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Yep, that about sums it up – as in that 18 mile training run was “just right.”  Well, as just right as anything can be when you do it for ~ 3 hours straight.

Let’s back up to last night.  Resting and hydrating were big themes of the day but so was consuming a few extra carbohydrates.  I mentioned to Tom that I wanted to have pasta for dinner.  I was thinking something along the lines of spaghetti with a nice rich, red sauce with a little meat.  He was thinking along other lines.  He was thinking Clam Linguine.  Great I thought, that’s easy: buy a pound of linguine, buy a few cans of clams, buy a bottle of clam juice (the recipe is on the back) add some lemon juice, hot pepper flakes and a little butter and call it a deal. Yeah, um, that’s not what he was thinking.  He was thinking Common Grill Cookbook Clam Linguine.  Oh Jeez, a rest day by definition cannot include a Craig Common recipe.  Have you ever seen those things?  They are a recipe, in a recipe, in a recipe….like those damn little Russian Dolls…just when you think it’s over…you’re wrong…. it’s not!  Let me explain.  The recipes go something like this:

1 lb of linguine

1 red onion

2 gloves of garlic

24 oz chopped plum tomatoes

1 roasted yellow pepper (yes, you must roast this sucker yourself and that takes about 20 minutes from start to finish)

1 cup of garlic butter cream (see page 23 for recipe – uh huh.  That will add another 40 minutes to your prep time)

2 cups of tomato basil sauce (see page 72 for recipe, again adding another 45 minutes to prep time)

…..and so on.  You get the idea (and no don’t use the above to cook your next pasta dinner ’cause it’s not even close to complete) these innocent little recipes take about 4 hours of prep work, not including shopping for the ingredients!  Sometimes Tom gets this bug up his butt and he really wants to make a meal like this so there was no denying him.  I agreed to shop if he would spend the afternoon chopping, simmering, blending, stirring, pureeing, etc.  He did and this is what we got to feast on:

Nothing out of a jar or can here!

It was delicious and was definitely worth all of the hard work!  What would I do without my supportive family?!?

We finished up dinner and watched the Kentucky v. Louisville game – didn’t turn out how we wanted it to but what can you do.  I made it to tip-off of the OSU v. Kansas game and then called it a night – it was about 9:15 p.m.  Not only did I have to get up to run 18 miles beginning at 7:00 a.m. but I also had to get this kid:

Tell me how you got to be 18 again?

to her friend’s house by 4:30 a.m. so they could get to the airport in time for their 7:00 plane to Miami!  The most ironic thing about this timing is that she was going to be flying for as long as I would be running (3 hours!)  She would land and be greeted with this:

Photo sent to me less than an hour after she landed!

I finished my run and was greeted with this:

Yes, that's bird crap all over my windshield

...and that's bird crap all over my driver and passenger door!

Ok, back to the 4:30 a.m. wake up.  I got the world-traveler to her destination and thought maybe I would be able to sleep for another hour or so once I got back home.  Well, no that didn’t happen but I did relax in my nice cozy bed until 6:00 a.m.  Got up, had some cereal, checked the weather, stirred up the protein shake, packed my Pretzel M & M’s and some Gu just in case the M & M’s didn’t agree with me, picked out my clothes based on the current weather (40 feels like 36 with a 30% chance of rain), went to get my Garmin only to find this:

Dead Garmin! Gasp! Actually, I swore - I know, shocker.

What is a girl to do when she discovers her Garmin is dead merely minutes before she has to be out to door to meet up with Legs to do an 18 mile run????  Oh, she just goes out the door, Garmin-less and runs?  Ok, I can do that.  And I did.  I actually thought it was the Diva’s fault (that’s Tom’s endearing nickname for Alisha.)  I thought she had unplugged my Garmin from the port in the computer so that she could do something very important, I’m sure, with her iPhone.  I cursed her but it didn’t do any good as you know cause she was at DTW at that point.   (Come to find out, the Garmin was fully charged and working just needed to be “re-set” – this I discovered AFTER my run.)

Without anything to tell me how fast (or slow) I was going I just had to run.  I had no way to freak myself out with going out too fast or starting to slow on a hill.  I just had to run.  Today I was supposed to run at a 10:29 pace.  I knew there was no way that Legs would be going that slow so I felt confident that I would easily hit the goal.  And we did.  We completed 18 miles in 2 hours and 54 minutes which translates to a 9:40 pace.  Thanks Legs!!

As you know by now, I am the route master and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Control issues, who?  Me?

Sometimes I like to throw in a surprise or two.  Today’s surprise was this:

Yes, this is a sign to warn trucks that they are about to go DOWN a very steep hill.  Wanna know what my surprise was???  Yep, you guessed it, we ran UP that hill.  We’ve done this once before but Legs isn’t quite as familiar with our cozy little town as me and KG and she didn’t know this is where we were headed.  Of course, she’s a champ and the incline barely fazed her!

There was nothing that evil (or so I thought) for the rest of the route.

Here I am at 9.5 in the bathrooms at Gallup:

Yes, of course, Legs is in the stall. She said she had to go to the bathroom but I think she was just afraid I would try to take her picture!

Things were going really well.  My fuel was agreeing with me.  My legs felt pretty good and it had only rained on us a little bit.  Then, we hit Washtenaw.  This is where the cruel joke was on me.  How have I not noticed how many little rolling hills there are on Washtenaw from campus out to the Stadium point??  I don’t know but those babies tried to kick my butt.  We survived but it wasn’t a ton of fun.

Legs stayed with me until we had about 1.5 miles to go and then she sprinted ahead.  Once she can smell anything close to home, she’s like a cheetah.  Those long legs just take off.  If you didn’t know her you would think she was just trying to show off but, I know better she just wants to be done!

And done we were: 2 hours 54 minutes and the Diva had just texted me that she landed safe and sound in Miami.  :  )

I was feeling pretty good.  Got home and got my very wet clothes off and was contemplating my ice bath.  By this time I had talked myself in and out of the ice bath at least 3 times.  Take the bath and you’ll feel better tomorrow v. skip the bath so you can find out if it really helps.  If you don’t take the bath and you feel pretty good tomorrow, you’ll never have to take another ice bath in your life.

I knew that I could postpone the decision for a bit because this funny little thing happens after you run for 3 hours in 40 degree weather in soaking wet clothes (from sweat.) You stop running and begin to shiver like crazy.  I had to let myself warm up before I could dunk myself in the ice-cold water.  There I sat contemplating the ice bath….tick, tock, tick, tock.  Ice bath wins.  Mostly, because Tom said I should because I felt so much better after it last week.  I hate it when he’s right….no, really, I do.  So in I went.

I look a little happier this week, don't I?

Notice the socks.  The worst part last week was putting my feet in the icy water.  I decided maybe a layer between me and the cubes would help.  It did!  I even managed to stay in for 15 whole minutes. Then you have to get out and warm up all over again so that you can take a hot shower and actually get clean.  Damn this marathon training is time-consuming!  Seriously, I started getting ready at 6:00 a.m. and was out of the shower and dressed for the day by 12:30 p.m.  and I really didn’t fart around at all.

All in all, for an 18 mile run this was just right – good route, good temperature, not much precipitation, fuel worked well, route was interesting, company was great but one thing was missing……we missed Kristi!  She did her own fun run in Siesta Key but I don’t want to be the spoiler.  Stay tuned for the recap of her loooong run.

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