On Saturday I ran 18.5 miles, that is the longest run this marathon training cycle. My legs were a bit heavy, I was a bit tired but all in all, I already feel better trained this time around. This despite my piriformis acting up. (Time to roll on the tennis ball and stop wearing heels.)
Thursday afternoon, Mr. Pi and I left for California. We arrived very late Thursday night. The drive is long and painfully boring as we've driven it many, many times.
Friday we woke up to beautiful California weather! (YAY) We went to a park near my in-laws, Mr. Pi had a short Pfitz run (crazy Pfitz) and I took Zoey for a long walk. Friday night I went to bed early despite a house full of family, I knew I needed my rest for Saturday.
Saturday morning we were again treated to clear blue skies and sunshine. I ate my toast with PB and drank my coffee. I have to say I was a bit nervous for this run. I was trying a new fueling method (more gels) and I had a time goal for the run. I ended up a few minutes over the time goal BUT with semi good reason. (I'll get to that in a minute.)
I planned to break the run into three 6 mile runs and do three loops around the lower part of Bidwell Park. However, after my first extended loop of 8 miles, I decided to do a 10 mile loop and run to upper Bidwell and back to the car. Mr. Pi and I have hiked in upper Bidwell, but I've never run there. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I ended up on a single track trail for part of the run (I thought of Gazelle and her love of trail running). It was pretty fantastic!
I turned off my tunes, since I didn't want to get run over by a mountain biker. I listened to the stream running along to the right of me, the spring birds chirping in the air and watched the butterflies flutter around me...like I said, pretty fantastic!
Being on the trail did slow me down some (hence missing my time goal) but it was totally worth it! After the trail I came to a gravel road and encountered TONS of runners. It was fabulous. Up in the surrounding hills there were lots of hikers and bikers. It seemed like everyone was out enjoying the sunshine!There were a few gentle rollers, but the road was mostly flat. (At least the part I was on...my turn around point came before the steep up hills.)
I overshot the car by half a mile and finished with 18.5 miles under my belt. Total time: 3:46/12:16 AP (I was aiming for 11:30/11:45 AP.) I think my extra gel did help but I need to tinker with the timing. I took my first one at mile 6 and my second at mile 13. I think maybe I need to try mile 5 and 12. I also tried a new thing with my fuel belt. I personally HATE wearing the fuel belt. I would really like to run the marathon without it, but am too scared to try. To ease the discomfort and annoyance of the belt, I started with two full bottles and after my first loop switched out the empty two for full ones. Two bottles instead of all four was more comfortable. My plan is to have at least one bottle for the marathon for the times I want water and am in between water stations.
Mentally, I split the run into 3 sections. I had 3 playlists for each section. My middle miles were my slowest but I finished strong with my last mile at 10:37 and my last .5 under 10 (thank you Black Eyed Peas for a rockin' new song).
While I missed my running buddies, it was a good solo run.
There were lots of hikers up in the hills enjoying the beautiful blue skies!
Quotes of the weekend came from two of my nephews post-run while I was in my ice bath still in my running clothes because I forgot a bathing suit.
Nephew #1: Why are you sitting in the bath tub with your clothes on? (said while looking very confused.)
Nephew #2: There are ice cubs in the bath tub. Are you trying to make a swimming pool?