As always with life, my training has fallen off a bit and I haven't done a long run in 3 weeks. Today is the last long run before the Valley Harvest Half Marathon, and the schedule called for 20 km. At one point this week we had entertained the idea of finishing the 15 km and heading back out to do another 5 to get in the full training run. Once the reality of today set in however, there was no way that was going to happen. At the 13 km mark I was ready to call it quits and sit on one of the nice benches that were along the route and have a good cry. I wasn't hurt, or even sore from running, I was simply convinced that I couldn't do it. I worked hard to get out of my head and to keep just putting one foot in front of the other. The next 1.5 km were some of the hardest I have ever run.
The last .5 km was one of the best times I've had running, even though I couldn't breath and had to use my asthma inhaler. 2 friends - Jeannette and Teresa - who had already finished their races, walked back out onto the course to meet me. I'm pretty sure if they hadn't I would have given up and walked the rest of the way. The only problem was that I got all emotional seeing them and started to tear up, which triggered an asthma attack. Teresa talked me through some calming, breathing exercises and I got things under control enough to run the rest of the way to the finish line, with friends on either side of me.
I finished the race with a time of 02:38:30, which is right on par for where my pace is these days, so I'm now feeling better about my ability to finish a half marathon in just 14 days!