I met my running group at 6:30 this morning, ready to complete the 8 on my schedule. I had gotten to bed early, but was woken up at 4am with one of the worst nightmares I've ever had. So bad you have to get out of bed, turn lights on and occupy your brain with something else before you can even think of going back to sleep. It worried me that it would throw me off for my morning run.
With a protein/banana/spinach/blueberry/yogurt smoothie in hand, I was on the road just after 6am driving to the store where we meet. We had about 35 runners this morning and coach sent the slower than 10min milers off first. I found my running buddy Patty and we hit the road. We started off slow, shaking out our legs a bit and found our groove in the first mile. When we hit the first water stop at mile 2, it seemed to come so fast!
Three weeks ago on our first long run with the 501 class, this was our route. Both Patty and I independently thought we were going to die and hated this 2 mile route. I cut my planned 6 miler short that day and turned back for the 4. She did the same and we met for the first time in the last half mile back to the store. Today, those same two miles flew by and we relished in how much we've grown in just 3 weeks!!
Patty was planning on 6 today (and I 8) but once we hit mile 4 we both felt so good we kept going. Shortly thereafter, Patty decided to push herself to do the 8 miles. The conditions were perfect: cool temps, lots of shade, great route planned out for us with water every 2 miles, we each had a great breakfast - we couldn't have asked for more.
At the 5 mile marker Patty mentioned that we felt so good maybe we should go for 9 instead of 8. I smiled and told her we'll see how we feel at 7, thinking on the inside she's crazy! Just after mile 6 as we were heading out to the out-n-back for mile 7 we ran into our coach. She looked at us like we were nuts!
We explained we were going to hit the 7 mile marker and then instead of following the plan, just run back to the store and finish out our 8 miler. She stopped us and made us turn around since if we did so, we would be at 10miles! Apparently, the store was a lot further than we thought!
So we turned around at that spot and finished up the last 2 miles of the run. Good thing we ran into coach! Patty and I both felt great the entire time and finished STRONG! Stronger than any run this training plan!
It was a great run and so motivating when we compare it to the same route just 3 weeks ago. I can't say enough how great this group class is - it's really pushed me. My last two long runs have been 6 miles and our Tuesday long run was 6 miles, so I was ready to hit the 8. When I trained for my halfs (I know the plural of 'half' is 'halves' but that seems weird to me, so I go with 'halfs') on my own, I was always worried about my long runs if I could have the mental stamina to finish them without quitting. Now, it doesn't even cross my mind.
My only bummer of the day is that I forgot to charge my garmin and didn't realize it until I got to the store! Idiot. This would've been a great run to have data for, but I do have to say, even after only having it for a month or so, it was liberating just running free based only on how my body feels!! When I got home, I maymyrun'ed it and we ran 8.58 miles! Too bad I have no idea how much time we took :)
I need to work on pre-run fueling. I don't think my smoothie is the best option as I had some gi issues after mile 5. I've heard toast with pb, bagel, half banana, granola bar, Patty eats a sweet potato. I'll try new things in the next few weeks. I know it's different for everyone.
I'm heading out on my uncle's boat with my sister and her kids - it's going to be so fun!!
Do you have any suggestions on pre-long run/race fuel? What works for you?