Week 11…..done!! I absolutely had a blast during training this week; all 38 miles of it! My legs aren’t too happy with me right now and my IT band has already made it known that it wants some group therapy with me and the foam roller for the beating I it gave earlier, but all-in-all I feel fantastic and accomplished!
Accomplished: Proficient as the result of practice or training <an accomplished dancer>.
Well, I’m swapping dancer with runner. Although, I would love to be a dancer, I’m just not that graceful. Case in point, I fell down the stairs after my long run yesterday. Woops.
My midweek runs aren’t really worth mentioning other than the further I get into this training, the more the intensity dials up. I’m loving the speed work but between strides, Yassos and marathon pacing sessions, my legs are like jello and begging for a day off.
So I gave them Friday off and most of Saturday. I did do a one mile test drive on my new kicks Saturday; 7:21 pace for the mile, not bad, Gina, not bad. So my legs were pretty fresh and happy for Sunday’s 20 miler. Yep, you read that right, 20 miler! I have been eyeballing / dreading / anticipating this run on my training plan since May.
Saturday night, I gathered all my gear together so I could sleep as long as possible but when my alarm went off around 4:00am I was not ready to get up. I begrudgingly drug my behiny (thanks Stacey for that word – love it!) out of bed to make the 45 minute drive to meet my running girls. We usually do our long runs on Saturday but had to swap it this week due to some scheduling issues.
When we finally got to our meeting, I went potty one last time (TMI? sorry…), and then we were off! We did two 10 mile loops. The first loop was uneventful except for a snarky runner tell us that we were running on the wrong side of the road. Really? I just looked at her and said “Good morning”. I’m well aware of what side of the road to run on. Some people, I tell ya… I did get to run through a gaggle of geese which made me less aggravated.
Somewhere around mile 12 I lost my running girls. They stopped to grab some water but I kept going, not wanting to break my pace; I knew the route so I wasn’t worried about getting lost. As much as I love running with my girls, it was surprisingly nice to have time to myself to ponder the wonders of the universe and come up with a solution to world peace. Ok, just kidding on that; I didn’t come up with a solution for world peace. But I did take the time to meditate for several miles and work some things out in my head. It’s amazing what some miles on an open road can do as far as sorting out life things.
I heard my Garmin beep and realized that I’d made it to 18 miles and still felt fabulous. Then another beep. 19 miles. Finally, the beep that I’d been anticipating my entire summer….20 miles! But I wasn’t ready to stop running yet – crazy, right? I ended up doing 21 miles total – I can’t believe it!! I got back to my car, grabbed my Cytomax and Clif Bar and then dipped my legs in the pool. Sooooo nice; almost instant relief. We hung around the pool for a bit and then we stopped at Cracker Barrel where I got a protein/pancake fix! It was great and I ate almost all of it!!
I didn’t run the 21 miles at a fast pace by any means (it wasn’t slow either, just average) but I’m very grateful to have had the experience. I’m reminded at how fortunate I’ve been to avoid injury during this training as several runners I know have had to defer their MCM entry to next year. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is to make that decision.
Question: Have you ever found your groove doing something and not wanted to stop?