This weekend I will be running my fourth half marathon, The Mercer Island Half Marathon.
I won't lie, I'm pretty excited about it! Despite my excitement, I won't be racing this, which as a mid-packer, means I won't push it (because obviously I wouldn't have been up for any AG awards no matter what). My goal for the race is to run between 2:10 and 2:15-- which would be on par with my long run pace. It will be extra special because my friend, Tara, is coming to run with me!
Since I'm not racing the Mercer Island Half, I was really unsure how to approach the "race". The distance is simply on my calendar for full marathon training, so running a half is just par for the plan. That means I didn't taper, I am not "reverse-tapering" next week, either. I guess when you are racing, it requires you to taper and do all of those great things, because you will be pushing it to the edge of your potential. When you are simply running a race for training, you don't need to build up to the race. Or at least, that's how I assume it works. I am mostly hoping this half doesn't wreck me, that I won't have to take the entire week off next week-- because that would be a bad sign for my future long runs over the half marathon distance!
This morning I did 6.2 miles (my friend Tara, who is running the half with me this weekend, told me she never runs just 6 miles, always a 10K, so that's my new thing) in new shoes. Earlier this week I went to a Seattle running store that I thought would have the largest shoe selection so I could get a second pair of running shoes. I liked my Saucony Mirage 3s, but they weren't my favorite ever. I thought I would likely get another pair of the Saucony Rides that I like, but here's what happened: I get to the store, they pretty much have nothing in my size (which is an 11.5 women's in running shoes, thankyouverymuch). I also did this little gait analysis thing, which I wasn't too excited about, I assumed I knew my feet well by now. Long story short, they said I needed a stability shoe (like the Mirage), not a neutral shoe (like the Ride), so I came home with another pair of Mirages. But! This time I tried something new-- I got a men's pair of the Mirage 4s. Took them for a spin this morning and I liked them! I think my issue is that my Mirage 3s had a little less space in the toe box than my Ride 5s and that annoyed me. Men's shoes give women a little more space in the toe box.
Here's the beauties I picked. I am not 100% sold on the color, but my girls think they look cool.
Not too bad, huh?
In other news, I am really loving my new trainer. This week we worked on sort of an ab-heavy, stretching, myofascial release type of "workout". The workout is good for days I don't want to push it too hard. She also taught me about Voodoo floss. Have you ever heard of this? It's essentially wrapping your appendage in a tight, stretchy band (my trainer taught me with a bicycle tube that had been cut lengthwise along one side, but you can buy special bands). After wrapping your, say, lower leg, you then stretch your calf for a few minutes. When you take the band off the blood rushes to that area and starts repairing any damage. Interesting, no? I can't wait to try it at home!
This image was stolen from www.roguefitness.com.
It shows, obviously, what the voodoo floss looks like on your lower leg.
And in even other news . . . right now at this exact moment my body doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart, which is really good as I head in to my run on Sunday. Last time I ran a half marathon, as my goal race, I just crossed my fingers and hoped I would make it to the finish line. Feeling much more confident this time (but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed!).