The half marathon training continues. By the way if you want to follow the progress in real time feel free to follow me on Instagram (@chelerene) and check out my posts and stories. I ran 4 miles this morning in below-freezing weather and I did my long run on Sunday when it was so windy I thought I would fly away.
This 13.1 better be worth it.
Most people that I know who run this type of race for the first time express that their only goal is to finish. Well, that’s fine … for them. I know I’m going to finish. I want to finish in less than 3 hours. I want to finish in two hours and 45 minutes. At least.
Two weeks ago, I did a long run of 7.5 miles
I completed the run in 1:31:50 with an average pace of 12’12”. At this pace I was on track to finish the race in 3 hours. Notice the splits: my first mile was the fastest and I got slower with each mile.
So, this past Sunday I decided to change my strategy and push myself a little harder. I intentionally started out slow and intentionally increased the pace toward the end
Mile 5 was actually a run/walk and I had it settled in my mind that there would be no walking the last three miles. In fact, I tried my best to sprint. As you can see, my final mile was the fastest at 10’24”. I completed the run in 1:32:07 with an average pace of 11’30”.
Even though the distance increased by a half mile, my time only increased by 17 seconds and I took 42 seconds off my average pace!!!!!
Of course, those last three miles knocked me on my butt for a full two hours afterwards. I planned to lie down for an hour after the run but my body decided that I needed to wait another hour. So, I did. Always listen to your body. As I lay there in my bed recovering I began to think about how grateful I was to have improved my pace and how grateful I was that I was able at 53 to run 8 miles and live to tell the story. Then this turned into me thinking about all the things that I am grateful for … my health, my kids, my family, my job, life, the sunshine … just everything. Those long runs are killers if your mind isn’t right. Mile after mile with nothing to do but run and think. It’s a constant battle to not just stop.
I won’t stop. I’m not only running for myself but also for people who wish they could but can’t. I’m running for my kids so they can have a healthy mother. Fitness, for me, is less about a healthy body and more about a healthy spirit. It’s deep for me.
It must be to get me out of the bed at 4:30am to run when it’s 28 degrees outside.