Sunday, October 31, 2010

10 Mile Recap + A Whole 'Lotta Weekend

My oh myyyyyy - so much to blog about, so little time!

Let's start from the beginning.  Well - the beginning of the weekend, anyway.

After a late night out with friends on Friday night, Bruce and I were slow moving on Saturday morning.  But we both had destinations in mind, and that helped to drag us out of bed on a chilly fall morning.  Bruce got in his truck and headed north for some small stream fishing and I got in my car and headed west towards Stone Mountain.

10 miles later - I was on cloud freaking nine.  I finally hit double digits!  When I was first thinking about running this half, I was looking at beginner training programs online.  One of the commentators noted how much of a milestone the 10 mile long run was, because it was the first time the runner would hit double digits.  At the time, 10 miles seemed SO far off.  I can't believe how far I've come in such a short amount of time!

Of course, I've definitely learned some things along the way.  So here are "10 Things I've Learned In Ten Miles" ...

1. Walking breaks are awesome.  I need to say it again - walking breaks are awesome.  They really don't hurt my time (they actually help mine) and they do wonders in controlling my heart rate and breath.

Yesterday I ran around the mountain (5 miles) twice.  The first time I gave myself a 0.10 mile walking break every mile.  At first it seemed silly, but I kept reminding myself that I was only training and I was trying to reach a milestone, so I shouldn't push it.  I quickly realized that those walking breaks were enhancing my performance, not inhibiting it!  I ran such a consistent run because of them.  The second time around the mountain I wasn't as consistent, but I still gave myself plenty of time to walk.  More on that later.

2. Gatorade is my friend.  It is cold, it wet and it has calories.  It also really helps even out the acid that builds up in my stomach during long runs and I've found that when I drink gatorade during my run, my whole body recovers faster afterwards.

During yesterday's run, I ran one loop around the mountain without gatorade, stopped at my car to peel off some layers because it had warmed up and grabbed a bottle of gatorade for the second trip around.  It gave me a much-needed energy boost!

3. Shakespeare wrote in his play, Twelfth Night, "If music be the food of love, play on."  Now, I'm not one to contradict the Bard, but I've actually found that my long runs sans music are much better than the ones with music.  I have no idea why.

I told myself yesterday that I would leave my iPod in the car for the first trip around the mountain and if I was desperate, I would grab it when I stopped for gatorade.  Honestly?  I didn't miss it.  I think it's just a distraction.  Totally the opposite of how I am when I'm walking!

4. Ice is nice.  Use it twice.

Haha, actually, that's what my grandmother says when she reminds me to put my glass of ice in the freezer and re-use it for a later beverage.  She has a point - no use in getting rid of perfectly good ice!

But seriously - I bought a 20 pound bag of ice on my way home yesterday, separated it into drawstring bags and iced my legs for about 45 minutes when I got home.  I only had a tiny bit of leg pain when I woke up this morning!  So really ... Ice is awesome.  Use it.

5. Stretching is the difference between legs that are ready to run and legs that feel like firewood.

True story.

6. If possible, know your course.

On my first trip around the mountain, I gave myself a 0.10 mile walking break every mile.  The second time around I planned my walking breaks around the hills.  It was glorious.  And not at all cheating.

7. Sunglasses block the sun.

Okay, that can kind of be categorized in the, "well, duh" category, but y'all the sun was BRIGHT yesterday!  I'm still freaked out from the day I overheated and running with the sun in my eyes scares me.  I wore sunglasses for the first time yesterday and I didn't even notice how bright it was.

8. Don't look at the big picture.  Break your run into segments.

10 miles is a lot for me.  But two miles is not.  I only let myself think about this run in terms of five two-mile runs.  Much more manageable.

9. Fuel and hydrate the night before.

I've always tried to do my best to fuel the night before (I ate about half our table of five's bread basket on Friday night) but I've never tried to pre-hydrate.  I drank tons of extra water on Friday night and was amazed at the difference on Saturday morning.

10. Running is awesome.  I'm so glad I've found a way to take care of my knees and still run.


WOW - so there you have it!  10.00 miles in 1:48:43, averaging a 10:52 pace.  Because this is my first half, I am going to train up to 12 (most people that I've talked to only train up to 10), but I am fairly confident heading into November with a double digit run under my asics.


Okay, so moving on to the rest of my weekend.  On my way home from Stone Mountain I decided that I was starving and needed something extremely hearty for lunch.  I was totally craving homemade macaroni and cheese, but most recipes (the Pioneer Woman's is my favorite!) take way too long for someone who had just run 10 miles.  I ended up coming up with my own recipe (and I use the word recipe loosely) and it was delicious!

Homemade Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese, served on a bed of mixed greens.

Served with a side of uber-grainy bread.  I know pasta + bread seems like overkill, but you've got to make up those calories burned somehow!

I will definitely be posting a recipe for this soon!

After lunch I took a shower and got ready for a youth Halloween party with Tim's youth group.  As promised ...

Okay, it's not a whole body shot, but I got distracted and only remembered to snap this after we got home.  I was totally rocking a princess costume with a flowy skirt, a gold sparkly shirt, lots of gold and silver jewelry and my WEDDING TIARA!  Bruce was "Construction Worker Bruce", complete with a hard hat and reflector vest.  It was awesome.

Of course, a certain little baby totally stole the show in a monkey costume, but y'all are going to have to wait until tomorrow morning to see those pictures because I haven't processed them yet.  But trust me when I say that it will be worth the wait.


Onto Sunday.  Are you tired yet?  Because I am.

We fell out of bed 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for church but somehow managed to get there (sort of) on time.  After worship was our church's annual trunk or treat and Bruce and I were tasked with judging.  I convinced myself that a good judge needed to taste at least one piece of candy from every single trunk.

Greatest.  Job.  Ever.

We went to a friend's antique store after Trunk or Treat for some Antique Car Trunk or Treating and didn't get home until 2/2:30.  I inhaled my lunch and packed a few more boxes (my pile is getting bigger!).

Now this part may sound insane.  But it wasn't, I promise.  Bruce hasn't been able to go on my training runs with me and totally caught the running itch this afternoon so he asked if I wanted to go over to Stone Mountain again.  I definitely did NOT run :) but I walked the 5-mile loop around the mountain while Bruce ran the trails.  It was awesome!  I know it seems ridiculous to walk that much the day after a long run, but walking really is an awesome way to stretch out.

After our respective runs/walks, we headed out to dinner.  It's a little Halloween tradition of ours to go out to eat and we decided to go to Loco's, the first restaurant we ever ate at together in Atlanta!

I was starving when we got there, so our waitress asked what I wanted to drink and I told her chips and salsa. :)

I couldn't decided between a chicken or black bean burrito so our waitress suggested getting a chicken burrito and choosing black beans as my side.  Ummm, amazing.  I spooned the beans into the burrito and then topped it with sour cream and it practically melted in my mouth.

Better than the dinner was the company and conversation.  Bruce and I talked about what we were most excited about for our move and it gave us the opportunity to think about our time in Atlanta, what it has meant to us and what pieces of the south we are going to bring north with us.

Okay, this has gone on entirely too long - and if you've stuck with me you deserve a prize!  All in all a fabulous weekend that flew by faster than I could blog about it.  It's starting to hit me that our time here is drawing to a close and I'm cherishing every second I have with my friends and in this beautiful city.

I hope you all had a great weekend!  See you in November!


  1. Stone Mountain! I went there when I visited Atlanta last year (adore the city!), and I really, really enjoyed it. I imagine it must be a wonderful place to run :)

  2. Andrew and I JUST ate at Loco's for the first time when I was up in September. WOW! We have been missing out! And WAY TO GO on your awesome running. I totally agree about breaking up the run into segements. I'm not running what you are but it helps me to think of it in terms of bits and pieces.


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