Since Lauren's putting me to shame blog-wise, I'd better get in here for a quick update too. I ran 12.5 miles yesterday, and came home smiling. I'm kind of amazed, and totally encouraged. I got the food right for the first time, I think, which really makes a big difference - a big glass of emergen-C, followed by a banana, followed by a small almond butter on Ezekiel sandwich and a small cup of yerba maté tea - all an hour or so before heading out the door. I took along some dates stuffed with almonds for mid-run snacks too. I believe in fueling, at least for me. Besides, my new magic watch says I burned over 1400 calories on that run, so I had room for some extra food. I also like to take a water bottle filled with coconut water, to replace electrolytes on the go. I never touch bottled sports drinks. Yuck.
There were no mean dogs this time, and I figured out how to minimize the hills as much as is possible around here. It still feels like I'm running uphill all the time, but I kept imagining how nice a smooth flat road will feel on race day. Lovely.
All the cars that passed me were slowing to a respectful speed, and everyone was waving in a friendly way. My neighbors are starting to recognize me. At about mile 11, a small car coming toward me slowed way down, and the driver smiled and handed a nice cool (but not too cold) bottle of water to me out of the passenger side. I still had a slosh of coconut water left in my bottle, enough to get me home, but no longer refreshing in any way. I thanked the guy - actually I wanted to hug him, but the logistics were all wrong - and headed off down the road, drinking as I went. I don't know who that guy was, but if I had to guess, I'd say he was an honest-to-goodness Angel.
Only three weeks to go until race weekend, and I'm stopping at that 12.5 mark. I want to save that last half mile for The Race. After all, I am a half-marathon virgin... gotta save a little something for the big event. I'll keep up my 3 runs a week, but will start tapering off on the Long Runs, down to nine or ten miles at the most. The main thing is I finally feel really confident that I can do it, and now I'm pretty sure I can do it well.
Still smiling today...