Cow Bell right around the corner

Just under 4 weeks until the Cowbell Half Marathon and I’m 5 days away from my last and longest “long” run. I’ll be 3 weeks out from the run and it’s taper time. I did lots of things different in my training this time around. My primary goal is to feel confident and good at the start of the race. There’s no getting around that I will also be competing, primarily with myself. I’m still trying to get myself to buy into the “just have fun” place, but realistically I know that at various points of the 13.1 mile run I will be doing whatever I can to transcend the pain of “hard” and just forge ahead. The most fun part of the whole experience will be when I cross the finish and the endorphins are popping all over the place in my head. It’s hard to make sense of it all, but physically and mentally pushing yourself to the limit can bring you a sense of well being that stays far beyond the day of the run.
Although I have a training plan, this time I am trying to stay more in touch with my body and how I am feeling with my runs and workouts. I know what it is like to push myself to a point where I am mentally and physically burnt out and I have learned a lot about how to avoid that place. As usual I’m right on with my diet and find that at 57 I’m probably, “relatively speaking”, as strong and less likely to be injured than many of my much younger counterparts. I can lift, press, etc what I need to enable me to live a quality life and stay in the game.
What I’m doing different this time is I run more hills outdoors. I use the treadmill for training runs only when the temperatures are soaring. Most of my running has been on concrete and trails. I’ve put a little less emphasis on speed workouts for the sake of speed and put more time into just running. I am also doing more strength training with my trainer (my son) so as to enhance muscle to hopefully push through when I need to. My running coach (my youngest daughter) has suggested I do some of my longer runs by time, not by distance. I won’t have my oldest daughter running with me this year and I will miss her. My most recent training runs indicate that I am faster, stronger and enjoying my runs more. I’m hoping that when Cow Bell gets here my training will prove to have been the best for me.