There's just two weeks left before the Mercer Island Half-Marathon. I've been having a little trouble with my shins; at first I thought it was the increased mileage, but then I had the same realization I had given Bruce grief about: it was time to replace the shoes after so many miles (about 250 running plus a bunch walking). So yesterday, I bought a new pair of Saucony Grid Omni 6, the updated version of the Grid Omni 4 I had been using.
I set out for my long run today with my new shoes. It was raining pretty steadily (I know, hard to believe it's raining in Seattle in March) and I considered bailing. Fortunately, it was pretty warm (58F). I was aiming for two hours and at least ten miles - both new records for me. I finished the two hour run with 11.28 miles, an average pace of 10:12/mile. If I run my half at that pace, I would finish in 2:13 (that's two hours and thirteen minutes); I'd be super happy with this time, especially since the Mercer route is so hilly. I felt good through the whole run with only the hint of cramps in my thighs at eleven miles; I know could have run two more miles. I'm feeling much more confident about the upcoming race.
Today was the day to try things out. In addition to the new shoes, I had a new Amphipod RunLite TrailRunner belt; this belt lets me carry two 10oz water bottles and a pouch for Gu gels and other stuff. It's much more comfortable than my old water belt and it has room to carry the gels I need for the run. However, my iRiver Clix player doesn't clip on well to the belt (sizes don't match); I discovered this when my Clix took a dive off the belt and skittered across the sidewalk. I carried it in my vest pocket the rest of the time. (Fortunately, the Clix survived.) I won't be carrying my water for the race, but I need it for my long runs. I may carry my own gels; we'll see.
I was also trying out a pair of Smartwool socks and Pearl Izumi Infinity shorts. I like them both, especially the shorts. I didn't think I could tell the difference between shorts, but these were really comfortable; the liner is especially nice. Nothing like trying out a pile of new stuff just before a race.
I still need to settle on a playlist for the race. I had my Clix on random shuffle, going through everything on the player. I forgot I hadn't taken my Christmas music off the player, so I had a bunch of random holiday tunes playing for much of the run.