…or, alternately titled, Beating a PR on a training run.
I wasn’t looking forward to my run this morning. I’m still pretty much flying solo out on the roads for long runs. Team in Training is starting a new cycle, which meant their group run was only 6 miles. I planned to go 14.
I headed to the TNT run anyway, figuring that it would be helpful to at least have people around, even if they were running less than half the distance I was. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was that I’d be late. We currently have two dogs living at our house (I plan to post on this later) and for now it’s best if they are fed and let out separately. This takes time. Time that I’m not used to allowing when I get up to run on Saturday mornings. Simply put, I just didn’t roll out of bed early enough. But now I know.
The group was just taking off when I pulled into the parking lot. It was fun to pick people off for the first three miles, and my splits reflected it. I was pretty amped. At 3, I contined on the trail alone after catching what I assume was the lead group.
I ran an additional two miles ahead on the trail before turning around to head back. At 7 miles, I was back on the TNT course and was thrilled to find they hadn’t taken down the water coolers yet. In my typical fashion, at this point I started to think about what I would do at 10 miles when I was back at my car. I could stop and call it a good, quick, 10 mile run. Or I could complete the full distance on my training plan…and run a fast 13.1 in the process!
Once I set that goal, I was enthused for the rest of the run. I got back to my car, stopping only momentarily for water and GU, and headed out again in the other direction.
Mile 12 was the worst, in 8:51. It was uphill, and I was exhausted. But I turned around and came back with a vengeance, running mile 13 in 8:11. And with an extra push over .1, I clicked the GPS off after completing half-marathon distance.
I’m encouraged today. So far, I’m running on target to give 3:40 a run for its money. I have NO IDEA what will happen in the later stages of training, and don’t even want to think of all the things that might happen on race day May 1. My goal right now is only to prepare myself to run as strongly as possible – and so far, so good.
Oh, and that very unofficial time is over 5 minutes faster than my half marathon PR. Success!
Honestly, this is the only reason I enjoy running long. I’m not running incredibly quickly, but I’m running faster than I ever have before at these distances. And that feels pretty good.