Just got back from finishing the final 20 miler before the Myrtle Beach (forgot to include that last time) marathon which is 3 weeks away. I did something I thought was a blast...I showed up at a weekly running club that runs on Saturday mornings. It's really designed for members but I figured I could check it out, meet some new people, and maybe find a running partner for the day. About 40 people showed up which was larger than I anticipated and they had maps laid out starting at 6 miles going up to 20 miles. It was pretty funny because I grabbed the 20 mile run map and it was front and back full of turns every half mile or so. So, I spent much of my run navigating which ended up being great because it takes your mind off of how far you've run. I ran part of the time with a lady named Rebecca (Sal, not to worry we were in a group). Rebecca is a crazy athlete who has completed 5 or 6 ironman triathlons including the world championships in Kona, Hawaii. She is quitting her job at the end of March to coach people who are training for marathons and triathlons. This was perfect because I was able to ask her all kinds of questions (remember I don't have a nothing box so while most people like to run in silence I was yapping it up) about training, eating, race day routines, injuries, etc. This was also perfect because I'm cheap and it was free advice..ha!
At mile 15 or so, the group split and EVERYONE went one way and I (alone) went another! This is where the mental aspect of running kicks in. At this point, I'm tired, my leg is starting to ache and I'm alone with 5 miles to go. SIDE NOTE: I thought everyone had daydreams. Not like a fleeting thought that runs through your mind and you get distracted but I'm talking full on dreams where you meet people, have conversations, and scenes come and go. Apparently, not everyone has these. END NOTE. Somewhere between 15 and 20 I had a daydream that there would be a group hanging around the finish that might help cheer me on as I came down the final half mile stretch. This was not the case. I rounded the corner and the only thing cheering me on was an empty milk carton that used to contain orange gatorade.
So, I walked around a bit, stretched, then hopped in my car and headed to Great Harvest Bread Company in Smyrna, GA. It was the best breakfast sandwich ever!!! Seriously! I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee, thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to get through my run, and enjoyed a sausage, egg, cheese, and herb mayo on honey whole wheat. I also got my sweet bride a oatmeal blueberry muffin which I know she'll be excited about.
My run today represents the peak of my training. From now until the race I'll be tapering (slowly reducing my mileage). This is a huge relief and something I am very thankful for. What a beautiful day!!!