Sunday, August 27, 2017

20 Miles on the Blue Line

I did it! 20 Miles on the Blue Line--13 of them with Marta, Angie, and Jeanine, and the remaining 7 by myself. Without crying. Without music. I f--ing did it.

In the past two weeks I've gone back to school (officially--I actually started work two weeks before that), figured out my kids' schedules with school and marching band (hell, basically), continued my training in the best way I could, and lost a LOT of sleep.

This is EXACTLY how I look before teaching first period each day.
This getting up at 4:30 is for the birds.

Nevertheless, I persist, and slowly but surely I am starting to get back in the swing of things.

This Saturday was the big 20 miler before the Akron Marathon. It's called the Blue Line Run, and Vertical Runner and NEOFit sponsor it. About 300 runners meet at 7AM to run 20 miles of the marathon route or 12 miles of the half marathon route. It's a great event, and it's completely free.

This is a partial picture of the runners before the run. Do you see me?

Marta and I found each other right away and took a selfie while we were still alive and pretty.

The weather was perfect; it started in the 50's and by the time I finished it was about 70 degrees. It was definitely better than last year's run.

Marta and I ran with Angie and Jeanine, and I saw lots of peeps along the way. Everybody looked strong and happy.

Here we are looking strong and happy.

After 13 miles, Marta peeled off to finish on the trails, and I continued on alone because I was afraid I would lose my will to live. The run started in front of Canal Park, and the 12 mile water stop was in the starting place. From there I moved to W. Market St. and then down Merriman to look at the gorgeous houses. I was pretty much alone most of the time because I am not the swiftest distance runner, but I did run with a Kent State professor that everyone (except me) seemed to know. He was older than me, but he was kicking my ass all the way down Merriman.

On the way back to downtown Akron, I ran through a Pride parade in Highland Square and a Pokemon Go tournament around Cascade Plaza. How great is it that on a Saturday morning in late August there were three separate events going on to involve diverse interests? I am truly happy to live here.

The water stops were at miles 6.5, 12, and 17, and I was grateful for each one. Thank you to NEOFit and Vertical Runner for supplying water, Powerade, gels, and Swedish Fish!  At the mile 17 stop, I joked that I was hoping to get hit by a car so I wouldn't have to finish the run, but the fact is that I felt so much better at that stop than I had last year. I think much of it had to do with the weather, but I would like to believe that my training has paid off.  Last year I felt defeated after the Blue Line--like I would not be capable of running 6.2 more miles--but this time I was tired, but I knew I could do this. It may and probably will hurt, but I can finish.

Victory is mine! The end of the Blue Line and I am still alive.

I was pretty wrecked for the rest of the day because I had not slept much all week, so I recovered in the best way possible:

This is EXACTLY how I recover from the Blue Line!
I'm not gonna lie; there may have been some Pumking and pizza involved that day, too.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I finished this run without drama, and I feel good. I think my training has been very good so far, and now I just have to trust that I put in the miles and the hard work.

I have four weeks until the marathon, which is a little too long to taper. Next week I will run the Leave No Trace Half Marathon and the week after will be my last long run before the taper. Will we all survive the taper? Stay tuned to find out!

Will you join me at the Akron Marathon? How will you handle the extra week before taper? No matter what you do, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

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