I am finally recovering to the point where I can regularly run, and it feels great. Right now, I am focusing on getting out as many week nights as possible to run 2-3 miles and work on speed. Speed is an area that I put on the back burner during my four months of marathon training. I was preoccupied with getting my distances in and keeping my training sustainable. I accomplished that and I ran the marathon, but by race day my mile times were slow. Which is FINE. That is why I finished strong and did not have an injury!
Half marathons are a different game, and I know I can run them with a faster mile time. I finished the Whidbey Island half last April with a 2:11 time. This is my half marathon PR. I finished the Seattle Half marathon last November with a 2:26 time. A year ago, that was tremendous. This year, I would like to best my Seattle time from last year. Eventually, I would like to break my Whidbey PR and one day, perhaps, I will see a sub-2:00 time! A woman can dream!!
As a runner, I would describe myself as slow and steady. I am never going to win the race, but at any point along the course, I have enough breath and energy to cheer myself on and usually build up some other runners around me. Giving that energy to others brings me joy and makes a race day special. I also rarely encounter walls… and when I do, I can talk myself through them. I attribute that in part to steadiness. I still have my wits about me. I aim to never be physically exhausted until I get to the finish line.
How do I balance what I appreciate about steadiness with my desire to push myself physically and run a faster mile? That is what I am focusing on. Learning to feel confident again at a 9 or 10 minute mile, rather than the default being an 11 or 12 minute mile. A half marathon is a shorter distance, but you can’t burn too bright at the beginning or you will suffer. I also need to remember that while Whidbey and Portland the following month were great times for me (2:11 and 2:16, respectively), I was hit with IT band issues after both of those races (probably a consequence of not rehabilitating the first instance well enough before the next race). So I would like to continue the strides I made over the summer and early fall to avoid injury through gradual and mindful attention to distance and exertion.
Just one month to go until the Seattle Half! I am looking forward to enjoying this race!
I am rocking the headlamp again these days!