I don't know whether it's just a nice, flat course or whether the race falls late in the season when I'm well trained. Whatever the reason, I like the fact that my legs sure seem to do fine at the Maine Half Marathon.
I recorded a new half-marathon personal best on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 2:05.
That knocks about three minutes off my time at that race a year ago and about 10 minutes off my finishing time at my last half-marathon in Lake Placid in June. And puts that 2-hour barrier within reach for next year.
Even nicer was the fact that I didn't feel like I was pushing myself. Shawnna and I decided we'd use the race as a training run. We had our normal routine of a chat-filled run, walk breaks at the water stops and even a few minutes at the porta-potties along the route.
We finished smiling and feeling great, as did many of the TnT'ers I saw crossing the finish line. I'd be remiss if I didn't note Matt's awesome and very impressive finishing time of 2:00:33. I was so happy that he had a good race after a disappointing and troubled run at Lake Placid. I just know his marathon journey is going to be a good one and I can't wait to follow the progress.
I couldn't help but think, as I ran the last mile or so, that in less than a month I'll be expected to double the miles. I really couldn't get my head around the fact that, in essence, I'd be turning around at the 13.1 finish line I crossed on Sunday and run the whole thing over again.
It's still a daunting though, even though I know I've done the training. If push came to shove, I probably could have done the whole thing in Maine. (Not that I wanted to!) I just have to be mentally prepared for those long, tough miles ahead.
Despite the fact that I have my longest run ahead of me on Saturday - yikes, 22 miles! - I know that essentially my physical, distance training has peaked. Now it's time to focus on the mental side of the last weeks leading up to race day, while continuing to take care of the "engine" that will get me there.
The Maine race certainly gave me a little confidence boost. I'm happy to have a new personal best half-marathon time so close to Marathon Day.
And really, when you think of it, no matter how long it takes me to run that 26.2 miles in less than a month, it will be my personal best marathon time.
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