The longest run in my training plan was scheduled for today. Last weekend I was a bundle of nerves before meeting up with other race participants for the group training run, but this morning when I woke up I just felt excited. Having completed the 10 miles last weekend gave me way more confidence in my ability to tackle the 12 scheduled for today. When my alarm went off at 7:30 I bounded out of bed and began to get ready to run! After letting my coffee and toast digest for a little bit, I stepped out the door at 8:30 to way cooler temperatures than I’ve been used to, but I definitely welcome the change with open arms. It is so much nicer to run without humidity and feel like I am overheating the entire time.
Although I was excited to run I was a little unsure of the route I had planned out. It was a completely new loop for me, but I knew that I needed to plan my run so that I had to finish it in order to get back to my apartment. The option of just doubling one of my 6 mile runs just didn’t seem like a good idea. Turns out I actually did a really good job of planning my course. There were a few long climbs around the same mile points as the half marathon course and a lot of rolling hills (didn’t realize there would be so many) to keep me on my toes. I was also able to stop into a few Starbucks a long the way for some much-needed water. Have to say, by the way, how much I love the Baristas at Starbucks. They see me walk in all sweaty and one of the employees immediately says that I just need a glass of water. About 30 sec later my thirst is quenched and I am on my way. Major props Baristas, major props 🙂 Even with a bunch of unexpected hills, I felt really strong throughout the run. The 3 Cliff Shot Blocks I took around mile 7 definitely helped me keep up my stamina and I am happy to report that these did not leave me feeling nauseous like the GU did last time. I definitely think I found a good mid run fuel source for my race!!
I still can’t believe what I did today. This was the farthest distance I have ever ran! I made sure I knew exactly where the 10 mile point was and every step after I hit that point I couldn’t stop thinking, “wow I’m actually doing this! I am running farther than I ever have in my life!” I ended up back at my apartment in exactly 1hr 45min and I couldn’t have been happier. I finished 5 minutes faster than I thought I would and was so happy. Sure my legs and butt were on fireeee from all the hills but that couldn’t get rid of the giant smile I had on my face! After doing these 12 miles solo I am feeling so pumped and so confident for the race! I know that the adrenaline and race spirit will definitely help push through those last few miles if I start to fade, but if I can do this run all by myself, imagine what will happen when I have company… sub 2 hr first half marathon…??? 🙂