Week 14 was a GREAT running week for all kinds of reasons.  Actually I’m going with it and saying it’s my favourite week in the training cycle so far.   In my plan this week you get an optional 10K tune up race.  Something to get you ready for running in race conditions.  This coincided with the Savannah Girls Running Trip with my MRTT (Moms Run This Town) mates http://www.savannahwomenshalf.com. I  substituted this for what would’ve been a 17 mile long run.  So, overall I was short on miles but it was tough on effort – net gainz!

Here is what happened leading up to Savannah:

Some of my favourite girls right there!

Some of my favourite girls right there!

Look, there are blue skies, a single layer of attire and some LOVELY folks.  I got to do awesome track (5 x 800m) with Crystal, a long one with LeeAnn on the bike trail and an awesome impromptu 6 with the Quez at the VOA.  All were happy, happy runs.  (You 3, did I ever tell you I love you?) 😉

And so, onto Savannah (ooooh na naaa).  I’m going to split this in to 2 sections of gushing.

  1.  Aren’t RUN TRIPS AMAZING?
  2. Isn’t RUNNING WITH A PACER AMAZING?

SECTION 1:  RUN TRIPS:

I actually don’t think I’ve done this before; a trip away with a bunch of people (in this instance, all girls) to somewhere lovely, to run.  I will definitely be doing it again.  How fabulous to combine these things.

Here’s what happened told through the medium of photos:

By dint of terrible planning and logistical issues, myself and 2 others of the party managed to find ourselves flying to Savannah while the other 6 drove in true ROAD TRIP fashion.  This meant we were there by 9am.  We had a lovely breakfast and basically explored … cemeteries.  We also discussed historical fiction, saw interesting trees and plants and had a right good laugh.  (Thank you Hilary and Lisa, without you I’d have been sat on a kerb for 8 hours reading historical fiction).

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Then the other crazies arrived.

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Then we went out and drank hydrating, boring drinks and ate delicious healthy salads (that were DEFINITELY too tasty to be healthy) with TONNES of chips (translate:  BRIT KIND, not crisps).  Then sampled local cookies and I found BRIT CHOCOLATE (and wasn’t very excited about that AT ALL).  Then we made our flat Mummies and went to bed like good running girls.

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Then, we got up, basically walked across a park and were there, ready to go!

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Then we met the Savannah MRTT chapter and merged with them for a big ole pic

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Then, (gulp) time to race.  I LOVE this photo.  Totally sums up how various personalities feel about racing.  (Spot on for me personally).  *More about my race in part 2

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Then we got it done and got awesome pretty medals!

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Then we got beer AND mimosas!

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And I winned a prize for 2nd place in 45 – 49 category (YESSSSS!) *ironically, 7 minutes quicker than the person who WON category last year (boooo).

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And then 9 *girls* got clean and beautiful via the medium of ONE SINGLE SHOWER (true story, really) and we went out, had lunch and drank things.

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Then we posed in front of the pretty cathedral from our medals

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Finally, that evening we played a very *NOT RUDE* game that totally didn’t ask any questions of a rude nature AT ALL.

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What a ride.  *Brits reading this note:  When Americans put 2 fingers up it means something different 😉

SECTION 2:  RUNNING WITH A PACER

And finally, I just wanted to give a shout out to doing this for anyone who hasn’t tried it before.  So, I have run with friends pacing me before.  Once with the legendary, soft voiced, motivational therapist David Simpson from Hook Runners who got me a previous half marathon pb that I didn’t for one minute think I ever could and will never forget.  And second with Hook Runners (MY!) coach Terry, who got me my (still standing) 5K PB while feeling like I was with a celebrity (because he’s kind of a big deal in North Hants running).  So I know it works with people I know.  How about with a total stranger holding a stick though?

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Well, I’m telling you, it was great.  In this race the fastest pacer was 1:45 and I decided before the race to aim to stick here and push it from 10 if it felt good.  I ended up just sticking with him.  In other races, pacers with sticks saying the goal time have freaked me out big time.  Mainly because I wasn’t aligned with them, seeing them pass was scary.  In this instance, where I actively chose to stick with the pacer it was a different story.  I just forgot about my watch and let him worry about it (AND he so did, perfectly), making subtle pace adjustments as we went.  It was just like I simply didn’t need to think about it.  If I stayed with this guy, I would get 1:45.  So, I did.  And I did. (Well, 1:44:45… nice!).

*If anyone knows Matthew Owenby, tell him he’s an excellent pacer (and good luck in Boston!).

NET:  I am totally going to try and run with a pace group for the Flying Pig.

NET 2:  When are we going on another run trip?

Next week:  Last big one before taper, including the last 20 miler at the Fleet Feet 20/12, where I’ll get to run 20 miles of actual Pig course (excited!…*terrified)

Special big thank you and CONGRATULATIONS to Mark and Stacey.  *Mark, 5 (6) sightings on one course with a cow bell FOR THE WIN!

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