The 5-days-a-week running experiment is proceeding without incident. (knock on wood, fingers crossed, and all that good stuff) I love being able to run more, and my body, thus far, is cooperating.
As a result, I'm actively seeking a Boston training program that has me running 5 times a week, with both speedwork and tempo runs incorporated. Gotta find one soon - training will begin at the end of next month, so the clock is ticking.....
Up and at 'em at 4:15am, and at the start in Jamestown at 6am - painful for some, but not that much of a problem for me, since I often get up for 5am workouts. And the view at the top makes it totally worth it. (very glad I took my phone this year, so I could snap this pic from the top - worth the 10 seconds it cost me!)
I had no plans to really race this one, and was fighting a head cold, so went into it with zero expectations. But as usual, once the gun went off, the adrenaline kicked in.
I was at the front of the pack, but I knew that with the first half being all uphill, there was no danger of me going out too fast. Ran the first two miles in 7:17 and 7:34. The climbing was tough, but I managed to pass quite a few people on the way up.
And then, of course, it was all downhill (or flat), and I took full advantage, running miles 3 and 4 in 6:43 and 6:40, crossing the finish line at 27:31, which was definitely a PR for me at the 4-mile distance - and also good enough for second place in my age group! My fifth age-group award of the year : )
Running 4 miles didn't really feel like that much of a workout, though, and since I was done at 7am, I had time to grab a bite to eat, get my award, and then head back over the bridge to meet up with some friends for a few more miles. It was a beautiful morning, and even though I had raced those early 4 miles over the bridge, the additional 7 felt easy - that was a nice surprise.
And now I'm shifting gears and getting ready for Philly this weekend! Half-marathon number 6 for the year.
It still seems kind of hard for me to believe that I've run six half-marathons over the course of the past 9 months. It seems even harder to believe that in that time, my half-marathon time has dropped as follows: 1:43:43 in March, 1:41:26 in July, 1:38:07 in September, and 1:37:28 in October.
It would be great if I could shave a few more seconds off and finish off the year with one more PR, but given what I've already accomplished at this distance this year, I'll be happy just to come in right around the 1:37 range. I'll be racing it, for sure, but it's going to be a 'don't look at the Garmin and just run what feels good' kind of day.
I've been told that Philly is a flat, fast course, and as of right now, the weather looks like it'll be pretty decent, so hopefully all will go well.
I'm really looking forward to running in a city I've never visited, and I'm also really looking forward to three whole kid-free days. Five hours on the train. Alone. Each way. I have a stack of magazines, a new book, and my iPhone. It's going to be bliss. I'll miss my crazy boys, but I will enjoy the taste of freedom, too.
And honestly, what I'm looking forward to most of all on Sunday is returning to the finish line after my race, so that I can cheer on all my friends who are running the full. I'm beyond excited for all of them. They've worked so hard for this race, and I know they're all going to do great, and I can't wait to cheer them on!
So in addition to my own running gear, also on my packing list are: cowbells, poster board, and sharpies : ) I've been scouring the internet for ideas for good race signs, and I've definitely found some favorites. If anyone reading this has any good suggestions, though, I'd love more ideas!
It's going to be a fun race, and a fun weekend, and I'm so happy that I was able to work this one into my schedule. It'll be great to close out the 2012 year of racing with a bang!