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Saturday, February 18, 2012

A day of mixed emotions

Today was my first and last big race before the Quintiles Marathon at Wrightsville Beach.  I ran the Dasani Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach.  The weather was fantastic and I was excited to see what I could do with workouts under my belt that I could not have dreamed of this time last year.  Result: less than a minute faster than at this same race last year and a minute slower than a different half marathon at Myrtle Beach in October a month before the Philadelphia Marathon.  Dangit!

Luckily I saw my coach, Tom Clifford, soon after crossing the line and he put it in perspective.  I felt springy and strong last October, but by the marathon felt flat.  He thinks I peaked too early in the fall.  Wouldn't I rather reverse the scenario this year and feel flat due to lack of taper now, and run my goal time in the marathon in a month?  YES!

Of course, he is right.  Although my mileage is down this week, it is still going to be in the 80s, with last week in the 90s.  Not my highest of the macro-cycle but certainly not a taper.  The only truly easy day I did this week was yesterday.

The marathon is a test of patience, not only on race day, but in the weeks leading up to the race.  It is so difficult to run fast on tired legs.  Even though I would immediately tell a friend this if they were in my situation, it is so hard to accept it yourself.  I feel so close to a breakthrough, and am growing impatient.

Today was also a difficult one as two years ago today I suddenly lost my father.  The days leading up to this one are full of "remembering where I was" when certain things happened.  Getting the call from my sister that he was in the hospital, leaving him thinking he was getting better, rushing to the hospital after a 4 AM call that he was leaving us, etc.  I hoped to smash a PR for him today, but he will just have to wait a bit longer to lift his toddy in celebration.


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