But I think I found my mojo again.
I met up with Amy on Saturday to run the 11.2 miles of brutal hills in Percy Warner. We took it pretty easy, and honestly I was glad we were because I had been a bit nervous about the run. I haven't run more than 9 miles at a time since Chicago, and I certainly haven't done hills since before I started tapering for that race. All in all, I got the mileage in and I felt pretty good. I want to get a solid run of 15-17 miles in next week and then a 20-miler the next before I taper again for the Huntsville marathon. Sure, it would have been better to get a few more long runs in... but I'm just wanting to finish this marathon, not pull off some amazing time. I'm feeling pretty fit, and I doubt that I'm losing much endurance from taking it so conservatively right now.
Yesterday I had coffee with a new friend through the Nashville Striders (hi Misty!). Here's one of the things I really love about running: we runners LOVE to talk about running. It's always so nice to connect with other people who are interested in discussing training and fuel strategies and local races over a cup of joe.
After I got home, I changed clothes and headed to the gym for a spin class. This was significant for two reasons. 1) I haven't bee going to the gym as much the past couple of months. I feel a little guilty because I usually like to make sure I use the things I pay for, but I honestly have just been running more outside and taking it easy on the other days. 2) I haven't been doing as much cross training as I should be, and it's time to get back to it. Plus, all of Chic Runner's talk about spin classes have been inspiring me.
This class kicked my freaking @$$! I was dripping sweat and out of breath within the first five minutes. I forgot how great of a workout I always get in these classes, and I'm making it a point to get to a couple a week now to get my cross training work done.
But something more significant than a good workout happened. I think I've written before about how there's a woman at my gym who has run Boston like multiple times and is totally in awesome shape and was out running half-marathons while pregnant back in the spring. I hadn't seen her and her husband at the gym in a while, mostly because when I actually have gone it's been at a different time than when I used to go and see them. But today? They were both in this spin class.
I was totally feeling kind of intimidated riding the spin bike next to her. I always want to strike up a conversation with her about running, but for some silly reason I never do. At the end of the class, the teacher was talking to her husband and I caught that he had just recently finished a freaking IRONMAN! Geez! Talk about an endurance power couple!
This made me think two things: 1) I need to start talking to them and see if I can join them for some training. 2) Even though I said I don't expect to find a man that is into running or endurance sports, I kind of deep down think it'd be pretty cool. How awesome would it be to find a man who wants to run marathons and compete in triathlons and stuff?!
Anyways, I'm feeling pretty good about getting back into the thick of things. I've only got a little over a month until the next marathon, so I know I need to make the next two weeks pretty solid in terms of training before I have to taper again. I have no doubt that I'll run well in Huntsville. It won't be a PR day, but it will be fun... especially since so many of my Nashville friends are running!
I say all this I think because I'm trying to make sure I'm being realistic with my goals for the Huntsville marathon. I'm trying to be conservative with training on purpose.. I don't want to push myself too hard too quickly. But I'm getting excited as I start thinking about what I'll go after in the new year!