I can’t believe it. I’m 21 days from CIM. I am officially tapering and most of the work is done. I honestly can’t believe it– this training block has flown by and I am actually kind of sad to see it end. What am I going to do with all my energy?!?! Anyway… I had a fantastic running weekend.
Yesterday morning I woke up and took my time getting out the door. I slept for nine hours and headed out for a 6 mile run. It was one of those runs where birds are chirping, running feels easy, nothing hurts and everything is fantastic. As I was running I kept looking at my garmin and thinking that it was broken because of the pace it said I was going. I was down in the 8:10 range very, very easily and almost couldn’t slow down. So I didn’t. I set off for one of my favorite 6 mile routes and it was so gorgeous that I tacked on an extra mile around the park. Sure, I was already over my weekly mileage and yes, I had a long run the next day but it was beautiful, I was happy to be alive and I wanted to run! So I did!
This morning I woke up early and met Aron for my final long run before CIM. We talked about doing 21 just to get over the mental hurdle of 20 and get some time on the feet. We ran on a gorgeous route through Lafeyette and Moraga that gradually climbed uphill and then gradually descended down. The weather was a crisp 34 degrees at the start (which I LOVE) but clear and beautiful.
I love running with Aron– the miles flew by chatting with her and before I knew it, it was time to turn around! I stuck to my gu and water strategy I’ve been using this go around and all systems seemed to be firing. I started feeling a little nauseated about 11 miles in and my IT Band was acting really cranky on the downhills but other than that I felt really good. Good enough to run the last mile at marathon pace and end with a 9:05 average and a healthy negative split. Now that is a great last long run! I not only set a long training run record, but also a no iPod record– people, it’s possible to run a long time without one! Just make sure you have someone awesome to chat with.
If you live in the bay area I can’t tell you how great the trail is– it’s beautiful, barely climbs uphill and is really fun to run back down. Plus it wasn’t too crowded and the people out there were really friendly.
Afterward we got yummy breakfast (and um, maybe a cookie) and I drove home. I was surprised when I got out of the car that although I definitely felt tight and a little tired that overall I feel really good. I’m also thrilled that we pushed past the 20 mile mark. I get all freaked out thinking about mile 20 because everyone makes such a big deal about it but as we learned today, nothing magical happens just because you hit mile 20 🙂
I was really glad to have Aron to talk to and push along with. I started feeling tired at mile 17 and I’m not sure I would have gone the full 21 without her there. I am so so glad I did because 5 more miles seems so much more doable than 6 more. Plus she’s great.
So I guess you could say I’m feeling pretty optimistic about CIM. I don’t know about my time goal, but I do think I’m going to be able to run the best marathon I know how to run. I’ve done everything I can to set myself up to succeed and I know that there’s nothing more I can do at this point other than eat well, stay healthy and be careful. I’m excited. I never thought I could train this hard or this much and without fishing for compliments (and really I’m not) I can say that I’m really proud of myself for pushing harder than I thought possible.
Oh and they got the photos up from Clarksburg. I’m trying not to look so angry when I see the camera and I think I finally succeeded. Not the most flaterring of my face but they’re fun!