An unnatural-born runner, a pretty regular yoga doer and a lover of cookies and other sweet treats, Times digital producer Laura Lane writes about her fitness journey. Questions, training tips or race suggestions? Throw her a line on email or Twitter.

It was Tuesday, at approximately 12:27 p.m., when the panic started to set in.

I was simply glossing over the race day packet for the Chicago Spring Half Marathon for pertinent information when I started questioning my sanity.

My pulse and breath quickened, my eyes widened and I thought to myself, "Woah, woah, woah. Hold the phone. Am I even ready for this?"

Well, folks. I paid for entry into the race, I (mostly) followed my half marathon training plan, I updated my running mix (thank goodness for Justin Timberlake's latest jam) and this week I've been drinking my body weight and then some in water. I'll be protein-loading tonight and carb-loading tomorrow. I'll also be rolling out my legs and feet as well as getting in some final yoga sessions to make sure I'm properly primed. With all this training and preparation, I better be ready because I'm running this race.

It still doesn't stop that panicky feeling, though. I have a hunch that anxious feeling will be with me until I finally cross that start line. It's kind of magical how crossing the start line erases any fears. At least for me.

My goals for race day? The first one is to run the whole thing. I slowed to a walk during both of the half marathons I ran last year. If the County Line Orchard 10 Miler earlier this month is any indication though, I should be able to run this whole thing if I listen to my body and keep a steady pace. My second goal is to finish in 2:30. That would be about 13 minutes faster than my personal record. Again, if that County Line Orchard 10 Miler is any indication, that time is doable. I finished the 10 miles in 1:53. My third and final goal? To have fun.

You'll get an update next week.

Speaking of updates, I participated in Wanderlust Chicago last weekend. It featured a 5K, yoga and meditation. A mindful triathlon, if you will. The weather was perfect for a 5K, but man did I freeze by booty off waiting for yoga to begin. I was still frozen to the core with the added perks of being famished after yoga, so I ended up leaving before the meditation even began. There was just no way I would've been able to focus on being in the moment when all I could think about was taking a hot shower and filling my belly with delicious food. Don't worry. I finished up the mindful triathlon with a meditation at home while wrapped under my warmest blankets. This was after I ate, of course.

I've got one final update, too. Well, it's more of a reminder. But, whatever. You can still register for the Girls on the Run 5Ks Saturday in Highland and Sunday in Portage. Or just go to cheer on the amazing girls, coaches and other runners taking part in the festivities. I'll be volunteering with my little ragamuffin of a pup, Frankie. So stop by and say hi! Get more information here.

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