Half Marathon Training – Week 11

Monday
My office’s staff appreciation day was Monday. The first half of the day involved a scavenger hunt at the zoo. It was a pretty sneaky way to get us all to be active for three hours. We walked all over the zoo and considering I was on my feet for an hour longer than I expect to be for my half marathon, I decided to skip my run.

The St. Louis Zoo is really nice. I’ve spent hours in Forest Park running around the zoo but I hadn’t been in the zoo in a few years and I was reminded that I should take advantage of it more often–it’s a short drive from my house and it’s free! Here’s a bunch of animal photos:

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These train tracks are right near the cheetah area. Unfortunately all the cheetahs were in their cages and we needed a photo for our scavenger hunt. One of my coworkers decided to walk to the left on the train tracks to get to the back area where the cheetahs are kept. We thought he was nuts but sure enough he was able to lead us down the tracks and up a hill where a cheetah was resting comfortably in his cage.

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I was probably 6 feet from this guy. It was thrilling to be close enough to pet him through the cage (wanted to, didn’t). And fortunately no one saw us.

We also had close access to elephants from our spot down the train tracks.

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These kangaroos were laying on their backs. Our dog Leonard does this when he wants to be petted on his tummy.

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I realize this tiger could dismantle me very easily but I always want to snuggle these guys and take a nap with them when I see them.

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I like gorillas, but boy do they smell. We couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

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This guy looked so full of joy as he did laps around his tank. Yes, I wanted to jump in with him too.

Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 0 miles

Tuesday
I was still sore from Sunday’s 10k on Tuesday but I hit the treadmill anyway (I think that’s easier on my legs than outside). The miles on this run flew by. My leg was bothering me a little so I tried to use the miles to work through that pain by breathing and zeroing in on my posture and the way my legs were hitting the treadmill. I tried to lift up my legs to move forward rather than push down on the treadmill. It’s a small distinction but I feel like my steps are lighter when I do that. I also tried to lean forward slightly and visualize a rope pulling me forward from the middle of my chest. These are techniques I read about in the book Chi Running and I do think they help.

Scheduled mileage: 5 miles
Actual mileage: 5.03 miles in 46:01 minutes, a 9:09 pace

Song from my Run: “Peg”, Steely Dan. Tracy and I saw them at The Fox a couple years ago and despite it feeling a bit like an AARP convention we had a great time. They brought the house down when they played “My Old School”.
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Thursday
Another treadmill run.

Scheduled mileage: 3 miles
Actual mileage: 3.01 miles in 27:01 minutes, an 8:58 pace

Song from my run: “Send Me on My Way”, Rusted Root. My friends and I were pretty obsessed with this song sophomore year of college.
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Sunday
My 9:30-10 pace group only had four of us in it plus our pacer Megan. It was kind of nice because we could all talk to each other. I’m becoming pro-talking during long runs. It really takes care of the boredom that’s inevitable during a repetitive task. I’m not ready to give up music during runs though. It’s always on, in this case at a low volume.

Scheduled mileage: 12 miles
Actual mileage: 8.41 miles in 1:21:13, a 9:39 pace.
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Song from my run: “Hold on to the Nights”, Richard Marx. I’d put my phone in my Flipbelt so I just let it play. I like the song; it’s just not the best pace for running.
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