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The wheels on the bus…

I’m just finishing up my third (and final, or for at least 6 months, please?) cold and this one was a real doozey.  It turned from a regular cold to a sinus infection plus, wait for it, bronchitis!  Woo-hoo!  I started a z-pack about 10 days ago and while I still have a cough and some congestion, I feel tons better.  Can I just say my timing for this stuff sucks?  Came down with a vicious sinus infection @ 3 weeks prior to my marathon and now this crap about a month out from the Austin half.  I’ve had the Austin half squarely in my sites ever since I crossed last year’s finish line.  I knew I could’ve done better and I couldn’t wait to take another shot at it in 2012!

When I realized I was getting sick – again – a few weeks ago, I couldn’t believe it, which is kind of dumb since this was becoming more the norm for me!  This hit my lungs in a big way in less than a week and I knew the Austin half was slipping out of my grip.  One week out from my last run, I was thanking God I hadn’t tried to run that Saturday morning because I knew it wasn’t looking good for me and what this cold was turning into.  Two weeks out from my last run, I had a few days of antibiotics in me but still had such a thick, horrible cough that I knew I wouldn’t be running in the near future.  I was also thinking there was a decent chance I wouldn’t be running Austin at all and I came to terms with it.  I was emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually exhausted so I surrendered peacefully, something not in my norm AT ALL.  I really turned a big corner yesterday, though. It was weird, but probably was directly tied to the fact that I had been getting good sleep, at least 7 hours, every night the past week and guess what?  I felt better!  And my body healed faster!  Not rocket scientist stuff here, but such a good reminder for me.

Three weeks out from my last run, which was this morning, and I was ready to get out there and see what happened.  Although, I walked outside when it was in the mid-30s with a 12-15mph wind and thought “um, I didn’t miss this part of it all.”  I thought this morning would be telling.  If I struggled really hard, I knew the Austin half would still be attempted but I’d just treat it as a long run and not a race.  We had 6.5 miles on the schedule, including a 1.5 mile warm up, 4 miles of half marathon goal pace, and 1 mile cool down. Denise and I discussed it (huge side note – I WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER!!!!!! I miss my ladies on so many different levels so to finally see a friendly face, after 3 weeks, was fantastic!) and thought we probably would just skip the goal pace work and get the miles in.  I started running and I felt okay.  I kept waiting for my legs to feel like bricks but it never happened.  Can’t say I felt light on my feet out there but I wasn’t trudging through, either.  We finished the warm up and then started the goal pace work.  We weren’t quite where we needed to be, but considering this was my first run in 3 weeks, I was very happy and encouraged by my performance out there.

12:20, 12:22, 11:57, 11:53, 11:27, 11:21, 11:59

My half marathon goal pace for Austin should be around 11:10 but I’m not sure I can pull it off on that course and one week of running after a 3 week hiatus.  My clock time from last year was a 2:55:09, 13:22 pace, but the wheels on my bus fell off around mile 10.  I want to keep all of my wheels this year!  I’m thinking an 11:30-12 pace is more realistic, probably closer to 12.  Even if I run on the slower end of that goal, I’ll still kill my 2011 time.  I’m certainly not going to run it conservatively.  I’m racing it.  If I lose a wheel, so be it.  Hopefully they won’t all fall off, but I’m giving it everything I can so I know I tried my best.

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