I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

I’m in the calm before the storm.

All the practice runs have been run. The playlist on the iPod is complete. I’ve done all the research on carbo-loading and energy gels and hydrating that I know to do to this point. I’ve picked out my outfit.

All that’s left to do is run.

I’m not even talking about my marathon. I’m talking about the half-marathon, the one I signed up for as “practice”, the one that’s not supposed to count for anything but a preview of what I will face in December.

But sitting here, the day before I will run 13.1 miles and get timed for it, it feels pretty damn real.

Tomorrow I will run in the Spinx Runfest half-marathon in Greenville, SC.

Practice runs:

I didn’t alter my training schedule, since this race is technically a practice run for my marathon in December. So I ran 4 miles Tuesday, 8 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday. Today is a rest day.

iPod playlist:

I have created a playlist special for this race, and it includes all the running music I’m not sick of yet. I even used an iTunes giftcard yesterday to get some brand new beats to carry me across the finish line. Thanks, Mom, for the gift card! I will plan to run with my iPod Shuffle but I’ve also put the playlist on my iPhone as backup. The songs on my playlist are as follows:

Smack That (Dirty) – Akon featuring Eminem

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne

Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

Rock That Body – Black Eyed Peas

Call me – Blondie

Listen to your Heart (Furious F. EZ Radio Edit) – DHT Featureing Edmee

Sexy Bitch (feat Akon) – David Guetta

Sin Wagon – Dixie Chicks

Heaven – DJ Sammy & Yanou featuring Do

Mr. Right – Garth Brooks

Feed the Animals – Girl Talk (this is the hour-long mix I blogged about here. I have only listened to it once, saving it for race day – but it was awesome!)

Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys) – Jay-Z

Run this Town (feat. Rihanna and Kanye West) – Jay-Z

Down (feat. Little Wayne) – Jay Sean

We Go Together – John Travolta/Olivia Newton -John

Hot N Cold – Katy Perry

Make Her Say (feat. Kanye West & Common) – Kid Cudi

All Summer Long – Kid Rock

Obsessed – Mariah Carey

Mandy – Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies

Black or White – Michael Jackson

Tell it to Me – Old Crowe Medicine Show

U+Ur Hand – P!nk

Angel – Shaggy

How Will I know – Whitney Houston

Let’s Dance to Joy Division – The Womabats

Carbo-loading/energy gels/hydrating:

I’m still pretty clueless on all this. I’ll eat some kind of pasta meal tonight and maybe have a small bowl of cereal or some oatmeal tomorrow morning, an hour or so before the race. I have some GU chomps I’ve taken before a long run that kept me not-hungry throughout, so I’ll probably do that again. I will carry two Hammer Energy Gels with me to give me sustained energy during the race. And the thought of having an awesome breakfast at Staxs after the race will keep me motivated to finish strong! I’m drinking as much water as I can and I’ll plan to only drink a little in the couple of hours before the race. Hoping for no pee breaks! I mentioned yesterday on Twitter that this is my first race that offers port-a-potties. And I am terrified of port-a-potties. That is no exaggeration. So I am hoping like crazy I will not need to use them.

My outfit

I have chafing issues between my thighs (for non-runners, many women have this issue. Men tend to have it on their nipples, from their shirts rubbing against them. It’s extremely painful.) Normally Body Glide does the trick but last weekend it didn’t work too well for me, and the thighs are still hurting. A simple solution is to wear something long enough to cover the thighs. Unfortunately, my two running skirts that are long enough are also too big. And my running skirt that fits, and all my shorts, are too short to prevent the chafing. So I guess I’ll be wearing cropped pants. Not my favorite idea, especially since there aren’t pockets for my energy gels. Chris, being the awesome friend he is, has offered to treat me to a gel-ready race number belt, which hopefully we can pick up in Greenville tonight. I don’t want to wear my water belt because I don’t want it to weigh me down.

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I’ve been through a whole gambit of emotions, including, “Why do I get myself into these things?” But I know why. It’s not about the feeling I have today, or the feeling I’ll have tomorrow at the start line, seconds away from hearing the gun. I hate those feelings. I second-guess myself and I wonder if I’ll get hurt or if I’ll have to take walk breaks or if I will have a horrible time. But it’s not about that. It’s about the feeling I’ll have after I cross the finish line, when I can wear my race number to breakfast with my family and Jess and Chris and Nikki if she can come. It’s about knowing I did it, and I will do it again.

All that’s left to do is run.