12 miles closer…

…to finishing what I started. 

And after this morning’s run – our last long training run before the YuKanRun half marathon – and I feel ready for all 13.1 miles.

And I’m most certainly ready to run a race I’m proud of. This has been my ultimate goal since I signed up for this race. Not to PR (though, after today’s run – 12 miles in 2:08, I can see the potential for a PR there…), but to race proud, to race strong, to cross that finish line with a beaming smile.

The route we chose for today’s run was basically a merger of two of our favorite midrange runs. I went into it thinking “Ok, so this is just two routes, kind of like two runs, I can totally do this…” but once I got going, the thought of picking up a second route after “finishing” the first felt kind of daunting. Ok, I’ll be honest – it felt really daunting. So instead, I focused on running the mile I’m in – one of Jo’s blog friends commented on one of her running posts with that phrase and it’s totally stuck with me ever since. And it WORKS, lemme tell ya. Rather than think about all those miles ahead of me – I focused on trucking along, one mile at a time.

What I did notice is that my knees didn’t really start to bug me until the last two or three miles, which I call a victory compared to last week’s 11-miler where my knees started to talk to me around mile 7 or 8. So hopefully, I’m still doing right by them (they aren’t yelling at me now, a good sign…). What also helped was taking two Clif Shot blox vs. just one like I did last week. I swear part of it is mental, but physically it seemed to help me power through when my legs felt particularly heavy.

By the time we rounded the corner to the last half mile before the finish, I was feeling really good – tired, but good. And it surprised me somehow. I remember that last mile of the half last year and how awful I felt, totally burnt out, totally spent, totally DONE (and very dehydrated as  I’d find out later).

The feeling I felt in the last mile of the 12 today is exactly how I want to feel in that last mile next Sunday.
…I know I’ll be tired.
…I know it’ll be hard. 
…But I also know that I’m ready.

To finish what I started. Or, to “crush it” as my friend, Stephanie tweeted to me this morning.

So that’s what I plan to do: crush it. 😉