A Celebration

On Saturday morning, the training team ran 13 miles, many of them being part of the race route for the Richmond Half Marathon. Our route took us north on the Boulevard and into Bryan Park, just like the race will.

I have to admit it; I hate running in Bryan Park. It is the middle of the Race itself, it is boring to look at, it is a bit hilly, and with leaves and pine needles typically on the path, it is usually slippery. Even though I hate it, it is important to run in the park to help get my head ready for the Race.

Speaking of the Race, it has sort of slipped my mind that I am actually running a race in about a month. You wouldn’t think it possible given that I get up every Saturday morning and go run with a team of other people getting ready for the same race, but somehow it just of feels like my routine and I lost sight of the end goal.

Part of it was that I had gotten hyper-focused on these two weeks, last Saturday when we ran 13 miles, and this upcoming Saturday when we run 14 miles. Fourteen miles is a new distance for me; my longest ever run has been 13.25 miles. Another three-quarters of a mile isn’t truly a big deal, but at the same time, it sorta is. If only in my head. So in that way, this coming training team run feels like a bigger deal than race day.

So, bringing this back to where I started, I was running through Bryan Park and passed over the spray painted 10k mark for the Race. It was in that moment that I really remembered that I have a race coming up in 5 weeks. Well, alright then. I guess I better get a move on it, right?

Saturday’s 13 mile run was a tough one. Part of it was that I didn’t have any of my normal fuel; no GUs and no Nuun to drink. I settled for pretzels and PowerAid supplied by the team. That was not ideal nor my routine, and I think that contributed to the difficulty of the run. But the truth is that I have not been extremely dedicated to my weekday runs, and I think that is making these long runs so much harder. Letting my base mileage slip is leaving me very sore, very beat up, and very unhappy because I hurt so much by the end of these long runs. Ice baths are becoming the new normal and while I know they are controversial, I can say very unscientifically, they absolutely work for me.

A lot of my weekday runs on the treadmill because the weather has been so up and down. We are finally returning to a more normal October weather pattern this week, so I am going to work really hard on getting back outside and making my weekday runs count. I still have five weeks to get this right. My pace has generally been where I wanted it for the race. Saturday’s average pace was off by about 30 seconds per mile but most of my runs have been at my target race pace or better for my shorter runs. Now I have to do the work to sustain and push through those last 2-3 miles where the pain begins to settle in.

And one final thing, unrelated to anything above: it was on this day, seven years ago, that I finally quit smoking. Since I am home for the Columbus Day holiday, I am going to go run a 6 miler this morning here in the neighborhood in celebration.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: