Inspiration Sunday

As I write, Ironman Wisconsin is in its last few hours. I was thinking of this race all day today as I ran my 12-mile long run! Wow, think about this… swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2. I only ran 12 today. I could never in a million years dream of doing any kind of triathlon, let alone Ironman!
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I always view my upcoming long run with a small amount of dread, at least lately I do. Considering the weather, my last couple long runs have been rough. But today was really good! I suppose the weather has a large part to do with it. Temp was about 46 when I started and a few degrees higher when I finished, maybe around 52? Compare that to last Sunday morning when just the temp was 72 at the start! The pic above is sunrise over the trees! On weekends I start running about 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise. That’s when I feel like its light enough to not need the headlamp.
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Unfortunately, I have fallen into an annoying pattern of having to stop for a bathroom break early in the run. At least I have a good route with available bathrooms, but its still really annoying. I can stop the clock on long runs but not during the race! Anyway, I stopped at Goodland Park and snapped a few pics. Above my viewfinder was all smudged, but its a cool photo I think.
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It was really neat when I came around the curve to see Lake Waubesa, there was thick fog (or is it mist?) rising up off the water. By time I got to the park though, it had mostly dissipated.
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You can sort of see it in these pictures.

Anyway, today I timed my energy chews better. Probably that and the weather, and adding endurance made today’s run good! It was hard but confidence building too. I stopped for the bathroom, for my energy chews and to get a rock out of my shoe. Aside from those stops, I didn’t walk much! I ran pretty darn steady. My average pace for the run was 12:36, and that was my mostly steady mile splits as well. I actually felt the best and most steady from about miles 5 through 8! It didn’t start feeling really hard until about 10.85 (my Runkeeper app talks to me, so I know specifics). My legs hurt and my feet hurt. It was my feet that were the worst.

I ran the route around Goodland Park and along Lake Waubesa, then out and back on the Capital City Trail. As I moved toward downtown, I could hear the Ironman announcer… not what they were saying, but announcing. Neat. I volunteered at Ironman a few years ago, maybe in 2010? I’d like to volunteer again some time and also go see the finish line in person. I’ve been watching the finish line live feed off and on tonight!

But I made it to 12! In spite of not making it to 11 last week, making it to 12 this week was not too bad… maybe even good! I definitely feel better about training now. I guess I wasn’t all that worried, but I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster of feeling excited and feeling cranky about how I have been running. Next week will be 13 and then a cutback week. My training plan peaks with not one, but two 14-milers!

Today’s run was 2:31:08 for 12 miles. My half marathon training plan is to break 2:30, so… I’ve got some work to do. But I’ve got 8 weeks until race day and my speed is improving. And I will expect to run a bit faster on race day. I think I have a good chance of making that goal!

Those 12 miles weren’t the end of the activity today though. Before football started, we wanted to go to a park. As it happened, the park we went to in Monona was busy and without parking because of the farmer’s market. So we went to Olbrich Botanical Gardens instead. Allie was mad because she really wanted to go to a playground, but she enjoyed the gardens too. She likes to lead our pack.
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The kids found this picnic table with some bush bears sitting down! How fun!
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The kids were both somewhat cranky, another weekend short on sleep! But we had fun.
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Their favorite part today, along with the running (well, Mama was slowly walking!) was finding the fountains!
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I just love the outdoor light in the fall! And this weekend certainly felt like fall!
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We didn’t end up staying as long as we thought we would because we were all hungry. And Mama wanted to sit down!
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Later in the afternoon while Peyton was napping, I walked down to the Ironman bike course, which passed by a mile and a half from our house. Allie was going to go with me, but she ended up playing across the street instead.
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I didn’t stay long, but I did enjoy it! Just marveling at what they were in the midst of… this was around mile 105 of 112!
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So I think I ended up logging about 15 or 16 miles today! Mama’s sore! Nothing compared to the Ironman finishers of course! Congratulations to everyone who is already finished and especially those who will finish between now and midnight! The last finishers are on the course for 17 hours.  Wow!

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