Today on a whim I signed up for and participated in a half marathon. It never even occurred to me before this past Friday, when one of my running partners suggested it. Since being in this long run slump I figured the organization and competition would do me good.
At 8:30 this morning I was cursing not having just done the long run on my own yesterday. It was fifteen minutes before the race was to start and it started to pour. As opposed to the light and steady rain that was going on beforehand. Thirteen miles of wet fun, ah well at least it was 65 degrees and not too cold for a damp day. I had myself a baseball cap and my waterproof ipod holder, all I needed to survive the precipitation, so the race started and off I went.
The biggest challenge I have been dealing with has been my pacing. My goal was to run slowly and evenly, forget about the person in front of me whom I want to pass or my marathon goal times. This race was all about resisting the urge to speed up no matter what.
Eleven miles into the race I have never felt stronger in my life. I had been successful in keeping myself at a slow steady pace. A little slower than I would have liked, 11 minutes a mile, but erring on the side of caution was what I wanted so that was cool. The rewards were well worth it though. The pure joy of not only not feeling like you are going to die but feeling absolutely great after having run that long was not lost on me.
So I let go and ran free. This leg of the race was mostly downhill, so I stretched out my stride and decided to try for something a little closer to a 2:15 finish time. I did those miles in an average of nine minutes each and finished just over 2:19.
Yeah, I guess you could say my slump is over. Not only am I back on the wagon I am motivated and excited. 26.2 here I come! (Ditto for the pace team, I'm so there)