Thought I'd have one last go at lunchtime; to achieve the target I set for myself to run 3 miles in 20 minutes. I wanted to end my training on a high. It was risky, since a failure would have set me worrying just before race. I've been building up to this for the last 6-7 weeks.
I warmed up for 5 minutes, stretched, and took some deep breaths to get my respiration going. For the first time, I put my mp3 player on, and dialled up my 2 favourite tracks, which would last for 19 minutes. I ran at 14.4kph for 19 minutes. I remained relaxed throughout. Don't get me wrong it was hard work, but I relaxed into it. I got some lifts from the music, a real big one between 14-16 minutes which set me up for the final blast. At 18:50 seconds, I threw off the MP3 player, and I turned the treadmill up to 16.4kph, then, worried that I wouldn't quite make it (I would have been right), I set it up to 17, then 17.4 for the last half minute. The clock stopped at 20 minutes, 4.83km (a few steps over 3 miles). I was running like a bat out of hell for that last minute, but strangely you know I think I had more to give. I let out a fairly quite "Yes"!!!
So, I've done it. I'm not sure if I could do this as a teenager, or maybe I've never been able to do it in my life. Now I have. I realise that a lot of runners will just dismiss this as easy to them, but it's been hard for me, and I really feel like I've worked for it. What I am most happy about is that I am going into the Atacama on a upward curve of fitness and not a plateau. I'm am fitter than I have ever been before. Happy days. I'm packing later, I'll post some final details tomorrow.