Pre Half Marathon Thoughts

I’m nervous about the half marathon. I wish I wasn’t, but the darn race is lingering in my mind day in and day out. I think it’s mostly because this is the first time since I’ve really learned how to race that I’m giving myself a fair shot at the half. So I’m not sure if this is a pep talk to myself or what, but these are my thoughts out loud.

I know how to work hard and am willing to push myself. I know this. I’ve done it a million times. But, for some reason, leading up to a race, I doubt my abilities.

Sometimes I think I’m willing to work harder in workouts than I am in races. I always consciously tell myself in races to remember how hard I worked in training and it wasn’t for the training day it was for THIS DAY. The splits I’ve put in indicate that I should be hit my goal. My mind and body need to agree on race day. When it hurts, I have to decide to push.

When I did a ladder workout last week. I proved to myself that I could really get done what I want to do. I hit my mile repeats faster than I’ve ever ran them and “cooled down” from the ladder in a weird kind of tempo way at a fast pace that felt very manageable. But right now, the thought of running that fast for 13 miles has me questioning what it will feel like.

I know I’ve written posts like this before, but while it’s on my mind, I’m going to talk about it.

So here’s what I need to do during the race. Mentally:

Miles 1-5: Control. Control your mind, control your thoughts. Don’t obsess over how far you are going to run. Control your body. Be comfortable during this time. DO NOT run any mile faster than 6:45 even if it feels good. This is not a good idea. Don’t do it Lindsey, don’t. And enjoy this part of the race. Soak it up and remember why you love running so much.

Miles 5-9: Settle into the pace set during first 5 miles and don’t move. Don’t slow down, don’t speed up. Chill. Think about Mumford and Sons Concert on Monday. Think about eating ALL THE FOOD. Think about the finish line and how happy you’ll be when you don’t wuss out.

Mile 9-13: Get to mile 10 and race her in as best as you can. No holding back now. Do what you can do. No matter how fast or slow you run now, it’s going to hurt so you might as well push harder.

Remember. It’s only an hour and a half of my life. Just WORK.

Here are the things I plan on repeating to myself:

  • I am strong. 
  • I’ve worked hard for this. 
  • I want this. 
  • I’m stronger than I think I am
  • I can. 
  • My movements are smooth. 
  • My body is light. 
  • I feel good. 
  • Loosen up. 
  • Run this mile.
  • Mumford and Sons Concert
  • Life is good
  • Run happy
  • I am confident
  • I am Grateful
  • Repeat
I’m tapering now. My legs are tired from the 16 I ran on Sunday. I’m not chalking that run up as a complete fail by any means but it tired my body and I’m using the week to recover mentally and physically from it. My speedwork this week will be the CRRG 5K tomorrow. Not sure I’ll be able to race it to my full potential but should be a PR no matter what since I haven’t raced a 5K in so many years. 

Have you ever found yourself mentally tougher in workouts than races? 

 What do you do to make sure your hardest work is put out in the race and not the workout?


  1. Yes because the pressure is off in workouts. SO mental in the race. I haven’t found my “way” to keeping on when it hurts unfortunately. I give up too easily even though I know I could run faster. I really struggle to push through running hard. Maybe if I start by practicng HALF mile repeats, I can work up. Full mile repeats just kill me.

    1. You found your way of keeping on when it hurts when you broke 4 hours for the first time!!! 🙂 Also- I don’t know anyone who actually likes mile repeats, but they work! Half mile repeats are equally as hard if you do them right because you run them faster and usually do more! I think you’d like a ladder workout best- variation on speed and distance to break things up. I can’t wait till the day you let me get my hands on you and train you for a new marathon PR! One day….

  2. I’m actually tougher in races! I don’t know what’s wrong with my attitude, but I will totally give up on a workout that I don’t like/am not doing well on. So lazy! It’s something I need to work on, because I end up far underprepared for races.

    1. Being tougher in races is important for sure- but tough in workouts would probably make you even tougher in the race, right?! Good luck with working on the workout toughness! 🙂

  3. I feel like I work harder in workouts than in races all the time! During one race I even had to convince myself not to walk, which is something I would never dream of doing in a workout. It can be really frustrating – I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. This post (along with your recap of the half) put me in the right mindset for a half I have coming up on the 15th (Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly), so thank you. I’m way undertrained, so I plan to just run it for fun with friends, but it’s so hard forcing myself not to worry about it nonetheless.

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