Thankfully, my craptastic run a week ago was a fluke. I moped around for a little bit, looked up reassuring articles about a bad run, and got over it. (One thing that stuck with me: bad runners do not have good runs, but good runners do occasionally have bad runs!)
Monday I did a nice, relaxing 4+ miler before yoga class. One thing that makes the Garmin awesome - I can just start running without a pre-planned route. As long as I halfway know the neighborhood, I can just have fun running up and down random streets until I've run about the distance I want to run. Good times.
Tuesday was speedwork night. The speedwork pace was based on our goal pace, which I'm still trying to somewhat narrow down but I think 10:30 may be a doable marathon pace for me (although there's a coach that doesn't agree....he also doesn't realize how stubborn I am!) Of course, then I inadvertantly got into an even faster group for the speedwork repeats...but I kept up with them. I'm slowly realizing that when I'm running with other people, I run faster than I think I can. I'm not even talking about killing myself trying to keep up; I mean I match their cadence, settle in, then look at my Garmin and think, "well, holy crap."
So glad I finally got over my insecurity about running with a group. I'm really not the slowest runner in the world. Matter of fact, I'm faster than I think I am.
My runs for the rest of the week have been quite satisfying, including running over 12 1/2 miles yesterday - 12.5 HILLY miles! I've broken the mental barrier I'd developed around double-digit runs, and judging by the pace (10:38, AKA 1:14 faster than my Air Force Half pace), my next half marathon (March) will be a PR that will blow my previous 13.1 time out of the water. SWEET. (Did I mention that compared to yesterday's run, the AF Half was awfully flat??)
And I have to give a shoutout to my running buddy, who is making these long training runs a million times more enjoyable than my long runs were when I was training for the half. I very much remember my longest runs in the weeks beforehand, and how they pretty much all ended with me all but crawling home.
Holy crap. I just realized something: yesterday's run was my farthest run ever, besides the half-marathon itself (which included several walking breaks.) Yesterday there was no walking, except about 2 miles in when the bridge (which pretty much has enough room for a single-file line of people) got overcrowded.
The 26.2 seems more and more doable with every run that I do.