One Week To Go

8 Sep

When I signed up for the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in May I had grand intentions of finishing every. single. training. run. I used an iPhone app to put together a 16 week training program and headed out the door.  I’ve chronicled a lot of the ups and downs of training here. From the heat, to the first fall, to the crazy work/school schedule, to the second ankle-busting-fall. There were weeks where I was on fire and clocking paces in the 10-minute-mile range, and entire weeks that I didn’t run at all. 

The last few weeks as my ankle healed, and the race loomed, I was scared. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it.  This is the third time I’ve attempted a half-marathon, and though I finished the first two I sought out to tackle, I finished them poorly. I wasn’t ready. I walked a lot. I was proud of myself for finishing, but mostly I was disappointed in myself for not giving it my all. Not during the race itself, but in the training. This time was going to be different, I swore. Then towards the end… it wasn’t. I was missing training runs, and the longest I’d run pre-race was 8 miles.

So I decided to cut myself some slack. This half marathon isn’t my last half marathon, it’s just my next half marathon. Since I was injured, let’s take a mulligan and call a do over. This half marathon is just going to be another training run to get me ready for more races to come.

With that in mind, today was just another long-run-Sunday. I needed to know whether or not I could do this at all next week. The logical part of me knows that even with the last few (read: like 6) weeks of training going to hell in a handbasket I am still in better shape than I was when I attempted either of my prior halfs. Still. I was scared. 

I left this morning with 12-miles in mind. I decided that I was going to run 4-minutes and walk 1-minute for the duration of the run. I ran up through South Philly and then over through the Gayborhood and Graduate Hospital to the entrance to the Fairmont Park river trail. Around the half way mark I grabbed a Gatorade from the small cafe by Waterworks that caters to the runners and bikers on the trail, and then topped the bottle off with water on my way back into the city. I finished in 2 hours and 20 minutes with a pace of 11:23. I. am. so. proud.

Next week I am going to run a half marathon. In the first half marathon I finished my time was 3 hours and 14 minutes. The second half marathon I did my time was 2 hours and 59 minutes. My goal for this one is 2 hours and 30 minutes. And I want you all to hold me to that!

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