It’s now officially the final stretch of my training for the Oct. 19 half marathon.
For a couple of weeks, I scaled back from the recommended mileage in the program I have been following due to the aforementioned neck, back and shoulder issues. But, compared with my usual low-mileage training programs — I also did more cycling to make up for the decrease in running — I felt like I was still on track.
Neck, shoulder and back issues on the mend, I stepped it up this week with some pretty spectacular success so far.
The beginning of fall always makes me somewhat sad — the end of summer and all — I do love the beauty of the season as well as the perfect running weather it offers. Long runs are so much easier without the humidity.
The week started off with an 11-mile run on Monday, which ended up being an 11.25-mile run (it was one of those runs in which I hit my goal before I got home, but kept running). I took Tuesday off to recover, then yesterday I did 5 miles under perfect blue skies.
Today was interval speed training that took me a little more than 3 miles, again in perfect weather conditions. I was happy with my average pace of just over 9:45-minute miles.
Tomorrow I plan to cap off my week with a 5.5-mile run, interval training on Saturday and my last long run of my training program – 12 miles — on Monday, after taking the day off on Sunday.
The time to beat is 2:13:26, the PR I set last year at the Fox Valley River half. I don’t know if I’ll beat it but I’m not really concerned about it. After all of the time I took off from running the past year, it feels great to be heading to the starting line of a race again. And at a time when so many friends, family and acquaintances are dealing with healthcare issues that would cripple me with fear, I am so thankful for my health and for the ability to still participate in a sport like running. Hitting the finish line will be icing, PR or no PR.