"I'm at the half-way mark!" I realized, as I typed the title for today's post. So far, so good.
I missed posting last Monday because I was on vacation, here, at home. My mom came to visit from California and we had a great time together. I stuck with my run training (minus one 3-miler), but swimming, biking and blogging all kind of fell by the wayside. It was a good mental break for me. Today, though, it's back to our regularly scheduled programming.
I ran a fun race on Saturday - the 20th anniversary of the Maui Harbor-to-Harbor race. It clocked in at a little over 10 miles (10.55 according to my Garmin) and I was thrilled with my average pace of 9:28! Running more is paying off! I felt good the entire race and incorporated some new mental tricks to keep me going in the later miles: keeping focused, staying positive and checking in on my body and how it was performing. Run tall. Hold your core. Smile. There was no swearing involved, unlike Xterra.
With a little more than a mile to go, a younger woman passed me. Usually this is not a big deal, because people pass me a lot, but for some reason I could not let this one go. I remembered something I read recently, that if someone passes you near the end of the race, do not let them get too far ahead. Her pace wasn't much faster than mine at the time, so I hung on around 25 yards back. We got inside that last mile and I knew if I didn't pick up the pace she would think she had it in the bag. I remembered how Mirinda Carfrae tried to chase down Chrissie Wellington in Kona. We hit a slight downhill and I lengthened my stride a bit, gradually catching up, then I dug down deep and pushed enough to get past her. I figured she would push it and pass me again, but I stayed strong and finished just ahead of her. She came up to me at the water station after the race and congratulated me on the finish, which was really nice of her to do. I thanked her and told her I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to catch her and told her she set a good pace.
I went into the race with the intention of racing strong and trying to sustain a 9:30 pace. It was a hard effort, but it also reassured me that I can run faster than I think!
The race was an exchange for my long run for that weekend, scheduled for 10 miles. I know I'm supposed to get my long runs in slower, and I won't be doing any more "racing" throughout my marathon training, but this was a really good check-in for me and a great confidence booster.
I promise to take it slow at the Turkey Trot next week!