When you reach Washington Road, you know the end is near. The hills are gone and the rest of the course is mostly downhill.
What could possibly go wrong?
If you didn't adequately replenish your body with a sports drink, gel or food, you might experience what has become known as bonking (formerly know as "hitting the wall"). That's when your body runs out of glycogen and glucose and must convert fat for fuel.
During the 2013 GRU Augusta Half Marathon, I learned firsthand what it feels like to bonk. It wasn't pleasant.
After running 5 miles on a mostly flat course, you will begin your slow climb into the hills of Augusta.
If you look down Walton Way from 15th Street, you will notice almost a mile of gentle incline. From there it gets steeper as you pass Academy of Richmond County.
Once you reach the curve around the The Partridge Inn, you will fully understand why this section of town is called "The Hill".
You might be surprised by how slow the GRU Augusta Half Marathon race begins.
It's a large crowd and it just takes a long time for everyone to get going. Runners starting in the back of the line can take almost two minutes just to reach the start line.
REGISTER NOW AND SAVE: Use the code ASCNEWYEAR when you register for the GRU Augusta Half Marathon and save $10. The code expires January 31, 2014, and is good only for the half. CLICK HERE and register!
You might be following a program that says you should be doing 8-mile runs at this point. Feeling stressed out because you've barely cracked 6?
Stay calm and keep running!
REGISTER NOW AND SAVE: Use the code ASCNEWYEAR when you register for the GRU Augusta Half Marathon and save $10. The code expires January 31, 2014, and is good only for the half.
What are you waiting for?
CLICK HERE and register!
With less than two months to go before the Augusta Half Marathon, you might be worried you aren't training enough to complete 13.1 miles. I felt the same way this time last year.
I was following a 12-week training plan downloaded from the Internet. After a few weeks of aggressive training - three runs during the week and a long run on the weekend - I just could not complete the long run listed on the chart.
It was around this time I discovered interval training.
This time of year it's hard to concentrate on training for a half-marathon. Make this a rest week and enjoy time with your family and friends.
However, next week the hardcore training really begins.
You'll need to work off any extra weight you gained and ramp up your mileage.
You haven't run much since your last 10K? I'll have some tips next week to get you in shape and on track.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
This is not a couch to half-marathon program. If you have never run, forget about running 13.1-miles. You might make it, but there's a good chance you'll get hurt along the way.
This blog is for serious runners who are physically fit and have run at least a 10K in the past few months. Anything less, and you should consider competing in the 10K race held on the same morning.