Week 25 of marathon training complete! I remember writing about being halfway done at week 15 and how long ago that seems. I feel like I've gone through a lifetime's journey in the last 9 months. There has been ups and downs with a whole lot of sweat and tears in between.
Speaking of tears, I shed quite a few of those this morning. I finished my 18 miles with 15 seconds to spare to get under my 4 hour goal I had set for myself. I ran the first 14 miles straight and beat my 13.1 PR time by a minute in the process. From 14-18 I walk/ran and had intermittent moments of uncontrollable sobbing in there too. I don't know what it was today but it just all felt like it's really coming together. When I pretty easily ran 14 miles without much thought I was amazed at what was happening. Who is this girl? Who have I become? Someone who runs at 5AM and enjoys seeing the sunrise from the golf course behind the homes I pass. Someone who follows through with a commitment. Someone who dreams a dream so big a year ago and is seeing it through. That's who I am.
I got home and I no more than got through the front door and the water works started. Kyle was concerned that I had hurt myself again but I had to tell him they were happy tears and I was just so proud of myself. The dog was all over me wondering why I was so sad (and stinky). I couldn't hold them in and I'm sure I'm going to straight up ugly cry at the finish line of the marathon and very likely before then, too.
One more run longer than today and that's my 20 miler 2 weeks from now. I'll enjoy falling back for 14 miles this week especially knowing I did it so well today to that point. I had set my 187 mile goal for how many miles I had left after I hit my 200 mile goal and I'm already 25% of the way done. I had missed a run so I've added a mile or two to my shorter runs to make up for the 6.5 miles I was behind. I've got a few weeks to get the last 3.5 in, no worries :) I don't know how well I'll truly be able to taper and only run 2-3 miles at a time the last week of training. It's all good!
I ordered my custom dri-fit shirt yesterday and I'm pleased with how it turned out. I got it from CafePress.com as it was the only site I could find that actually let you have color options in single ordered shirts and they were even having a flash sale at the time so even better!
This morning I took the opportunity to try out Oral IV for my run - I was graciously offered samples to try to review for my blog through a Sweat Pink connection! Per the website (www.oralIV.com), Oral IV is "a revolutionary hydration aid product based on a proprietary formula of crystalloid electrolytes and purified water. ORAL I.V. does not contain any sugars, caffeine or stimulants, additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients." It comes in a small tube that's easy for carrying in my fuel belt and doesn't have a bad taste to it. I always use my Advocare Slam before and during my long runs so I took it as an opportunity to use it along side that and followed with a small swig of water to wash it down. I think in combination with today's cooler temperatures and the Oral IV I felt more hydrated and didn't have any issues with cramping during the 18 miles. I drank the same amount as usual and even though it was cooler I was still drenched with sweat so I feel the Oral IV helped with my electrolytes and keeping on top of my hydration. I will continue to use it for the rest of my training!
Can I just say how excited I am to be back on day shift starting this week? 6 weeks of nights was a long stretch! I do think my training schedule works out better with being on nights as long as I don't work 3 in a row because I can do longer runs during the day and still get a nap in before work. Life works out better for us on day shift so I will be thankful (as will Kyle) for some normalcy. I'm working a day at Bethesda this week on Wednesday and work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday otherwise. I'm spending the day tomorrow with my sister, niece and nephew at the Cincinnati Zoo so I'm excited to play with those two for the day!
I'm going to settle in for the night with a book (I've just started Orange is the New Black) and get some good sleep tonight. Week 26 is upon us!