One week from today is the half marathon. One more week and all the training and sweat and aches and sore muscles and banged-up toes and hills and pavement traveled that I've foisted on my body for the past four months will come to a head and I'll learn once and for all just what kind of stuff I'm made of.
If yesterday's big run is any indication, I'm made of some tough stuff indeed. Yesterday was my ten-mile run, the last long run before the race, the last time I could really put myself to the test and gauge my endurance and fitness. I paid another visit to Running Fit (sigh) and bought a CamelBak FlashFlo waist-mounted hydration pack (in screamin' high-vis yellow) because I was so DONE with the carrying of the used soda bottle thing. (I have to give a shout-out to my friend and fellow Detroit halfer-to-be Elizabeth for raving about her waist-mount CamelBak; I totally copied her.) I also got some Body Glide for my chafing issues. And another Nike Dry-Fit shirt. In pink. (I'm lucky I stopped there.)
Yesterday morning I set out, completely bedecked in ridiculously overpriced (but totally necessary, all of it, I swear) running gear from head to toe, but with energy to spare despite the wee headache I had (I really shouldn't have had wine with dinner Friday night). The Garmin was rockin' and I was rollin'. The weather was absolutely perfect for my taste (about 40 degrees). I finally had my heart rate monitor strapped to my chest.
I mapped out a new route that took me well into the country north and east of town. McKinley and Waterloo Rds. have some of the nicest scenery around. I only had three or four cars pass me the whole time I was on those two roads (Werkner Rd. was another story). Almost before I knew it I was at the corner of Werkner Rd. and M-52 with only a mile and a quarter left to go. I hardly felt tired at all. What a difference from last week! I put the hammer down for the last mile and did it in 8:48.
The whole run took 1:31 (incidentally, a minute faster than I ran nine miles last week) and I averaged 9:09 over the full distance. When I got done I thought, "Well, only three more miles and that's the race." I am so so so so ready!
When I registered for the half marathon I estimated I would finish in 2:30. That was for a 10:00 pace with various breaks (water, bathroom, whatever). Now I'm thinking I overestimated that time. If my pace for my ten-mile run is anything to go by, I will finish the half marathon well under 2:30. I would guess that come race day I'm also going experience an adrenaline rush from the excitement which will spur me on. I can't let that push me into a faster pace than I can sustain, however! It won't do me any good to rush out at an 8:15 pace because I know I cannot sustain that. 9:00/mile, however...we'll see.
For the record, my red wine headache was long gone by the time I finished.
One more week.