Saturday was a moment of truce for me. In April I decided to sign up to do my sixth half marathon. I had taken about a year and a half off from doing any long distance running, but it felt like a challenge I wanted to take on again, mainly because I was considering doing a full marathon later this year. I felt like this would be a good test to see if I was really going to be motivated enough to train for running 26.2 miles. So, I took the leap and registered a day before that particular half marathon sold out! Crazy how it worked out. And on Saturday . . . I ran it! Below are just some of my thoughts about the race and the days leading up to the race.Training: My Nike Run App tells me that I ran a total of 80.39 miles between the day I signed up (on April 16) and race day. That’s definitely not as many miles as I used to put in before races in the past, but for me, I’ve learned that effective training doesn’t always mean logging a ton of miles. I did a lot of interval and strength training, testing out sprints and doing some long runs on the weekend. In the past I always tried to get in a 13 mile run a few weeks before the race, but this time around I ran out of time. I only got up to 9 miles two weeks before the race.
Before the run: I was nervous . . . as in really nervous. Remember when I said that I ran 9 miles two weeks before the race? Well, between sickness and being out of town for work the next week, I didn’t get in any more runs until 2 days before the race. That day I did 3.5 miles, and I felt like I had no energy. The mere thought of doing 13 exhausted me. Suddenly, my goal of wanting to beat previous times turned into just wanting to make it across the finish line.
Day of the race: I finally shook off my nerves and told myself I just had to do it. I decided I would walk at the water stations while I was drinking, but not walk at any other time. I hoped that even if I would be running at a slow pace, that I would still keep a 10 minute per mile average by not walking. The first couple of miles are always tough for me as my body is just warming up. I felt like I was going my normal pace, but my NikeApp was telling me different. On my second mile I ran my fastest mile ever at 8’24”. I was so surprised. I told myself to keep that pace up for as long as I could. Miraculously, I did. My average is typically around 9’45” – 10:10″ per mile, but for this race I didn’t get into the “10’s” until the last mile when I started hurting pretty bad. My final time was 2:03::32. It was my best time for a half marathon.
Current Thoughts: I’m feeling so satisfied with my time. If you would have asked me 3-4 years ago if I thought I would ever be completing a sixth half marathon (and with a solid time at that), I probably would have laughed. No way could have predicted this. Life is full of so many adventures and I love that I can still surprise myself with my capabilities. It’s proof that if you work hard enough at something, amazing things can happen . . . cheesy, I know, but so true, don’t you think?