Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Weekend of Half Marathons

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! John and I are sitting at home watching the game (lets be serious, the commercials). We had hoped to join our friends this evening, but schoolwork and a long to-do list kept us here. Well here is a very LOOONG weekend recap, and we surprisingly have done quite a bit even though it feels like nothing.

Friday was spent carb-loading in anticipation of out last long run this weekend, we enjoyed take-out from Carrabba's Friday night courtesy of a gift card we had gotten at Christmas. I took the opportunity to indulge in some seafood since I never make it at home. We decided to be 105 and got into bed about 9:30am so we could make sure we had gotten at least some rest before our 4:15am wake up call!!!

4:15am came pretty painlessly Saturday morning, I think it was because I was ready and motivated for this last run, even though the idea of 13 miles in the dark at 5am scared me to death! I had everything ready the night before and got up to have a granola bar and hydrate before we ran. We managed to get out the door about 10 minutes before our 5am goal. It was cool, but a good cool, I was happy to have 57 degrees with a nice breeze the whole way.

I was very concious to pace myself very easy for the first 5 miles and then would let myself run the remainder as my energy level would let me. I kept a solid 11 minute pace for those first 5 miles. At mile 5 we took a short walk break to inhale some Gu-chomps and I was off again, at that point, all I wanted to do was hit the half-way point, once there, it was just a matter of getting home. I did manage to make it to mile 6.5 before even touchimg my ipod, and it feels good to know I could do this race with not music IF I had to.

At the half-way mark I pulled ahead some and just kept going. I stopped at mile 8 to stretch and wait for John, and then we started on the last long stretch home. A little after mile 9 I ate 2 more Gu Chomps (1/2 serving) and I forced myself to eat them while running to get used to the motion and feel of it. There is a very good chance I will be able to do this half-marathon with no walk breaks and if so, they will be minimal so I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable eating and running simultaneously.

Once we hit mile 10, I picked up my pace and was dying to get home. I ran mile 10-11 in about 10:30. And about half way throught that mile the sun started its very rapid ascention. It went from pitch black to fully light in 25 minutes. The last 2 miles I did in an average of a 10:12 pace and I knew in those 2 miles I could not stop for anything because the second I did the pain would set in.

With about a 1/2 mile to go my stomach started to cramp pretty bad, but I just dealt with it, it wasn't a side cramp from bad breathing I just figured I was starving and my stomach was saying "Hey, crazy lady! Feed Me!!!!" I knew at this point I was several minutes ahead of my partner to I told myself I would go to 13.1.

And 13.1 miles I did!!!! I ran my first (unofficial) half marathon this Saturday and I was SOOOO excited!! We had expected this run to take us 2 1/2 hours exactly since we knew we would be taking it easy, but at mile 10 I was about 5 minutes ahead and I KNEW I could make it under our 2:30 goal. So 13.1 in 2:26.42

I am really starting to evaluate what my goal is for our first official half marathon. John and I have said from the beginning we would stick together, but my competitive side is getting itchy to go balls to the walls and see if I can hit 2:20, I would really LOVE to hit that 2:20 mark but as long as I finish at 2:24.06 or less I will be content. That would be an average of an 11 minute pace, but I know I can do more. At the same time, I would never want to run my first race like this alone and hit a wall in the middle with no one to help me through and that is why I think it is best to have a partner, but we will see what the next 2 weeks brings.

After our run, I was on a short time limit to get ready and get to work. 4 hours of work came and went with some light snacking. I was surprised after burning 1500 calories that I was not more hungry, but I had to force myself to eat because I knew I needed to. I did stop on my way home from work for Quiznos for lunch which was eated while watching the Gator Basketball game! Gators won, and then we headed out for some shopping. John needed new work shoes, and we managed to track down a pair.

The rest of Saturday was boring and lazy, and I crashed early again. Today started with waffles and then a bike ride. I was dying to ride my beautiful Blue since I did not get a chance to last weekend, but I knew I needed to keep it light. John and I headed down the same route we ran yesterday to check out the new high school they are building by my mom's house. It was blocked off, but we saw it and it is going to be HUGE!!!!

So I baisically rode a half marathon again this morning. My legs were more sore than they have been on other bike rides, but nothing I couldn't handle. After our ride, John headed to Lawtey with the Peach and I got productive...

4 loads of laundry
Change sheets
clean bathrooms
wipe down baseboards
clean kitchen (John did the hard stuff, but I wiped down the counters)
Grocery Store
6 sections of homework
Put away laundry

Oh and then the usual...
slice veggies
menu plan for the week

John and I had nachos for dinner while watching the game. We used the left over shredded chicken from our soup this week and it made an excellent dinner. I may have also had a beer since it goes hand and hand with football and a chocolate chip cookie which I certainly could have done without.

This week is crazy: Orientation tomorrow, Movie date with Heather and Liza Tuesday, Start Wednesday... so it will be busy, thank goodness we are in the 2 weeks of tapering. I can't believe my 1st half marathon is now less than 2 weeks away!!!!

I will leave you with a Peach Picture. She was watching the 6th annual Puppy Bowl before the real game started tonight

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