Before I write this, I just have to share a personal moment of happiness. I was supposed to run 8 miles today, but it’s hot, humid, and raining, and I’m not going to do it. I’m going to take a rest day! I’ll just push the 8 miles to tomorrow and tomorrow’s 5 until Friday. I haven’t taken a mid-week rest day in my entire 14 weeks of marathon training so far, and I’m going to do it today! It’s like a little surprise gift for myself that doesn’t cost anything. And I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m just going to enjoy it since tomorrow will be cooler and I’ll end up still meeting my training goals for the week!
Sunday was slated to be my first 20 miler, and (spoiler alert) I was successful at completing that distance! I knew that getting through 20 miles would be difficult, so I had purposely scheduled myself to run the Holiday Halfathon as 13.1 of those miles. Race are without a doubt the best way to get in necessary mileage in a different way. On Saturday night I laid out all my gear, and though I was running a race, I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am, because I knew that I wasn’t going to race this one at all. It was going to be a training run, and my goal would simply be to not run sub-2.
On Sunday morning I got up at 4:15, ate a Panera bagel I had bought the day before, and made my way down to Madeira Beach. Though the race didn’t start until 7:30, I knew I needed to get in some pretty significant mileage before the race started to hit 20 for the day. I had planned originally on knocking out the whole seven, but I ended up falling asleep in my car for a few minutes before getting out and lacing up. Running that area felt safe because there were a lot of runners out before the race, but at the same time I was still careful to watch my surroundings, not have both earphones in, and make sure I stayed aware. After 2 miles I found my groove, and though I had initially wanted to cut it at 4, I decided to keep going all the way to 6.
I did have to stop at 6 miles to give myself time to drop off all my extra stuff at my car, get my timing chip, find my friends, and get to the start. Knowing that I had one more mile to run after the 13.1 mentally helped me hold back a little bit during the race. I don’t know why one mile was so intimidating to think about, but it was.
The course is fairly flat with a few bridges and freeways passes. The first few were near the beach, though we couldn’t see it, so it was a bit windy.