Sunday, July 29, 2012

A midsummers night weekday 18 miler

I thought I'd be more inspired to write posts this year, but lately I'm just so focused on other things (learning portuguese, supporting my L's marathon training, playing with CB and of course, my own training) the blog falls to the wayside. Oh well.

Weekend in Vegas

Vegas was fun this weekend, even got a short 4 miler in. Running in 9% humidity (95 deg) is hard on the throat, nose and lungs. I was pretty dehydrated when I returned, but 95 degrees never felt so darn good.

I paid for it the next morning with a sinus migraine (and bloody nose) which was so debilitating I didn't leave our room until 3pm.

We celebrated L's birthday at the hofbrauhaus. Love love love that place and him of course, especially when he tries to imitate CB in photos :)

We even saw The Crystal Method at one of the con's parties. (we were in Vegas for a conference that L works at each year)

Below is a pic I will be purchasing from the RnR... Despite my disappointment of my performance in this race, MarathonFoto did a stellar job capturing me :)

Midsummers night run

After a less than stellar Rock n Roll Chicago last weekend, I had low expectations for my 18 miler. I knew i'd hit my GMP (goal marathon pace) for the prescribed miles (9-14) because I'm far too stubborn to not push myself enough. The main problem with this run was that it had to happen on a weekday. Yes, a long run on a weekday. I was going to Vegas on Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon- my only options were: 1. Weekday long run or 2. Treadmill long run. The decision was simple, the actual act of dragging my butt out the door was not as simple. I agonized over this run all day Tuesday. When it Finally came time for me to walk home, I was filled with anxious dread about what the next 2.5- 3 hours would hold.

I made a quick turnaround at home, got my gu, garmin and salt tabs ready and off I went. The weather was surprisingly fresh- a but cooler than RnR and a little less humid soggy air. As I clicked off the "easy" sub 9 minute miles at 6pm, my body felt like it had been replaced from the body which wouldn't "go" on Sunday. Post race sunday, I felt too fantastic, by Monday I had no muscle soreness what so ever. (Monday I even ran an easy 8 miles for recovery.) I couldn't believe how this run was unfolding and how good everything felt.

At mile 8 I picked up the pace from the 8:50's to a little quicker 8:30 to prepare a nice launch pad for the 6 GMP miles that were to commence.

The GMP miles (8:05-8:10) were ticking off comfortably hard as I cruised back south on the lakefront. The only negative was that the volleyball leagues near castaways finished about the time I was heading back. The path was super crowded with people at this point and weaving to keep pace and avoiding collisions were my top priorities. Once I passed castaways it was much smoother sailing.

Gosh, as I was ticking off the GMP miles I was getting more and more excited and happy that this run was unfolding so much better than I ever could have expected. Once the 6 GMP's were done (mile 14) I paused for a second to snap a photo of the gorgeous Chicago Skyline at dusk.

I continued around the shedd aquarium for the additional 2 easy miles so I could have the extra 4 to make 18 for the night. On my return trip it was pretty much dark and the skyline was glistening.

The chicago skyline was beautiful it nearly brought me to tears- but i was also in tears because I was on mile 17- the final easy stretch of my 18 miler on a weekday, I had done it!

Once I finished I was elated. I had just averaged 8:33 a mile for over 18 miles, I felt like I could have kept cruising along the lakefront all night.

This run was exactly what I needed at this point in my training. It definitely helped that the weather was more agreeable than Sunday, but my legs and mind were on board working together to get me finished.

Maybe it was the lack of pressure for this run that made it better than the RnR (I did set myself up for failure with having too high expectations) or maybe it was my body telling me to "wait" to run free in a half until after the Fox Valley marathon is over. Probably it was a combo of those but also the *cooler drier* temps (mid 70's) that contributed to this runs success. But regardless, this run was magical and was the confidence booster I needed to realize that my BQ dream in 50 days might not be as far fetched as I originally thought 8 weeks ago.

1 salt stix pre run
Mile 8- salt stix and GU
Stopped at water fountains along the path.

While this run was nothing short of awesome, I have no plans to ever run long on a weekday again. Unless of course volleyball league is finished for the season ;)

- xaar


  1. Wow that is a gorgeous sunset! Congrats on the awesome run!

    1. Thank you :) I've found it's really impossible to take a bad shot of the skyline...

  2. You, my friend, are nothing short of inspiring.

  3. Wow, that does sound like a magical run indeed! And I love the Shakespeare reference of A Midsummer Nights Dream =) You are going to get a massive PR at your marathon!

  4. And that is awesome about Lollapalooza, it does seem like a great time! I haven't been able to make it out to that festival yet, but I know I would love it!

  5. Yay yay yay! This is AWESOME! I loved reading this :) You are totally on the way to success at Fox Valley! :) Remember this awesome feeling if you start to have any doubt about your training (you shouldn't!).

  6. CONGRATULATIONS on an AMAZING 18-miler!!! What a fantastic confidence booster - it is just part of the payoff for all of your hard work! And what a great way to kick off a weekend trip to Vegas, too, yes? =D I can't wait to hear how well you do at the Fox Valley Marathon!

    BEAUTIFUL pictures of the Chicago skyline...