Tuesday, 10.28 - 5 miles: Count down

Nice evening run. Cooler weather has brought a much needed break in the relentless heat. Laura is studying hard and is very committed to her goal. She had one test on Monday and another tomorrow so a break in her study to go running was exactly what she needed. We took off in our neighborhood and ran at a much more comfortable pace. We both were feeling pretty sore from Sunday’s run on Monday but we felt 100% today. Except that I have a runny nose and Laura is nervous about her test. Anyways, we ran leisurely and enjoyed a good chit chat.

No more long distance runs on Sundays and no more stationing water bottles along our routes. Now we cut down the miles during the week and count down the days until the race. SimplY, we want to concentrate on keeping a pretty consistent diet and mostly avoid INJURIES. We both think we are physically and mentally prepared for the race but there is a sense of uncertainty as far as what to expect. Just getting to the race is going to be a challenge. There are 30,000 people registered for the race. It’s definitely bigger than the Tour de Cure, Mas o Menos or Miles of DisComfort – combined and some. As far as we know, it's going to be a big crowd with overly focused runners wearing short shorts and those fuel belts. (Pic: Enjoying some smores, as you can see by my face, at the bonfire after the Mas o Menos 100-k mountain bike race in Terlingua.)

Sunday, 10.26 - 20 miles: Top 5's

Yesterday Aaron and I accomplished something that was unimaginable just weeks ago! We ran 20.4 miles…our farthest distance, yet! The reason for the extra distance of 0.4 mi added onto our scheduled 20 mi was due to the multiple twists and turns of our mapped out route. So therefore, 20+ MILES!!! Trust me; this is an incredibly challenging distance…both physically and mentally. The triumph is still hard to fathom the next day. Overall, I would have to rate yesterday’s run as a success, and I am sure Aaron would agree! We were able to run the entire distance while battling a late start, humidity from hell, and a beating sun. (from which I now have an ugly sports bra and running shorts tan line). We have a routine of setting our sealed water bottles along our route the night before the run. This way, we do not have to carry water bottles with us and we easily stay hydrated along the route. We were definitely looking forward to our last water stop; I had hidden the water bottles by the sidewalk next to a guard rail. We ran up to the spot dying for a quick break and a wet drink, but the bottles were nowhere to be found. Panicked, we began looking everywhere! Unfortunately, to top off the already lengthy and blistering run, someone had stolen our bottles. All we could do was pout and press onto the finish line. Through all of the challenges thrown our way, we both ran really strong! And when one of us showed any sign of stress, the other would support and encourage! I am so grateful for our amazing partnership. (it’s somewhat comforting to know that when you are in the most uncomfortable state and the most extreme pain…your not alone!)

Top 5 greatest things on this run:

1. Looking to my right, and seeing my best friend (my husband) beside me!
2. A cool breeze, right as you are about to die of heat stroke!
3. Unexpected shade!
4. A slight downhill slope after a grueling uphill climb
5. The huge bacon cheese burger (and in Aaron’s case, chicken fried steak) we get to eat when we burn off more than 2000 kcal in a workout! :)

Top 5 worst things on this run:

1. Chaffing (armpits, legs, anywhere…it’s not fun!)
2. Unrelenting sun and no shade in sight!
3. Sweat in your eyes! Help! (or arguably worse, sweat in a fresh cut)
4. Terrorization, whether it be from the two-legged or four-legged kind. (nothing gets your heart rate going like a person yelling from a car or a rapid dog chasing after you!)
5. Craving a huge, beautiful bacon cheese burger at mile 2, when you have 18.4 mi to go!!! :)