The Connection Runners + [training]

Last Chance Long Run

Today we ran our last long run before Kalamazoo! The next time I see 8 miles, it'll be on my way to 26.2!

Despite feeling pretty sore from yesterday's 8-hour Yard Work Extravaganza (we're on a mission to fix the hot mess found in this post), we managed to run 8 miles, and at a pretty good clip to boot.

It was a tough go at first because our bellies were full of delicious breakfast from The Breakfast Club, a delightful specialty breakfast place that we visited with friends Kevin & Liz in the morning while we waited for rain to clear out for the run.

I would've taken a photo of my yummy meal, but it was just a plate mostly full of carbs anyway: toast, hashbrowns, scrambie egg whites, and fruit. Colorless, but tasty.

Our friends from Chicago, Jess & Brandon, were also coming to visit today, so we had to fit the run in between the two meals with friends.

I wanted to practice running negative splits since my goal for Kalamazoo is to run a completely negative second half. Here's how I did:

Missed that last one by a mere two seconds! I'll take it, though - 9:18 pace overall! I think that's good enough to call it a Hot Pace Day, three words I rarely utter on Long Run Sunday. And in case you're wondering about negative splits, check out this Runner's World article for some explanation and tips.

Besides running a decent pace, today's run also allowed me to plan out a few goals for this week as we countdown the final 7 days 'til Race Day.

1. Rest up all week by going to bed early. Kevin and I usually stay up until 10:30-11ish which makes me sluggish for my 5:45 a.m. alarm. I need to make sure we get in extra hours this week, though, so I'm not in terrible shape for Race Day.

We should be doing a lot of this over the next 7 days. With or without the BaxterCat. And with or without my open-mouth breathing. Eww.

2. Get through tons of meetings this week with only minor stressing. I have four after-school and one during conference hour meetings to dive into. Yikes. I actually had to plan them out on my phone's calendar.

Makes me feel like a businessperson. Now I just need a cool handfree earpiece and giant Starbucks coffee to complete the look.

3. Hydrate and eat clean. Drinking enough water has never been my forte, so I want to concentrate on that this week. Additionally, we've been eating a lot of junk through the training weeks; I suppose now's the time, if any, to get a hold on that so we aren't Number Twoing on the course! (Gross. Sorry.)

Trusty Camelbak, trusty bananas.

It's amazing how different I feel at this point in the game versus two years ago when I ran my first full. My legs are light; my head is clear. Packets of Gu already have their pre-planned place. Race day clothing will be washed today and ready to go when I pack on Thursday night.

Although a few nerves are slowly forming a parade in the far corners of my mind, I feel strong, confident, and, most of all, ready.

Megan Wants to Know... What do you do in the days leading up to a race? Got a ritual to share? Maybe some tips on how to calm the nerves?