Hills and Mock Race – Great Confidence Boost

We finished our first week of tapering with an eight-mile-hilly route Saturday. We ran the route I used when I didn’t do hill-repeat workout training for the Indianapolis Half Marathon. Overall we finished the week with 24 miles, which is down 25 percent from the last two weeks mileage of 32.

Saturday’s run served two purposes for us – 1. hills to make us stronger for what I have been told is a fairly flat course in Columbus for the Mill Race Half Marathon. 2. Although it wasn’t flat the route had long stretches of road without any turns. As I look at the Mill Race Half Marathon course it appears there are long stretches of straight roads. We hadn’t run this particular route since July 4 and I thought for our next-to-last-long run it would be good for us.

It was also our first run wearing our race-day outfits. Basically, we are wearing shorts we’ve had, but I went and got us matching shirts to wear for the race. They go well with the shoes we got Ryan last week. Here are the pictures of Ryan’s old shoes and the new ones we got him.

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The bottom of Ryan’s heel from his old shoes. We definitely have put the miles in this summer

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Ryan’s new kicks – Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15s; he’ll be running happy now

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Ryan modeling our race-day outfit

Obviously you can tell Ryan is quite the heel striker when it comes to his running. We got him the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15s. Hopefully. these shoes last longer three months. If he’s going to have any success, he was going to need a quality shoe on race day.

Sundays are usually our rest day. Getting up and running on Sundays really rushes us because we have to get back, shower then eat breakfast before we go to church. We usually do other family activities on Sundays which also makes getting a run in on this day difficult.

This Sunday was different since the neighbors, who we were supposed to run with on Labor Day, were available to run that morning. We met them at the corner of our streets at 7 a.m. After talking for a few minutes, we finally decided to take off. I said “GO” and one of the runners, who is on the varsity cross-country team at the local high school. took off. It seemed like he was already at the end of the street and making the turn to cross the bridge into the other subdivision as we reached one of the courts on our first street.

The main objective of this run was to see how Ryan would respond running with a group and not just the two of us. Most of the time I lead us through our route and then toward the end of our run Ryan picks up his pace and then we reach one of our landmarks and he turns his kick on and catches me and passes me at the end.

He didn’t do that Sunday. He took the lead right from the beginning. Although I want it to be different on race day with us starting slowly and then building to a strong finish, I didn’t mind him bolting out like he did Sunday. He wasn’t going to catch the varsity runner, but it was good for him to finally lead. I didn’t wear a watch or my phone, but the Dad of the group running with us did. As we reached the midway point of the path his “Jane” gave us the distance of one mile and the pace and I almost had to stop because of what was said.

Ryan looked back at me and I said to him, “Just keep running. You’re doing awesome.”

When we got to the street that goes into another subdivision we saw the varsity runner and he glided along. Ryan continued his strides and he looked effortlessly as well. The Dad, along with the family dog, had to slide back to be with the younger son but told Ryan and I to go on and we were doing great. As we made the turn into the cul-de-sac where we usually turn around to head back home I finally got the water bottle out of my belt for us to get a drink. I asked Ryan how he was doing. He said he felt good. I asked him if he had anything left for a kick at the end and he said he did.

We left the cul-de-sac to head back home. I finally stayed with Ryan as we made the turn on the road which led back into our subdivision. We passed the yellow pole we had been using a marker to begin the kick. I wondered how he would respond. Would he stay at the same pace? Would he go another gear and go faster?

BOOM!

I didn’t have to wait for my answer. He took off at the yellow pole. Then he really accelerated when we made the turn on the final street toward our “finish line.” We reached the cul-de-sac of the street and he let out a loud “kiai” as he has lately. He kept getting faster and I did what I could to keep up. We crossed the finish line and Ryan had a huge smile on his face as did I. The varsity runner who had been sitting on his porch, got up and met us. We waited for his Dad and brother to arrive, which they did about three minutes later.

I am not exactly sure what the time was because as I said earlier I didn’t have a timing device. I can tell you it was faster than Ryan’s time in the Race Away Domestic Violence 5K.

All I know is that it gave Ryan a lot of confidence that he can go at that pace and me assurance he’ll be fine on race day.

With less than two weeks left before Mill Race Half Marathon, that’s exactly what we needed.

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