|Me after my first full LOL...|
|Run for the Health of It... such a fun race!|
|Amanda, Allison and me after a hard tempo run|
|Two of my best running friends, Ashley and Jen, on my birthday run|
|Andrea, one of my mentors <3|
|Running peeps actually coming to MY house to run, wow!|
|Steph... she's one of my favorites. We had so much fun running this race!|
Today was a big day, the day of my only 20-miler in this training cycle. I only did one when I trained for my first marathon in the spring as well. Many plans recommend running 2-3 20-milers, and I did consider it, but for various reasons it just didn't work out this time. Maybe for my next full ;)
This 20-miler happened under less-than-ideal circumstances. I typically run long on Sundays. However, my husband left to go camping today (Saturday afternoon), so my Sunday runday wasn't going to happen. Running on Saturday is really no big deal to me, but throw in the twins' 9 AM soccer game (and since I'm a coach, I have to be there)... plus a soccer tournament for Joey... and you've got a pretty crazy day. I knew I'd need to start my run early in order to get in all 20 miles, and I decided to start at the game's location (the Westerville Sports Complex), so that I could finish there and run onto the field to coach when I was done. Unfortunately, my plans to run with Andrea for this run didn't work out, as she's not an early/dark runner, and she's also nursing an injury. Luckily, another (newer) running friend Paige had messaged me yesterday to see if she could tag along on my 20-miler, and my weekday running friend Amy and I had already planned to run the first 10 together, so things ended up working out.
I will spare you all of the nitty gritty details of the run... basically, it was two 10-mile loops around Westerville. The first loop was DARK. We had headlamps, but it still was really dark in some parts. And part of the route didn't have sidewalks, so we had to go on the road... which is fine, but the cars weren't being so nice, and it was a bit scary. Other than that, loop #1 went fine. THEN the fun started. Long story short, Paige lost (and found) her keys prior to starting loop #2, and with about 3 miles left in the loop she gave me the incorrect time and I freaked out, thinking we needed to sprint back to the sports complex as we only had 30 minutes till game time! Fortunately, we figured out with about a mile to go that we had more time than we thought, but those last three miles were still pretty fast. Running long and fast like this really, truly gives me hope that I can pull off a BQ in 4 weeks!
This week is the peak of my training... I'm going to end up with around 170 miles this month! My furthest ever was 170 in March, so I'd love to best that. From here, though, things go downhill as far as the miles go. Jen and I are running the Akron Half Marathon next weekend for ALS, and after that the long runs really do decrease in preparation for the big race. I know I've trained a lot harder for this race than I did for my first full, as I feel stronger and faster... but I also am feeling kind of done with training! I've got a tweaky right calf that would love a week or so off from running. I'm really, really looking forward to the month after the marathon, when I can recover and just run for fun without regard to much else.