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.