I am so excited to participate in the events again. I have even recruited my younger brother to run the half with me this year. This is particularly special because he attended the IMT DMM last year as a spectator, enlisted to cheer me on as I completed my first full marathon. He was so inspired by the strength he saw in runners and the sense of accomplishment he saw in me as I finished that he will be running his first half marathon when he runs it with me this year. He has never run a race of any distance before- ever- so this is kind of a big deal!
How is your training going? Mine is still on track overall and this past weekend I ran another round of back-to-back practice runs in preparation for the I-35 Challenge next month. Last week I posted about my Runner's Toe problems, and after taking it easier than I wanted these past few weeks, my feet feel much better. I ran 10.14 miles last Saturday and then 10.00 more miles on Sunday. Overall, I was happy with my performances and mostly had negative splits. This is a good sign because it means that I had a little gas left even as my miles accrued. I have scheduled one more practice weekend before the I-35 Challenge where I will run two 11 milers in two days to help me build physical and mental endurance.
Although it makes me a little sad that I'm only running the half this year, the one thing that I am enjoying about not training for the full marathon is the long runs I had to do every other week last year around this time. I use MapMyRun and the app developers like to email users little "memories" of impressive runs they had "crushed" a year ago on certain dates. Lately several runs in the low 20s have made it to my inbox and I must say that I don't really miss how hard it was to carve out time for those 3-4 hour practice runs. I do, however, have to admit that I miss the sense of personal accomplishment and mental encouragement I felt after completing those longer runs, and I look forward to running them again when I train for a couple full marathons that I'd like to complete next year. It's fun to say to myself "Good job on that 10-miler Traci!" but it was even more fun to be able to say "Good job on that 22-miler Traci" last year.
My goal is to PR on the Saturday of the I-35 Challenge during the Waddell & Reed KC Marathon, and then finish under or near 2 hours in the IMT DMM on the next day, Sunday. I will need to run 15 seconds or less faster per mile than I did during my 2nd 10 mile practice run to do this, but I am not too concerned. Race adrenaline always kicks in before race events and I always seem to run faster in half marathons than training and leisure runs.
How is your training going? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below!