Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's getting closer!'s hard to believe I only have five more weeks until my first marathon. Today was our second to last group training run, and it looked like it was going to be a cooler day for the 18 miles we would be running. The sunrise was beautiful at 6:00 a.m., and I just wish I could have gotten a picture of it.

It was great to get there and see some of my great friends, and I hung out chatting with my pace group while we waited to start. Our little pack of runners has grown quite a bit over the last couple of runs - it's great to see! We all seemed ready to go, and started off strong.

The first 4 miles flew by, and right about then I saw this:
Turn-around for the Half Marathon trainers
Did I wish that was where I turned around? I'd be lying if I said no, but it was still pretty cool at that point, and I thought "hey....what's another 14 miles!" Ha - it's amazing how the mind works on these long runs. Although it really is nice seeing my friends as their pace groups make the turnaround and head really keeps me going. Still, it was great to see this right around mile 9:
Not quite half-way there, but it was still nice to see!
I knew we'd be running pretty far south, but I honestly didn't realize just how far down we'd go. It kind of sunk it once I was heading back and came up on I-88...yes - we went PAST 88 into Aurora:
For any Fox Valley friends...this is the trail south of 1-88...I remember when I didn't even like to drive that far!
Luckily the rest of the miles pretty much flew by until I hit around mile 15. The sun was out, the temperatures were rising, and my calves were getting pretty sore. I saw Sara coming up to the 16 mile water stop, and she and I finished off the last two miles together. The Japanese Garden "tour" was a killer, though...but it's good prep for race day when we'll have to do that twice. We speed-walked the rest of the training run, which I was totally fine with at this point. It was great having a chance to chat with her again! And yay - we got Freezie Pops when we made it back to Geneva!!

I did break two of the cardinal rules of the long run...I wore a brand new running tank AND tried new food/fuel for the course - OOPS! Luckily the new tank felt great. I didn't have any issues with it all, and it kept me cooler. The new fuel I tried was Fig Newtons...haha! I've notice the last couple of weeks that I would be starving around mile 12 or so, and the Gatorade chews just weren't cutting it. So I grabbed a few Fig Newtons, stuck them in a Ziploc bag, and ate one of them around mile 11. It worked!! I wasn't hungry at all until about 2 blocks from getting back to the FVM group.

Afterwards Pat, Jeanne, Christine, Colleen and I headed over to Geneva Diner for a wonderful breakfast. I have to say - I have met some of the BEST people since I started running. We had a great time chatting, and finally figured out what they REALLY put in those Gatorade jugs to keep us going...hahahaha! We've all "drunk the Kool-Aid", so to speak.

So now I look to the rest of training for this amazing experience. We'll have one more training run in two weeks (20 miles - yikes!), and I'll need to keep up my training on my own as well. Sadly it's supposed to be hot hot hot again this week, so I may move to the treadmill for my mid-week long run. I'm just glad that, less than 12 hours since I started running 18 miles, I'm really not that sore at all. As long as I keep moving, it makes a huge difference. I'm just definitely ready to get a good night's sleep!


  1. Great job today hon, you looked GREAT out there!

    1. Thanks Michelle! You looked like a rock star!

  2. ack! I didn't know you are a blogger too!!!! Great job today!

    1. Thanks Melinda! I didn't know YOU blogged!! Your training looks like it's going great...awesome job!