a half marathon training run

I’ve been pretty quiet about it, but I’m hoping to run a half marathon on Saturday.  This is the Nookachamps Half Marathon, up in Mount Vernon.  It would be about the eighth time I’ve run it (more than any other).

It’s a wonderful small half marathon that I first did about 13 years ago.  It’s well organized, and the vibe is wonderful.  There are a bunch of good masters-level runners who do it too.  A few years back, when I was 39, I ran the fastest half I’d run in 7 1/2 years.  A year later I PR’d!  Funny thing is that I finished farther back in my new age group (40-44) than I did in the previous age group, even though my time was faster.  I’ve run it several times since then, just not as fast.

The idea to run the half was hatched in my brain about two or three weeks ago, when I was just starting to run again.  I anticipate a very slow run.  Each time I go out, it’s difficult for me to go much faster than about 9 minutes per mile, or a full minute slower than my usual half marathon pace before the accident.

My strategy so far has been to try to cover the miles, and get my body used to running again.  I figure that when I’m finding it easy to run easy, then I’ll worry about speedwork.  Mostly it’s been fun to be out running again.  Recently though, it’s gotten tougher to keep going out and struggling to keep a pace for five miles that I’d have been able to maintain for 26.2 before.

All of that said, clicking off a half would be a great accomplishment.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, and then I’ll decide whether or not I’m heading north on Saturday morning.

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