So the girls’ KC half is in a few weeks, but knowing that I’m going to be away at the Feast for two weeks, I wanted to get my half overwith before I left. Which meant doing it this past weekend.
We were scheduled for a 10 m long run, so I figured I would just run 10 m with Robin and then do an extra 3.1 on my own. Late Friday afternoon we concocted a scheme to drive down to Cindy’s house in the sticks and run there with her instead. I was a little hesitant about running somewhere unfamiliar for my half, but decided to have a positive attitude about it and have fun.
It was a great day, and a great run. Possibly my most favourite run ever. We got there around 6:30am so we could run before the day warmed up. It ended up being perfect weather: gloomy, overcast, misty. We started from Cindy’s house and ran on the gravel roads for about 5 miles, then picked up the Katy Trail which goes across most of Missouri. Missouri really is blessed to have such an extensive network of trails.
Cindy’s husband doesn’t like for her to run alone out in the sticks, so he drives ahead of her with beverages and they meet up at predetermined spots along the route. I am so impressed. He played waterboy for us for 2 1/2 hours. He took our water, Gatorade, snacks and drove happily along to the meeting spots where he’d read the Sunday paper and drink his coffee. What a great support! Their dog Yanna also ran along with us, which provided quite a bit of entertainment.
I was curious to see if I could shoot for a half marathon PR, but partway along the route I realized that wasn’t going to happen. No one was in a hurry, so we stopped along the way to see the swimmin’ hole, two gigantic catfish skeletons thrown along the side of the road (totally disgusting, by the way, and so glad we weren’t there to smell them when they still had flesh on their bones), and we took our time getting drinks and having a breather when we met up with Cindy’s husband.
At about 5 miles we met up with the Katy Trail and ran it for the duration. Question: how is it that we were running, yet the dog was ahead of us the ENTIRE time – walking! – and would have to double back to catch up with us?? How is that possible? There were some great times when the dog would see a squirrel off ahead and would go tearing after it, again leaving us running humans in the dust. It was a good reminder of how fast dogs are. She leaped into the woods at one point and came back with sticks, leaves and debris covering her head and back. It was really funny. She ended up carrying them along for a couple miles.
So, we had waterboy stops at predetermined areas, so we knew how far ahead we’d need to run until we got water again. Having the route broken up like that helped to make it go by faster, I think. Robin and Cindy ran until we reached 10.6, then I got my drink, breather and put on the iPod for the next 2.5.
I think I actually did a good job of preparing myself mentally for the run, especially the last part. I knew it would be hard to run by myself for another 3 miles after having just run 10. But it was nice that we actually stopped at 10.6 so I didn’t have quite as far to go as I thought. The last 2.5 were hard, but not unbearable. I think it was just a little disorienting not knowing where I was or how far I needed to run until the end. But! They clocked the last 2.5 for me and cheered my on to the end. And then I was finished! YAY! 2:24. Not fast, but probably the easiest half I’ve done. I think our pace was about on par with this past April’s race (2:14), but we just took extra time at the stops and tourist attractions along the way.
And so ends half marathon training #3. I’m actually pretty proud of myself that I did it in 8 weeks instead of the 12 weeks that the training schedule has us do. In April the half marathon was run #65, and this one was #36. Not bad.
Now I get to not run for a while.