Saturday morning I had planed my long run for the marathon training, a nice 22.5 mile trek around the eastern part of West Knoxville, down through downtown then through campus and back. I started a little late around 8:15 instead of 7:30 like I originally had planned. I had three layers of shirts on, one polyester coolmax, one cotton coolmax and one microfiber fleece shirt. In addition, I had on a cool max hat, my knit gloves and some strategically placed bandages to prevent bleeding. The temperature was a balmy 31, fore casted to reach 49 for a daytime high. Because of this, I opted for the runner shorts as opposed to my 'Almost Tights' that I have for cold weather. My rule of Thumb is that if the temperature is in the 30s (or below) then I wear the tights, if not it's shorts. However, since it was going to get warmer, I figured the shorts, which would be cold at first, would be a better choice. So with my MP3 Player cued up and ready, I proceeded to take the leg of the out-and-back heading East. I made it through one song on my MP3 player before the battery ran out!
I had planned running East for the first part of the course, because I would be having to cross Kingston Pike a couple of times on this side of my course. Kingston Pike is the heart of Knoxville or rather a vein/artery because EVERYTHING is off of Kingston Pike. So, I wanted to get across the street with as little traffic as possible.
I made it out to the West End Church of Christ, my turn around point (mile 7) in 1:13:23 (1 hr 13 min). I felt pretty strong at this point, I was warm, but not overheated. I wasn't that hungry, nor was I very thirsty – I only brought some money to buy water at Weigels on the way back. I headed back, stopping at Weigels and made it back to the car (mile 14) in 1:11:52, OOOHHH a negative split. Sweet! I took about six minutes to swap the battery of the MP3 player, drink some water and load up my Carbo gels (Cytomax) which will be the gels offered at the Knoxville marathon. This was the first time that I had used them, so it was an experiment to see if I would have any adverse reaction to them. They are pretty sweet tasting, but no reactions.
I made it through 2 songs before my MP3 player stopped playing. Since MP3 players do not use that much energy to play, I usually use AA from other devices (mainly Eric's toys) that have stopped working, but the batteries still have a little life in them. This way I can get the maximum out of the batteries before they reach the Battery Recycle Heaven. Other than having the earbuds in my ear, not having the music was not much of a problem. Seeing that my current MP3 player only holds about 1 hour of songs, I would have been listening to the same songs over and over. I almost bought an MP3 player this christmas to relieve this problem, but chose not too and now regret it slightly.
When it comes to running for a long time, I do a lot of thinking and about a lot of different things. I think about running, of course, and about what shoes I will need or what I am going to wear at the marathon. I also think about my next few training runs and how fast/long they need to be. I try to also think about things going on in my life and things I need to do. This time I was creating some songs/poetry in my head. I also take the time to pray while I am running, since there are little distractions on my long runs, I can think about those that need my prayers and am able to concentrate on their needs.
I finished the 8.5 mile loop in 1:25 which is a pace faster (10:07) than the earlier legs. So my run went well. I ran the entire distance by myself and was able to survive – during the marathon I will have 999 other marathon runners. My average pace for the 22.5 miles was 10:16, although slower than I would prefer, the negative splits encourages me that I will be able to run faster race day. My legs weren't that sore right afterwards. My legs were getting sore that night and thanks to Jen P they barely hurt on Sunday. Today, I can still tell that I worked out hard on Saturday, but they are in good shape right now.
Eric is talking more and more. He is saying “What's that” when curious about something. Jen has him pointing to her stomach and saying “Baby”. He has a runny nose and we are trying to keep him from getting sick. We tried to get video of him doing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” but he KNOWS what the camera does!
I am on my 10th day of scanning my hard drive, so nothing new on the website yet. I am thinking that I will break down and buy a new hard drive, but I have so much time invested in that hard drive. Even Jen hits “Fix It” when she sees that the pop up window has come up.