Taper (and not a slender candle)

Today was the day for my final 20 miler of my Boston training cycle!  It was supposed to be tomorrow but with the impending rain, I made it today and I am so glad I did.

I started the day with a Green Protein Pancake from Julie on PBfingers.  And yes, I love almost everything she makes!  The darn thing looks really freaky and I was skeptical even while I was dumping it into the pan to cook but it was awesome.  I could barely finish it it was so filling.

IMG_1187

After lazing around for a bit I headed out to the farmer’s market to get some strawberries and I was so disappointed by what was there.  I strolled the whole thing in 2 minutes and headed home, strawberry-less.  After talking to the people I live with, they said that was a new one and they are really just getting started but it was a huge bummer to me.

Once I got home, I decided to quit procrastinating and get on the road.  I had done some hip focused yoga last night and hit my trusty 9 minute yoga for runners before heading out.  The run was about as perfect conditions as you can get.  Upper 50s when I left, topping out in the mid 60s.  There were lots of people out, the wind was refreshing.  Most importantly, I felt good.  I think all the stretching really helped my hip flexor, though I felt it the whole run, the really sharp pain only lasted the first mile or so and it didn’t slow me down at all.  I even was able to run negative splits, finishing in 2:52:59.  Considering the goal pace it always 8:55-9 for these runs, I was more than satisfied with that result, especially when I felt so strong and good at the end!

IMG_1185I pass this sign often when I am running and when I drive to work and I just had to snap a picture.  My other dog people out there, how true is this?!

IMG_1189After my run, I was able to get a bit of work done before the people I live with had some people over to watch the basketball games and I got TOTALLY suckered in.  It was nice to have some actual chill time though and I wouldn’t have traded it.  I will be able to get plenty done in the gross weather that is supposed to be tomorrow.

I got up and went to the bathroom at one point and saw that I got a serious sun burn today…it was barely 60 degrees!  That is crazy!!  But there you see it.  Tomorrow it will just be a tan but right now I am blow away by it.  I guess it is that time again, need to invest in some good sport sunscreen again for the season.

IMG_1192

Hope you are having a great weekend and that none of you are Wisconsin fans.  What a heart breaking loss, but amazing game!!

First 20 Miler in the Books

After an 8 mile run Thursday with some serious lead legs, a typical 5 mile easy loop with the push up challenge after (83 push ups, squats and reverse crunches) I had no idea how this 20 miler would go.  It was warm compared to how it has been, around 73 feels like 78.

I also finally broke down and got a new hand held water bottle.  I got mine before my first marathon in 2009 and the zipper finally broke a few weeks back.  We had logged quite a few miles together but it was time to move on.  I hit the local running store in Decatur call the Big Peach yesterday and picked up this new one.  Mine is actually the pink and purple one but I couldn’t find the picture on Amazon.

Nathan 20-ounch Quick Draw Hand Held Insulated Water Bottle (thats not a mouthful or anything); Photo from Amazon

Nathan 20-ounch Quick Draw Hand Held Insulated Water Bottle (thats not a mouthful or anything); Photo from Amazon

I can tell the company has really been working to make this better since I got mine.  There is a larger pocket that actually fits my iphone with out me squeezing it in there (hence the broken zipper) and I can fit all my gels as well.  This model also has a thumb hole that helps with grip as well as the draw string to make it tighter so I don’t have to squeeze the crap out of it the whole time I am running.  My fingers would actually be a little stiff when I was done a really long run with the old one.  If you are in the market for a new hand held bottle, I would highly recommend this bottle.  It is so well designed!!

My run went beautifully.  I don’t think I have ever had that good of a 20 mile run.  I spent some time last night doing some hip opening yoga and did my yoga for runners on youtube routine that I love before heading out.  I don’t know if it made that big of a difference but that is certainly going to be part of the routine from now one.

The run was split into good thirds that helped me mentally stay tuned in.  The first 7 miles went from my house, down through Decatur and back up the Stone Mountain Trail.  The next 6 miles, I bumped off the Stone Mountain Trail to catch the Beltline to Piedmont Park and ran around there.  There were so many people on this part of the run, there almost needed to be traffic signals, haha.  It kept me so motivated to see so many people out being active.  By the time I picked the Stone Mountain Trail back up I had 7 miles to go into downtown Atlanta and then back to my house.  Having different chunks to tackle really helped keep me going the whole time.

20 miler

I am so happy to have that run go so well, it is so motivating, especially with Boston one month from yesterday!

Tonight my friend Allyson is coming over to hang out because we are volunteering for the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon tomorrow.  I ran this race last year and had a great time.  I have never volunteered for a race before because I am usually running so I am excited to finally pay it back to the running community.  And I am even more excited that Allyson is coming with me.

We are making quite a day of it actually.  Tonight we are going to hang out and have an old school sleep over and make race signs because we are stationed right by my house and she lives on the other side of Atlanta.  We are done at our posts around 9:30 (we are at miles 8-9), so we are going to go back to Folk Art where Casey and I went last week for brunch.  I have to have the peanut butter banana french toast/pancakes/waffles (I haven’t decided yet).  Then we are going to go see Divergent and maybe go to Lulu and see if they have any shorts that want me to wear them to run Boston!

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend and that your long run goes/went as well as mine did today!!