I am really proud of myself. This past weekend I ran my farthest ever and tried my hardest and now I have a new best time. I did my second ever half marathon...for those of you that don't know me very well, this is no small accomplishment for such a sprinter. In college I ran anything from the 800meter to 5k...I've only ran a handfull of times over 9 miles and my first attempt at this event was a complete disaster. I figured since I could run a strong eight miles - what's 13? I learned the hard way. I went out way too fast (6:30 pace) and then proceeded to add thirty seconds a mile until the finish. That comes out to 12:30 on the last mile. Ow!
This time around I vowed to race smart. It was a glorious Sunday morning and I managed to keep the brakes on for the first mile...7:45, then ran 8:00 - 8:05 on the next 8 miles. For some reason at mile 9 I thought it was mile 10 and was not really happy to hear, "Only four more miles to go!" At about 9.5 miles the monkey with a piano jumped on my back and next thing I know I ran an 8:45. Uh-oh. I decided to stop at mile 10 to drink some Gatorade and figure out what to do. I devised a great plan...see, I know my body and when it comes to slogging on in a distance run I tend to get slower and slower and I figured if I just kept running straight for three miles I might add 12 minutes in the last three miles and I really wanted to break 1:50. So I came up with a brilliant idea. Run hard for a mile then stop and take a mini break at the water station x3. So that's what I did. And guess what?! It worked!
I am so happy. I stayed positive the entire run...this is something I have been working on in practice. So many thoughts run through my head while I am out on a long run. I try to focus on things that can be controlled (form, breathing) and happy thoughts...my happiest thought is that my sister is getting married in a few days (I'm her Maid of Honor) and I'm going to be with my family for Christmas! My heart is bursting with joy.
God is sooo good. This half marathon experience taught me how important it is to stay positive and to dig deep when the going gets tough.