Breaking away.

So I survived my third half marathon.

Honestly, this was my best one yet. Not only did I shave about eight minutes off my last time, but I felt the best I have so far at the end of a long race. Usually my stomach bothers me, but this time I felt solid.

Only took me two years of racing. Go figure.

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(Me pre-race)

This course was similar to the Long Island Half Marathon, though a little less interesting because we didn’t cut through any towns, instead sticking to main roads and parkways. We started and ended in a park.

People always ask me what I do or think about while I’m running long distance. It’s a fair question: we’re talking up to two hours of time for intense self-reflection.

Sometimes I’m daydreaming, sometimes I think about things that are bothering me. A lot of the time I’m calculating my current speed an trying to figure out what time I will finish, or planning the rest of my day after the run. It’s helpful for me when the course is new or interesting because I can forget I’m running if I have other thugs to focus on.

Because yesterday’s course was fairly flat and boring, though, I found myself thinking a lot about races in general.

I decided my favorite part of a race (besides the finish, of course) is that moment right when you finally break away from the starting line crush, after bobbing and weaving between people who really shouldn’t have started in the pace bracket they did, and you have some clear road to find your pace and just enjoy the run.

Sometimes I feel like that’s the moment we’re all waiting for — when we can finally outrun the madness and the obstacles and just hit our stride.

(I know, I’m super deep, right?)

This was also the first race that I really pushed myself in terms of speed. I knew I was running faster than I normally do, but I didn’t want to check my actual pace on my iPhone app in case I would psych myself out. Instead, I just decided to let myself run until I started to feel uncomfortable or get a cramp or something, and that moment never came. (Huzzah!)

Plus they handed out tiaras and feather boas and cookies at the end. Obviously, I was a happy girl.

My future running plans include: another half in April and…a full marathon next fall.

Eee!

I feel ready to take that on. The main thing I’m nervous about is fitting in all the training runs. I feel like its going to be a test of “how many runs can I skip or cut short and still finish?” Though hopefully, by then, my schedule will be as such that I can stick fairly closely to a schedule.

Speaking of which, do any of my runner friends have a training schedule to recommend? I’ve used the half schedule on MarathonRookie.com for all my half marathons, so maybe I’ll stick with that? Obviously, I’m open to suggestions.

So anyway. Today, I’m a little tired and a little sore, but overall feeling pretty good. How was your weekend?

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