Heading out for my longest and most challenging run yet this morning, I was pretty nervous about how my body was going to hold up.
Thankfully, I had an incredible support team of Amy Noll and Kyle Murphy to tag along and keep my spirits up.
We started climbing the roads around 6:30 this morning and felt good. My splits were where I wanted them. Around mile 11, Amy split off from us. She took some of our early morning gear which was nice to unload (lights and gloves).
Kyle and I continued and my training plan asked me to consider dropping the pace into race pace around the 1/2 marathon mark for three miles. We managed 2/3 miles. My legs started feeling tired. Like really tired. At that point, we were hitting 15 miles at a much quicker pace than last week. So we slowed a little as we entered downtown Asheville. I could sense that we were getting closer to the end of the run and started feeling good again. (A little espresso gu with caffeine may have contributed) and we lifted the pace again. Amy joined back up with us at mile 16. Around mile 17/18, every little hill started making me hate running. I started praying. Hard.
Also Kyle started talking to me about buying cars. I don't think this run was any trouble for him. Which made me want to throw him in traffic and be in complete awe. Ugh. People who are better than you without trying.
We managed to wrap up the final two miles and then I wanted to be done running. But my body did not like the shock of stopping suddenly. I was one giant cramp waiting to happen. We had to go running MORE to cool down so my body wouldn't freak.
I finished the run with my favorites: Gatorade and chocolate milk. The grossest taste combination you can imaging. They have to be consumed separately.
Most of the time you would think you would eat the world after doing something like that. But my body really hates food after a long run. I can hardly choke down a banana until dinner. But tomorrow? Watch out!
This was a hefty week. 40 miles of running. 6 hours.
But now it starts to peel back little by little until the race. The hardest training work is done. The hardest mental work is ahead!