So. I've sat down to blog no fewer than 7 times. I've composed no fewer than 15 or so blog posts on my commute home from work, whether I'm running home or taking the bus. But often at the end of the run or the end of the day I've been really tired. I'm falling asleep on the couch almost every night. And training takes up a lot of time when I'm not tired. But hi! I'm alive, things are going along, check check check. I've only missed one run so far, on Friday, because my knee hurt. But I'm glad I took the day off. I think it helped me in the Half-Marathon I ran today. What's that, you say? You ran a half-marathon this weekend? You so crazy!
Let me explain. In preparing for my marathon, one of the things "they" suggest you do is run another race or two of a shorter distance as part of your training. So I signed up for the Platte Half-Marathon, which I signed up for at the end of February and promptly (and frequently) forgot about. But time marches on, and this morning was the race. It was at the most reasonable hour of 9 am, which was quite lovely. The course was nice, mostly downhill(ish), although it didn't feel downhill at the time, and the volunteers were great. There was plenty of water, unlike some other half marathons I could mention (ahem). And best of all I had a PR that was 18-20 minutes faster than my last half. The 2:21 above was the time my Garmin gave me afterward, but I forgot to hit stop when I crossed the finish line so there's a little extra there. But I rather like a time of 2:21:21.
I'm pretty pumped about my time. I felt strong the whole time, and while I knew I was pushing myself, I didn't feel like I was going to bonk. I thought well, let's just see how far we can go at this pace. And wouldn't you know it I made it for the whole thing. 13.1 miles at a 10 minute 30 second per mile pace. I ran the whole way--no walk breaks. I passed people, which seems miraculous to me. I high-fived people who were cheering us on along the way. Even though I didn't run with anyone I knew, or really chat with anyone during the race, I felt so much support from those people cheering along. There's something about that solid slap of a hand that just spurs you on. Every high-five pushed me to pick up the pace. And even on that last bloody steep hill, I just kept running. I passed people. Granted, I wasn't going very fast, and one of the people I passed was a woman who was apparently passing out as I passed her (hope she's ok). When I finally saw Mr. Bump I just sprinted to the finish. I wanted to see him so bad, and there he was. Where he always is--waiting for me at the finish line.
There are really very few times in this process that you feel like you are getting better. I know I've been running further than I ever have (eighteen miles last weekend!) and that is mind boggling to me as well. But today felt like tangible proof that I'm getting better. That I can push myself pretty hard and be ok. That I might just be able to go the distance on May 9th.