I haven't had any doubts about my legs being ready, but I've been worried about my lungs. It's that crappy time of year where it's in the 40s at night and 70s or 80s during the day. Unfortunately, my lungs do not handle those wide temperature variations very well, and I have been coughing up a lung for the last 2 weeks.
Today, I was still coughing, but only a little bit, and it wasn't painful anymore. I actually felt good enough to break out of a jog and actually work my lungs with a run. I was finally able to run hard enough to be slightly out of breath the whole time (sometimes more than slightly). This is a change from my last few runs which I kept slow enough that I never had to breathe hard.
I wanted a longer run today, and hadn't actually planned on running particularly hard. But it was a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon, and I was feeling strong. It was perfect running weather and I wanted to RUN. So run I did. I ran a loop that has two tough climbs, both 0.6 miles, one with 225 ft of elevation gain and the other with 249 ft of gain. I ran each of them about 40 seconds faster than last time. Last time was a 10.1 mile run at an average 8:51 pace. Today was 11.3 miles at an average 7:55. I finally feel like I'm coming back, and I love it!
I won't be getting a course or dIstance PR at Beckley this year, but that's ok. I'm really just glad that I will be able to participate. I love races, and it has been 5 months since my last one! Beckley will be a good place for me to see how my legs/lungs hold up for the distance, before I run the tougher Lewisburg 1/2 on October 25.
*update : just looked at my splits from today's run...my first five miles were all under 7:30, and my first mile was 6:17. Granted, those miles had a lot of downhills but still...I didn't know I was going that fast! My other miles were all above 8, and some above 9, but they involved mountains so...it's pretty understandable. Glad to see I could pull out a 6:17 first mile and still have a great run!