Today was the last of my long runs before The IMT marathon. To call it long is actually a misnomer; a six mile run is pretty short anymore. But I’m trying to follow Coach Loran’s training and taper. Isn’t it funny how as you progress as a distance runner that you use the word ‘only’ a lot when discussing shorter distances. I caught myself doing it yesterday when someone asked how the training was going. I replied “I’m tapering down, so I only ran four miles.”. Four miles used to be impossible. Funny how that changed, I didn’t even notice that it did.
So today I was ‘only’ supposed to run six miles, so what better way to do that than with a 10k race. Katie’s Crusaders is a great group supporting the families who are dealing with breast cancer. So I headed out to Waukee and Centennial Park to get my run on.
The event was well organized, and well staffed with volunteers. With the exception of a shaky start (no one was sure that we started), it was well mapped out, relatively flat, and with plenty of people to make sure you didn’t miss a turn (hopefully the ‘Dog Jog’ organizers read this). I also like the fact that there were points where a volunteer told you your time. I have a Garmin, but I like that idea, because not everyone wears a GPS watch.
I finished the run and made my way to the refuel area. I passed on breakfast pizza and doughnuts and grabbed a banana instead. After that and a Gatorade G2, I was good to go, and went to check my time. I finished in 52:04, with an average pace of 8:24 per mile. I was shocked to see that I finished first in my age division! I got a medal at the awards ceremony! What a way to go into my first marathon; strong and confident.
Speaking of marathons, I have some people to thank before my first one. To my wife, for not only tolerating my countless hours away running, seeing the ‘latest gadget’ needed in the quest for fitness being purchased, and even carrying water on long runs for me; to Stephanie, for her unending support, advice, encouragement, and constant positive attitude, and for being my running partner; to Kara, for her helpful advice on proper eating, help with staying focused during a run, for her positive energy, and for being my running partner; to Coach Loran, for letting me tag along with his ICan training group, and for his great advice and help; to Shelli and Stacie, for being my running buddies and for always being supportive and keeping me moving forward. There are many more that I need to thank, positive and helpful people like Eric and Connie, Suzan, Jason, Kandi and others who have helped more than they know. Sometimes just a word of encouragement is all that’s needed. If I forgot anyone, I apologize and know you are in my heart!
So, I may or not post until after Sunday. Depends on what happens, and how my nerves are coming up to the big one. Hopefully, I’ll be able to title it ‘26.2’.
Live healthy, be happy!