half marathon training

As the first item on my list, I have been fervently training for my half marathon. Molly (roommate, fellow hm runner) and I went out to run 11 miles of the course that runs from the small town of Empire to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. I stuck with her for a while, but wanted to maintain my own pace, so we parted ways about 2 miles in. Things were going well until I realized I was going down a very large and long hill at mile 5- as I was flying down the hill, I could not stop thinking about the fact that very soon I would need to turn around and run back up said hill. This hill is a bear (pun intended), will occur at around mile 8 on the half marathon course, and is accompanied by many other small hills along the way. Needless to say, the race is going to be a big challenge, but I am so glad Molly talked me into running a lot of the course. It feels good to know what’s ahead.

photo (54)

It also feels good to say my long run yesterday was the official 13.1 miles! It is so great to know I now have the stamina to run such a distance- something I never thought I could do. Not only that, but I also beat last week’s pace during my 12 mile run with a certain running buddy who tends to run a bit on the fast side. Ah-hem. My 12 mile pace was 8:23, and my 13 mile pace was 8:22. My goal for the half marathon has always been run it in under 2 hours, but after yesterday’s final time I have loftier goals.

I also had to deal with some intermittent hard rain and strong wind yesterday. Ahh northern Michigan- so lovely that during the week the temp is 70 and sunny and the weekends grace us with rain and 50 degrees. Meh.

I picked up some gummies to fuel me through these long runs, and I am glad I did so that I can experiment with different kinds of fuel. I do feel a bit of a kick (sugar rush) after I eat them, and it also gives me some entertainment and something to look forward to at certain mile markers.

As for tunes, I have been entertained with the Songza app, the new iTunes radio, and my own playlists. “This is How We Do It” is one of my fave old school jams that makes me smile and shake it a little while I run. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Holy Grail” by Jay-Z are some of my more recent grooves. I also enjoy Girl Talk- always mixing it up and keeps the beat fast. However, a lot of the time during these long runs I find myself either in the zone or lost in thought, not even paying much attention to my tunes. I actually consider this a good thing- a bit meditative, if you will.

photo 2

Anyway, I am all done with my long long training runs, and it feels great. The race is 2 weeks from today, and I feel confident, excited, and nervous. It helps that I have lots of support and will have support at the race. Praying for good weather!!

On another note, I am going to accomplish #24. Visit somewhere in Michigan that I have never been much sooner than I had expected- a trip to Pictured Rocks is in the works for next weekend!



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