Sunday, March 2, 2014

48 hours of the QC life

The last 20 miler of this training cycle loomed over me the past 2 weeks. I woke up Friday and took to tackling the challenge. I just came off a cutback week, but I was still feeling a bit unsure.

I checked out the weather and was pleased as punch:
I decided to go the bagel/peanut butter route and half a cup of coffee:
After the extra Gu at Rehoboth (which I swear was partially responsible for carrying me to finish swiftly), I've been toying with having a Gu every 4 miles instead of every 5. When I first started marathoning, I went by what the package stated (every 45 minutes). And while this is all just one big experiment, I think 30-35 minutes per gel works better for me.  I have been hydrating with just water during runs lately and I have felt a lot better than the Gatorade/water mix.
Luxy was pretty interested in all the activity of the morning:
The first mile was slightly concerning. I felt like a rusted out engine. My body was feeling creaky and sluggish. Yikes--I still have 19 miles to run!

By mile 2, I started to notice how absolutely beautiful the blue sky was and forced a smile:
Once I got to mile 3, my toes thawed out and I was feeling warmed up. Once I got to the first turnaround at mile 5, I was feeling much more confident.
By the time I got to my car by mile 10 to refill my water, I was beginning to actually feel strangely powerful. As I flew back down the path to the Greenway, I couldn't help but grin. My pace was consistent, sub-8, and I was feeling full of energy.

Definitely enjoying one of those I'm so ridiculously happy to be out here running right now kind of moments.
When I got to the final turnaround at mile 15, I knew I had this bad boy in the bag. Those last 5 miles were going to be pushing the pace, but I felt so strong. So I gave it what I had!

I stopped at the gas station to pick up my now-ritualistic Muscle Milk and headed home for a Kind bar. After I took a shower, I headed to the ice bath where the real taper party began:

Adam and I ran a few errands--enjoying a Friday afternoon together--and then met up for date night at a BBQ restaurant. I was craving my post-long run wings. Yes, I am aware of my crazy food rituals. 
I was also craving nachos. Big surprise. One day I won't be able to run a 7:44 pace for 20 miles and eat like a garbage truck, but for now I put a small dent in this:
After work last night, I started prep on a few dishes that I was contributing to my sister's bridal shower. I cooked up the greens for a crustless quiche:
And made poppy seed dill chicken salad sandwiches:

This morning, I harnessed Torrance (she's about 5 1/2) and took her for a 4 mile run:
She stopped participating around the 4 mile mark and due to an earlier turn-on-the-Garmin issue, we walked/dragged the last half mile. She plopped in the grass about a quarter mile from the car. I wasn't too concerned about my overall pace for this run. I've done all the hard work at this point so now it's time to just plod along during the taper.

Adam and Luxy held down the fort while we were out running:
The shower for my sister was lovely.  It had a "Downton Abby" theme complete with tea and delicious goodies:

I'm going to be a busy girl with a marathon on March 16th, March 23rd, and her wedding on April 12th!

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