(I almost titled this post “13 Miles – a Dress Rehearsal for a Dress Rehearsal but couldn’t.)
It’s April. That means that the half is this month, in three weeks to be exact. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous. It’s runs like today’s that give me a needed confidence boost going into the race.
I took my time getting ready and out the door this morning. It’s Saturday and it has yet to get unbearably hot.
I don’t know if it was that relaxed mindset or the great sleep I got last night but I started this run feeling awesome.
My goals for this run? Start and finish strong with average pace and splits all under 9. Mission accomplished. Sorry for the short post.
The temps were amazing, perfect for running. I felt awesome through the first few miles. It also made me start to wonder why I seem to have no trouble whipping out a sub 9 pace on my long runs when that same pace feels so hard to achieve during the week. My preliminary hypothesis? Sleep. I need more of it.
Around mile 3.5 I had to stop. Up ahead were two loose dogs with nary an owner in sight. I don’t do dogs. Seriously. Some people may love and even run with them but that will never be me. I was not about to keep running past them and have these stray dogs bound after me. Talk about a potential heart attack. Thankfully there were some other runners coming the other way which scared the dogs off or something.
Speaking of runners, there were so many out on the trail today! That makes me really happy. I may run on my own most of the time but it’s a lot of fun to have other people on the trail to run with and let’s be honest, to pass.
I still felt great when I made it to my turn around point at Linky Stone Park. After a quick stop at the water fountain I was on my way back to my car. There’s something about that turn around that always seems to get to me. The run always seems a bit harder at that point.
Maybe that’s why my runs tend to get a little faster, if there’s anything left in the tank. Today there was.
The last 6 miles may have felt harder than the first 7 but I performed much better through them. I definitely got a negative split for the second half of that run. I’m even more pleased with those splits when I realize that not only did I negative split the second half of the run, but I also battled a headwind and an overall rise in incline to the end of my run.
I finished in 1:49:09 which I believe is my fastest 13 miles in training. (The only other times that I’ve run 13 miles faster than that were my three spring half marathons last year.) I also managed to shave 3 minutes off my time from my 13 mile training run two weeks ago.
I’m still a bit nervous about the half though. I know it’s just a tune up race but I still want to run well. I think I have a slight PR in me. That would take a 7:47 average pace which just might be doable.