Sunday, March 08, 2009

Saturday 20: Tour de Roswell

I couldn't motivate for this run.

It was my last 20 miler before I taper for the GA ING marathon that is on March 29th. I don't have huge goals for the marathon. Sure, I'd love a pr but I am running it because I want to be one of those people that run it every year. Like those that have run the Peachtree every year except I will be way cooler than them because the ING marathon is 20 miles longer. Also, I keep hoping that eventually this will be a good marathon. Practice makes perfect, right?

I had planned to run 21 on Friday. My East Cobb loop from my house. But my calf muscles were being very uncooperative; tight, heavy, needed a rest day. It happens. I could have run through it but my Dad said he would watch the kids Saturday morning so why have an uncomfortable run if you don't have to I figured? I like running to feel good and it just wasn't feeling good for me Friday. I was bummed though because I do like to stick to my plans.

The past few weeks I have had some fantastic, near epic runs. Like I mentioned in a previous post, the running has been good. Very good. I also knew that I was pushing hard and that it wouldn't last. But i could see the taper looming so I just wanted to keep pushing as hard as could until then. But this week my body pushed back and pretty much told me to f-off Friday morning. I wasn't surprised but it did bum me out.

After last Friday's 24 mile run with Kate I ran again Saturday morning. Just a short run on treadmill before yoga but the 7:39 pace I average was pretty aggressive for me the day after a long hard run. Then I did yoga. And then I did yoga on Sunday too. Then I drank lots of beer because it snowed and that is what you do when it snows in Atlanta. I think it is like how in Key West they hunker down in the bars when a hurricane hits and drink themselves under the table.

Then Monday I decided to switch my usual 12 mile run to Wed and do my treadmill intervals instead because it was cold and windy and I knew I would get enough cold on my bike ride Tuesday. This was a mistake and I knew it would be. But nevertheless I got my treadmill intervals done. My calves were fatigued and I ended up bailing on the cool down portion of the workout and cutting out a mile and half.

Tuesday was the 47 mile bike ride to the Capitol and back. I definitely pushed too hard on the ride back. I was just thinking about what I was capable of that day not what else I had planned for the week. Also, since I've only been riding like once a month the past few months, really a 47 bike ride is a long ride for me. It is hard effort and I just forgot to think about it that way.

Wednesday I ran in the Alps on Brett's long run route. Just kidding but that is how it felt. I thought I ran on hills but apparently Woodstock is hillier than East Cobb or Roswell. I cried uncle after 11 miles. I swear the entire run felt harder than any of my 24 miles I ran last Friday. Lesson in hubris for sure.

Thursday I did an easy 6 miles on my tiny hills and then an hour of yoga. I thought that was a pretty good recovery day but I found out Friday morning it wasn't enough. So I bailed on Friday's run getting in only 3 miles for the day. It happens.

So Saturday I was gung ho and determined. But my run did not start out stellar. Again my calves were saying, no please, no running today. I thought about listening to them but then decided they needed to HTFU and I hobbled on my way. Around 6 miles they got with the program and the run was went great, easy even.

But when it was going poorly at the start I decided that I would just treat it as a run around Roswell and take pictures with my camera phone. So here is my photo journey. Sorry the photos are kinda crappy. It was cloudy, misty even for the first 2 hours, so the light was really bad. Plus, my phone sucks. Not to mention, I was running.

The road ahead. This was the start of my run when I knew it was going to hurt a little and I was trying not to be mad about it.
Goats at the end of the first mile. They are cute but boy do they stink! I took this picture for my friend Anne and my friend Neal. Anne because I know she likes the goats and Neal because he says stuff like; "I don't think I can come to yoga on Saturday. I need to take my dad to the goat sale."

Mile 2. Starting to feel better for the moment because I get to run down a long hill. Yippy for downhills.

Stopping to cross. See the cyclists (probably Roswell Bikes group) heading out to do the North of 92 loop of the Roswell 40 (or mile high ride).
Then I didn't take pictures for a few miles because I was having the I think I am going to bail argument with myself.

But then I got to run down a big hill and then up an even longer hill and my calves gave up the ghost and got with the program. I rewarded myself with a Gu and some water at Texaco. I didn't take any pictures there either because there were lots of day laborers hanging around and they were already looking at me like I was crazy.

Canton St. Mile 6ish. Feeling great now! Bad hills are done! Finally decided that I will see this run through.

Naylor Hall on Canton Street. My friend Elizabeth grew up in this house so I always think about her and playing there whenever I run past it. Now it is a place people rent to have their weddings at.

Trail at Roswell Area Park. Trail one of two on my route.
I run here a lot when my kids have gymnastics.

Church that I like. Mile 9 or so. Blurry because I was running. I wanted a picture but I had just passed a couple with a jogging stroller and didn't want to have pass them again so I snapped it as I went by.
I hate this part of the run. I try to cut as much off as I can by running through Blessed Trinity's campus but still gotta do my time on 92. I also call it the foresake it or bake on it road or-- depending on the time of year-- the wind tunnel. It was both on Saturday.
Isn't it ugly?

This is back in the neighborhoods I run through. Miles 12, 13 and part of 14--or something like that.
Right behind me is a friend of mine from high school's old house but if I were to go down this driveway I would be standing at the end of the lake that my parent's house is on. In the summer, when I do this run and it is 90 degrees, I often think that I could just swim the 1/4 mile down lake and be done. It takes me less than 6 minutes to swim a 1/4 mile and at this point I have an hour left of my run. Even if I cut it short I still have to run almost 3 miles to get back to my parent's house where my car is parked. So sometimes I am tempted but haven't done it yet. The lake creeps me out. And besides, what would I do with my shoes?

Back out on 92 waiting on the light to change. I need to run down to the Leita Thompson park to add on some miles.
The Leita Thompson Trail. This is picture isn't from Saturday but one of the trail from last year. The pictures I took of the trail Saturday were all too dark.

And this is--usually-- the best part of the run. I save it for last even though technically the uneven terrain and hills and turns make it the hardest part of the run. But it is the most fun part.

After I run on the trail I head back on 92 and then back towards my parent's house where they have either bought my kids McDonald's or given them too many cookies and as much Coke as they want. It will be hard to keep up with them for the rest of the day.

Just a few more miles to go. . .

I have to run down this hill and then back up to add on a few more miles so I get to 20 today.

As I start down the hill I pass my friend Shannon. I see her too late to get a picture. She is training for the ING half and the Country Music marathon. I think that she looks good.

Instantly I regret that I didn't look happier when we passed. I am in a sour mood about the hill because I should have, and usually do, run the extra miles at the Leita but the fountains were not turned on and it was getting hot so I had detour and make an extra and unplanned stop at CVS to use their fountain. Buggers! Blasted thirst.

Finally, the last mile.

This is not T-Pain's house.

Neither is this one. But he does have a house that is off this street. I am just not sure which one it is.

Yeah! Almost done. Starting to sprint now!

Now it is taper time. Again! I can't believe it. 3 weeks until I get to do the Tour de Atlanta.

P.S. I am going to see The Pogues live tonight! Been almost 20 years since I have seen them live. So excited! They are my favorite band.


  1. What a beautiful place to run! Be careful about those calves... glad you're tapering now. I did 20 yesterday, too, but no pictures! National Marathon in DC in 2 weeks...

  2. Thank you for the photos of your 20 miler. As someone who will be running a 20 miler for the first time in a few months, it's nice to see that not only can one run 20 miles, but one can even snap photos along the way! (Helps with those visions I have of myself staggering along, gasping for air.)

  3. That last picture is the Mayor's mailbox-"Hog Heaven"

  4. I am new here-am captivated by your blog and have been reading from the start:)
    I am a mom, runner who lives east of Atlanta and am looking to qualify for Boston. I need to shave off 5 minutes though. You are inspiring and this week I am upping my mileage to near 30 & will begin to add some speed work on the dreadmill soon.

    Great pics!

  5. You know, that is such a great idea taking pics during your run. It gives the reader a really good since of what u were enduring. Good luck on that marathon... u know we'll be awaiting a race report...