Yes, because I've paid and booked my spot for Sunday's Yeovil Half Marathon!
Apart from the one remaining 30 minute run this week, I've completed all my mini training plan runs to hopefully get me back up to Half Marathon fitness with a 10.5 mile run in the bag at the end of last week.
The 10.5 mile run wasn't without its challenges though.....walk breaks seem to come at the wrong time and despite my efforts to practice my pre run refuelling strategy; a stressful work day led to a 3 hour delay to my run which completely messed up what time I should eat and then during the run for some reason I only had plain water to rely on to keep my energy levels stocked up. As a result the strategy or lack of didn't work all that well as I had the normal motivational wobble at the 8-9 mile mark and the warm weather certainly made me feel severely fatigued after some of the difficult hills! However, I managed to keep going and even with the walk breaks, I managed to beat my 10 mile / 15Km personal bests by 4 minutes!
Despite the fact that I'm about a stone lighter in weight and what some people have said, I am certainly not as fit as I was when I completed the Salisbury Half Marathon last year as I could not of run this 10 mile run non stop and in all honesty I don't want to run those kind of distances non stop any more! It was great having breaks as they relieved a lot of pre run anxiety/stress, they allowed me to enjoy the scenery more, collect my thoughts and refocus on the remainder of the run!
The main challenges for the race will be breathing control, motivation and energy levels. There is no music/headphones allowed so it will be difficult for me to keep track of my pace and in the later stages music normally helps keep me going....so I'm hoping that the familiarity of the running route, the atmosphere of the race, other runners and the thought of getting a completion medal at the end will keep my determination in check! Obviously, I will be trying hard to get my fuel strategy right on the day and leading up to the run as well so that my energy levels remain topped up throughout and don't flag when I need them most!
I certainly will be using the Galloway technique of walk breaks in the race although despite untested I may for the race to change their ratio. I currently run 5 minutes in every 6 on longer runs but, for the race I'm may look at dropping this to 4 minutes in every 5 which is closer to what Galloway suggests for my pace level. The added bonus of these breaks this time will allow me to keep my pace in check and to take maximum amount of water on board at the drinking stations!
Let's see if I can finish the race and if I do so, how close I can get to my Personal Best. As always, I will complete a full race report following the run, so wish me luck and check back next week to see how I got on!