Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Last Training Run

Today it was windy, cold, blustery, and even a bit snowy! It was the kind of day you wrap yourself in a blanket on the couch with the fireplace on and watch re-runs of Man vs. Food. Yes this vegan still finds pleasure in watching others stuff their face full of 9 lbs of practically raw beef!  I know I should be morally against it, and I am, but we all have our guilty pleasures.  Perhaps if Netflix instant-watch would offer other tacky reality shows that do not involve food I would be into those too.  Until then, Man vs. Food will suffice.

My breakfast had nothing raw beef related anywhere near it.  Nor would my bowl of banana oats touch raw beef with a 50 foot stick! 
Just the usual here, nothing spectacular.  Today I used a banana that wasn't quite ripe enough, and the mixture just wasn't doing it for me.  I swallowed most of the bowl anyway.

This morning I trained 10 new coaches for Girls on the Run!  I don't mind working weekends at all when I get to do fun things like work races and meet new coaches!  When I was a restaurant manager and had to work weekends, that was a different story.  Today I popped right out of bed and finished preparing and was out the door by 8 am.  Of course I forgot a few things and Mr. Kummerow came to my rescue, delivering the forgotten DVD and copies to the meeting!

If you have never heard of Girls on the Run or considered volunteering with the organization, I highly suggest it!  I'm not just saying that because I need new coaches and because I work for the organization, but because I have witnessed first hand, countless times, how awesome this program can be for adults and girls alike!  It is life changing.  Hanging out with the new coaches this morning reminded me of that.  It's like I could glimpse into their future and see 12 weeks down the road, their teary-eyed faces at the finish line of the New Balance Girls on the Run 5k as they watch their girls complete this amazing goal!  I can envision their hearts melting and their minds filled with gratitude.  I can see all these things because I have felt them too. 

After this morning's training, the only other thing on my agenda today was to complete my very last long run before the marathon.  Just 8 miles today.  JUST 8 MILES.  If it was just 8 miles, then why did it feel so hard?  I know it is all relative, but honestly, you would think that if you were about to run a marathon in a week's time that just 8 miles would be kind of easy.  NOT. 

Not easy, but at least enjoyable today.  I had my best friend Melisa at my side and we ran one of my favorite routes.  Albeit a little hilly (ok, a lot hilly), downtown Mooresville is my favorite place to run.  It also pleases me to step out my front door and run, rather than drive somewhere else. 

Before the run, I fueled with this PB&B concoction, grilled to perfection:
Thirty minutes later, Melis was at my door and ready to go.  Remember when I mentioned it was breezy, blustery, chilly and bitter cold?  We bundled for the weather and headed out.  After just 2 miles, we were burning up and decided to shed layers at a friend's house.  However, after we were half way through the 8 miles, we turned and headed back toward the house and we had the wind in our faces and were begging for our scarves and layers! 

The cold pushed us forward and we made it back to my doorstep at exactly 8 miles!  Perfect route! 
Our pace was good.  Mile 5 we took a short walk break because my ankle was very sore.  You can tell the wind was at our faces when we turned after mile 4 because our pace slowed considerably.  And mile 8 we were stuck at a light for at least a full minute, further pushing our pace slower.  We finished a hilly and chilly but successful 8 miler in just over a 10-minute pace, and just like that I am in the last week of marathon training!  Last week.  Which means next week I have to run a marathon.  I.HAVE.TO.RUN.A.MARATHON.  I know I'm being a bit melodramatic, but I am starting to feel a little nervous with my last big training run finished.  There really is no turning back now. 

My run is complete, and now I have my entire afternoon to rest and relax.  We're talking Whole Foods Hot Bar for dinner.  You should know that Whole Foods is an hour away!  But what better treat for finishing training for a marathon?  After all, that is the hard part, right?!

Where would you choose to celebrate such a momentous occasion?  Would you go out for a big dinner, any favorite restaurants you would choose?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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