Now where’s the beach?!
My alarm was set for 5:00am this morning. I informed Derek of this fact before I went to bed last night and he told me I was crazy. Runners… We’re a special breed. Of course, I can call him crazy too. I found him lightly snoring on the couch with the Wii remote still in his hand at 5:00am. No word yet on how long he had been in that position, but I made sure he found his way to the bed before I set off for the run.
I wanted to get my run in early because Derek and I had plans to head to his grandfather’s beach house as soon as I finished. That was my motivation – when ever the run got tough, I just told myself that the faster I finished, the faster I would be on my way to the beach.
I took Maddie out, had a piece of toast with almond butter and fresh strawberries, prepared my water bottle with Gu Brew, and gave myself a mini pep talk, “19 miles? pshh… you’ve got this.” Gulp.
I had mapped out a route around my neighborhood the night before. I love driving to new places and trails for runs, but sometimes it’s just easier to leave right from my front door, especially if it’s just me. I know these roads better that any other roads, so if I got lost, I know it’s not difficult to find my way back.
However, I did have to get a bit creative to make the 19 miles work. I started with an over-exaggerated loop around my neighborhood, then branched out to Maddie’s favorite 3 mile out and back before looping back around to a few of the neighboring neighborhoods then to a main road and loops around even more neighborhoods. There were lots of mini loops, out and backs, and random stretches to fit the distance in, but I made it work.
There’s no way around it, 19 miles is a loonnggg way so – to keep myself in the game mentally – I like to assign mini goals for the run.
First goal: Reach the water fountain at mile 7.
I refilled my water bottle and had the first two Shot Bloks.
Second goal: Find a bathroom at mile 11.
This was an impromptu goal. I missed a turn at one point and really had to go. Missing the turn ended up being a blessing in disguise – I was able to spot a Wal-Mart I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I really, really needed that Wal-Mart. The bathrooms were great, but the water fountain was broken and I couldn’t refill my water bottle. I had about half of my water bottle left and 4 miles until I knew I would see another water fountain.
Third goal: Fuel at mile 13
I took two more Shot Bloks. 13 down, 6 more to go.
Fourth goal: Stop at Publix for water at mile 15
This particular Publix doesn’t open until 8:00am (does anyone else find this kinda late for a grocery store?). Originally I was afraid my timing would be off and I would arrive before they opened (it’s happened before), but thanks to my missed turn from earlier, I was right on time. Publixes make the best pit stops during runs – the water fountains are always cold and the bathrooms are always clean. I refilled my bottle and was on my way.
Fifth goal: FInish
My last 4 miles were actually my fastest miles from all 19. Maybe because I was so excited to be on my way back? These are also the miles I’m the most familiar with and know exactly what to expect and where to expect it. I kept checking off certain landmarks as I passed them ” OK, there’s the 4-way stop sign, that means I’m exactly 2.75 miles from home” I do this during ALL my runs. I can tell you the exact distance from my driveway to the house with the funny yellow door or to the big tree at my favorite turn.
Final Distance: 19 miles
Pace: 9:06 <- Sweet!
I returned a hot, sweaty mess.
A very happy hot, sweaty mess.
- plain yogurt
- chocolate protein powder
- chia seeds
- 2 packets instant oatmeal
- hot water
- honey peanut butter
- Kashi Go Lean Crunch
Derek came up behind me as I was making breakfast to give me a hug, but quickly backed off when he felt how sweaty I was. I like to get home and go right to FOOD. The shower can wait until I have a full belly.
19 miles. Done.
Can we go to the beach now?!?!
We’re on our way!