This morning was my last long run of my current training cycle. Scheduled was a 16 progressive with the last few miles at race pace, and from mile 1 I could tell that my legs just weren't up for it this morning. Rather then make attempts to fumble through what would become a botched and miserable 16 miles, I made the decision to run without concern to pacing and instead focus on the beauty of the lakefront.
Okay, so it wasn't a terrible run it just wasn't the workout I planned...and thats alright. Not looking at my watch and allowing my thoughts to be distracted caused my splits to be all over the place and for me to be a hot mess when I walked in the door. I may have had a little temper tantrum this morning when the hubby finished all of the milk in his cereal and my dreams of my usual extra foamy latte to compliment my hard work disappeared. I am a wee bit cranky when my routine is broken.
15 committed weeks of training have been put into these legs in hopes that next Sunday I will be crossing the finish line of my half marathon sub 1:30. With 8 days to go, I opted to take this mornings run to be a time of reflection and appreciation for my body and its accomplishments. Truthfully one hard workout at this point really will not make a difference. On the back end of my run I made a stop at one of my favorite places in the entire city, the very end of Navy Pier. While most people know Navy Pier for its attractions, they have not yet had the chance to experience the other more serene side of the pier that rarely occurs. It can be quite difficult to find peace in such an urban area, but I have found it on the pier on early morning runs before the hustle and bustle of tourists with their cameras and baby carriages fill the space with laughter and chatter. This has become my unsuspected quiet place.
I was lucky enough to make it to the eastern most point of the pier this drizzly morning where the lake was as smooth as glass and there was not a single other person around. I could have just continued on mindlessly but instead decided to revel in this rare occasion and stop to take in the beauty of the city and spend some time with my thoughts and my God. It was just what I needed.
I don't know what next weekend will hold for me, do I hope that it is a 1:2X:XX finishing time? Yes. But it may not be. I feel strong, and my head is in the game but I know that there are a million things that could happen in the next 8 days and PR's are hard to come by. Maybe it's not my time to break 1:30, maybe it is...who knows. Either way I feel confident that I gave it my all during this training cycle and it's now time to enjoy a well deserved taper.
Do you have a running quiet place?