I was ELATED. I saw Mike as I was finishing and I could tell how excited he was for me which made it even better. I had just run a 5k at a 7:30 pace! Who was I? His only comment to me was that I was NOT allowed to complain about being slow anymore, especially on our long run the next day. To continue the shock, we both ended up placing in our age groups (3rd for me, 2nd for him, and 1st for our friend, Phil, who ran a sub-20:00 5k!) which just was the icing on the cake. It was a great, great race, and left me feeling much better about the marathon.
Top 3 finishers for the 25-29 female division. That girl in blue passed me right at the end!
The next day, I awoke eager. 17 miles! Even though our training plan had only called for 13, we decided to bump it up to 17 to make up for not hitting 18 the weekend before in DC (it was WAY too hot and unbearable - better safe than sorry). We met our friend Phil on a flat trail by us which was good for practicing pacing for Akron, even though the Akron Marathon course in anything but flat. I tried to focus less on my Garmin and more on how my body was feeling - sometimes I feel like I'm practically burning a hole through that watch trying to get my pace down. I told myself, I could handle the distance, and the miles just began to tick away. Two hours and forty minutes later, our run was done at a comfortable 9:30 pace. I couldn't believe it! That was right around our goal pace for the marathon and I felt great. It was hard to believe that our run the weekend before had been closer to a 10:15 pace! Granted, the weather was cooler, but I mentally felt more prepared.
Even though we have a few hard weeks of training left (and 20 miles this sunday - yikes!) I am starting to feel more confident. I think I'm starting to learn that my body can handle more than I think it can, and I'm excited for that. Let's just hope that feeling of excitement keeps up over the next few weeks. :)
What do YOU do to boost your running, swimming, biking, anything-at-all confidence?