Sunday, Erica and I set out for longest training run before our taper: 12 miles. I spent a good bit of time Friday evening planning out a route, only to discover that we would have to make several detours throughout the run in order to make it work.
We set out at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday, with plans to run parts of the race course, to see what it had in store for us. We didn’t want to run the whole course, because I want to be a little surprised some race day (but I do still have a map printed out and hanging up at my desk), but we wanted to run bits of it, just to see. It was challenging, but eye-opening, and that is definitely a part of the course I will be ready for come race day.
Our first five miles went by pretty quickly. We chatted about our upcoming weddings (Erica is getting married later this year), engagements, summer plans, and everything in between. Once we hit five miles, however, we both started to realize that we were not as hydrated as we thought.
Fortunately, we both brought along our fuel belts, so were prepared with water. I had some PowerBar Gel that I consumed after our seventh mile, which definitely gave me an energy boost for our last five miles. At mile eight, I realized just how mental running is – something I thought I learned back in the earliest weeks of training. This was a different kind of mental – the realization that I had to run four more miles before being finished. That I could do it, but that it was not going to be easy. And, the realization that no matter how much I wanted it to, the runny nose I woke up with was not going away.
At this point in time, we both started to feel the effects of our run, and took to dividing our time between walking and running, with our only goal being to finish. At one point in time, we discussed stopping our run at eleven miles, instead of twelve, but in the end, ended up going just over twelve miles throughout our run. Sure, it took over two hours to complete, but we did it. The feeling I had upon completing our twelve-mile journey? Amazing.
I am ready for this half marathon. When it comes, I am going to give it my all, and even if I don’t finish in two hours, I WILL finish. I can’t wait.