T-minus 13 days... I know! I cannot believe it either. Man, time is really flying!
This morning I ran a season-high 12 miles. Wow! I cannot believe I did it. I knew I had to "finish what I started" so I powered through. I definitely felt a lot better than last week. I think by mile 2 of last week's run I was already wandering/dreading the rest of the run. This time, that doubt didn't sink in until about 9.5 miles. :P
Also, there were no dead bodies or cops on this run. Well, I saw two bodies, but they honestly looked like they were just sleeping :)
After last week's run, I knew I had to be better prepared for today's run so I got to work.
*Music ... I was tired of listening to P!nk & Glee. I love them both, but not on loop for two hours. So yesterday I had the wife transfer all my music from her computer to DVDs that I could bring to work and transfer to my iPhone. I then created a "Half Marathon" mix. I had a nice blend, but it is all upbeat. I put 3 hours of music on there so I would be covered.
*Dehydration ... Usually I get wicked thirsty on the second half of the run and instead of slowing down and stopping at the public water fountains, I wanted to carry water on me. So Saturday, I went to Fleet Feet Sports and bought a water belt. I got the Nathan belt with two water bottles and the pouch in the front. The race caps on the water bottles were super easy to use and leakproof.
*Energy ... I finally bought some Jelly Belly Sports Beans. I was given some of these during my marathon in 2006 and liked them a lot better than the Gu.
Let me tell you these three changes from last week to this week made a HUGE difference. I took a hit of water whenever I wanted it. I could get my head or neck if needed, which water fountains couldn't easily do. I took a jelly bean (out of my easily accessibly front pouch) every 30 minutes and although I don't like eating while working out - it wasn't the worst experience. I could definitely feel them helping. Also, having an entire collection of "pump up" music was awesome. It was like my iPhone/RunKeeper knew when I needed a good dose of "Tootsie Roll" or "Ice Ice Baby." :P
I also changed my course. I still ran along the Lakefront, but instead of running South towards downtown. I ran North. For the first time, I saw the "start" to the Lakefront Trail. It was a nice change. Also, there are way more trees on the second route so I was hidden from the sun a little.
So here are the final stats ... I ran 12.01 miles in 2:09.39 (10:48 min/mile). Let me refresh your memory - last week, I ran 11.01 miles in 2:02.19 (11:06 min/mile). So big improvement this week.
The internet amazes me everyday. This morning, I was able to find the results from my first (and only) half marathon - February 26, 2006 on the Cape. I finished that in 2:20.18 (10:42 min/mile). So my original goal for the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half was under 2:30. Now I am going to try and do under 2:20.18. I know it may not happen, especially since one run was done in the winter and one in the dead of August. :P The heat is definitely harder to run in than winter. But, either way I will try to do my best ... and finish! :)
Well, I leave you with a couple pictures from my run this morning ... I wanted to show everyone how I looked like a real prepared runner :)