Saturday, June 20, 2015

First Fox Valley Marathon training run of the season

Today marks the end of week 8 of training for Christine and me, and it was also the first Fox Valley Marathon training runs. I love that our volunteer team and race directors put them on each year (there are 6 total). So I was up about 5:00 this morning, preparing for the 10 miles we had on deck for today. 

For some reason I was a little nervous about this one. I've never really given training runs a second thought, but today felt different. Maybe it was because we were hitting double digits, or maybe it's because I felt like I needed to prove something to myself - I wanted to finish strong today. That's because last week I was asked to pace the 5:30 or 6:00 marathon. Our training has been going really well, and each long run gets better for us. Our pace keeps improving, and we will start increasing the running time and shortening the walking portion. So after discussing this with my most awesome training partner we said we would pace the 5:30 group. 

We were blessed with great running weather when we started out from Geneva Running Outfitters, although it was a touch humid and my allergies were kicking in. Christine and I settled into the back of the pack, and once we hit mile 3 we found a great pace for us. The first half of the run passed very quickly, thanks to great conversation and lots of laughs. We ended up turning around about mile 6.5, not really knowing exactly how many miles it would take us to get back to Geneva. We figured it was at least 3 miles, and we were both okay with going a bit over our planned miles. 

About mile 7 I tried out Huma gel for the first time, and went for chocolate. While it didn't bother my stomach at all, and tasted really good, it was pretty thick. My water was running a bit low, so that didn't help. I took it over two walk breaks, which ended up working pretty well for me. It has a bit of caffeine, and it did give me an extra boost.

Right after we passed the Fabyan Windmill we hit mile 10 - yeah, we were off by a bit with our turnaround! We decided we'd keep with our run/walk until we hit 11 miles, which luckily was just as we hit State Street. That gave us a nice 0.3 mile or so cool down walk as we made one way back to GRO. We ended up with a 12:33 pace, and it was so nice to see that several people were still hanging out behind the store with the training run group! After enjoying a yummy freezie pop we headed over to Starbucks for some much needed caffeine and Greek yogurt.

Poor Christine is having to deal with me freaking out a bit about pacing. We'll have to maintain a 12:35 pace, which we did today. And after looking at our splits I know we can keep this up with no problem. After mile 4 we stayed just a bit under that pace, and our last mile was actually our fastest. I'm committed to training hard, and training smart. And with such an amazing group around me for support, it's going to be an amazing season!