Today was my last really long run before the Arizona Half Marathon in 13 days! Eeep! I have to say that I really, really did not want to get up this morning. I had seven hours of meetings on campus yesterday (yes, on a Saturday) and then got to bed a bit late because my IT band strap keeps getting up and wandering away from me in the night. After my IT band was sore last week, the idea of a 12-mile run without it made me a little panicky. Anyway, after three times snoozing the alarm this morning I finally forced myself up and out.
The spirit may have been weak this morning, but my body was ready:
Mile 1: 9:56
Mile 2: 10:18
Mile 3: 10:05
Mile 4: 9:52
Mile 5: 10:03
Mile 6: 9:57
Mile 7: 10:02
Mile 8: 11:07 (Gu and water refill)
Mile 9: 10:18
Mile 10: 10:47 (More water–first fountain was wonky)
Mile 11: 10:25
Mile 12: 10:41 (and another .1 at 9:36/pace)
Total: 12.1 at 10:17
I’m pretty thrilled to have achieved three goals: 1) Finished the 12.1 miles I wanted; 2) Held to the race pace I want, despite making an extra water stop; 3) Reached a new farthest point on the Rillito River Trail where I run. Next week I will cut back mileage on my weekend run in preparation for the race, and at this point a 2:15 finish time seems within reach.
I also had two unexpected surprises on this run, which is nice. First, I found a small outdoor plaza or amphitheater that I never knew existed on the path between La Cañada Drive and La Cholla Blvd. I assume it’s part of the nearby apartment complex, but it’s still pretty cool. My second surprise was even cooler, though. I’m pretty sure that I saw Tucsonan and U.S. Olympic athlete Abdi Abdirahman on my run this morning. It’s actually the second time that I thought I’ve seen him on this trail, but this time he startled me by passing me so close on the left, and when he lapped me and came back, I got a big smile on my face and he smiled back. Again, I’m not 100% sure it was him, but I’m at least 90% sure. And I tweeted him to ask if it was him. So, Mr. Abdirahman, if you see my tweet and happen to find this blog, just know that you made my day today. I ran a bit farther and faster because of you. Unless it wasn’t you. In that case, thank you random smiling stranger!