E and I headed to the land of his people (aka, the deep fat fried South) for Thanksgiving.
(Lake Burton, GA)
(Flood control drops the lake well below the dock)
So far, it's been full of family (new niece!), fun, and opportunities for Southern delicacies such as:
-duck fat fried pickles (delicious!)
-deliciously greasy crispy brussel sprouts
-deep fried Thanksgiving Turkey (with a second smoked option, just in case)
-several types of dressing including E's mom's famous sausage, bacon, chestnut offering
-truffled mac and cheese
-more pickles; and
-snack bacon (you know, just 2 lbs of cooked bacon, in the fridge, in case you get hungry)
The first few days, I was relatively well behaved due to my desire to put in a reasonable performance at the Atlanta Half Marathon.
While I didn't stay with the 1:50 pace group as I'd hoped, I still came in at a respectable 1:58:03 despite the hills, which was helpful for establishing a good goal pace for my marathon. I did the last quarter mile at a 7:47 pace, so I definitely had some energy left, which is a good feeling since I have to do 26.2 miles next Sunday.
I also confirmed my favorite night-before-race meal: Broth-based asian soups with noodles or dumplings. Low fiber, medium protein, good for electrolyte loading and carbohydrates, filling but not so heavy as to cause stomach upset pre-race.
Pre-race, I had coffee, a couple of handfulls of cheerios, a half a banana, and immediately before the start, I chomped down a package of Power Bar Energy Blasts. During, I walked through the aid stations and opted for water at 2 and 4 miles and Powerade at 6, 8, and 10 miles. Overall, I feel pretty good about the race. I correctly recognized that 8:24 was going to take too much out of me (and would likely destroy my marathon), so I slowed, but pushed myself to maintain a sub-9:00 pace, and was pleased to find that it wasn't too difficult to do so.
Even better, the next day, my legs weren't sore at all.
I'm in full-on taper mode, now.
First, because that's what's on the schedule. But, even more so because I fell and bruised my ribs going down slippery hard wood stairs in socks on Thanksgiving evening (read: I've had to take post-Thanksgiving runs even easier than I otherwise would thanks to the pain associated with taking deep breaths).
It is raining cats and dogs today, so I think I'll just take the day even easier than scheduled and either take it off or do a simple treadmill workout with a few pick-ups to remind my legs of the pace they are supposed to keep on Sunday.
And with that, it's back to a full-length regular work week (half on EST and half on PST), hopes for fully healed ribs, and then the Marathon.