I honestly don’t think it was in the cards for me to complete 10 miles today, but I did it! I spent a good portion of the run trying to psych myself out – around 3.3 miles, I was rethinking the whole half-marathon strategy: “I don’t REALLY need to run that race, do I? I mean, if I just quit at 6 miles today, I can run 10Ks for a while and just get back into it when I’m good and ready…” Around 4.5 miles, I was just thinking I should throw in the towel: “Really. Its been 2 weeks since I ran any sort of valuable distance. 4.5 is more than enough of a start to get back into it.” Thankfully at 4.5 miles, I still had about 1.5 miles to even get back to my door, so I just kept moving forward. Around 8.5 miles, I was a short distance from home and could have gotten there in a brisk walk through a couple of backyards. At that point, there was a baseball game starting in the field behind my neighborhood, and a little boy was beginning to sing the National Anthem. As cliche as it sounded, that struck me. I stopped listening to my own iPod and I kept going. I kept going, thinking of every single person I know in the military. I kept going thinking of how they had to run from bombs, bullets, etc. I kept going thinking they probably ran 10 miles in boots, full gear, and backpacks. And somehow, I finished those 10 miles. Albeit barely 🙂
In the end, I finished in 2:21:30-ish. My watch died literally 2 minutes after I got back, so I can’t double-check my time at the moment. That’s an average of 14:09/mile. Not too shabby for someone who hasn’t run anywhere near that distance in over 2 weeks. I actually started running a new pattern – 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk, and I really think its making me faster, as backwards as that seems. I think that I can move faster because really, what’s three minutes in the grand scheme? Nothing. So, I power on, and pound out a little more distance. By the end, I was doing more 2 minutes run, 1 minute walk, but still … to come in lower than my last race pace is decent. I’m hoping that as each week passes, I can keep up the 3:1 ratio a little farther and eek out a PR for the race. You know, assuming I don’t end up with bronchitis again … thankfully, I think this one was just a cold, and I think its starting to subside. I should be able to breathe through my nose again for the next run!