Right Where I Should Be
As much as I've been stressing about my slow recovery from Grandma's way back in June, I have been really hoping that my slow and steady building up of weekly mileage was doing me some good. My cranky calf isn't going away, but hopefully my body as a whole is getting stronger. So today's beautiful half marathon in the park gave me a nice boost in confidence that my current training routine actually is paying off. 1:29:35 A ways off from that supernatural 1:25 back in May, but certainly a huge improvement over my snarky 1:38 a month ago. I certainly wouldn't say that the race felt effortless, but I felt healthy and strong and my splits were for the most part pretty steady.
With about three miles left to go in the race, I was really starting to feel the effort and was falling a bit off the pace when I got passed by a woman a little younger than me. I hadn't really seen very many women around me at all during the course of the race, so I was a little surprised to see her pop by me, but didn't feel like I had it in me to stick with her. Then, about two miles later I caught up to her on a down hill and she gave me a very gracious "good job!" Suddenly I felt a little guilty about feeling competitive with her. I glanced at my watch and told her that I thought we could break 1:30 if we worked together, so off we went. I'd been slipping into the 7:10 range before that, but having someone to work with now really made me bring out my A game. That and the fact that the finish line was practically in sight. For the last mile, every time I was tempted to just back off and coast in the rest of the way, I glanced over at her, keeping up the intensity and thought okay, we can do this. And we did! So for the record...Jennifer from the Flyers, thank you. In the end, I beat her to the finish by one second, but her chip time was exactly one second faster than mine, so I would say that for all practical purposes we were pretty damn even.