In less than 24 hours, you will be running your very first half marathon. And when you finish (and you will finish!), you will likely cry and feel frustrated that you didn't do better. Heck, you could win the whole dang thing and STILL feel like you didn't do well enough.
Cry those tears, then let them go.
Look back at your journey. Think back to that girl in high school who used to fake an ankle injury to get out of the 1-mile fitness run. Think back to the mean person in high school who anonymously wrote on your paper, "Tricia's too fat to be a cheerleader." Remember how that made you feel and look at yourself now.
What a difference.
Think back to the very first 5K you did with Toni. You cried the night before in fear of running 3 miles and you cried again when you finished because you were disappointed in your time. But fast forward four years, and you have easily shaved almost TEN MINUTES off your time!
You made the sacrifices. You put your long runs before anything else on the weekends, even your friends and that book you've been meaning to finish. And don't you EVER forget how excited you were each time you added another mile to your training runs.
Remember when you had to do 6 miles and you ran past the church you used to go to? All those cute old ladies waved and said hello and you knew you could do it. Or that one day the sun was finally out, melting the snow and you knew you had to run outside? Your shoes and socks were soaked but your soul was rejuvenated. Moments like that are the ones that matter.
Or how about the first time you did 9 miles? You ran up the huge hill at the end because you saw an elderly man doing it and it shamed you into running instead of walking. Do not doubt the strength of your body ever again. Remember that grin you had when you got to the top and the tears in your eyes when you carefully jogged back down the other side?
You are ready for this. And yes, perhaps the pre-race jitters are making you a touch emotional and you're crying at everything, but it's okay.
Do not focus on the clock tomorrow. Instead, focus on the energy. Focus on how much fun this is. First HMs are like first kisses, you don't get a do-over so make this count, not on the basis of your time or splits, but make it count for fun.
Go ahead and cry when you're done, but try to make a few of those tears that fall tears of pride. You have earned it. I'm here to tell you--erm, me--that it's going to be okay and that I am proud of you.
Now stop crying and get on the road! Cheryl and April are waiting for you!