BOOM! So stoked on this week. And yes, I skipped another run. This time, it’s not because of any lame excuse: I did it on purpose. I wanted to be fresh and well-rested for the big 18 miler that capped the week. According to Hal, our week was supposed to be:
- Monday: rest day
- Tuesday: 5 miles
- Wednesday: 8 miles
- Friday: rest day
13 miles18 miles
- Sunday: cross training
The weather is slowly but surely starting to cool down, and I’m so happy for it. I got out for my Tuesday morning 5 miles all by my lonsome, and before I knew it, I was done. Five miles is now flying by and I’m happy for it.
Wednesday, I was planning to run my 8 miles alone but my neighborhood running friend Lindsay had to run 4, so I met her in the middle. I pushed my first mile really fast, met her for 4, then pushed the last three. Despite her usual pace of 12 to 12:30, the average pace for this run ended up at 10:39 since the other four miles were in the low 9′s for me.
I loved mixing it up like that, and the winding around the neighborhood made for an awesome little run map. Red = slow, green = fast. Love it.
Anyway, I was going to get up and do another 5 miles on Thursday, but was very nervous about the planned 18 on Saturday so wanted to rest my legs and be ready. I think it was a good choice.
I relaxed, drank a lot of water, ate a lot of healthy carbs and generally tried not to stress about it too much.
Saturday, Ginger was back in town from her Costa Rican vacation (during which she didn’t even run once) and we were prepped and ready for our 18 miler. At 5:30, it was humid but nice and cool. We all felt good. We were excited to hear about Ginger’s trip, and all left our headphones at the car for the first 8 mile loop. We ran slowly, making sure to stay above an 11-minute pace. By our first stop at the usual 5 mile mark, we all felt great – almost as if we hadn’t even been running yet.
We finished our loop, headed south to tack on an extra mile in each direction, and stopped at the cars for our second fuel break. Adam ate a banana, I had a Gu (trying to make myself like these things but it’s tough), and we all refilled our bottles with water and Gatorade from the icy cooler (best idea ever, btw).
This was at mile 9.5, and we all felt great, still. Ready to tackle the final 8.5. Also, as usual, check out this amazing sunrise. Cloudy skies always mean beautiful sunrises and sunsets – and cool, overcast mornings (yay!). Again, we started out slowly, ran straight through to mile 14ish where we ate and drank a little more. Still feeling good, confident and strong. All of us complained a bit about sore knees or ankles or hamstrings, but we weren’t tired at this point. I can deal with a little soreness!
For the last 4ish miles, Adam and I slowly increased our speed since we were feeling so strong. 11:13, 11:05, 10:38 and our final mile was at 10:31.
Ginger wasn’t far behind, although she had a rougher time with the last few miles having not run in over a week. She finished it though, and I know next week’s 19 will be even easier for her. Adam and I both remarked that we could’ve kept on running – and laughed at the idea of running to 26.2 just so we could say that we’ve finished two marathons.
I needed this long run to be this awesome. I needed it for my confidence, my motivation and my inner peace. Just three more grueling weeks before our taper – and I’m ready.