As of tomorrow I have 6 weeks, or 42 days, or a month and half until the OBX marathon.
I feel ready.
Here is my week:
Sunday: It was rough after my almost back to back long runs but I went to the gym and ran 4 miles in just under 31 minutes. I walked it out about a half mile for a cool down. Then I did 30 minutes of upper body strength training and then some serious stretching.
Monday: Rest, went to see Tara and the baby.
Tuesday: Beau didn't go to school so I didn't get to run until the afternoon. Did a very nice 10 mile run at about an 8 minute mile pace.
Wednesday: I wasn't sure what my plan was but figured I go out and try for at least a 12 miler. I ended up feeling pretty good and did 18 at about a 9 minute mile pace. Then the kids insisted we go to the gym--they love that Kid's Club-- so I did 30 minutes cross training and 30 minutes upper body weights and stretching.
Thursday: In the morning I went out planning to run 6 but as soon as I hit that first downhill--uphill was okay, little stiff--my knees started hurting. I turned around and jogged slowly back home. Only made it about a mile and half total. I took some Motrin and then later jogged the half mile to Carmella's school to test out the legs. Better. So in the evening we went to the gym and I did 4 miles again in just under 31 minutes. I walked a mile cool down and then stretched really good.
Friday: I ran 6 on the treadmill at about a 7:50 pace. I finshed off with a cool down jog for a mile. Then I stretched. I caught some ladies snickering at me but what do I care. As I have said I am pretty flexible so it does a little contorting at times for me to get a stretch.
It was a tough run on the mill. But my thinking/plan has been to try and do 10K runs on my tired sore legs the next day or the day after long runs in under an 8 minute pace per mile. My thinking here is that this will mimick how I will feel in the marathon and I can bust out a fast 10K there at the end. In fact, I have been trying to run all my shorter runs in under 8 minute miles. Additionally, I have also been running the last few miles of my long runs in under marathon pace to further perpare myself to push hard at the end.
Saturday: I gotta say I was having some serious anxiety about my long run today. I was still a little sore and stiff in the leg and hips despite all my contortions. Yesterday I used an internet tool that will map your runs. After trying out a few different routes I finally settled the most logical because of the sidewalks and potential pitstops. Unfortunately a very hilly course with some hills I normally try to avoid but in this area hills are unavoidable and this course was really the best option. After today, provided the weather cooperates, the OBX should prove easier--at least the course.
According to the site it mapped the run at 24.67 miles. It ended up being 24.48 miles according to Garmin. I don't know if that is because I made a mistake and went down a different road or is because I forgot to turn Garmin on once after stopping at a light. I don't think it was off for that long though. Doesn't matter really. I wanted to run between 24 and 25 miles today and I did.
And, I think, I did great. I was really slow starting out and had those naysays in my head from the beginning. I think around the 6 mile mark I was at a 9:20 avg pace and walked up this one monster hill. I really questioned then how I was going to go the distance. But then a few miles later I saw these cyclists that I had seen when I first started and they clapped and gave me a thumbs up. I stopped around 12 miles and bought some gatorade and after that I really started feeling better. I don't know if it was being at the halfway point or the gatorade but by the 14th mile I had pushed the avg pace to 9:10. Around that time I passed two walkers who yelled "You go girl!" as I charged up a hill. At the 17th mile a guy rolled down his window when I ran in front of his car at a light and smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Then some landscapers I had passed earlier in one of the neighborhoods cheered as they drove past me.
I reached the 20 mile point in around 3 hours and 6 minutes.
I know a lot of people do not like the Pogues but I have to say them and Johnny Cash put a spring in my step and smile on my face and I pushed the pace down even further. I ran those last four miles in under my marathon pace (which is 8:30.) I know when I finished Garmin was reading 7:16 pace!!!!! So yup, I finished strong. Just under 24 and half miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes with an average pace of 9:03.
I have 6 weeks to figure out how to fit a another mile and half in that time and I am going to Boston!!!!! (Actually, a BQ allows for a time of 3:45.) I am very hopeful.
Total Mileage:68 (70+ if you count all the miles I walked as cool downs and from my aborted run).
Items Found: Some optimism.