So, this was a weekend of highs for me. I am very tired and coming down from the high now, but am pleased with how things panned out.
Saturday was my re-match with the course that thumped me last year-the 5-miler at the local peach festival. Let's just say that even by last year's standards, when I hadn't raced much and was at a lower weekly mileage, I still sucked wind and got mopped all over the place by that course. This year I wanted to run it strong and fast but not melt down on the course by trying to run well beyond my capabilities (which is part of why I ran a crapola race last year). This year, I am running more miles since that's just what is required in marathon training, and have more experience racing. I was able, after that rotten half I ran in Georgetown, to run well within my abilities this time and even ramp up my speed a little bit when others were starting to fade from attacking too hard. I took a full 7 minutes 30 seconds off last year's time, which made me very, very happy.
I was told when I finished that I was the 8th woman overall. I was pleased with this but crunching numbers and figuring that wasn't going to garner any age group awards because my age group is probably one of the toughest. Well, I got lucky and squeaked into third place AG (I think because the overall winners came from 30-39 yr old women, thus bumping me into the bottom of the AG). I got a basket of peaches that the kids promptly devoured when we got home.
The next day was my scheduled 20-miler. Well, not really scheduled-it should have been Saturday but I had been bent on running the 5-mile race since right after last year's race concluded. So, no choice but bumping it to Sunday.
I got a massage Saturday afternoon with some birthday money I'd received, hoping that would work out any tightness from racing instead of doing the easy recovery run I was scheduled for the day before the 20-miler. I have only had a few massages in my life, but I swear this is the best one I'd EVER had....and well worth any guilt I had over not being 100% responsible and paying bills/putting every last penny into the kids' savings.
I got lucky on Sunday too that the weather was unseasonably cool, and in the sixties instead of the 80's like it normally would be here in August. I plotted out several loops on our river trail, tossing out and exchanging my handheld bottles at the car after loops. After the first 8 miles, I saw a Team Tiara teammate who shouted out wooohooo as I swapped out the first bottle at my car and got going again. This was nice because I can easily get into the "meh....ANOTHER loop" mindset when running out again, so she sort of distracted me there.
As I finished my second, shorter loop, I saw my husband and kids who were out for a bike ride, and they all waved and said howdy mom-another great pick-me-up. I knew they were also there to refill my empty handheld in the car (can I just say it's AWESOME to have a supportive family who will come out and crew for me?).
I set out in reverse direction on the big outer loop of our river trail, and built up to the slow, gradual uphill around mile 17. That was the toughest part as my legs felt pretty tired, but it was not misery. Once I was over that section it was like this total surreal last few miles, knowing I was going to make it the full twenty. It's a big deal when you used to be overweight and couldn't run for more than 30 seconds to finish your first 20-miler in marathon training! I was thrilled with my pace which was dead center of my recommended pace range for long runs, considering I'd raced the day before. I was granting myself full permission to run it as slow as needed to complete it but the massage and cool weather worked in tandem to keep me feeling like I had fresh legs and body.
So, I'm tired now....and NOT particularly excited about the 14 mile medium long run scheduled tonight. Oh well...as one of my marathon training acquaintances' running shirt line says, "they can't all be PR's and Sunshine!" Speaking of which...check them out here. Her shirts are very cool.
Okay, as long as I am talking shirts....check these out as well if you have kiddos or a groovy niece or nephew that you might buy clothing for on occasion. I thought these guys were the coolest when I first saw the AB/CD For Those About To Read, We Salute You shirt and got one for my son. I just got one or two more from there including the "Koi" (because we say Ava always does the coy face and hands whenever she's busted for being a little naughty), and "Hug It Out" for Carter (from the show Entourage on HBO) for the first day of preschool. They do have neat stuff there so check 'em out if you're looking for stuff that's a little different than your standard kiddie fare.
Yeah, it's a stream of consciousness blog today. Probably time to go refresh the coffee!