20 mile birthday run!
First, I must apologize for the appearance of this blog. My site was hacked and so I had to re-install a new WordPress theme and I have NO idea what I am doing so if you are reading this and are thinking “I am a WordPress wizard and I would love to help Meggie out” then please comment below
Last week was my first 20-miler of 2013. With a mere 6 weeks until marathon #10, it was much needed as a confidence booster. I am not necessarily prepared for this marathon but I am also not ill prepared. I’ll get through the race but am starting to consider the March marathon as a training one for maybe another in April. That way I have a little bit more time to get additional miles in and feel faster.
Last Saturday also happened to be my 32nd birthday. Running was a perfect start to what turned out to be a fabulous day.
6am: I woke up and started putting on the layers. It was 29 degrees out which though not awful, definitely wasn’t warm. JD was also running and we are down to just one GPS watch in the Dials household but since it was my birthday, I got to use it. He snapped this picture as I headed out the door.
7am: I met Dana and Meg at the deck in Broadripple. We were the only 20-milers of the Perfect Strangers running group so met early to get in as many miles as possible before meeting up with the crew. We took it pretty easy for the first 7 miles. It is SO nice that the days are getting longer – we could actually see the pavement in front of us!
8:10am: We rolled into the 96th Monon rest stop to meet up with Karen, Christi, Kristy, Amy. Everyone was dressed in layers and with tall socks covering our tights. One thing I love about our group is that we love theme runs and to always spice up the look. Who doesn’t love crazy socks running down the trail?
8:15am: The other girls left us. No, not in a bad way! They were just running faster and the three of us 20-milers were committed to a consistent pace. Twenty was going to be tough enough without added stress of speed so we watched as they slowly but surely disappeared from sight.
Mile 10: Our plan was to turn around halfway and our girls waited for us at the mark so we could take some group pictures.
The other girls kept running north and the three of us ran back south. Our plan was to stop at the Monon Center for a gel and bathroom break.
Mile 11.5: While sitting at the Monon Center, we noticed we were increasingly getting colder. All three of us were soaked with sweat and as our body heat dropped, we froze. None of us wanted to go back outside for the final 8.5 miles. Sitting below the indoor track, Dana suggested “Couldn’t we just finish up there?” and as Meg contemplated getting her boyfriend to pick us up if we chose this route, I suggested “well we could just run 3 upstairs, warm up and then finish the last 5.5 which will take us right to our cars.” The thought of being able to run straight to our car and no further clinched the deal. So we walked upstairs and laughed about our impulsiveness. If we aren’t making snow angels, running up state monuments or dancing gangum style, then we are running on an indoor track mid-long run!
First order of business was stripping our clothes off. Had there been a dryer, I would have been thrilled to toss my soaking wet clothes in there. Instead, we found a sunny spot to lay out the layers.
Then, we proceeded to the track where we knocked out 3 miles, easy peasy. It felt good, actually. My hips were tight but otherwise, the change of scenery and environment was a nice break. When we finished, we stretched and put our clothes back on to finish our run.
14.5-20 miles: I actually felt pretty decent during this run. I didn’t run fast. We took plenty of breaks. But the 20 miles wasn’t awful. I definitely need another one or two of them before the marathon, but at least am not panicking. Maybe it’s the low expectations I set for myself. The weather had warmed up, the sun was out and I was reminded that eventually, running outside won’t always be cold and miserable.
(Check out the little video I made in our last 2 miles! 20.)
Upon completion, we immediately put on some warmer clothes and headed to Kilroys for birthday cake, beers and breadsticks! And when I got back to my car, I noticed that JD had done a surprise decorating mission!
He met us at Kilroys as did Amy and Kristy after their 16 and 17 miles, respectively. Dana brought in a cake and we recounted our miles and told stories of the week.
I felt awesome about running 20 miles on my 32nd. I loved spending time with my girls (and JD!) and felt extremely blessed when I checked my phone and received texts, emails and FB messages wishing me a great day. Aren’t birthdays the best?
The rest of the day was spent laying in bed, catching up on DVR and resting up for my big birthday bash.
Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special. From the long miles to the late night finger puppets, it was a perfect day.