I noticed the difference as soon as I came to the first rise on Conway Rd about 1.75 miles into my run. I leaned into the hill and maintained my pace. When I reached the top my heart rate had increased only marginally and I didn't need to slow down to recover; I kept on running smoothly. My legs didn't feel heavy, either. The remaining hills had the same effect. I was very pleased. My training is working!
I also noticed that I just felt better overall. My breathing wasn't labored, my pace was steady, and I felt strong. Around mile 4, as I was on the long stretch of Sibley Rd. back into town and still going strong, I felt for the first time that I really will be able to do this ("this" being the half marathon). I have only been training in earnest for four weeks (I repeated Week 2 of training) and I have already improved my conditioning. I should only continue to improve over the course of the next 13 weeks and then, on race day, October 21, I will be so ready!
I finished at 10:04 am, making it a 55-minute run. That works out to 10:15 per mile. That is the pace I would like to sustain during the half marathon (10:00 per mile, give or take 15 seconds). During yesterday's run I felt so fresh and energetic that I knew I could have gone farther. Well, best not to rush things; I will be doing 7, 8, and 9-mile weekend runs soon enough!
In other half marathon news, I found out last week that a friend of mine intends to run the Detroit half as well! I am very excited and glad because she has already completed two previous halfs (halves?) and I have been picking her brain for running tips. Now I will have someone to keep me motivated during the race. And I don't care what she says-- I still think she's going to beat me!
Lastly, I have concluded that I HAVE to obtain the following:
- a headband, because I sweat so much and it always runs in my eyes
- new headphones that will STAY IN MY EARS
- a Garmin Forerunner 205
- a waist-mount CamelBak hydration pack