On October 22, I ran the Inside Out Half Maraton in 1:56:53. That's not my best time for a half, but it's three minutes better than my worst. It was a challenging course in Umstead Park, and I didn't train specifically for the race. I tackled the last three hills more steadily and with more confidence than in 2004, and I finished strong. As I told Christopher, I considered it a 13.1 mile training run at marathon pace.
It didn't hurt that I was almost 20 pounds lighter than in 2004.
Thanks to SparkPeople.com, I weight myself every morning and the numbers range from 163 to 168. I can really feel the difference, especially when I run. SparkPeople doesn't offer a diet - it offers a lifestyle change. Just as I've been committed to regular exercise since 1998, I'm now committed to sensible eating. I was on a weight plateau of about 185 pounds since around 2000. I'm on a new plateau where I intend to stay for the rest of my life.
I am eating poultry again. I had not eaten poultry since 1983. But I wasn't getting enough protein. Poultry was the only meat I've missed, so it wasn't hard to take it up again.
For all but three of the last eleven weeks, I've run 30 miles or better. I've not felt sore or exhausted. For the last three long runs in Umstead, I've averaged under 10 minute miles, and they've felt smooth and fluid.
I've plenty to be thankful for this coming Thursday.