Training for a full marathon has been interesting.
It has slowed me down by at least a minute per mile, and running at my old "normal" pace feels like a sprint these days.
Yesterday was my fourth San Jose Rock and Roll half. I felt like I was just going to do it and get over it and accept a crappy time, for two reasons. One, my slower pace these days. Two, this was a day and a half after a food and boozefest of a best friend's wedding. Not a combo for success.
For each of my first three halfs, I beat my previous time by one minute. No matter how I changed my training, my time was always almost exactly the same.
Yesterday, however, was the first time that I actually kept track of my pace. My first 3 were done without a smart phone or a fancy watch, I just ran.
My current training is all pace based, which is how I know I'm so much slower now.
We showed up yesterday, and I wasnt exactly excited.
While I was mehhh about the running part, it really is a great race. There are so many spectators, so many bands, so many random people sitting in their front yards or garages, playing in their own little bands. Pretty great distractions.
I started off running pretty fast. I was running about 30 secs per mile faster than my OLD pace. I was shocked. On a normal training run, if I had been running at that pace, I probably would have felt like dying after about a quarter mile.
But I was feeling pretty good, so I figured I would just ride it out until I tired and needed to slow down.
I never slowed down.
I blame it on the adrenaline of the race atmosphere.
I bested my last time by 7 mins, which is pretty significant, for me, and bumped my rank up quite a bit, too.
I know that being able to run 13+ miles is significant, and I'm grateful to have a body that can do it, but I'm not usually particularly PROUD of my running.
But I'm proud of that improvement.