I've hardly run at all in the past few weeks, apart from a couple races (a 5k and a 5 miler) and a handful of 1-2 mile puppy runs, so my confidence has been pretty low the past few days as I realize it's too late to switch distances or get in any proper training. I keep telling myself my class schedule is keeping me in good cardiovascular shape while also helping me build some strength in key areas like my core and hips, but running 13 miles in one go is very different from teaching a handful of group exercise classes each week...
So last night I decided to get one last "training run" in, if I could. Laced up my shoes, threw in some headphones, picked a direction, and went for it. I had two hour-long easy listening albums on my phone, and decided to run out to the first, then back home to the second, anticipating maybe 7-8 miles total with my legs being so untrained this year. I did not expect to feel as good as I did around mile 5, nor to be so enticed by the beautiful trail on which I did a large chunk of my run!
This isn't the actual trail. Apparently my photos did not actually *take* so
this is a generic trail photo from the Forest Preserve District's website. Still
really pretty though!
My good feelings and the gorgeous day kept me going, and I was shocked to look at my GPS as I ran up my driveway only to see that I had run TEN MILES - and I had done it in one hour 50 minutes, for an average pace of 11 minute miles. Unbelievable! I'm lucky to keep 11 minute miles on race day during a 5k! My calves were starting to feel a little tender, but I had no knee or hip pain and I probably could have kept going for a few more miles with little to no problem. It felt really satisfying to prove to myself that I actually HAD done some things right to prepare!
During my run last night, I also took along a packet of gel nutrition and a pack of Bloks. I used Bloks for my first half marathon last year, but that run was so much agony I had no idea if they helped or hindered. I decided to test out both methods of race nutrition and see how I felt about using something to my advantage on race day. Unfortunately, I grabbed a vanilla gel pack, and that was NOT going to cut it on a hot day. It felt like slurping down warm milk! Definitely not what I want mid-run. The Bloks were fruity and smooth, and I had no problem chewing, swallowing, or digesting them when I pulled them out mid-mile-five. I'll be taking a couple packs of Bloks with me on Saturday, for sure, which will help me feel more "prepared" and will give me an extra boost of mental confidence come race day.
The next couple days will see a short puppy run or two just to stay loose, and a focus on staying limber. I'm even considering switching my Zumba Step classes this week to just basic Zumba Fitness, taking out the extra pressure on the legs and hips. Saturday will be here soon, and I'll be more ready for it than I realized!
Anyone else running Sunburst? If you ran in the past, what was your experience? Maybe you're running something else exciting this weekend - tell me all about it! AND GOOD LUCK!