My goal after my last half-marathon was to start running faster. I knew I was running at a pretty slow pace (I mean, I was in corral 16 at the Rock 'n' Roll 1/2). But then again, I knew what my body could handle and running faster just wasn't an option at the time, I just needed to finish the race...successfully.
I ran 8 miles yesterday and it wasn't easy. It always starts out nice, but I eventually get a mean stomach pinch. And it sucks. I know I wasn't hydrated enough, but even when I do hydrate correctly (at least what I think is correct), I still get that stomach pinch. This one yesterday came at 3 miles, a little early as I usually get them around 6 miles. What am I doing wrong??? I took a GU at 3 miles, way too early I know, but it did seem to make my side feel better. Running just plain sucks when your side hurts.
But the good news: I completed my 8-ish mile run (RunKeeper w/ GPS says 8, Daily Mile says 8.30) in 01:18:54. The 8 mile run I did just after the rNr 1/2 in October I completed in 01:22:03 and my first ever 8 miler in September I completed in 01:26:00. So, I am getting faster and that I am happy for.
But after the 8 mile run, I thought to myself...can I really keep going for 18.2 more miles?? And is it really necessary to keep improving my pace when I really just want to complete the April Marathon? My only goal is to finish, not to beat a set time.
Here is where I really wish I signed up for the April 1/2, just so I could beat my time of 02:19:22. I really would like to finish at around 2 hours. But it has always been a goal of mine to finish a full marathon...and how perfect to do it at age 30.
I know the best thing to do is just sign up for another 1/2, preferably before the April Marathon, but running in the cold is another thing I hate. ...and I just don't have the money to travel for a race at the moment.
I am, however, signed up for a couple of the winter races to get my sissy butt out in the cold.
December 17: Reindeer Run
December 19: Christmas Lights Night Run
January 14: Frozen Buns Run
...and hopefully I'll do one of the Frostbite Series in Forest Park or a Snowball Series. These races start to get expensive!
Another thing I'm doing differently: I haven't been running w/ my fuel belt. I've been training without it because it really chafes my sides pretty good.
I really had no idea about my route when I took off running. I knew I wanted to stay close to home and away from the hills in the beginning, and this is what I ended up with. The end of the route got pretty hilly and I wasn't too winded! Only thing really bugging me, other than stomach pinches, is my right knee, but I feel it more when I'm running on the treadmill.