Yep! Today's my birthday!! Happy birthday to me!!!!!
When I first looked at the training schedule I was quite relieved to see that today's run would only be 12 miles. At the time, 12 miles seemed daunting enough, but the thought of running 18 or 20 miles on my birthday was terrifying. Truth be told, I'm still really glad we only had to run 12 miles! And, while I contemplated skipping this run and sleeping in (I could really use the sleep), I'm glad I didn't.
Today's run started out cold. I'm actually quite proud of myself, because, while I was chilled, I actually wasn't as bad as what I thought I'd be. I knew that I'd be moving soon enough, and I just wanted the run to start. As a special birthday bonus, I happened to win a pair of gloves in a trivia contest just prior to the run. Yay for warm hands!
The run started off, and my running buddies were back...and cheerful. I happily ran along, chatting and having a good time. Then, around mile 3 or so, one of the running coaches started running along with us. I started chatting with her, and before I knew it I was going faster than I usually do...and I was quite comfortable. I looked back and realized I had lost my running buddy. This both makes me sad and thrills me. I didn't mean to leave her behind, but I was loving the faster pace.
I continued on this pace until our first SAG. Apparently my buddy was not too far behind, because she caught up with me there. We continued on, running together...until we were joined by another one of the coaches. Apparently, his wife owns a veterinary clinic that I'm quite fond of, so we had lots to chat about. Back to the faster pace.
We continued on for a while, and a few other people joined us. I kept the faster pace and felt pretty good. I looked at my watch, and there were only 4 more miles left.
Finally, around mile 10, I started to feel the effects of my pace. Running at that speed was becoming more and more difficult, and yet I wanted to keep up the conversation I had going. Call it stupid, but I was going to continue on. There were only 2 miles left.
Luckily for me, there were actually only 1.67 miles left, because I was tired. I looked at my watch, and we had just hit the 2 hour mark. I ran 11.67 miles in 2 hours. OK, so that's not an Olympic time or anything, but by comparison, my half marathon time was 2:22, so I shaved some time off (approximately 30 seconds per mile in fact). I know that's not the pace I want to keep for the marathon, and I'll have to be careful to not get sucked into a faster pace just because I'm talking, but I really loved it today. I loved the cooler weather, and the fact that I was able to go faster because of it.
Afterward, I came home, and Hans was in the process of making me pumpkin bread French toast (super tasty). After I had showered and had breakfast, Mom, Hans, and I went shopping, and I promptly treated myself to some running arm sleeves. I'm super stoked, and I really hope it's cool next weekend for my 20 miler, so I can try them out. Huzzah!
Alright, off to birthday dinner, where I'll happily eat all of those 1300 calories I just burned off!