I'm doing my last 20 miler tomorrow then I taper. Feeling really good about how my training runs have gone. I'm not going to be breaking any records or setting a PR, but I feel great and that's what matters most. In the last 6 weeks I've done 16, 18, REST, 19, 20, 18. I'm right on target for a nice easy 4:30 marathon and as long as the weather is decent that should not be hard to accomplish.
Oh last weekend I finally got out for my first ride on my new bike. IT. WAS. AWESOME!!!! I did 22 miles on Sunday afternoon. I had planned on just doing a nice easy 18, but felt so amazing I could have stayed out there all day, but I ran out of water. I definitely need to get out more because I wasn't fast, but hills were noticably easier with a lighter bike. Only problem is the weight difference from my old bike to my new bike is probably equal to the weight I've added to my frame since last summer. It's not much, but 5lbs. can mean the difference between a spot on the podium and walking back to my car without any bling.
Before the bike ride, on Saturday I did my long run and split the miles with Shannon and Kim again. It really does make it A LOT easier when you have company. Shannon ran the first 7.75 with me and Kim ran the last 10.25. Both sections of the run are pretty challenging. All hills, all the time. Just the way I like it. I think we finished up the entire run in about 3 hours which is well under my goal pace for Vermont.
Oh and I spent the downtime over the weekend making signs for the Boston Marathon:
Monday morning I drove to Kim's house early so we could sneak in a short run before going to Newton to cheer. It was already in the 70s at 8:00am when we ran and we barely made it 5 miles. The heat was BRUTAL. There really is no better word to use. It was a struggle to convince my legs to keep moving, there was just nothing there, no gas in the tank. THANK GOD I didn't have to try and do 21 MORE miles. After the run we showered and hopped in the car and headed to Newton.
We found a great spot right in the middle of Heartbreak hill and started cheering. We got there just after the womens elite runners went by. Even the elite men looked like death when they went by which made us really worry for the runners in the back of the pack. We had a few friends in the race and hoped that they would survive the day. Runners were drenched in sweat and really struggling. That hill broke a lot of people on Monday. We were there to help motivate them and cheer them on as they crested the top. As the day went on it was less of a run and more of a death march. By the time we started seeing bibs from the last wave more than 50% of the people going by were walking. We saw a few friends go by and gave them whatever they needed to encourage them to finish strong. Then we called it a day.
I didn't even run and I got dehydrated and cramped just from standing in the sun. I had 50 SPF sunblock on and still got burnt. I was sweating just standing there. When we got in the car to leave Newton the thermometer read 91 degrees. HOLY HEAT!!!! Congrats to everyone that completed the marathon on Monday and lived to tell about it. I'm not sure I would have if I had to run in that heat. Seriously, KUDOS to you for an epic achievement!
Tuesday, I ran along the Charles. It was warm out, but not nearly as warm as the day before and there was a very nice breeze. I did 7 miles and had ridiculously consistent splits. 9:43/10:18/10:15/10:09/10:13/10:16/9:38 Not sure what it is about the first/last mile that makes me run it faster. Probably that giddy feeling little kids get when they bust out the screen door in the middle of summertime to go play with friends and on the way back home when there's ice cold water waiting for them. That's kind of how I feel in the first and last mile of my runs along the Charles.
Wednesday, I did my weekly Ayer run with Kim. We tried a new loop and I tried an old running tank (because I've been too lazy this week to wash my dirty laundry and to fold my clean laundry so it's kinda hard to find clean running gear). Well, it turned out that there was a reason I don't wear that top EVER. It was too small and I couldn't breathe. Literally, I felt like it was crushing my lungs. I ended up taking it off 2 miles into the run and just running in my sports bra. That third mile was the fastest because I could actually get oxygen to my lungs. The run was going to be a little short of our usual 5 mile loop so Kim suggested an alternate route home, I'm not familiar with the area so I just follow her. Well, we ended up climbing this enormous hill that was long AND steep. It was rough. Note to self - for future hill repeats that street is perfect, but not so much for the last mile of an 'easy' run.
Last night I ran along the Charles again. Just 6 miles this time. It was perfect out. I felt really good until the last 2 miles, probably should have just done the 4 mile loop. Just didn't have much energy and my stomach was a little weird. Not booboo belly and I didn't need to stop and find a port o potty, just off. Maybe I was hungry. It went away by the time I got home so, I'm going to assume it was lack of fuel in my engine.
Today will be a rest day, getting ready for tomorrow's 20 miler. Topping off the tank with some good eats and going to bed early. Lots of good stuff coming soon so stay tuned......