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The Year of the Half

Michelle returns this weekend to the race that got her hooked on running - and racing - 10 years ago, and is anxious to see what a difference 10 years of experience will make!

After my bizarre, out-of-the-blue allergic reaction Saturday night, I was really hoping to have a great run Sunday morning - one of the ones where I felt healthy and fit and strong the whole time. I needed that validation.

Luckily, I got it. I planned to run 10 miles, but was feeling so great that I ended up running just over 12. And I ran an 8:09 pace. And I felt fabulous the entire time. Good stuff.

Since I raced last week, and am racing again this weekend, it'll be a while before I do track work again, and I feel like I actually kind of miss it. I think I do miss the challenge a wee bit, but more than that, I miss my track partner. Now that school's back in session, and soccer has started, it's becoming more difficult for me to get out to group runs, and I'm missing the company.

Hopefully when I'm back in marathon training mode this winter, it'll be a little easier to meet up with people at least for my weekend long runs. I've done plenty of 20-milers solo, but I'd rather not do it too often, if I can help it.

Last year at this time, I was a bundle of nerves, counting down to Hartford, and wondering if I was going to be able to pull of my BQ time. And this year, I'm a bundle of nerves again - I've got my qualifying time, but since I'll be the last group to have an opportunity to register, it remains to be seen whether or not I'll actually get in before the race fills up.

I'm also a bundle of nerves thanks to the next race on my schedule - the Shoreline Biathlon in Westerly. Back to the race that started it all, 10 years ago - the first time I ever pinned a race bib to my shirt.

I fully anticipate a PR, and I think I even have a shot at an age-group award, so I'm excited to get out there and see what I can do. A little nervous, too, but it's more excited pre-race jitters than anything. I'll never get tired of those : )

I'll be feeling plenty of them come October - the race I've been working up to all summer - 13.1 in Newport, the final leg of the Triple Crown, and what will be my 5th half-marathon for the year.

I have one more half before that - Zooma Cape Cod - but I'm not planning on going all out at that one. The main reason I'm doing it is so I can have a weekend getaway on the Cape with a friend, and get to meet Sarah Bown Shea and Dimity McDowell, the authors of Run Like a Mother, as well as meeting up with some of the fabulous women from the Run Like a Mother Facebook community they've created.  The race is just the icing on the cake : )  I'm not going to run it at an easy pace, but I am going to save the real race pace for Newport.

Since Newport was my first full marathon, 4 years ago, this race is even more special to me.

Not only do I get to go back and run almost the same 13.1 miles that I ran in 2008 (the first half of the course is a little different now than it was then, but does cover much of the same territory), but I get to do it as a now three-time marathoner, a Boston qualifier, and a Gansett finisher. I've come a long way in those 4 years, and I think I'm going to reflect on that as I run in Newport again. 

And I'm also going to reflect on how happy I'll feel when I turn off to the finish chute at the 13.1 mile mark, instead of having to run twice that distance!!!  I'm excited to run 26.2 again next year, but happy to not be running it next month!

For more from Michelle, check out Me and the Boys, her blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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