Sunday, September 29, 2013

Marathon Training Log #9

Race day is three weeks from today!!!

We did our final L O N G run yesterday morning--- 20 miles! The weather was amazing! It was about 55 degrees when we started. I was a little cold before we started, which made me very happy. Training in the summer in East Tennessee has been brutal! So, to the fall season I say, "Welcome and stay a while!"

Chris and I were unable to run this one together, so Ben planned to go with me. We were able to arrange for kiddos to sleep over with my parents on Friday night (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so we got to have a date night and chose pasta from Johnny Carinos to fuel our run. 

For breakfast (around 6:00) we each had a slice of my homemade cinnamon-raisin flax bread with a thin layer of peanut butter and coffee. 

In my belt, I took my usual one water and one sport drink, each 10 oz. I planned to use a Power Gel (the brand that will be provided at the race) at 6 miles, 12 miles, and between 16 & 18 miles. We were running a double out-and-back route, so we were able to plant some drinks and fuel (Marathon Bars, VO2 Bars) at our car. 

We both drank a Spark 20 minutes before we started the run. I stopped to take a bathroom break and re-fill my water at the usual park (5.9 miles) and took a non-caffeine Power Gel with about 8 oz. of water. I also topped-off my sport drink with some water. I decided to turn on some music for a little while, which is unusual for me. But I knew I had a long way to go to be alone. I did not have headphones, so I just carried my phone in my hand. It was a nice little change to pass the time. My two favorites from yesterday were Mandisa's What If We Were Real and Travis Cottrell's Oh My Soul March On. I  stopped for another bathroom break at mile 12, which was back near our van. I refilled my water and sport drink and started eating a VO2 Bar as I started running again. Before I knew it, I had reached 16 miles, which was my turnaround point. I had to go a little further than that because Ben had planted a water for me. Ben ran by me on the other side, heading to the finish. He had planned a 23 mile run, and his pace is over 1.5 minutes per mile faster than mine. Since the planted water was a little past my turnaround, I decided to pause my GPS and walk after I picked up the water so I could pour the water into my belt bottle and eat another Gel (with caffeine). I had drunk all of my water between mile 12 and 16 and drank almost half of the sport drink. I knew that there were no more water stops along the way so I tried to be conservative, but reasonable. Around mile 17, I started getting "giddy" because I couldn't believe how good I felt. My pace had stayed the same (within 3 seconds) the entire run, and it was 40 seconds faster per mile than my goal race pace! I passed a friend at mile 19. It was nice to get some encouragement. When my phone said 20 miles and told me my pace, I let out a joyful "ha!" and threw my arms in the air. It felt great to finish so well. The best part was Ben waiting for me at the finish. 

Once I sat down, which was after a while of walking and stretching, I made a soy milk chocolate protein shake (I had packed a cooler in the van) and drank it on the way home. We took a quick shower, and I made us some roasted chicken and Swiss cheese on rye toast and black bean and cheddar cheese dip with yellow corn tortilla chips, all just in time for the Vols to kick-off at 12:30. We each ate a banana, stretched some more, and then I went to bed. I never went to sleep, but I rested. I think I was too excited from the success of the run. I was praying while I was lying in my bed, thanking God for giving us the physical health and ability to accomplish our goal.  That is something I pray I never take for granted- the blessing of a healthy, fully-functioning body (see Bible passage below). (I hope to write an entire post on this subject this week, so stay tuned.) God has entrusted me with this one body; and so far, he has blessed me with great health, including two healthy pregnancies despite a blood disorder! And I was also thanking God for our supportive family that has been willing to help with our kids while we train. We are so blessed!

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? For you are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I am finally able to say I believe I can run a Marathon. Until Saturday, I was not confident enough to believe it. This weekend, we have 12 miles assigned for the long run. I will still be journaling our runs as we taper.

I found a great blog this week that I just can't get enough of: Jen is a Christian, mom, pastor's wife and runner. Her take on life is so sweet! Check her out!

In case you were wondering what "belt" I wear when running, here it is: the Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack. I could not train without it.


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