I did my final "long" run today, 13.1 miles at the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon. (Actually it was 13.2 miles, plus .4 mile super easy warm-up.)
I said that Bellingham Bay would be my final test to estimate my possible finish time. So here it is. 2:07 (give or take a couple secs), which is about a 9:37 pace for the full 13.2.
What did I learn from this? 1) Sub-9:30 pace is work, too much work to sustain for 26.2 miles. 4:10 is definitely out. 2) 9:30-9:45 - hard to say whether this effort will be too much...4:15 would be a stretch, but not completely impossible. Maybe. 3) Whenever I felt like I was cruising and comfortable today, I looked at my watch and it was around 10-minute pace. That means 4:20-4:25 is realistic. 4) All my miles today were sub-10 but one. That was mile 12, and it was 10:24. It was a little uphill, but I was honestly shocked at that time. I didn't feel like I had slowed down that much...I had much faster miles on steeper hills. That tells me that you just never know. My body might just slow down in spite of myself.
I am hoping to at least finish under 4:30. But I'll be fine with it (well, okay with it) no matter what happens.
I had mentioned that I might run on both Monday and Tuesday this week. I have rethought that. It would just be junk miles with no real purpose, and I think my body is best served by moderation in this final week of taper. Also, my ankle and Achilles have been bothering me lately, so I don't want to aggravate them more than necessary. Icing the last few evenings has helped too, and I want to keep that up this week.
So I think I will just cross-train tomorrow (Monday), run on Tuesday, cross-train or rest on Wednesday (it's my travel day), then do my last run on Thursday. I know some people like to do a shake-out run closer to the marathon, but I like two full days of non-running rest.
Here I am on the way back to the car after the half marathon today.
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