Marathon Training: Week 12

This was a big week in my training for Indy Monumental – 20 miles on the schedule! I plotted a couple of different routes, then reached out to some of my best girlfriends (also all runners) to get their opinion on which of the two would be the least horrible. They all voted on the same one, which made things easier, and Olivia said she would join me – yay!

Olivia lives just a few blocks from me, so our route would start on the sidewalk in front of my house, take us down by the University of Louisville, and then head south to Iroquois Park. We’d head up to the Overlook, then turn around and come home. It’s a route I’m mostly familiar with, since both the Papa John’s 10-Miler (which no longer exists) and the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon both take the same road we were taking to and through Iroquois. The main advantage is that there are several businesses (restrooms) we’d pass along the way, and even though there were hills, they were in the middle of the route.

So just before 8am, Olivia and I set off on our adventure. The temperature wasn’t too bad – low 60s. We were a few miles in when her husband and baby drove up in their car. They had been to get breakfast and stopped by to say hi – so sweet!

We kept going and just before we got to the park, we saw someone across the street who waved, so we waved back. We thought she was Sabine (a women from our running group) but we weren’t sure, so we kept moving.

Next thing we knew, we were in Iroquois. I’ve written about the park before, but it’s basically three(ish) miles of rolling hills. In addition, there’s a hill that has to be about a mile long that goes up to a beautiful overlook area. There’s an additional smaller loop up there that’s great if you need to add on more miles.

Once we entered Iroquois, we ran into several women from our running group – Jennifer, Tiffany, Delana, and Lynnelle. We stopped to chat with them, then continued our run. They were running in the opposite direction of us, so we saw them again a couple miles later.

Then it was time to head up the long hill toward the overlook. We had just started when I saw a cyclist heading down toward us. It was my husband, Mike! I had told him our route and said he was welcome to come find us if he wanted. He showed up at just the right time. He rode back up to the overlook next to us as we ran, and it was a welcome distraction from the hill we were climbing. Once we got to the top, we stopped for a few minutes, stretched, and of course took a photo.

We left the park and started heading back toward home. There was a woman coming toward us and we realized it was the woman we thought we saw earlier – Sabine! She’s training for her first half marathon (it’s this Saturday!), so we stopped to talk with her for a little bit.

By that time, we both really needed a bathroom and I wanted to fill up one of my empty bottles with water. Luckily, we were approaching a Starbucks. We went straight for the bathroom and the door needed a code. I went to the register and asked the young woman if they took Apple Pay. I figured I’d buy some bottled water so they would give us the code. But she said, “Do you just need the code for the bathroom?” and gave it to us. So nice! I was so grateful that I said, “Oh, bless you!”

While we were at Starbucks, Olivia decided not to get 20 in. Her marathon is the week after mine, so she had 18 on her schedule but figured she’d run 20 with me. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been feeling well for most of our run. We were right around 17 miles at that point, so she texted her husband to pick her up at Denny’s, which she estimated was about a mile away.

We reached Denny’s and parted ways. It was getting hot, but I was so happy knowing I only had two more miles. I pushed myself as much as I could and was so pumped when my watch hit 20. I was still about a mile away from home, so the cool-down walk was nice. I was about a block away when I saw Mike and Howie, our boy dog, walking toward me – it was a wonderful way to end the run!

Next up is a drop-down week – and a race week!

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