This past weekend was a big weekend of running for me. And given that I'd spent the last 10 days coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose, I wasn't at all sure how it would go or how my body would hold up.
Saturday morning started with a 12 mile run...my first double-digit long run of Phoenix Marathon training. I was actually nervous before this run because I hadn't run 12 miles since last January! I plotted out my course on www.mapmyrun.com Friday night and was out the door by 7:15am on Saturday morning. The nutrition plan was CLIF Electrolyte drink on the :15 and :45, with water on :30 and gel/water on the hour. I plodded along the first 4 or so miles just trying to loosen up the legs. From 5-9 I completely lost myself. The first time that's happened on a run in a loooong time. I just let my mind wander and ticked off the miles one by one. It was awesome. And just as I started to think about how lonely I was getting (a little more than one-and-a-half hours into the run) my superstar husband appeared on his bike. We had talked about him perhaps meeting me along the way, but the weather was cold and rainy and I certainly didn't expect him to ride his bike in that! But he surprised me and it came at a fantastic time. He rode along with me for miles 9 and 10 and I actually picked up the pace. It was so good to have some company...wish I could always have my own personal SAG biker. :) After I left him with two miles to go, the legs started to tighten up a bit and I was just ready to be done, but definitely could have kept going if pressed. But I wasn't, so at 12.23 miles (who's counting?) I was home and done with my first really long run in a really long time. I took extra care to recover well (with Endurox and an ice bath) because I knew I had to run on Sunday (which I typically don't do after a long run) because....
Sunday was the Frank Lloyd Wright Races in Oak Park! We had several friends coming out for the race and for breakfast at our place afterward. I chose to do the 5k (instead of 10k) since I had completed a long run the day before. The plan was to start the race running with a friend and then see what happened from there. I ran with my friend Laura for the first Mile and then took off on my own for Miles 2 and 3. I was shocked...my legs actually felt okay! I turned in a time of 28:36 (9:13 pace) which is my slowest 5k in years, but not too shabby considering the prior day's long run and that I wasn't really "racing." I finished smiling, which hasn't happened after a race in a really long time.
What a great weekend. I am becoming more confident and sure of my place in this sport. I am doing this because I really WANT to do this and not just because "it's on the schedule" or somebody else is doing it. I am having fun and I am finding my happy place. :)
Up Next: Hot Chocolate 15k next Sunday! This is one race that I can NOT wait for!!