Tuesday I woke up feeling light headed. I ate my oatmeal but still felt really off so I went home at lunchtime and took a nap. I woke up feeling better but thought running the scheduled 6 miles was not the best idea so I decided to skip it.
Remember when 12 miles was a long run? Well this week 12 miles was just a regular Wednesday run. Except it wasn't. I mean it's 12 miles!! Practically a half marathon which I just did on Sunday and it took more than two hours. And that's at race pace... meaning I was in for about two and a half hours of running on a work night. Luckily my awesome neighbors decided to take it to the beach so I rode along with them since I couldn't even begin to map out that many miles on city streets. We took it nice and easy using Jack's patented run one mile, walk one minute technique. It was such an easy pace that I even took a phone call from Sarah while running. Talk about conversation pace! Jack and Andreia wore their awesome Nike Vapor Flash Jackets that they scored major deals on at Fleet Feet.
We ran by some more filming, Cirque du Soleil's Ovo, the Santa Monica Pier, and tons of freaky Venice people. We even got some cheers from people at a boardwalk restaurant! It was a good run and I was proud to accomplish such a long distance during the week.
Thursday I had planned to go to yoga but I got a text from my brother that my sister-in-law was in labor! Krista Grace was born at 5:49 pm, weighs 7 lbs 3 ozs, and is 19 inches! I'm officially an aunt now! We stayed at the hospital til around 11:00 pm but mommy (and daddy) were exhausted so we went home. I hadn't eaten dinner yet so I stopped at Subway and by the time I went to bed it was nearly 1:00 a.m. This made me incredible nervous about my run on Friday.
I took Friday off to run with Sarah since she would be out of town on Saturday and asked me to keep her company. I was happy to help out a friend but also happy to run at the beach instead of Balboa Park for the millionth time. Sadly Sarah got a stress fracture earlier in the week and wasn't able to run on Friday after all. I briefly considered working and doing the run Saturday with the team but I had already planned my weekend around running Friday instead so I decided to stick with it. Since I had gone to bed so late I let myself sleep in and got to the beach at 10:00 a.m. I decided my goal was to maintain a 12 minute pace since I would need to run less than 11:27 minute miles to finish the marathon under 5 hours.
I had 22 miles ahead of me which was incredibly daunting but I broke it up into legs. The first leg was just over 6 miles and you can tell by my pace that I stopped at the car at that point to get water and eat the other half of my Bonk Breaker that I started before the run. Even though I was stopped, it was tough to eat. I didn't feel hungry and chewing just felt tiring but I made myself finish it. I got back out there and immediately regretting stopping. I had to warm up all over again even though my stop was pretty short but I finally warmed up and settled in. I was doing the same route as Wednesday and knew I could get at least 12 miles in the first pass of the boardwalk. I ran until it ended near Marina Del Rey and my Garmin read 9.6 miles. I conserved energy as much as possible but there was one photo op I just couldn't pass up.
When I got to the car my watch said 13.1 miles. I was thrilled that I only had 9 miles left for my third leg! I ate half of another Bonk Breaker and put the other half in my SPIbelt in case I got the energy to eat it later. I drank some coconut water and regular water and took off for my last leg. Again my body punished me for stopping but I was glad that despite both stops I was still averaging very close to 12 minute miles (I didn't pause my watch in preparation for the marathon where there is no pausing). When I got to mile 17 I realized that I only had 5 miles left and my body felt like it was on auto pilot. Not great but it was moving. I knew I would finish the 22 miles! Now it was just a matter of entertaining my brain while counting down the miles. When I got near my car again I was just over 19 miles meaning I had less than 3 left! I tried to do some quick math to see how far past the car I should run and it hit me... every ounce of energy was being utilized. Even some easy addition was proving difficult! I finally figured it out and pushed myself with the promise of that incredible feeling of accomplishment. I wanted to shout to every passerby that I was on mile 20... that I had a mile and a half left... that I had a half mile left!! That last half mile was amazing. I picked up the pace and tried not to freak people out as I started to get emotional. I hit 22 miles and walked the short remainder to the car.
I couldn't believe what I had accomplished! I couldn't believe that the girl who walked the mile in high school, who ran her first 10k just over a year ago, and who never ever thought she would do a marathon had just run 22 miles alone (and without music I might add). I forced myself to walk down to the ocean for my ice bath (I think the sand at Santa Monic Beach is the widest of any beach I've ever seen). It was cold but felt good. Oh and my pace was pretty much right on target.
This week it was announced that for a donation of at least $29 by 11:59 p.m. on February 28th you will be entered to win 2 passes to the photo bridge at the finish line of the LA Marathon! The timing was perfect because it had been six weeks since I made my pledge to save $10 per week and donate at the midway point. I hadn't had a chance to turn in my money yet so I figured I would make the donation online and try to win photo passes for my spectators. I'm currently at 76% of my goal and the marathon is three weeks away so please give anything you can at http://www.crowdrise.com/crystalarrieta