12 weeks of half marathon training are now in the books. Just under 2 weeks until the half itself! 12/19 I completed my longest training run (12.2 miles) with the 3 min walk/1 min run intervals. I finished within pace requirements even with 5 stoplights that I had to wait for. I also tried out my new fuelbelt during that run (A 4-bottle Helium Fuelbelt). Yes, I know I really should have tried it on a shorter run first but everything worked out fine---and I LOVE the belt. It worked out great, no movement and my arms didn't hit the bottles. I used 2 bottles for G2 and the other 2 for plain water (to have with my gels). Even with all four bottles full I didn't feel the weight on my waist/hips at all.
Now for Christmas---DH got me some AWESOME presents. A set of Klipsch earbuds that work with my iPod shuffle (man do these things sound great!)...a Nikon Coolpix 10MP digital camera with a 4GB SD card (OMG this camera is so light it feels like I'm holding a feather, will be perfect to have along to take pics during the half!)...and finally........a Garmin Forerunner 305! Now, I've heard plenty of running friends online talk about the 305 and how much they like it. I tried it out on my 10.2 miler yesterday (more on that in a bit) and WOW! This is the absolute coolest gadget I've ever had. I set it up Friday night...had the screen set up to show time elapsed, distance traveled and current pace (plus it showed my heart rate in tiny numbers up in the corner). It was so cool to be able to look at all that information during my run. I think it helped me to go faster since if I looked at it and it showed my pace was lower than what the pace requirements are for the race, I picked up my pace. Another cool feature-I turned on the "Autopause" which stops the timer when you stop moving like for stoplights! When I got back to the house, I hooked it up to my computer (which BTW is now a Macbook Pro---DH bought a new one so I got his old one) and it uploaded the info from my run. It displayed all the info for me---time, distance, pace, avg heart rate, max heart rate, avg speed, max speed...plus it had charts showing the change in speed over time, elevation and heart rate over time (for all of those, picture a printout from an EKG, that's what those looked like). So I'm totally in love with my 305! I'm still keeping my Polar F11 HRM for gym workouts and as a backup "just in case" but for any walks/runs it's the 305 all the way!
Back to yesterday's run. After doing 12.2 miles the prior week, now I am tapering until the half so yesterday was 10.2 miles...but doing 3 min walk/2 min run intervals instead of the 3/1's. As I mentioned earlier, when I would look at my 305 and see my pace slowing a bit, I would go faster and I think that is what helped me lower my pace. My overall pace for the entire 10.2 miles (including a 10 minute warm up walk and 5 minute cool down walk) was 15:13 min/mile---my fastest pace yet for a LR. And I'm not even going at race pace. So I'm more confident now about my ability to stay ahead of the sweepers during the half.
Weekday training runs are now getting shorter plus my next LR on Saturday will be only 7 miles. The Saturday after that is the race! I'm getting really excited, I can't wait to get up there! I've got my packing list started and am making my final meal reservations. Not much longer to go!