Rest Day Reflections # 7

Yesterday’s 20 miler marked my final really long run before the marathon. For the next few weeks, I will keep running as frequently, but fewer miles.  I am glad to start tapering, my legs need a break…but I know that before long I will be completely stir crazy.

My run yesterday was…interesting. I was in Kentucky for a wedding, so it wasn’t as easy as putting on my shoes and heading out the door. With the help of some friends, I picked out a place to run: The UK arboretum.

The arboretum isn’t huge, but it is connected to some subdivisions. So my 20 miles were spent weaving through the arboretum and the surrounding neighborhoods – over and over and over. At least the arboretum was very pretty and I got to run a lot of hills.

The hardest part of my run was the weather. When I left my hotel at 7:30am, it was chilly. By the time I got to the arboretum, it was 50 and sunny. I started out in a long sleeve shirt, because I needed to warm up a bit. After a few miles, I was warm and changed into my t-shirt (my car was stocked with all sorts of clothes).  Around mile 9, the weather changed drastically. The sun disappeared, it began raining, and over the next 11 miles the temperature dropped by about 10 degrees. But the worst part was the wind, which made it feel so much colder. The last 5 miles were a struggle, and I was so glad when my GPS finally hit 20 miles.

I ran back to my car, excited to be out of the rain and cold. Unfortunately, my fingers were numb and it took me about 5min to open my car door – who knew pushing those little buttons could be so difficult? I changed into some dry clothes and headed back to the hotel, with the heat on full blast the whole way.

Back in my hotel room, I was still chilled. I cranked up the heat in my room and proceeded to take an excessively long and hot shower. Once I was all warmed up, I made sure to hang up my running clothes – there are few things more disgusting than wet running clothes being packed into a suitcase.

The whole bathroom looked like this

The whole bathroom looked like this

There was no time to rest though, I needed to get ready for the wedding! Somehow I managed to spend the next 8 hours wearing in high heels, dancing until midnight.

Yay!

Yay!

All in all, I am happy with my 20 miler. It was much slower and not as much fun as my last one. But this run really tested my perseverance and I am proud to have stuck with it!

Week Stats:

Miles Run: 34
Weeks Until Marathon: 3
Sodas: 0

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Beautiful 10 Miler

This morning I went for an absolutely beautiful 10mi run.

Sun rise over the lake

Sunrise over the lake

It’s a cut-back week in my marathon training schedule, so my run was a bit shorter than usual. After my longer run last week, it was nice to take it easy today and just enjoy being outside. The weather was amazing, which didn’t hurt.

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Perfect running weather!

It’s crazy that it was almost 90 degrees at the end of my run last week…today it didn’t even hit 50!

Today also gave me a chance to catch up on some podcasts. I resisted podcasts for years, assuming they would be like the talk radio my mom used to torture me with on the drive to school. Turns out, podcasts are awesome. Now being the super running dork that I am, I mostly listen to podcasts about running.

Yes, you read that right, I listen to podcasts about running…while running.

Today I listened to a few episodes of the Two Gomers, a podcast about two average guys who decided to take up running. It’s so funny and makes the miles fly by, I recommend checking them out (make sure to start from the beginning)! 

Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to my mom who did an awesome 13mi run this morning! Woot!

Did you run today? What do you listen to on your runs?

 

16 Miles

Some days the stars align and you have a perfect run.  Today was not one of those days.

My 16-miler was beyond tough and it took all I had to keep going. I knew this run would be hard within the first 100 feet, my legs just felt like lead.

Glad I brought lots of fuel along!

Glad I brought lots of fuel along!

Somehow I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, although it wasn’t pretty. I stopped and walked a lot, which is unusual for me. I called my parents to talk while I ran, just to keep me distracted. Finally, when I thought I couldn’t go any further, I made it home.

Am I there yet?

Am I there yet?

As someone who expects a lot from myself, it’s easy for me to feel like today was a failure. I keep reminding myself that I moved my body 16.58 miles…which isn’t too shabby! It wasn’t perfect, but I did it.

I am glad this wasn’t my first attempt at 16 miles – so I know I have it in me to cover the distance comfortably. Some days are just harder than others.

On hard days, I try to think about things that might have affected my run. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it’s not. Today there were two clear issues:

1. Lack of sleep.
I have averaged 4 hours of sleep the past three nights. This has been shock to my system since I, like all super cool twenty-somethings, am usually in bed by 10pm.

2. Weather.
As a morning runner, I usually avoid the heat of the day. This morning I had to attend volunteer orientation for Ironman Wisconsin, so my run was pushed back later into the day. The temperature and sun took a toll on me!

Yuck!

Yuck!

How do you deal with a tough run?