My execution of Saturday's 8.6 miler began on Friday. I woke up drinking water and frankly, by the end of the day, don't think I could have drank another drop. I had a great lunch, snack, and dinner. While I was craving some pizza, I gotta thank Jan for making and AWESOME, healthy dinner with grilled chicken, corn and black bean salad, and INCREDIBLE yellow squash sautee, all topped with a scoop of guac and pico. When I was done with that meal, I felt like a KING!!! Oh, and we topped off the evening with a Skinny Cow Fudge Bar.
I got up right on time for a change, had a good breakfast, picked up where I left off Friday night with more water, water, water and headed out. I actually arrived at the park early so I did not feel rushed at all. After a quick pep talk from Coach Michael, I headed out. I set out at a very easy pace for the first couple miles. Our route took us west out of the park and up Memorial Drive. I didn't dilly-dally much at all at the first water stop. I was feeling pretty good. Of course, by just two miles in, I was already just about soaked from head to toe with sweat and it wasn't even that hot...YET!!! All week, the heat has really been getting to me. Of course, I've been running mostly in the evening so that explains that. My plan yesterday was to RESPECT THE WEATHER!!! I wasn't going to worry about my pace at all. Just go out, keep my effort at LSD effort and just get my miles done and get out of there.
I saw lots of In Flight peeps as they hit their turnarounds and were heading back in. Our routes were great. We had folks doing 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12... all depending on what race and what level they were training at. Four through nine mile routes were pretty much the same, just with different turnaround points. Water stops were all very strategically placed. Great job In Flight and crew on the logistics this morning. You just don't know how much that makes a difference in a long run to know everything is in order, that you don't have to worry about water and bathrooms being where you said they were going to be. First class job. Nannie-nannie-boo-boo all you groups who have to CARRY your own water. :) Sorry, I'm quickly becoming an In Flight snob. Just kidding around so don't get your shorts in a wad.
Anyway, my turnaround point was just a block short of Chimney Rock. The crew not only had water and Gatorade for us but COLD, ICED TOWELS!!! That felt so good. I took a little longer at the truck than at the first water stop. I just kind of cooled down, hydrated and prepared for the return trip. I had just under 4 miles behind me and still felt REALLY good. This surprised me as during the week, I had a couple runs where after mile 2, I was done. But again, I was respecting the heat and just getting it done.
I've already dragged this story out too long. Suffice it to say, I finished the run strong. I really had no need to walk ANY. I took 30 seconds or so after each of the next 3 water stops to walk a little but pretty much I'd have to say that given the conditions, I nailed this run. Good prep, good execution.
Our efforts were rewarded with some trash talking and fun times at Starbucks with a couple of our HFit buds, Doreen and Anna. There was even a Cassie and Manny sighting which MADE MY DAY!!! Congrats to everyone on a great run Saturday. And like coach said, it's that time. 6 months to game time. Let's turn up the heat and get this show on the road. I'm really looking forward to the season and the challenges ahead and sharing them with good friends and my family.