A pasta dinner is good. A pasta, pesto, bread, cheese, schug (hot stuff), tomatoes, hummus and banana-chip dinner, at midnight before the race, is not so good.
Neither is keeping all of that food inside you while you run.
Waking up an hour earlier than you need is not productive, especially when you spend the whole hour groaning.
Pepto Bismols and black coffee are not a runner’s breakfast.
Get to the race early. For all you know, it might NOT start where all the people are, where it makes sense it would start, but at the top of a hill hidden from your sight, which you need to run to as the loudspeaker man tells you to hurry up.
Try to notice when there is a downhill and appreciate it. The uphills will be harder to miss.
About those hills: I still have not proved a causal correlation between cursing and making hills disappear, but I am working on it.
Just because a cheering man told you there are no more hills, does not, actually, mean there are no more hills. When you realize this, you must quickly think about the three or four people in the world who are worse off than you, and count your blessings.
Just kidding. Don’t forget that you are spending your money and time to put on a brightly-colored, sweat-wicking shirt to run nowhere and away from nothing. You are on the lucky half of the universe. (And if you have a hard time seeing the world this way, think about the people doing the full marathon. You must admit that they, at least, are suffering a bit more than you).
About the suffering – you should have a certain amount of masochism in your blood. Because apparently, the mind-body connection is very similar to a parent-teenager connection: When your mind says, “stop,” your body has to go.
If there is full marathon going on while you’re running your amateurish little half, make sure you are looking at the right signs. If you are breathing normally and can still remember your name when you see the 18 kilometer marker, you are probably looking at the wrong sign.
Just because someone said they always have delicious Muller yogurts at the end of the race, does not mean they will have them. They might, instead, have those repulsive white cakes with the red and green gooey things inside.
You should probably train, and preferably by running. Apparently skiing doesn’t count.
Kilometer eleven is hard.
So is twelve.
You get the gist.
Don’t underestimate the old guy. He will probably pass you.
Run with someone. Preferably someone who will not leave you wheezing in the dust two kilometers before the end. Just kidding, there was mutual consent.
Get people who love you to cheer you on. If you can get the kind that won’t spend the rest of the day about how many hills they had to walk up and how much they were sweating while cheering, let me know where to find them. I was very happy with my cheerleading squad, even though after running 21 kilometers, I had to tell my sign-holding Dad that he really is a remarkable walker, and he should to stretch and release the lactic acids.
I think there is something called “overcompensating,” but I’m still not sure. This thought crossed my mind during lunch number five, and again at dinner number three, but by my second breakfast the next day I had learned to accept the new me.
Embrace your inner duck. I am still walking like one.