Technically I'm ahead of my Half Marathon training schedule, but recently I have just been getting back into the swing of long runs since I had to take so much time off in February/March because of the IT/patella injury from before the F^3 Lake Half Marathon on January 28. Well, I'm happy to report that my leg seems to be back to healthy! I have been running pretty pain-free since the end of March. WOO! Who woulda thought that listening to the physical therapist's advice of "rest" would actually pay off. :P
So yesterday I set a goal of running 9 miles. It would be the longest run since that half marathon.
Since I work 7-1:30 on Mondays, it would be an afternoon run. Not my favorite time to run - I prefer early morning - but it would work since it was cool and in the low 60s ... nice running conditions.
I finally set out just before 3pm and immediately felt good. I had taken it easy the previous week so I was ready to end April with some good mileage.
I finished the first half mile at about an 8:30 min/mile pace. Woo! I was happy, but I didn't want to start out too quickly because I wanted to finish the whole 9 miles.
My Runkeeper chirped that I was half way through the run and I was STILL at a sub 9 min/mile pace ... ahhh!! At that point, I dug in and kept my eye on the prize!
Just after clicking "workout completed" I started crying...
I had really done it! I held a sub 9 min/mile pace for 9-consecutive miles!
For the girl who started running in 2005 with a 12 min/mile pace to go to this - it is a MAJOR accomplishment. One that boosted my confidence right back up!
If I was able to hold this pace for 9 miles, I think I will actually be able to hit my goal of running a sub 2 hour Half Marathon this year. I have three chances:
Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half - July 22
Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half - August 19
Boston Athletic Association Half - October 7
I think if I keep working hard, I will be able to do it...
(Note: current Half PR is 2:05.40 - set in the F^2 Lake Half in Chicago January 28)