Well, you can’t win them all! So I ran the my second half-marathon yesterday (my first was the Hogeye last year), hoping to beat my previous time of 2:12:37. I started out running pretty hard, making it up the biggest hill of the race and arriving at the 6-mile marker with an average pace of <10-minute miles. It was absolutely gorgeous outside, but the wind was pretty strong and it really picked up around maybe the 8-mile marker when we started running up the Scull Creek Trail directly into the wind. By the 9-mile marker, I was still just barely averaging <10-minute miles, but I started to struggle during the last few miles. My pace had slowed and there was one last significant hill to contend with. I was running out of steam and my legs were starting to cramp up a bit. I did my best, but ended up coming in with a time of 2:14:35. I had a great time and really appreciated the support of Toby, friends, and strangers all along the race. I’m still a little bit bummed that I didn’t reach my goal time, but I guess there’s always next year! I think that I will most likely use a different training plan next time, however, making the following changes:
1. Longer long runs – my plan peaked at 10 miles, and in retrospect, I wish I would’ve done at least a 12-miler before the race.
2. Different speedwork – This plan called for a LOT of speedwork, and I found myself really dreading these runs. If I skipped a run one week, it was always this one. I think I would prefer to do them on a track or treadmill so that I can hold myself more accountable and perhaps not schedule quite as much speedwork. In other words, “work smarter, not harder.”
3. Do speedwork with a speedy friend – I did a 4-mile run with Toby a few weeks ago, and it really helped to push and encourage me to go faster. I don’t always push myself enough when I’m on my own.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to run a 5k in a couple of weeks with my best friend S! We have been friends since she moved next door to me during the summer before 7th grade. She was a runner in high school (and I think still has some state records in the hurdles!) while I was definitely NOT athletic, but now that we are both into running, it will be fun to do a race together! It’s called the Cow Paddy Run and is a historical Fayetteville run created in 1989. The original race helped to create Gulley Park in Fayetteville, and the race is being resurrected to benefit the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation. There will be music too and the sponsor list is amazing. I’m really looking forward to running a shorter race and maybe even PR-ing!
On the home front, I’ve been doing a lot of baking/cooking lately, making Angela’s amazing hummus, Emily’s whole wheat muffins (although I used raspberries – I am that weird girl who doesn’t like blueberry muffins), and Jenna’s sunflower chip cookies! All of these were delicious – thanks, ladies!
Hope everyone has a great week – I’ve got a busy one ahead, but am looking forward to a possible actual Ozark adventure this weekend! If the weather holds out, T and I are planning to go camp at Boen Gulf – for those of you in the know, that is where it all began for us! I am SO excited to get out in the woods and away from it all, see some beautiful waterfalls, eat some roasted marshmallows, and maybe even hit up a river if I’m lucky! See you soon!