Six, Six and Five

Training is in full force now. I think we final have the rhythm down – good thing since we only have a few weeks left until race day…

We started trying hard to get a good night of sleep on Thursday. Hydrating all week was also a top priority. On friday night I put a handful of our little 8 ounce plastic water bottles (thank you, Costco!) in the freezer and was pleasantly surprised to see that Ashley had already done the same. We had plenty of water bottles to put out on Saturday morning on our race route.

Saturday morning we woke up early and were downtown by 5:45, ready to place water bottles and AdvoCare packets out. Ashley did the driving and I was the designated hider-of-the-water-bottles. We put water around miles 3.5, 5.5, 9.75, 11.25 and 13.5. We put AdvoCare packets out at two different locations and had some in our belts as well.

The AdvoCare packets that we take are packets of Rehydrate.

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They’re essentially the AdvoCare version of GU, which a lot of runners use. Personally, I like these better because they are bigger and I think they taste better. I have only ever used GU during races because it is given to runners, but I take these packets with me religiously on runs. They’re great for replacing electrolytes and carbohydrates that are needed to get through the run. I find that I do well when I take them after every 4-6 miles.  For the record, if you are interested in trying some, let me know and I can help you out with that. 🙂

When we started the temperature was a little cool at just  62 degrees. I didn’t realize that it was cold until I got out there, so I wasn’t ever really able to warm up. Sounds surprising knowing there were 17 miles involved, right?

The route wasn’t bad. We followed the Country Music Half Marathon route for the first 13 miles and then added four miles on to the end of that. Mentally, we took our friend Joana’s advice and broke the run up into three parts. We focused on the first 6 miles, then miles 6-12, then, finally, only 5 miles left. Once we hit that final water stop we knew it was the last leg of our run.

The weather, the route, the light traffic and the surprising number of other runners out really made a positive impact on this 17 mile run, which we had been a little scared of! When we got to what we thought was the finish, the watch didn’t quite say 17 miles, so we even did an extra loop to finish it off.

For the remainder of the day on Saturday we took it easy. There was a lot of time on the couch in between the run and our dinner plans with some friends celebrating a new job. Sunday wasn’t bad at all for me; we went to the football game and hung out with some friends. Monday, however, it was very uncomfortable for me to sit in my desk chair at work. I felt just fine on Tuesday.

This Saturday will be “only 12” miles…

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15 miles broken up over 1 day

Sometimes it’s okay to break up the miles as long as you do them in the same day.

Saturday called for 15 miles. We ran out and back to complete 8 miles in the morning with Debbie at Drakes Creek, and at 7:00 we ran 7 more from the house.

The weather was extremely humid and although we thought we would be covered by clouds in the morning I was thankful I wore my SPF shirt. 🙂

A few months ago, thanks to my mom, I got a COSTCO membership. I purchased a huge case of small water bottles for a small price and find that those bottles are fantastic for run routes. We have found a few good places to leave water bottles along the route and these little bottles are just the right size. This way we don’t waste any water nor do we find the urge to drink more than we should while we still have a few miles left to go.

Sunday was a rest day and that’s a good thing because my feet still hurt!

Stuck in a rut…

Several weeks deep in marathon training and 6 miles sounds easy, right? Not when your only option is running in the Tennessee heat. The average temperature over the past few weeks has been about 90. The humidity is still going strong and the sun has been shining quite often. It’s beautiful weather, but not when it’s time to get miles in.

We have been in a bit of a rut for the past few weeks partially due to the weather but also because life seems to have jumped out in front of us with a big ol’ stop sign. After a refreshing vacation weekend to St. Louis last weekend I think we are back on track. When we returned from our trip, Ashley sat down with our schedule and figured out what we need to do between now and marathon morning in order to survive 26.2 miles.

She said “We don’t have a choice…we have to do everything on this schedule.”

She’s right. That motivated me. The next morning I woke up at 5:15 and ran 3 miles before work. I’ve been trying to do that for months and couldn’t get out of bed to do it. By the time I was almost done with my second job that evening, however, I wasn’t sure how I was still standing. Needless to say, when my head hit the pillow, I was out.

Wednesday called for a 6 mile run. Since we had to get up extra early for work anyway, we decided to do the run in the evening. We started around 8 pm when the sun had set a little and the weather wouldn’t be so hot…. or so we thought. By the time we left our subdivision we both had sweat pouring out every which way.

Despite the heat we both felt really good. Not too many problems with the typical hip and foot pain that Ashley has, and my knees, shoulders and lungs, which are typically the parts that test me the most, felt really good!

Then yesterday morning I failed to wake up in time to do a few 200m sprints before work.

Today, Friday, calls for stretching on the schedule. Tomorrow I believe we are scheduled to run 14 miles….