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Sunday, October 9, 2016

#CountdownToVegas Weeks 12 & 13: There and Back Again

Pic by Brandi Nicole
Since I was travelling last weekend, I never got around to my weekly blog post, so this one covers two weeks.  If I could somehow just dictate these while I'm running, they'd get done on time and probably be a lot better.  I always forget half of what I wanted to say by the time I sit down at the PC.

Training is still going well.  Last week it was #TeamMoHills on Monday, Bourbon Street Running Club followed by #LFBootcamp on Tuesday, and a basic 3 mile run around my neighborhood Wednesday morning.  Thursday was a rest day, as I slept in that morning and hit the road as soon as I got off work.  I didn't make it quite halfway to my parents' house before driving in the dark and rain got to be too much so I stopped for the night.

Paxton Holler
Friday morning I ran 3.17 miles on the hotel treadmill.  It was so excruciating.  How can a 3 mile treadmill run seem to take forever, while 3 miles outside barely feels like a warm up?  But I got it done, and then drove on to my parents' for a late lunch and a nice but too short visit.  Then it was back on the road for the last little leg of my trip to Greer, SC, and what should've been an 80 minute drive instead took 2 1/2 hours because everyone in NC and SC was on I-26 at the same time.  Good grief people.  Indianapolis doesn't have traffic jams that bad unless there's a wreck.

The main reason for this trip was a reunion with some friends from The Cullowhee Experience, a summer camp we attended as teens.  As with most reunions, not everyone could make it, but it was so great to see those who did.  We all connected just like when we were younger, and it didn't seem at all like we'd spent years apart.

Pic by David Foster
Addie and I are the only two runners of the bunch, and we had signed up for a local 5K that was a fun little race.  I got up early, did 8 miles, came back and ran the 5K in 34:36 (I was going to just continue my long slow run pace but I was having fun so I pushed it after all), and then I ran 7 more miles to get the full 18 in that my training plan called for.  I felt great for the entire run.  I was a little surprised as I expected at least the last part to be a bit of a grind, but I felt strong and had plenty of energy and enjoyed the entire run.  Fingers crossed that Vegas feels that way too!

Later we went out and walked around downtown Greer, attending Oktoberfest, and I wasn't sore or tired at all.  I hope that means all this training and conditioning is paying off.  Some days recently I've felt like my energy level is falling off some, and I also seem to be losing weight, which I'm not trying to do.  I'm trying to up my calorie intake just a bit so I have enough fuel and energy for everything.  Just a few more weeks to go.

Paxton Holler at night
Sunday it was time to say goodbye, and it was just as sad and hard as any year leaving Cullowhee was.  But, next on the agenda was a visit to Cindy and Scott.  I hadn't been to their new place yet, so we spent a fun few hours hanging out on the front porch with a gorgeous view of the mountains.  Then I went back to our parents', and Laura and Mark also came over.  We had a fire outside and a delicious meal and a great time together.  Never long enough, though.

Monday morning I did my own hill workout on our parents' driveway, and then packed up and drove back home.

Total miles for the week: 37.77

This week has been a little bit lower in mileage, but I'm still getting the work in.  Tuesday I had to miss Bourbon Street Running Club due to a leadership team meeting at church, but I had a good workout at #LFBootcamp.  Wednesday I decided to take Theresa's ReFit class instead of running.  Good cardio and strength moves, great music, and a wonderful friend made this workout just what I needed.  Thursday I ran 3 miles with the Flat12 run club, and Friday I took a rest day.

Friday night I decorated the house for Halloween.  I didn't decorate last year.  I wasn't going to this year either, and then I saw our Halloween towels in the same bag with my Halloween running shirts, and I started thinking maybe I should.  It's likely our last Halloween in this house, and I've always loved decorating it for every month/season/holiday there is.  And while Kevin didn't get into decorating like I do, he would always buy me new decorations as gifts or surprises.  He brought these skull candle holders home from an October business trip to Canton, Illinois.  So it was hard to get some things out and look at them and remember, but I'm glad I did it.  Those things have meaning, and I don't want to leave them boxed up and forget the memories that go with them.  And I need to continue making new memories, too.

Saturday the #FBG and I ran the Great Pumpkin Run.  This is the third year we've done this race, but it moved to a new location this year.  We dressed as roller derby girls, and I added the Tough Pumpkin option to my race entry.  That meant that I had to carry a pumpkin the entire race - no slings, bags, or backpacks to help - and if I made it to the finish with the pumpkin intact, I got an extra medal.  That pumpkin was only 4 pounds, but by the end of the race it felt a lot heavier.  This is a trail run with a few small hills but very challenging terrain as a lot of it runs through recently harvested cornfields.  The very end of the race ran through a corn maze with lots of twists and turns.  There were signs marking the way, but it was still a little disorienting and really cool.  We all agreed we really liked that finish.

Today I did my 14 mile long run in the evening, since Vegas is an evening race.  I wanted to practice fueling and resting for a long night run.  I started my run at 5pm, ran 3.5 miles out from my house and then back to hit 7.  I came in for a pit stop, water bottle refill, and to check on my supper.  A crock pot full of delicious homemade potato soup - with potatoes from my parents' garden to make it even better.  I also grabbed a flashlight and headed back out to go the final 7, running in a different direction this time.  Once it's dark I stick to roads with sidewalks.  After I was 1.5 miles in, I almost turned around and went home.  I was not feeling it, but I stuck it out anyway.  That last 5 miles was a total grind.  I'm cold and sore, but I learned something useful.  The temp was in the mid 70s when I started, and that was all I looked at when deciding what to wear.  It cooled off quickly once the sun went down, though, and was in the mid 50s by the time I got home.  I was really chilled, and I'm sure that contributed to me feeling so sore.  Next time, I check the weather for my estimated finish time as well, and take that into consideration.

Total miles for the week:  30.6

Total training miles to date:  337.05

Up next: Indy Runners Run The Monon, not a race but a group long run which lines up perfectly with the 20 mile long run on my training plan.


  1. I'm sure the pumpkin would have felt a lot heavier than 4 pounds at the end.

    Well done for sticking out that long run. It is really tough fighting through those walls, but you did it.

    You are going to do great at Vegas.

    1. Thanks Carl! I'm really looking forward to Vegas.

  2. You had to run with a pumpkin? That would be tough, even in a backpack. I've been toying with the idea of running with a fuel pack, but the extra weight might throw me off!

    Great week of training!

    1. I actually paid extra to run with the pumpkin, but I got an extra medal for it and I got to keep the pumpkin. I did run a bit slower than I normally would've, but it was fun for something different.