Monday, May 18, 2009

when training pays off

In addition to tapering, another great perk of marathon training occurs when one runs a race two or three weeks before the marathon and can see the positive effects of being in "marathon shape". I first experienced this phenomenon in 2006, three weeks before the Marine Corps Marathon when I ran the Army 10 Miler at a pace of 8:57 per mile (a record for me!). Yesterday, Brad and I both achieved new personal bests at the Capitol Hill Classic. Granted, it was only a 10K (6.2 miles), but my pace was 8:50 per mile and Brad's was an impressive 7:30 per mile! And the race felt easy and incredibly short, compared to the distances that we've been running lately. We both had plenty of juice left at the finish line, which is always an awesome feeling.

These small victories make the training time and miles worth it because setting new personal best paces and finishing the race with energy does not occur at marathons (at least, not for us). Our goal is simply to finish, which takes an exorbitant amount of time and every last bit of energy that we have.

So for now, I'll revel in the knowledge that running more than 300 miles over the past four months has resulted in an 8:50/mile pace in a 10K race, a victory that I'll happily accept.

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