Loving the half marathon
If you asked me right now my favorite race distance, I'd have to say the half marathon. Even though I've only done three -- and really only focused on running one of them hard -- it's a fun distance to do. It's challenging, yet very rewarding. I'll discuss various race distances later, but for now I want to focus on today's long run -- my very own version of a half marathon. After last week's debacle of a 30k, I have been feeling all week that I have something to prove to myself. Bad runs only motivate me to do better next time. On Wednesday I had a great run with a 4-mile tempo run -- my time in those 4 miles were faster than my two 4-mile races I've done. Today I wanted to go out and run a half marathon in less than 2 hours -- I wanted to do something to help me realize that 4 hours in a marathon is achievable for me. I ended up running it in 1:55, which was my time in my first half marathon a little more than a year ago. It's such a great feeling to have training runs now that are equal to or beat previous race times -- especially race times from last summer. It's an even better feeling to have a long run like today's and feel like I can do something with the rest of my day and weekend. I remember my first 13.1 experience -- I was on the couch icing my knee afterward and was pretty much worthless through the weekend.
Next week will be my last high mileage week before tapering begins. I'll have my second attempt at 20 miles. If the weather continues to cooperate (it was fabulous today), I think everything will be just fine. I'm looking forward to tapering to give my legs a break, but I'm still sort of questioning how much to reduce the miles. I can feel it in my legs and the rest of my body that I need a break from the miles -- but how much? I'll figure that out after next week.
So, this all being said about the half marathon, I am sending my application today to do the Dolphin Challenge as park of the Shamrock event in Virginia Beach in March. The Dolphin Challenge is an 8k on Saturday, March 15 and a half marathon on Sunday, March 16. Why not do the marathon? I'll address that after Nov. 10. I had such a fun time last year doing the half that I want to do it again and add the extra challenge of the 8k, although I probably won't run that very hard. Plus the price goes up $15 after Oct. 31 ... and no matter what event I did, nothing beats "free" Yuengling after running your ass off (see photo). So before training for one race ends, the countdown begins for something else. Off season? There's no such thing. My focus, though, is on the Richmond Marathon -- that won't change until Nov. 11.