In just 8 days, I’ll join a large number of other runners at the start line of the Lake Minneola Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in Clermont, Florida. Up to this point, I’ve only run 5Ks (3.1 miles) so this is a big jump in distance but I believe that I’m ready for it.

As I enter the last week, I would have normally done a ‘taper.’ That’s where I begin to reduce my weekly mileage. My body will have already benefited from the weeks of preparation and I would have moved into the phase of using less energy so that I could use it for the actual race.

Unfortunately, I developed trouble with my Achilles tendon a month ago. I had to drastically reduce my mileage to speed up the healing process. In reducing my mileage, I had to abandon my training schedule that was tailor made for running a half marathon.

That being said, I still think I can do well in this race. I’ve heard that the course is reasonably flat and it will begin at 7am (before it gets hot!) so my goal is to be able to complete the 13.1 miles in 2 hours or less. Doing it in that time frame will mean I have to run at a 9:11 pace (average a 9 minute, 11 second mile) or quicker.

Ultimately, though, my primary goal is just to finish! I can’t wait to experience this race and use what I learn to begin focusing on longer races!