Tuesday I got lucky and Lorie was able to join me again at Fleet Feet Encino for our tempo run. We warmed up for 2 miles then did 3 one mile loops at tempo, then cooled down with another 2 miles. It was one of my fastest runs so far and felt awesome! Lorie is super speedy so she took off during the tempo portion but one of my teammates caught up to me (she is so great at pacing herself and not starting out too fast) so I pushed myself really hard and managed to keep pace with her! There is just something about running with someone that is just sightly faster than you that really shows you what you can do. I never would have pushed that hard if she wasn't there because I would be afraid I would burn out. After the run we came back to the store and worked on abs til they burned like fire. Coach Trey said that we will thank our abs during the marathon. I sure hope so!
As I was getting ready to leave I noticed Injini toe socks were on sale for $5 so I picked up a pair. They are supposed to help prevent blisters and all kinds of other benefits. And they just look awesome!
Wednesday I decided to repeat last week's idea of turning in early and running Thursday morning. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. Thursday and stepped outside to a pleasant mid-60s and thought it would be a great run. While I don't believe in jinxes, it's really never a good idea to count your miles before they're ran. I had 8 miles on the books and after Tuesday's 7 miles I thought it would be no problem. Unfortunately my stomach hurt from the start just about. I had an apple and almond butter just like last week so maybe it was my dinner but I just couldn't stop thinking about walking and/or turning around almost right away. I even chose the flatter city streets rather than my hilly neighborhood streets to guarantee an easy run but somehow I felt every gradual incline as if it were Mt. Everest. My plan was to run out for 4 miles and turn back but after 3 miles I decided to excuse myself since the area was getting seedy and planned to make up the mileage when I neared home. I stopped at McDonalds on my way back for a bathroom break and water which didn't do me any favors. When I left it felt like starting all over again and I had to warm up from scratch. When I finally neared my neighborhood I just had to walk. It was an all consuming feeling, not like I was in pain or short of breath, I just had to walk. It was really disappointing and made me nervous for Saturday's 18 miles.
Thursday evening has become my favorite night. Even though I'm a super newbie at yoga, I can really feel myself improving each week. Much more so than running. And it's indoors! So sue me, I get cold easily. It wasn't really my best class, my balance was really off, but I always enjoy it. After class we discussed signing up for the Ragnar Relay which covers 200 miles with a relay team of 12. I also talked to Coach Trey about my lackluster runs lately and he suggested that maybe I'm not eating enough.
Friday I set out to eat more in preparation for Saturday's run so I made my oatmeal with extra almond butter, grabbed a few snacks, and was off to work.... without my oatmeal. I wasn't off to a very good start but managed to eat a decent amount throughout the day. At WHPT I talked to Rod about my apprehension regarding 18 miles and he pointed out that even if it was a terrible run and I ran really slow, I would still benefit by training my body to run for 4+ hours. That made me feel better so I went home, had a good dinner, prayed for a good run, and went to bed.
The only thing I was looking forward to about my run on Saturday was the new fuel I had purchased at Fleet Feet: Bonk Breakers! I ran with Sarah and noticed right away that I felt pretty good. It was probably high 60s and I just couldn't wait to shed my gloves and overshirt. I ate my first Bonk Breaker (Blueberry Oat) after our first loop, about mile 5. It tasted great! We were off again and stopped at Body Dynamix for oranges and water just after mile 9. I kept a close eye on our stops which seemed to help since I didn't feel so rusty each time starting back up. We returned to the start around mile 12 and I ate my other Bonk Breaker (Peanut Butter & Jelly - High Protein). It was also delicious! We finished up our final leg and did the extra half mile to get a full 18 which included a strong push for the last tenth of a mile so we could get it over with. It was a great feeling to know that not only did we run 18 miles but we still had energy left at the end. I took my cold bath when I got home but by the end of the day my right arch was acting up. Really a very minor complaint considering what I had done.
Saturday was also the day I signed up for Run for Your Lives. Can't wait to run from zombies with my friends on a 5k obstacle course!
This week I also had another milestone that started with 18... I hit $1,800 in my fundraising for the Center for Assault Treatment Services! I'm so close to my goal of $2,000 and really hope I can close in on $3,000. It has been so incredible to see everyone's generosity and support for such a wonderful charity. Help me raise more by going here: http://www.crowdrise.com/crystalarrieta
One last thing... I was in Santa Monica Sunday and if you're local you know it was a glorious day. I took a walk down to Ocean Ave after lunch and took this picture at approximately Mile 26!