Friday, August 14, 2015

Marathon Training Week 10 Recap: The week after a goal race

Following the Olympic tri last weekend I came back to my apartment to rest.  I needed it.  I was tired from the race, the early morning and the driving.  I sat around for a bit at my apartment and just feeling really happy and excited about everything I'd done that day.

I was also starving and also in need of some celebrations!  So after cleaning the markers off my arms and showering and making myself presentable I first headed out of the house for a real post race meal of some meat and beer.  I love me some protein after exercising.

I'd had bread earlier with my Subway sandwich and really wasn't in the mood for anything fried so I got my burger on a lettuce wrap and with a side salad instead.  I ate at the place near my apartment called Marlow's that I like sitting at the bar at sometimes and their burgers come with this amazing "bacon jam."  It exactly hit the spot and I felt good going from there to meet some friends for a birthday celebration.

Some of my friends were shocked to see me out after having done the race in the morning, but it was actually a ton of fun and exactly what I needed.  An early evening of celebrations, cold drink, and friends who know what it is like to push themselves hard.  I know the friend whose birthday it was through running and his community is all running too so it was great to see so many faces of people who I usually only see in running attire.  As well, even though I had done the race in the morning, everyone else had some some sort of training that day... having run 14 or 20 or whatever odd amount of miles.  It is amazing to have a group of people who have the same ideals around working hard and playing hard.

I still got home early and called it an easy night, getting to bed for a good night's rest.  In the morning, I did something that many of you probably will think is crazy but I got up to run.  I had a 10 mile run scheduled for the weekend and although I had done 6 during my race, wanted to do the official training run as well.  I went out to the run meetup an hour later than what others were planning and to be totally honest I was not sure what I was going to end up running.  I figured I'd just play it by ear and either do a loose shake out run or get in some training miles.  I ended up feeling decent and ran 6 miles that morning with the intention of going that evening to the Mover's and Pacers flagship run.  This worked out pretty well and although it was a tired run, I still maintained a decent pace and felt good at the end of the night.  Plus, compression socks are amazing.

Throughout the week I still had some really good workouts including two classes at Pure Barre.  My gym has been going through some renovations so I took it as an opportunity to try out these classes and use up a package that I had signed up for months before.  I'm not a huge fan of the classes but I know that people have great results with them and I have also heard that it takes a while to really get used to. I look around and see all the people in the class who have these crazy fit bodies and it makes me want to stick it out as well!  I did one class on Monday night and one on Thursday night.  Both times I barely made it to the class in time and had to change in my car.  I have pretty much mastered that art though.  I'm a total pro at quick changes in the car, let me tell you.

I actually had really fun activities all this week, including a night out with the Movers and Pacers crew supporting one of our friend's marathon charities.  I was totally impressed to learn that many local restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds on certain nights to charities.  My friend who is training for the Marine Corps Marathon had worked with a restaurant Yeah Burger to set that up so we all came out for dinner and to "contribute" to her charity.  I've been trying really hard to eat healthy lately and had done a lot of meal prep at home, so I chose to eat that food but still came out to support and donate some money in cash.

It was a really fun night and I am TOTALLY stealing this idea for the future!  I am already thinking about future fundraising and this was such a great way to get some cash for a good cause and also get all of your friends together.  I have been uncomfortable throughout my donation/fund-raising process soliciting people for money, so I think this is such a great way to get your friends involved.

On Wednesday night we actually had a SUPER fun Atlanta running event called the Big Ol Group Run.  It wasn't a timed race or anything, but it brought out all of the different run crews in Atlanta for either 3 or 6 mile routes and it ended at a local brewery called Monday Night Brewing and everyone stayed to hang out, mingle with other runners and drink some beers.

It was a blast!  There were tons of different vendors there and everyone was just representing their crew or the multiple crews that they run with.  Since I sometimes run with Running Nerds and Run Smyrna and have a lot of friends in Black Men Run and Black Girls Run, it was just a great mix of all these different people that I now call friends and members of the Atlanta Running Community.

I don't really have a reason to capitalize those words, but let me just tell you that the Atlanta running community is truly amazing. I was looking forward to joining group runs when I moved here but the welcoming family of runners that I have come to know is so much more than what I could have hoped for.

The most amazing thing about this race was what I finished to.  I ran the 6 mile route which was the longer route, plus an additional mile since I actually had 7 on my agenda for the day.  I was really proud of how I did with the pace and the hills for the run and even with the extra mile finished in the middle of the pact.  However, many people had already finished and were inside drinking beer.  Except the Movers and Pacers had two friends standing and cheering as I finished and then everyone came out to watch until everyone from M&P finished.  That's the support that I love about this crew and what attracted me to them in the first place.  The support and positive attitudes.  None of the other run crews in Atlanta were out supporting their runners that way and it made me so happy to be a part of this group and to call these people friends!

In addition to the Wednesday night run, which took me out of my normal morning run routine (I actually swam in the morning on Wednesday since I had the opportunity!) I got in my shorter runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with friends.  On Tuesday we had a new morning runner out -- I'm trying to get everyone -- and it was actually her birthday so I brought a crown for her and we all did celebratory apple cider vinegar birthday shots.

Then on Thursday I did my morning run and although I felt so tired was shocked when I looked at my watch and still saw a good pace.  I swear, I am amazed and think my watch is broken every time I look at it because I am not used to hitting the paces I have been hitting lately.  And even when I feel like I am slow, I am still running faster than I think I am.  Thursday's run was even more amazing because we had this incredible sunrise.  It was seriously a great week of really fun and exciting runs now that I am looking back at it!

On Friday I swam in the evening, just getting in some relaxing meditational laps and going without stopping, which is a fun thing to just turn my mind off and do every now and then.  Right now I am gearing up for my 15 mile run in the morning which will be the first run I have that is beyond the half marathon point.  I am both nervous and excited to reach this point in marathon training and I get a little overwhelmed thinking about what is ahead.  I have spent a lot of this week just telling myself to focus on the run ahead of me rather than the future and that has helped me to calm down quite a bit.

The other thing that I want to share as I wrap up this post is that this week I hit my goal of raising $1500 for the Girls on the Run charity for the Chicago Marathon!!!! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED!!!  You have no idea how much it means to me to have hit my goal with still a little less than 2 months until race day.  Your support means everything and I will be thinking of you as I run tomorrow morning and throughout training until race day!!   THANK YOU!


  1. Holy crap! I love the restaurant fundraiser you talked about. I was just (like yesterday) accepted to be the organizer for my company's American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast cancer walk and they asked me to come up with fundraising ideas...and that is such a good one! I'm gonna have to get in touch with some restaurants around my work to see if they'll do this!

    1. It is really pretty cool! I will ask my friend if there is a website or something that lists companies that participate in it. It's pretty cool though!