Yesterday morning at 4:55am my alarm went off! I looked outside happy to see that although darkness still engulfed the city, there was not a rain cloud in sight. Even though I was super-excited, I put my head back on my pillow and pressed snooze a couple of times on my alarm clock until 5:15am when I knew that I had to get up if I was going to make it on time to meet my two friends at the train station near our apartments. I got ready, flew out the door, and grabbed a multi-grain bagel on the way to the subway.
TFKers were scheduled to run 14 miles, the longest I had ever run by four miles! I was not sure what to expect. The course consisted of three loops of decreasing size. The first loop was six miles, the second loop was five miles and the last loop around the bridal path was three miles. As I stood waiting for my group’s turn to go, I tried to make sure that I had everything set right on my new Garmin Forerunner 305 (p.s. I am obsessed with this watch). Then the whistle went off and we started to move as a pack. I made an effort to stop at every water station (although I think I poured more water on myself) and the miles went by miraculously effortlessly. After mile six, they had Gatorade set up and they told us to stop. I stopped for a minute or two, but I later found out I had missed our coach's advice not to stop because I had been on a trip to visit a lovely port-a-potty. The second loop was as easy as the first and even Cat Hill heading north was not too bad the second time around. However, when I hit the bridle path for the last three miles the soft running surface after the hard road made me feel like I was moving nowhere although I was used to training on the softness of the Bridle Path. I am sure at this point my speed decreased drastically, but unfortunately because I had not turned on the auto-lap feature on my Garmin, it did not record the splits and I will never know for sure by how much. On the other hand, the perceived difficulty of the terrain also could have been a mental thing, because of my increasing fatigue, or some combination of the two things. I have been curious about my half marathon time and made sure to keep an eye on my watch as the time drew near. At the 1/2-marathon mark (13.2 miles), my watch said 2:02:26. Overall, I thought it went really well for a first time effort and look forward to improving in the future! :)
Final Stats miles: 14.31 miles time: 2:13:37 average pace: 9:20 min/mile
Today I woke up to the sound of another day of rain in the city. Not surprising considering how this summer has been. When the rain cleared in the afternoon, I went on a 3-mile recovery run. Not trying to go very far or fast, I decided to take along my music, something I used to like to do on my runs. I was considering getting an iPod Shuffle for the marathon in case I need it, but I think today might be one of the last times I ever listen to music when I run. I felt completely distracted by the music and even though it was only three miles, each mile seemed to drag on forever, a very different feeling from when I run without music. I guess I will have to evaluate it going forward. An iPod Shuffle is not THAT big to bring along...