My training has remained steady as I work toward the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville next month. This despite a crazy summer that included moving my family to another home and then moving my mother from her Minneapolis apartment to our new South Huntsville dwelling.
I have enjoyed building up slowly, a far cry from previous all-or-nothing approaches. Yesterday I accomplished a huge personal victory: the 8-mile run.
Prior to Saturday, the 8-mile stretch was something I had only accomplished three times — twice last summer and then again during last year’s Huntsville Half Marathon. That was also my breaking point in that race. I stopped and couldn’t seem to pick up any momentum for the remaining 5.1 miles.
My Hal Higdon training actually called for the 8 miles last Saturday, but a few unfortunate incidents messed with my concentration, which is critical to my running routine.
For starters, I rely on my MapMyFitness app to track my distance and pace. I checked it at 4.4 miles, ecstatic that I was over halfway there. I checked it a bit later and it was still at 4.4 miles. I had accidentally paused the workout on my new Droid, which I had yet to master! Already flustered, I reset and hooked up with some friends who were running in a pack. Not long after, Nature called. I tried to ignore her, but she set the ringer on loud and was relentless.
It was over. I walked home and finished the remaining two to three miles a bit later in a run/walk.
So when I ran the 8 miles this past Saturday, my dog, Zoey, and I took a nice, easy route along the Huntsville Greenway. I focused on the cool(er) air and enjoyed all the other friendly runners and walkers I met along the way. When I hit mile seven, I got a sudden burst of energy that carried me through the final mile. I felt accomplished, strong and elated.
My next challenge will come next Saturday when Hal Higdon, through my Novice 2 training, recommends that I increase my long run to 9 miles. That will be a first for me. EVER!
The Women’s Half is just over a month away, on September 22. Tomorrow kicks off week #7 of my training program. And how I love kicking off a week of training with a day of rest. Thank you, Hal!