Sunday, April 18, 2010

Last long run before the race

I felt great from the moment I stepped on the trail today for my second 10-miler. I was not feeling the greatest before the run (cramps - not an injury) and, fearing that I might end up stranded at the farthest end of the out-and-back route barely being able to walk, I seriously debated whether or not I should postpone until Monday or Tuesday.

Thankfully, that was definitely not the case. I started up at a faster pace than usual, but I was comfortable, so I decided to hold that pace as long as I could. The first mile was about 10:25, and as far as I could tell, I held that pace, give or take a little, for the whole run. It got a lot more difficult once I hit 8.5 miles, because my legs were starting to tire and the wind picked up, but I definitely was consistent. I think that's a good sign. All of my long runs so far have been in the 11:45-12:45 minute-mile range, and I was beginning to think that I wouldn't ever be able to pick up the pace.

This was the last long run before the half-marathon, which is now only 2 weeks away. Now that I'm basically finished with training, I'm starting to think about time goals, and I'm not really sure what my expectations are for myself. I pushed myself today to hold the pace for the last two and a half miles, and it took some of the fun away from the run. My favorite thing about long runs is how leisurely they are, and how I can be amused by seeing turtles sunning themselves on rocks in the river or by stopping to pet a horse. At the same time, I felt so proud of myself for pushing through and not slowing down at the end, and I know that once I'm racing, my competitive nature will come out. I'll probably I know I'll end up wishing that I could have run it under 2 hours. Which is ridiculous, because I didn't train for that. I trained to finish the distance of 13.1 miles, regardless of time.

On my registration form, I estimated that my finishing time would be around 2:20:00. That is a reasonable goal, considering that's the pace I ran today. I just hope I don't get too attached to my stopwatch to enjoy the experience! I'll give it some more thought and probably post again about it as the big day draws nearer...

No comments: