Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keep Calm and Run Along

With the weeks ticking by and my work hours still keeping me at the office until the wee hours of the morning  far too often, I was beginning to panic about the upcoming Naples Half Marathon.  Was this going to be another Brooklyn?

But then I got to Naples for Thanksgiving and thought, you know what?  You are where you are and you have a little over 8 weeks left to make the best of it.  I got out the calendar and realized that if I started at 4 miles that very next day - whether or not I was over my head cold - I could add on one mile per week and end at exactly 13 on race week and suddenly my hope was restored.

Wouldn't hanging out here relax your nerves, too?

Now, I know that a lot of half marathon training plans don't even have you run more than 10 miles before the race, but at least under the +1 mile every week I'd have some wiggle room in case I wanted to taper or increase and then cut back a week here or there to try to run a bit faster for a shorter long run.  Plus, the extra time could give me extra chances to get comfortable [and more confident] at the higher mileage and give me some wiggle room if work got too crazy.

Using my +1 mile method I completed 5 miles the week after Thanksgiving and 6 the week after that, lining me up for 7 this weekend.  But I felt SO great running in the cool-but-not-too-cold weather and on an awesome part of the West Side that I had never run before that I thought, what the heck, let's go for 8!  And it was a success!

The best part about my 8 mile run?  Not only was my pace a tiny bit better than my best half's pace [I know, I know - we've still got another 5.1 miles to tack on, but I'll take it], but also the splits were pretty even.  I had been telling myself "just make it to 6 miles - you can do that, you did it last week.  then you can go as slow as you need to in order to finish off the mileage," and yet I didn't turn to mush once I hit 6 - I even found some people to push myself to catch up to in the last mile, which involved an extended surge.

Will Naples be my best half?  I don't know, but I do know that I feel like I'm back on track and hopefully ready to put in a good effort this go-round.


  1. I love it when you have an affirming training run! Good luck with the next few weeks!