Happy holiday-weekend Sunday, readers! I started my day with a smoothie (no coffee all weekend, thank you very much), this time with rolled oats in it. I got this idea from the blog Kath Eats Real Food. I love getting lots of whole grains, and “add it to the smoothie” is pretty much the easiest way to get more of anything in your diet. I didn’t taste much of a difference at all, maybe a little bit more nuttiness, but nothing major. It did make the smoothie a little thicker and tough to drink though, so I’ll probably save this for the weeks leading up to races, when I’m trying to load up on carbs.
And what a convenient segue into what I really want to write about today: that the Maryland Half Marathon is next Sunday! To be honest, I have no idea what to expect in terms of time. I’ve only run two official half marathons before, both as a means to get myself running again after a lot of time off. In fact my fastest half marathon was actually run during the Baltimore Marathon, when I ran the first half in 1:35. This is exactly the Boston-qualifying pace, but to qualify you need to maintain it for 26.2 miles. In other words, you can’t die on the course after keeping it up for 16 miles, which is essentially what I did in that marathon, dragging myself across the finish line with a second-half time of around 1:49. This, marathoners-in-training, is not the ideal way to run one!
At this point in my training– remember my goal is to qualify for Boston at the Wineglass Marathon in October– I hope to be able to run another 1:35 half on Sunday. If you’d have asked me a few months ago, I’d have said 1:25 or 1:30 were a reasonable goal. But unfortunately, my knee issue has kept me from running hard more than twice per week. It hasn’t affected any of my recent runs, but it has been hurting me some in between and I’ve had to be very careful to get a lot of rest between workouts.
So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know anything about the course or, more importantly, what kind of mood my knee will be in on that day. Race days have a way of dealing out surprises, sometimes good, sometimes very bad, so I won’t take anything for granted until 13 of the 13.1 miles are behind me.
Since the race is next week and I ran 12 miles last weekend, I took it easy on the knee today. Erin and I went for a bike ride in the morning, and it’s always a tough workout for me to keep up with Erin. Besides the fact that she’s just a better rider, my bike is totally nubbins! It’s my dad’s old Schwin Montague, which I believe was pretty cool when he bought it in the early 90′s (it’s a mountain bike that folds up to fit in cars, planes, etc.), but now it’s a total piece. Maybe I’ll be able to sell it as an antique when it’s time for me to buy a real road bike!
After our ride we went for a half-hour run with the dogs to wear them out, and my knee felt fine during that. So I do have some confidence in it. I’ll do one more track workout this Wednesday, and on race day I’ll just have to “dance with what I brung”! Rest assured: whatever the result, I’ll have pictures aplenty. And barring an emergency ride in the relaxi taxi, I’ll have another medal to hang on my wall. And you never know– if the knee is kind, maybe a personal best half-marathon time.
Ok, I have to run. I’m baking some whole wheat and rye bread today and it’s just about done. I never bake, so the fact that our house is still inhabitable is an accomplishment in itself. Enjoy your Memorial Day, and don’t let anyone feed you fake food! Come back tomorrow; I have what Erin and I both agree is our best vegetarian meal yet for you!