The Last Hurrah

October 25, 2017

Photo is at the start of last year’s race (Indy Monumental).

This morning was one of those mornings with a little extra haze around getting up and moving, the kind where your alarm clock becomes infused in your dream and you’re in a half state of awake and not. After I gave in to the fact that the jarring, repetitive noise wasn’t coming from some mythical cloud, I got up and got ready for business. This morning was my last bout of speed work for this training cycle.

We had no transition into cooler weather, literally plummeting from 70 degrees to 40 overnight on Monday, and while the cooler weather was both inevitable and welcome in late October, I kind of miss the ease of throwing on shorts and a tank top. I suppose the trade-off is knowing that I’ll be more comfortable on race day, even if it means shivering in my starting corral. Also, cold hands are the worst. Just sayin’.

So, a slightly more bundled up me headed out into the pre-dawn abyss for one final crack at getting my legs half marathon ready. This morning’s workout was 10 miles total: 2 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile (7:10-7:15) with 400 meter recoveries, then another 2 miles to cool down. I went back and forth on the same mile stretch for those mile repeats, and I don’t know about you but sometimes the back and forth is a weird mental game. Inevitably one direction ends up feeling like the harder effort, or like there’s some imagined struggle in having to run “back up.” I try not to let this happen, but splits usually back up this phenomenon. This morning’s splits: 7:03, 7:17, 7:03, 7:22, and 7:13. This was more uneven than I had hoped, and while that fourth mile did feel a little slower I didn’t take splits manually so I’m blindly trusting my Garmin to have been accurate. (Even though we all know it’s usually not 100%.) Splits aside, these felt pretty good, especially the third one. I tried to concentrate on just the feeling of running that pace, not where I was in the mile, how much distance I had left to go, but the feeling of my legs turning over. I wanted to burn the cadence into my memory, and I found myself completely zoning out in some type of running trance. It felt awesome, and I hope race day is more of this.

Look, it’s me in the same race last year actually smiling!

Per usual, after this run my brain went into overdrive trying to perceive how I’d run 13.1 miles like this, but I’m banking on that race day excitement and trusting that I’ve done the work I need to do. I keep envisioning myself in the starting corral (with those shivering legs) and the energy of everyone else who’s shown up to race too. When else do you get to stand in the company of thousands of other runners? I’ve already got chills.

Burning questions: manual race splits or blind trust in GPS? Race with music or stick to crowd support? I’ve actually never raced with music, but have pondered trying it. I don’t know, I like to hear what’s going on around me, especially other people coming up behind me. I also like hearing the crowd and local musicians on the street. So, there’s that.

Happy hump day,


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