With a little over three months away training is getting pretty serious. No longer are the “baby” runs that do not require multiple water stops, GU and prayers to anyone who is listening to help you get to the end. And with the Florida summer in full swing, if you don’t start in the middle of the night to beat the sun and heat you will be turned into dust mid stride. Yesterday was 15 miles. That’s a half marathon and then some….and ultra half if you will. (My running friends will get that corny joke). I wasn’t nervous at all about this run, probably because 14 was absolute misery and I now had something to prove. With these long runs getting into mileage I’ve never done before, not stressing over it makes a world of difference. So as the alarm is taunting me to get out of bed at 3:30am, I begrudgingly got ready for my longest run ever. (Get used me to saying that until the marathon is over!) Fueled by a trusty Snickers and a pack of sports jelly beans (they were weird but I kind of liked them) it was time to start. It was humid but not as agonizing as it’s been lately. I kept my pace slow and steady, time really isn’t something I care about anymore. The run was split into three legs. The first two, each 5 miles, were the same going back to the car each time for water. It was nice and dark and quiet so I just zoned out and put my legs on cruise control. I’ve been wearing a knee brace for added support and overall I was feeling pretty good. Some walking here and there but nothing that would make me feel like this run wasn’t a success. The third leg was the final stretch and now with the sun starting to light up the world, I see a local 5k getting ready on the trail. Oh boy here we go…do I join in?…Do I laugh at all those people running 3 silly miles?….Do they think I am dying by the way I look?? I had a little trouble focusing as people whizzed by me. While they all look fresh and energetic with smiles on their faces, I am running my last 2 miles and I am starting to fade. But I can’t stop now. The end is near. Miraculously I kept an 11min/mi pace and as soon as my watch beeped at 15 I was overjoyed. With the adjustments in food during the week (trying to cut back on the simple carbs and getting more fruits and veggies), in the GUs I’m eating during the run and the twice weekly gym workouts I think I might be in a good spot. This week’s routine will be more of the same with a 16 mile run Saturday. Hopefully I will keep you updated…in the meantime I leave you with my breakfast….
In my teens