Intro: Last night, after I submitted my journal for Week 5, I was on my laptop, when I kept coming across a race called the Ramblin’ Rose half-marathon in Charlotte, N.C., which isn’t too far from me. I thought about it for all of five seconds before registering. I’m already registered for two more half-marathons before the full, but the first isn’t until October—forever away! Despite the fact that I had to pay late registration (yikes), it seemed like the perfect way to get my mileage in and experience race day at the same time.
I’m not going to worry about the final time for this weekend’s half. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to treat it as if it were just an ordinary training run.
Monday: 3 miles, weights, abs.
I savored this short run after last week’s mileage increase, but I made sure to maintain a quick pace. After work, I went to the gym with my boyfriend to lift weights, adding one more strength exercise to my routine. My abs are already sore from a killer ab workout, so I can only imagine how sore they will be tomorrow!
Tuesday: 6 miles.
Today’s run was beautiful. I was able to watch the sunrise, and the six miles flew by.
The last two miles of my new six-mile route are almost all uphill. I make it a point to progressively pick up the pace, maintaining a quick, steady pace up the hills. This hill training will hopefully come in handy for the Ramblin’ Rose this weekend—so far all that I’ve heard about the course is that it’s very hilly. What have I gotten myself into?!
Wednesday: 3 miles.
For whatever reason, my security alarm system decided to sporadically go off in two hour intervals…all night long. So you can only imagine what kind of mood I was in when the alarm on my phone went off at 5 a.m. It’s a good thing that yesterday’s run was so good because today’s was not my finest. I closed my eyes at one point and am not totally convinced that I didn’t fall asleep for a second…while running.
I was supposed to meet my boyfriend at the gym, but I had to cancel because I was too tired (not an excuse I use often when it comes to exercise. Working out is energizing!) Instead, I went to a friend’s house for dinner, and she made homemade General Tao’s chicken—soooo good and so worth it.
Friday: 6 miles.
I went for a hard six mile pace run this morning.
I’m getting SO excited for the race tomorrow. I’m not treating it as a “race,” and I’m not worrying about pace. I’m treating it as a regular training run, only I will be running with hundreds of other motivated half-marathoners!
I’ve been psyched for it all week, and I’m already tearing up thinking about the starting line. I have been known to cry at the start of races because I’m so happy and excited to be there. I just love the feeling of everyone being in the same place for the same purpose. I love the running community. They’re some of the most supportive, connected people I know.
Saturday: 13.1 miles.
Race day is a different experience when you aren’t there to race. I felt completely relaxed, watching as fellow runners were nervously jumping up and down, glancing at their watches. It was a pretty cool experience, and it was nice to be at a race just to run. I stood at the starting line, ready to savor every mile and explore the course. All I wanted to do was have fun.
I think that this relaxed attitude is what caused me to kick up the pace around mile 9 because all I could think was Why not? I felt refreshed, and, honestly, I just felt really happy. I found myself smiling (embarrassing), and I’m pretty sure I smiled to myself until I cross the finish line (more embarrassing). Due to the increase in pace, I passed about twenty people before making it to the finish, and I set my second fastest PR, coming in at under two hours.
I treated myself to a stack of Cracker Barrel’s blueberry pancake. Obviously.
I have another half in October, and I plan to run it same way. Not a race. Just running because I love to run.
Total: 31.1 miles.
Conclusion: I’m really glad that I decided to run the half-marathon this weekend. It helped me determine where my pace should be for the marathon, and it was a good way to change things up. Marathon training can get repetitive, so it’s nice to have shorter races to look forward to along the way.