I apologize for leaving you hanging last night with the running news. Honestly, I didn’t even know whether it would be good or bad news until today.
I’m sure some of you have been wondering about my plans for Marine Corps Marathon given my recent hamstring injury. I have been trying not to stress about it since I had until September 30 to decide whether to defer my registration until 2011. I created a whole back up plan in my head that if I deferred I would continue to rest my hamstring for another week or so and then pick up my training where I left off and run the Thunder Road Marathon here in Charlotte in December. I kind of sold myself on that plan until yesterday when I reflected on how I really didn’t want to go through 10 more weeks of training – especially since it’s only going to get colder and darker. Also, I’m ready to move on from marathon training.
I planned a 10-miler for this morning that was going to serve as my final test. If it felt good, I was going to run MCM, if it hurt, I would defer. My alarm went off at 5 a.m. I had coffee, ate a cinnamon raisin English muffin with almond butter and got dressed. I felt excited but nervous.
It was dark and cool when I stepped out of my front door. (Don’t worry, I wore a reflective vest.) I hit “start” on my Garmin and set off. My original plan was to run laps around my neighborhood loop so that I could stop if I was feeling pain. I realized pretty early on that it was going to be a good run so I just took off around town.
The 10 miles passed so quickly. It was a great feeling to be out tackling the miles before most people were even up. Everything was quiet and peaceful – with the exception of waving at all the other crazy runners out in the early morning darkness. I felt so strong during the run and only stopped when I had to at intersections. This is going to make me sound crazy but I had tears in my eyes during the last mile because I felt so happy and grateful that I was able to have such a strong run after coming off two weeks of injury.
I ended up finishing 10.37 miles in 1:36:33. That’s an average 9:18 pace.
Obviously, I am a little behind on my training since I have been sidelined by injury. With only four weeks left of training before the race, I want to get a couple more quality long runs in but avoid reinjuring or exhausting myself. My plan is to run 18 this weekend and hopefully 20 the next. I will take a two-week taper with 12 and 8 mile long runs.
I will be lining up at the starting line of the Marine Corps Marathon on October 31. I might not be the most prepared runner there but I will be mentally committed, excited and thankful to be a part of such an amazing race experience.
Want to know the best part about running 10 miles before work? I got to eat two breakfasts today! Breakfast number two was apple cinnamon oats in an almost empty TJ’s peanut butter jar.
Heaven. I think this might win my all-time favorite combo, especially for Fall. Pumpkin oats can’t compete.
I wasn’t sure if it would happen but I was hungry again by noon. I headed home where I had quite the selection of leftovers to choose from.
I decided on a leftover stuffed pepper. I cut it in half and placed it on a bed of spinach. I topped it with sundried tomatoes, chopped olives and Greek yogurt. I think the peppers were even better today! Although I think everything tastes even better when it’s topped with Greek yogurt so who knows!
My snack this afternoon was a pear and two cups of hot tea. I am starving right now but saving my appetite for a special dinner. We have reservations at Rooster’s for a Highland Brewery Beer Dinner. The menu that the chef put together looks amazing and the beer pairings sound right on. Highland Brewery is located in Asheville and is one of our favorite breweries. The owner is coming to Charlotte for the dinner and I can’t wait to meet him and here him talk about their delicious beers! I’ll have a full recap of the dinner for you tomorrow!