It has been a LONG few days. It has been mostly good, but LONG.
Josh left at 6am on Friday morning. He took our 15 passenger van and eight of his friends and they drove (13 hours each way) to New Mexico to go to the New Mexico Bowl where the Wyoming Cowboys were playing. (The Cowboys got their butts kicked but the guys still had a fun trip. They are on the road home now and I expect Josh late tonight).
On Friday I had some errands to run, and then we watched Christmas movies when the kids were all home from school. Yesterday was busy, but fun. I took the kids to the free matinee at the movie theater and to see Santa. Then I left some of the kids home with two of the teenagers and took a couple of the kids grocery shopping, and when we got home we started baking and made lots of treats. I drove back into town to pick up pizzas since the kitchen at home was crazy, and then after we ate we put together 10 plates and then drove around and delivered them to friends and neighbors. The kids loved delivering the plates of treats and hopefully we spread some Christmas cheer. It was fun!
The little kids went to bed and then the big kids and I stayed up and watched Scrooged. Love it! (Ok, I cannot tell a lie. I watched some of Scrooged and dozed on the couch.)
This morning there was lots of hair doing, getting everyone to church on time, etc. etc. and oh yeah... I ran 20 miles! I had a 6 miler on Friday, a 10 miler yesterday, and then my last 20 miler before Goofy this morning. It was a lot of miles to get done with Josh gone, but I started super early and was able to get it all done. (I got very little sleep last night thanks to Noah's alarm going off multiple times, my coughing, and getting up super early, but I did just fine despite that. I plan on sleeping hard tonight!)
This morning's run, even though it was on the treadmill, was one of my best 20 milers ever. I finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds, which is a 7:37 average pace. My original plan was to do a workout I saw in Runner's World that they recommended as a fitness test to run three weeks before a marathon. The work out was to do 2x6 miles at a pace of 10 seconds faster than marathon pace, with a warm up, cool down, and a 10 minute recovery jog in between the six-mile intervals.
I did a four-mile warmup at about an 8:13 pace, and then did six miles at 7:19. Then I did two easy miles (at about 8:34 pace). Originally I was going to do six more miles at 7:19 and then two miles to cool down, but when I hit the last two miles I was feeling good and I decided I wanted to finish strong, so I kept up the pace. When I got to the last half mile I kicked up the speed at each tenth of a mile, so I finished at a 6:58 pace.
There is something SO satisfying about finishing that last long run and hitting that magic three-week taper window. I always feel like I have conquered the training plan. I am extra excited this time because my legs and body feel SO good (despite a lingering nagging cough which is slowly slowly improving). It feels awesome to have run multiple weeks at 70+ miles and to feel this great.
My taper isn't a crazy amount of taper. I have "reduced miles" but still high intensity, and "reduced miles" means 60 miles next week, and 50 miles the week after that. Then it's Goofy week!!! I am feeling awesome and I am feeling READY. I have a good feeling about Disney. :)
Ok... back to cooking, laundry, playing with kids, etc. etc. and then an early bedtime for little kids so I can crash on the couch early. I can't wait to be back in the arms of Josh tonight. Yay!