Last year I ran my first competitive half marathon in Verona in one hour, forty-four minutes and eleven seconds. Yesterday I ran it again, although the route was slightly different, and I finished in an hour, thirty-six minutes and forty-eight seconds.
I’d been stuck at over 1.37 since May 2012, so it was good to finally see some progress. A whole minute! My trainer said I should have taken it easy: our goal is my marathon, not setting a personal record for the half. But he was thrilled for me nonetheless. Even though I messed up my ankle/Achilles tendon a little near the end and hopefully it’s nothing serious and will not interfere with the rest of my marathon preparation.
The Verona half marathon is one of my favorites. You run through the city, along the Adige River, and come through Verona’s famous Arena just before the finish. I like city races, even though they are curvier, with little hills here and there and cobble stones and sidewalks and sign posts in the way. But there is something about running through an old Italian city, past its churches and porticoes and a castle on a hill, that is very inspiring.
Barcelona is one month away, less a day. It will be another city race, and I can’t wait.