happens) get a new PR.
But I am still nervous. I want to enjoy this race. I want to not think about being in pain or how much longer I have to go. And though I am by no means a competitive person, I want to kick ass. I want to beat my last race by a huge amount of time. I want to push myself and prove that my training has not been worthless. I want to see my finishing time and be proud, not disappointed. I want to have a better time than my friends who are also running (nice, huh?). I want to shave at least 11 minutes off my finishing time last year. I want to prove to myself that I can meet my goal. And if I don't, I know it will not be the end of the world, I will still PR, but I will be angry with myself. I know I am capable of going faster.
Tomorrow will be a busy day of errands and housework to get me exhausted for Saturday night. I will go through all my pre-run rituals--eat too much pasta and have a large glass of wine. I will try to go to bed early and get as much sleep as possible but my mind will be focused on the race and I will likely toss and turn all night. I will get up early on Sunday, eat my pre-race breakfast (toasted deli thin with egg white and reduced fat cheese on one side. Eaten separately on the other half of the deli thin I do PB. Thanks for asking.), go to the bathroom, and hop in the truck. I will fiddle with my phone, earbuds, and fuel belt. I will double and triple check that I have enough shotbloks. I will try to take deep breaths and relax.
And then I will be running my way through the windy back roads of Vermont for the next 2 hours.
Wish me luck!