Friday, September 13, 2013

One month until taper time

Training for the IMT Half Marathon has absolutely flown by.

That might be another benefit of fall half marathons, compared with spring ones. I tend to get so bored with aimless running that I expand my training schedule in the spring; whereas if I continue doing RAGBRAI, as I hope to do, I won't start training for real until the first full week in August.

Yesterday, as I did my nine-mile long run, I realized how fast it had crept up on me — and subsequently how little time I'd spent looking ahead with dread.

Particularly during the flat miles — approximately from miles 3 to 7.5 — I was flying. Being in the cool, shady, flat stretch of the Clive Greenbelt Trail really helped, but there was a sense of confidence, too.

After all, as I've been reporting on Daily Mile, I'm getting better about gently encouraging myself up hills by focusing on consistent effort, not speed. I'm also notching about the same speed during my shorter runs in hot, humid weather as I would during more favorable conditions.

So once I warmed up (even before the flat stretch) and until I slowed to grab my water bottle and tackle the horrible hill from Greenbelt Park to Sunset Terrace, I found myself thinking: "I could totally tack on four miles to this run. I could do the half marathon right now. Especially if I didn't carry my own water at any point."

All I've got left in the long-run department now are 10- and 11-milers, and then it's down to a medium-length run during taper week. Wasn't I just finally running longer than 4.25 miles for the first time since the Hy-Vee half?

(I sound so mournful, but I won't mind ending the pre-long-run anxiety and post-long-run cramming in of all the other things I want/need to do that day. And if I finally set a new PR and/or break 2:05:00, there will be no regrets that it's over.)

I'll end this rambling post with this:
I wrung my Halo headband out after the nine-mile run onto the sidewalk, to see how much liquid it held. "A lot" is my best measurement.
Yep, I'm a sweaty runner. However, let me also add that it took more than eight miles for any of it to roll into my eyes. I'd say the Halo was a good investment.

Long run stats, for those who are interested: Nine miles in 1:23:23 (9:16 pace); splits of 9:31, 9:35, 9:00, 8:59, 8:47, 9:34, 8:49, 9:48 (the hill) and 8:58.

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