Well here we are... the final countdown (i hope you sang that in your head). Four weeks from this moment I will have hopefully run my first marathon... I'm so dramatic. Feel free to roll your eyes here. I ran 14 miles today, and thankfully I did them outside. After seven inches of snow from Friday and Saturday, the sun came on strong to melt it all away today. I was actually planning to run inside, but while driving to the least offensive indoor Y running track in the city (only 9 laps a mile opposed to 11) to meet five other girls for our long run, I discovered an indoor OUT.
Katie called as I was leaving my house suggesting I grab some running tights and a long sleeve technical 'just in case' the roads were clear around the gym, she is brilliant! I headed to the gym earlier than the girls to get my extra three out of the way, (they are all doing the half marathon in OKC so had less mileage to do). But on the way I drove by our typical running spot and noticed people out on the paths, I looked closer and noticed that the paths were totally cleared! I picked up the phone and started making calls. The girls were going to meet me. So I sneakily changed clothes in my car and headed out for my three. I hadn't bothered with my Garmin since we planned on running inside, it was a little freeing to run those three Garmin free. It was surprisingly warm and sunny and the snow was melting like mad. I felt better on those three than I had in weeks. I made it around back to the parking lot to meet the girls and we were off for 11.
It was, per usual in Kansas, super windy. That is part of living in Kansas, we don't have hills, we have wind.... constantly, really it isn't even worth mentioning since it should always be a given I face strong winds on every run. We had to slush through quite a few puddles, which for me ended up being a little fun. We started the run trying to keep our feet dry, but really after I made a huge effort to avoid a gigantic puddle and instead landed smack in the middle of a mud hole, water up past my ankle in a sloshy gross mess, my foot soaking wet, I didn't care. From then on I ran head on into those puddles.
The best I can gauge, my time for 14 miles was around 2:08, we had a Garmin for the 11 and I just averaged our pace to guess a time for my first three which I tried to run fast in order to make it back in time to meet the girls so they wouldn't have to wait for me.
Overall I feel good, better than the other long runs over the past month, in body and mind. My legs and hip aren't hurting. Except muscle fatigue from doing power yoga and weights yesterday afternoon, I'm feeling good tonight. My confidence in being able to run the marathon is growing, and I'm at peace with the fact that I may not hit my goal time.
In addition, I realized I need to focus on really eating a lot more directly after my long runs thanks to Runners World. So I had an organic granola bar and some Gatorade on the 15 minute drive home. Then I got home and hit the ice bath, another thing I'm trying to be better with, and had a smoothie with some organic protein powder. I've decided 14 miles is a distance that deserves the attention of 'long' run leg and nutrition care, and hoping my legs and energy levels will feel better all week for it.
On another note, it looks like I might be running the Olathe Half Marathon next weekend. I had considered it before, but I have been so busy and exhausted lately, it seemed like more work than I could handle so I dropped the thought. However, I'm feeling like life is under control again, and an opportunity may have arose thanks to Run to the Finish, causing me to think about running the race next week after all. My dilemma is that next week would mark my 22 miler. I'm trying to figure that one out, but think I have a plan, again thanks to Runners World. We'll see.
This is a long post for a long run, so I'm off. Cheers to a happy running week my friends!