What a weekend!! It was one amazing first weekend of Spring! and the weather could not have been more wonderful!
The weekend got jump started with my longest training run heading towards Free State 40. On tap was 30miles with Coleen at Clinton Trails where Free State is held as well. But due to a solid week of rain they asked people to stay off Clinton so we headed to Lawrence River trails which are not as technical, but is a good course with rolling hills. I headed out to Legends and parked and Coleen swung by picked me up and we carpooled over to the trails. We figured we would do 5mi loops which would allow us to use the car as a aid station as well.
Things started out rough. My shins were super tight and were not wanting to loosen up at all. I had my 3/4 inserts on and we figured it might be good to take them out after the first loop. Yay for Car aid station ! I have set my Garmin to beep at each mile. The reason is that if I don’t remember drinking any water, I need to at least drink at each beep so I know I’m staying hydrated. I also set the Garmin to remind me every 45mins so I take salt and food at a minimum of every 45mins. This worked out very well. The River trails don’t have a lot of built in walk break sections like long inclines etc., so Coleen encouraged me to take walk breaks when needed, but to keep them at a brisk pace. Again that first loop was tough and for a little bit I was worried that this run could be a total disaster! But trying to push those thoughts aside, we kept moving and the conversation flowed.
End of first loop, inserts come out and we headed back out for a second. There were a bunch of guys setting up for the mountain bike races the next day and they asked us how much we ran. We said 5miles and next question: ‘how much more do you have’…response: ‘ we need to do 30"’…which led to a pretty interesting look!! LoL!! We were trying to decide if we wanted to keep the long sleeves, I kept them on for the first 3 loops as I was still a little chilly and Coleen had hers in her pack. The sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds all day. Every so often it felt like it would just rain down on us, but then next second the sun would be out. We were glad for the clouds and as it kept the temps pretty perfect all day! We kept running, power walking, hydrating, salting, eating and of course talking! Before I knew it we had done 15miles!! I had made some fresh juice of orange, apple and strawberry to test out and see how that would do at the half way point of my run. Around the 12.5mi mark…the thought of that juice kept me moving! I had enough for both of us and then some, and wow that juice never felt so good!! Delicious! Coleen had told me to make sure I have a treat to look forward to around the halfway point and this certainly did the trick! Hello juice at the 20mi mark at Free State!
I put the inserts back in to see how they would do once my legs were warmed up and we decided to mix it up a little and run the levee that runs parallel to the trails and get about 10miles along the levee and gravel roads. This would part of the last legs of Brew 2 Brew which Coleen will be running on April 1. I ran one of these legs last year and it was brutal with the heat and although I was dreading it a little, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. I think all the clouds and cool temps and very little wind was a big part of that! Running the levee and gravel roads definitely tightened up the glutes and hips, but we did 5miles out and back and was back at the car around 26miles and change. I know my training called for 30miles and the loop we were running was 5miles, so I figured what’s another additional mile right?! Plus that would make it a 50k distance training run, so I told Coleen that I wanted to just do the loop to finish out the run. I finished up the rest of the juice and a few Stinger chews and went back out for the last 5miles. I think I had a little too much sugar in my system as my stomach cramped up. I told coach and she said to just drink a little water and see how I feel. That did it! Legs were definitely tired and but that is to be expected. After all I was now running my longest training run EVER!!! It sprinkled a little on us for like 2-3mins towards the end. I was surprised that I was still running some of the hills! There is one small hill that the bikers have put in using some piled up logs and I told Coleen I would run over it on my last loop and it felt pretty kick-ass to do that! I was tired, but I felt strong and I knew my running both mentally and physically was now in a place that it has never been before! We came out into the clearing and coach pushed me to kick into gear and get those fast twitch muscles firing! I was running fast (ok fast for me) and as fast as I could after running almost 31miles and I crossed the two boulders smiling and know I just finished a 50k distance training run!!! IT FELT AWESOME!!
At that point I admitted to Coleen how nervous I was about doing this training run! 50k is the longest distance I’ve run and it just became a training distance. We finished at 7:21:14 and that was with a very rough first loop, long stops at the car and a few potty stops. I felt good about the time. I know the race course will be different as its much more technical, but I don’t plan on the aid station stops being as long either. But mentally this puts me within 9miles on my race distance and that was a HUGE confidence booster! My hydration was good, nutrition and salt intake was good. MAJOR thanks to Coleen who took her day out to do this with me! This was just what I needed .
Coleen and me all smiles after 31miles!! Thanks for the picture coach
We cleaned up and headed over to Local Burger for some grub and drink and then headed on back home where I promptly did a Epsom salts soak, foam rolled, stretched and crashed into bed! I finished up my running weekend with a 4.5mi run/power walk on Saturday to close it with 35.5miles for two days and 42miles for this week!!
My Saturday was spent with some other running buddies doing very non-running things that involved delicious food and Margaritas at Mestizo out on the patio on a fabulous Spring evening after which we spent the rest of the time hanging out at Allison’s patio partaking some yummy vino and great conversation!
With Allison and Katie enjoying a great first weekend of Spring!
Some vino, laughs and good times under candle with two very awesome ladies!
What a great weekend!! Awesome running, awesome friends, food, margaritas, wine and of course a totally awesome hubby that I got to spend some time with even with his busy schedule!! I'm a lucky girl indeed :) It’s Springtime Bliss!!