We are two weeks away from running our marathon and it’s time to taper. Well, for some of us. I can’t taper just yet since I missed a little over 3 weeks of training due to my Achilles issue. I've put a lot of stock into what Dr. Anders tells me and I’m sure he’s tired of me asking “so what should I run this week”, “what should my long run be this week” – he just smiles and gives me advice on what to do. Ultimately it’s my body that tells me – and boy was it talking to me on Sunday. I did my long run on Sunday that consisted of 18 miles. Alison and I started our run an hour before the group so we could get 6 miles done before meeting up with them. I was glad I did that and didn't have to do 6 after the group was done. At my mile 14, I looked at Mitzi and said “this is hard”!! At mile 16 when my watch beeped, she turned to me and said “good job” and of course I couldn't hear her because I had both earplugs in my ears with my music BLARING! I took out one earplug and talked with the group for a minute telling them all the bad words that were going through my mind at that time. Trish asked if I wanted them to slow down and I swear I looked at her for what seemed like 5 minutes before saying no. I REALLY wanted to say yes but it still hurts no matter how fast or slow you are going and I wanted to get done. I finished up and let me tell you, my legs were tired but I was glad to get that under my belt.
Monday was a nice easy 7 mile run. Due to scheduling conflicts, Alison, Mitzi and Lisa ran in the morning and I ran with the evening group which was Stormie, Jodie, Tracy, Maria, Jenn and Ashlen. It was so good to see Ashlen out running again. She has been working through an injury too but looked great running the 7. It was a nice easy pace and great run.
Tuesday was our last day of speed/strength work. We did 6 sets of 1 mile (9:30 pace) with 400 m recovery and of course ½ mile warm up and cool down. None of us really look forward to these nights except Stormie and she enjoys them J But I do have to say that I believe they help and it does break up the monotony of normal training runs. We had no problem hitting the 9:30 mile pace and in fact were faster than that every set. We had to reign Stormie in on one set – she was clipping along at a fast pace and had both ear buds in so she couldn't hear us telling her to slow down. I kept shouting out our pace…9:11, 9:10, 9:08, 9:06, 9:03 and then finally she looked over at us and finally heard us saying “we are sprinting”!! She laughed and said we weren't – we were just going at an 8:45 pace. Thank goodness we only had one block left before the recovery lap LOL! WHEW!
Thursday was our last 10 mile run before the race. I’m not sure if it was because we knew it was our last 10 miler, the early time we ran, the humidity, the lack of sleep or all of the above, but we all struggled a bit on this run. At one point I even said “and we have to run 26 miles” and Stormie said “no, we GET to run 26 miles”. Yes, we do! The good thing about running so early in the morning (4:00) is that you can run 10 miles, shower, get ready for work and still have time for a 15-20 minute nap J
Friday was a nice, easy 6 mile run. Or per Jodie, a cute and nice run – we tried a different route for this day and I have to say it WAS nice and cute LOL! It was my week to come up with the routes and I get so tired of doing the same route over and over so I made up a new one. I’m glad someone enjoyed it so much J
Saturday was the Fall Fest 5k/1 mile run that the 5 of us put on. This was the 4th year we've done the race and we still enjoy it like it was the 1st. We had 106 runners for the 5k and 57 for the 1 mile. Our youngest runner was 5 and our oldest was 78. The first male to cross the finish line for the 5k was John Anders with a time of 19:46 and the first female was Jenny Roe with a time of 23:03. For the 1 mile race, it was John Bergman at 6:00 and Maria Cornejo at 7:23. I am just amazed at how many kids we had running the 5k – the youngest being the Norris triplets, Jagger, Axl and Grady at 6 years old. WOW! And watching Britt Zeka cross the finish line with determination in her eyes; pushing herself so hard at 7 years old. It’s so fun to watch all the runners come across the finish line. I’m so glad the 5 of us decided to start running 4 years ago – just look at the amount of runners Wellington has now. I’m not saying it’s because of us, but I think other people see the 5 of us running the streets of Wellington and maybe they think “hey, they are normal people, maybe I can do that” and they start running. Because believe me, we ARE normal people – normal people who love to run.
Sunday was an 8 miler and we decided to start a little later in the morning since it was supposed to be pretty chilly at 6:00 a.m. Dr. Anders suggested I try to get between 13-15 miles in for my last long run so I decided on 14. Mitzi, Jodie, Tracy, DeAun, Jodie and Bill met me at 8:00 to get 6 done before meeting up with the rest of the group at 9:00. It was a good 6 mile run – nothing too fast thank goodness. We met the group after we did our 6 and we were off again. Jodie and Tracy left us at mile 7.5 to finish their 8 miles and Mitzi left us at mile 9 – she was an overachiever and did 1 more than she was supposed to; that might not sound like much, but after you've put the mileage in that she has, 1 more mile is a lot! I do appreciate them starting early with me. It was just another normal training run until we were coming through the park about to hit our last water stop. Lisa spotted a truck stop right by where our water was. We watched the guy get out of the pickup and walk to our water. Lisa and Alison started yelling and whistling at him but the wind was blowing so hard and in the wrong direction that he didn't hear us. I can tell you this – Alison wasn't going to let him get away especially with our water jug. She sprinted to the truck and gave him a piece of her mind. I didn't hear any of this because I stopped to get my phone out and take pictures – I couldn't let this go by without getting a snapshot. I was glad I did – even got a picture of the license plate. Now you might be thinking what’s the big deal about a water jug, right? I’m not sure of the exact number but I think we've had 4-5 different water jugs stolen. Why would you take a water jug? Some of them even had our names on them. Alison asked the lady driving the truck if they were the ones who had stolen our other jugs and of course the answer was no. After giving them a piece of her mind, off they went. We got our drink of water and then hid the water jug LOL! Guess we’ll need to find a new place for our water stop in the park now. Geez – just can’t believe people! At least it made for good conversation and laughs the last couple of miles.
The girls have said several times they can’t believe it’s our last week of training and how thankful they are that it’s almost over. I have mixed emotions about it. I’m glad it’s almost over too, but I’m also wishing I had a couple more weeks to prepare. Since I missed so many training runs, I don’t feel quite as ready this time. I’ve tried to get as many miles in as I could without overdoing it, but I’m such a schedule person. If it’s on the schedule, then you do it. Dr. Anders told me several times to quit thinking about what the schedule said and how many the girls were running. I tried to do this and even quit adding up the miles that I had missed, but it’s still in the back of your mind. Running is such a mental sport! But you know what, I’m running again. When I pulled my Achilles, I was devastated. There were several times I thought I wouldn't be able to do the race. But here I am a week before the race, logging my taper miles, mentally preparing for the race and thinking about the fun times I’m going to have with my 4 running girls – the best friends I could ask for.
Quote for the day: "Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best."
- Meb Keflezighi