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Saturday I ended up going on what turned out to be probably my best long training run I’ve ever done! I woke up at 7:30 intending to head out within an hour for my run, but a friend ended up stopping by, so I didn’t start running until around 10. Luckily, unlike last week, it was much cooler. We had a few days where the temperature dropped from the 70s and 80s back down to the 40s, so it was absolutely fantastic running weather. Although the weather provided a great environment for running, I know that my half marathon won’t be so chilly, so part of me was hopping for some hotter weather to get myself used to running in that weather. As this was my last long run before my half, I guess my run last week is the only real race that’ll give me that weather!

I felt pretty great right off the bat on my run, which is more rare than not. It often takes me 1-2 miles to really warm up and get going. Around the 3 mile mark I heard a text come through, so I pulled out my phone on a walk break to text my cousin back. I realized at that point I was holding an 11:03 pace- WOAH. I don’t really ever hold that pace during long runs, even during a race! I pulled my phone out right past mile 6 to text my cousin again, and was still hovering right around 11:06 pace. That felt really awesome, and right on par with my 9.8 miler back in March.

Right around mile 8 I could tell that my pace had slowed slightly- I was really fighting for it, but it felt great! I took a small handful of sports beans at mile 4, and had about 10 ounces of nuun on the run. I’ve been carrying my handheld on my longer runs the last few weeks just to get my body used to it. Depending on how hot race day is, I may want to carry it with me. To replicate race day, I decided to run with it. I thought it might bother me to hold it for so many miles, but it didn’t at all!

I came back to the driveway and saw this:

9.8 mile training run

BAM- AWESOME run and a full 1 minute 25 second per mile pace faster than my run last week. As I had mentioned in the spring, I had been having the start of leg cramps on my runs, but since I’ve been regularly stretching my calf muscles on an almost daily basis, this hasn’t been a problem. I didn’t have any pain or cramps at all, despite my faster than normal pace. I also down a salt packet before each of my runs.

This run was a truly excellent run. I listened to podcasts, enjoyed the flowers blooming and the squirrels and birds hopping around, and ran with a smile on my face most of the time. This is the type of run that keeps me coming back…

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