Yes, it is true. During my 20 mile run this weekend I somehow managed to find a renewed passion for running. I woke up this morning eager to get through the workday so the hubby and I could run our easy 4 mile loop to incorporate some afternoon/heat training.
Thursday-Sunday went something like this…
Per my usual pre-long run ritual, I took full advantage of the opportunity to carb-load on all my favorite foods. I rushed home after work to prepare raspberry chicken, a baked sweet potato with brown sugar and Smart Balance butter, and corn on the cob.
I didn’t have an opportunity to run on Thursday but I didn’t mind knowing it would only help my legs prepare for Saturday’s 20.
Friday I could hardly contain my excitement for dinner at Genghis Grill. If you’ve never experienced it, Mongolian BBQ Stir-fry is the perfect place to carb-load. Your possibilities are pretty much endless in regards to protein, veggies, grains and sauces. Once you’ve loaded up your bowl, they take your creation to a huge wok until perfectly cooked through. (Photos below were found on the Genghis Grill Facebook page as I was clearly too in the zone to stop and waste time with photos!)
I chose some lean chicken and beef as my protein with a plethora of spinach, onions, baby corn, mushrooms, peppers, tofu and Udon Noodles.
Saturday morning I awoke at 4:15 a.m. to begin my pre-long run rituals. For whatever reason, I have no issues getting up that early on Saturdays, despite hating to wake up that early during the week. I gathered my waters and fuel, charged my Garmin and woofed down a whole wheat, flax seed croissant with tons of peanut butter on it. By 5:30 a.m. I was out at the McMullen greenway with Karen and Sharon, ready to tackle the first 10 miles. It was brutally humid when we first started out. Knowing the sun wasn’t going to rise for another 30-40 minutes, we took to the streets around South Charlotte to complete the first few miles before venturing onto the greenway as the sun was peeking over the horizon. For the first time ever, I completed an entire workout using 6:1 intervals. I’m not normally a fan of intervals but for whatever reason, they felt great! The use of said intervals forces me to pace the entire 20 miles out, rather than flying through the first 10-12 and being forced to use intervals for the last 8-10. The ladies departed my company at mile 10, and Kevin arrived to lead me through 11-20. I honestly have never felt so good during a 20+ mile run. I took a couple breaks to stretch out my IT bands but even they weren’t nearly as aggravated as usual. I finished out the last 3 miles at a much faster pace than I anticipated and was tickled to know I still had the ability to run more.
This all bodes well for the Richmond Marathon this November and my desire for a major PR.
As the exhaustion finally set in, having spent all day at a pool party, I made my way to bed Saturday night exhilarated that my mojo had finally returned. Sunday began with stretching, recovery and lots of caffeine before church.
Sunday afternoon was the Charlotte Running Club Brain Freeze 4 Miler where participants had to eat 4 Popsicle while completing their 4 mile loop in absolutely brutal heat/humidity. Everyone did a great job and I was happy to volunteer as the official start-line
Popsicle eater handler.
I was scheduled for an easy 1-hour run on Sunday but as my hip flexors were extremely sore, decided I’d swap out the Monday rest day and complete my easy run this evening.
For those of you who stuck with me and supported me through the previous weeks of turmoil and stress, I thank you. I can’t tell you how much it really means to know I have the support of my running family when things get tough.