The Eighteenth Saturday: Canton Marathon 2012, Last Training Day.
Tomorrow is race day.
Today I will drink water, eat carbs, and try to distract myself from the fact that Tomorrow. Is. Race. Day.
I still need to pick up my runner’s packet with my number and timing chip – I plan to do that this afternoon.
The ever-diminishing training run distances over the past three weeks have me in a strange mindset: Even though I know the Hal Higdon training schedule works as designed, all these low-mileage days have kind of fogged over what it feels like to run double-digit distances. I don’t remember feeling this way in 2009.
At the same time, I’ve been really excited to see the effect this year’s training has had on my short-run abilities. In the past month, I’ve recorded personal bests for three, four and five miles.
This week, Adam and I have only been aiming to make sure we’ve stayed faster than 8:20 per mile, and we’ve been able to do that pretty easily, carrying on conversations through entire routes and climbs, and never going into full-on sprint mode.
For this morning’s final pre-race run, while we could have taken a 2-mile loop that avoided large hills, I felt like doing an out-and-back along the road that has often marked our final mile, and which includes our least favorite climb. (Why did I want to do this? Because choosing to run the hill felt like a way of flipping it the bird, I guess. Juvenile and illogical, I know. But there it is.)
So we went out and talked the entire way – even up That Hill. And though exertion crept into our breath and voices at a couple times, for the most part it felt like a slightly-faster-than-leisurely jog.
We didn’t sprint up the street at the finish, either. Final time: 15:12.
And I’m kind of floored, because the last time I competed in a two-mile race (2007), I finished in 15:16 and had to mount a full-on uphill charge at the end to hit that. Makes me wonder what I could do if I actually took a shot at the Hall of Fame or North Canton 2-Mile races this year, with a full season of marathon training to build on.
Today’s pace has little actual bearing on tomorrow’s run, I know, but it was nice to finish the training on a positive note.
See you beyond the finish line.