Which I announced while clearly still riding the high of PRing in a race with hills.
I thought I'd FOR SURE run a slower race in Seattle than I did last year in San Jose for the simple fact that Seattle has hills and San Jose just has lame bands and a freeway overpass. But then, there I was, running along UP and down hills, along the lake (with the HOLY SHIT! A bald eagle!) and through the tunnel (hot, stinky, not as fun as I thought it would be) and down the freeway on-ramp (fun! Like being on the approach path to Sea-Tac.) and HOLY SHIT! (again) I swooped into the finish line in 2:23:57, which was a cool 14 seconds faster than my last half marathon and also my all-time half marathon PR.
So, obviously I immediately believed that I could become Super Woman in my second half marathon of the year all because there aren't any hills.
I think I might have even said something about "Maybe I should get a trainer" which totally didn't happen because I hear trainers tell you what to do and I DO NOT like to be told what to do.
I also didn't do the other things I secretly and quietly thought to myself I might do like lose five pounds (for streamlining benefits) or train up to 14 miles so that 13.1 wouldn't seem so bad. Kinda going off that feeling I had at the Mermaid 10K this year where I was trained up to 9 miles and felt great running 6.
Nope. I basically followed the same training regimen I always have for these halfs and now the paranoia is setting in about whether I did enough, felt strong enough, am going to shame myself publicly, be able to peel off and try trail running if I don't make my time, etc.
It's a noisy annoying place inside my head right now, friends, be glad you live elsewhere.
Thankfully, though, I have two new factors going into this race that I didn't have before. And I think these things hold some promise of making a positive difference with my time.
- I now have my Garmin. So it can tell me when my pace is sucking ass and motivate me to hurry my shit up OR ELSE. I wish it said that on the watch face. "Hurry your shit up. OR ELSE." That'd be motivating. Hey, Garmin people, I have a feature request for you...
- I discovered a new store of energy into which I can tap only during my most desperate moments. That store is called, "Let's do this, already."
See, during my last long run, in which I covered about 12 miles, I was so done with running at mile 11 that I got annoyed with how slow I was going. I remember thinking, "Shit. If we're just going to wobble along at this shameful slow pace, we're NEVER going to be done. And I want to be done." And so, I dug down and just forced my legs to take longer strides, my feet to make full heel-to-toe contact with the pavement and my arms to stay parallel to my body in the way my Pilates instructor recommended because it allegedly is more streamliney and therefore makes you faster.
I also forced my shoulders back, chin up and in-through-the-nose-out-through-the-mouth breathing to happen so that I had all of my faculties about me to force my woeful corpse to move as fast as I possibly could through that last mile.
And I do believe it went by faster. And I didn't die or throw up in front of my neighbors.
Those are strategies I don't read a lot about on Runner's World. Of course, I also don't read a lot about people PRing with half marathon times in the 2 hour range since I like to torture myself reading the blogs of runners who run 6 minute miles and set their predicted half marathon finish at 1:29, so it's not like I seek out information relevant to my own slow ass.
But, according to MarathonGuide.com, where I can still create my own old-school-but-still-handy pace bracelet, I'll need to keep up a 10:41 mile pace in order to hit my target. Which isn't all that impressive, but still pretty impossible sounding given my best half marathon pace to date was 10:59.
And all this worrying isn't going to do me a damn bit of good because despite all of it, time is still passing and the race is getting closer and closer and my moment of truth will soon be upon me.
I guess the only thing to do is to sit back, enjoy Taper Week and hope that my training wasn't all for naught. If I have to tap into my "Let's just do this, already." stores at mile 4, then that's just what I have to do.