Marathon Magic

Yesterday morning, I awoke to thunderstorms sometime around 5 AM – my alarm clock hadn’t even went off yet!  The first thought to cross my mind – there is NO way I am going to run in that this morning!  Remember what happened a few weeks ago?  I’ll just sleep a little longer and go out when it’s cleared up…

Famous last words!

You see, I must have been very sleepy from our cave expedition the day before because it wasn’t until 8:45 that I finally got up!  Whoops … but, I thought to myself – maybe this will help me run a slower pace, since my training schedule was suggesting I go for an 10+ pace … yes, this could be a good thing.

So, I set off, plotting my course as I went.  As per my calendar, I was scheduled for 20 miles, at a 10:29 pace.  And though I was feeling plenty ambitious, I knew from the get go that I wasn’t going to cover all that ground outdoors, because the temperature was already creeping up, so I set my Nike+ app to run a half-marathon distance (13.1) outside, then finish up on the treadmill, since that worked well the week before (15 + 3 then.)

Starting off, the run definitely was going well.  The air definitely was thicker with humidity than I was used to on Sunday mornings when I left earlier (after all, my departure time was later than my usual return time) but still bearable.  I did my best to duck under shade and control my pace as well – and there was a lot more traffic around, which seemed to help keep me vigilant about my surroundings and therefore more mindful altogether.

I was hitting the usual route – home, through the Meadow Creek trail, up to downtown, etc…but when I hit the intersection that I’d usually cross to head to the Corner, I went left instead (Ridge Street) because I knew it was a long straightaway sidewalk that had a few rolling hills but overall, pretty pleasant…

Until I reached Cleveland Street!

My best visual explanation


Yes, I was melting!  It was getting so hot that not only was my skin warm from the sun, but perspiration was sizzling atop it!  My headwrap that usually catches sweat so well was drenched, which was causing my vision to blur and create even more haziness than the humidity was causing … and in a brilliant attempt to quell this feeling, I decided to pour some of my water over my head…which, until it touched my skin, I didn’t realize was lukewarm!  Gross!

I looked down at my Garmin and saw I had travelled but 6 miles at that point.  A few thoughts crossed my mind…namely…6 miles in?  You’ve got only 7 to go out here!  You can do it?  But my head argued, “yeah, it’s fine when you think of it that way, but I really do not think it’d be smart to run ONE more mile in this Amazon rainforest!”

Yeah, you better believe it when people say that running is mental!

Preach it!


I turned around and began to walk home.  Yes, I realized that walking home 6 miles was going to take a lot longer than it had taken to run 6 miles, but I also wanted to breathe and see the light of the next day.  So, walking along, I made some calculations about my run, and how I might get home the quickest.  Before I knew it, my core temperature dropped a lot, and I was feeling up to a little more running.  So, I did the walk/jog thing, popping on my Garmin each time my gait reached a run pace.  I went back the UVA route, which was about 4 miles back, and ended up adding 2 more miles to my mileage.

With 8 miles in the books, I felt quite confident that the remaining 12 were in the bag.  But I was also physically uncomfortable at the moment, so once I reached home, I guzzled some nice COLD water, hopped in the shower, then decided to take a power nap.

My Sunday, in pie chart form.

As evidenced above, that nap…well, it was 4 hours long!  When I awoke, I was super hungry, so I chowed down on some cherries and drank about another gallon of water (or so it seemed.)  I checked the TV guide to see what I might want to run to in the gym, and saw that Spike TV was having a Star Wars Marathon and at 7, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi would be on.  So, I lounged around a little, before fixing some dinner (kale chips and a tofu sandwich) and allowing proper digestion time before setting off on the next leg of my running journey.

At around 6:55 PM I was en route to the gym and by 7 PM, I was off!  I set and re-set the speed on the treadmill to maintain a slow pace, but when all was said and done, I hovered around 9:45/mi.  Not bad.  Interestingly enough, the storms returned that evening, and the soundtrack to laser beams and light saber battles was complemented by pelting raindrops and powerful, shaking thunder!  I was thinking it might not be the best idea to be on the treadmill, but I was so stubborn – I NEEDED to complete my training day!  The power even went out temporarily (for about 3 minutes) right before I hit Mile 11!

I imagined the ewoks cheering me on.

Fortunately, I persevered!  I did my cool down just as the closing credits rolled.

Yeah!  Personal distance record (20 MILES, BABY) and though they weren’t completed consecutively, I was definitely pumped.  I thought it was funny and ironic that a Star Wars Marathon – which typically evokes the image of someone glued to their couch for 13+ hours was juxtaposed with motivation for my marathon training!

Bring on Week 11!

JUL 10
27 Mi

Dist: 5 Mi

Dist: 6 Mi, inc
Warm; 4 Mi @ 8:57; Cool

Dist: 16 Mi

Now, it’s time to get ready for a fun day in Richmond…and picking up hubs from the airport.  I earned my REST DAY!  Happy 4th, everyone!

What’s your favorite movie?


  1. awesome! if i could watch star wars the entire time, i’d totally run a marathon!

    and the star wars trilogy is definitely WAY up there on my fave movie list!

    • It made me think about my dream home gym…big tv and surround sound!! Epic John Williams soundtracks FTW.

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