The FVM runs are such a nice perk of this great local race. Yes, other marathons and stores offer training programs - but this one is completely free! They set up aid stations, have the route marked, and there are refreshments at the end. I've been in races that didn't offer that much!
I will say, though, the 5:00 a.m. wake-up Sunday morning was not pretty. I'm sure it didn't help that I was out at Karla's bachelorette party the night before. I behaved, and only had a small glass of champagne, but it was still a late night. (On a quick side note - you know you're getting old when you are at a nightclub, and you're totally psyched about the appetizers you're served vs. getting all excited about the different alcoholic beverages you can consume.) I did get a high five from the bouncer who had just been by our area and asked why I was leaving so early...I told him I had my first 10 mile marathon training run in the morning...haha!
I was wiped out, but I ate a quick breakfast, got dressed, and headed out for a coffee on my way to Geneva Running Outfitters. There was already quite a crowd forming when I got there (turns out we had over 100 runners!), and it almost felt like a race day. I got a hug from my great friend Michelle, had a chance to FINALLY meet Melissa, and caught up with Sue. I think most of my friends now see me in running clothes a heck of a lot more often than regular clothes.
There was a need for a pace leader for the 12:30 marathon group, so I volunteered to do that. There was a small group of runners, some who were running the half plan and just a few of us doing the full marathon training run. We started off at a nice pace, although some of them jumped on ahead. It was hot, humid, and sunny, so sadly my pace dropped off. I also think I wasn't hydrating enough, since I started to have issues with my right calf around mile 6.5 or so. I felt bad that I wasn't a better pacer, but one women who stayed pretty close to me gave me a huge hug at the end and thanked me for starting her off at a slow, steady pace. And, on the upside, I was able to let our fabulous aid station ladies know that I was the last one and everyone else with the training run had gone through. I also think my Runkeeper app wasn't working very accurately at first...I'm going to have to try out my Nike+ to see if I can get it to work.
My calf is still oh-so-sore today. I know part of it is because I didn't get to take a nice Epsom salt bath last night, thanks to the sunburn I got yesterday when I took the boys to the pool. Sitting in the cool water, though, was pure bliss. I don't think I have it in me to do an ice bath, but this was a nice alternative. One of the benefits of training in the summer, I guess.
So now I'll just rest up my legs for a couple of days, and head back out there for some more training later this week. At least I know I'll have great friends training with me, since I know my family will get very, very tired of hearing me talk about this all.the.time....they're great at supporting me, but they can only take so much abuse :-).