Yesterday I did my last long run before the Half Marathon in two weeks time. 22 kilometres, which took three hours, nine minutes, and sixteen seconds. Not bad.
I wouldn't say I was excited for this run...it's pretty hard to feel positive about the physical and mental slog associated with that kind of effort. More than anything I felt relieved to know that this was the last time that I'd 'have' to cover this distance for a long time.
Yet somehow I'm convinced that I'll do this again. Even as I was out there, tired, uncomfortable and consumed with thoughts of bacon, I knew I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I was running along, both loving and hating it, and planning where I'd go after the HM to run for fun.
My cousin Aimee, with whom I seem to have many parallels (even though I have not seen her in years and years) ran her first half yesterday. It was the Gold Coast half marathon, which is quite a serious event. It has a three hour cutoff.
She didn't make it. She finished allright, but she finished outside the three hour limit, outside her time goal, and the rules of that race are such that she was disqualified and does not record an official time.
I was gutted for her. Self centred creature that I am, I immediately started googling cutoff times for my own race. I don't think there are any, my race starts at 7am and the latest race (the 5k) starts at 10:30. I think a lot of the time cutoffs are more about being able to keep roads closed than anything else.
I don't think I can run the distance much faster than I have in training, and so my goals are simple. I want to finish in under three hours, and I want a negative split, both of which I've been able to do in training.
Variables are - the course is different terrain to what I've covered, so I may lose some time, but also the course does not have red lights, and my training ground does.
I'm starting in the 3rd wave, and hope to be well back to let all the speedies go. I don't want to add too many unnecessary miles swerving around others.
I want to drink plenty of water, stick with the gels that I know work for me, and mostly just...relax, enjoy it, see it as an experience.