I’m still on cloud nine from my half marathon this past weekend. I walked away with an extremely unexpected PR of 2:01:24 which is 10 minutes faster than my last half in October. My goal for this one had changed in the weeks before from getting as close to 2 hours as possible to making sure I finish and maybe cutting a minute or two off my last time. If you’ve read my training recaps you’ll know it was a tough last two weeks with no long runs so I was a little unsure how my legs would hold up for the last couple of miles. On top of that I was having some pain in my left hamstring that was worrying me a bit and I didn’t want to push myself for fear of injury. I also hadn’t tested out some solutions for keeping my stomach in tact or fueling options. But it was a beautiful morning and physically I felt good, rested and ready to run. I stayed pretty consistent throughout, running anywhere from 9:06 to 9:16 for miles 2 through 7 and mile 8 was my slowest at 9:22. This is the long haul of Jericho Turnpike that gets a little boring. I think I also was a little focused on and distracted by the fact that I had to pee and was debating whether I should stop or not. I decided it wasn’t necessary knowing a stop would totally derail my run. So I refocused and started realizing I was getting close to the finish, the miles were dwindling down, I felt good and I could possibly hit that 2 hour goal I had hoped for. Adrenaline and drive kicked in and my last few miles were 9:04, 9:03, 9:05, 8:56 and 8:33! There was definitely something left in the tank!
It felt great to finish strong and I was shocked I ran that last mile at that pace. I do wish I pushed myself a little more throughout because I would have achieved the sub 2 hour time if I had. I should not have doubted all of the training I put in just because I missed a few runs at the end. I worked really hard this time around and this goes to show that you should trust in your training!
It was a really fun day and a great race with great crowd support throughout. The expo is always good although seemed a little smaller this year and the finish line festival is always fun. I even had a little interview in the Sunday Newsday about the race and why I love it. I was missing my running bestie who I ran my first half marathon with at this race last year but she was there at the end cheering me on which meant the world to me!! She’s making her comeback next year!
So for now I’m going to take some time “off”. Which really only means I’m not going to follow a training plan and my running will be all when I want and how I want. No mileage to meet, no long runs to schedule, no stress over missing workouts. I’ll have enough of that come July when marathon training starts. Agggghhhhhh!!!! Until then….eat healthy, get stronger and work on getting up for early runs!!