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Group Marathon Training 7 - We did WHAT?!? Seriously? (Picture Heavy)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a walk when we got up bright and early on Saturday! I was READY! Picked my daughter up at 6:15 and we were at Bob Roncker's in O'Bryonville by 6:45 AM, plenty of time to check in, check things out, hit the potty and get ready to hit the road. This week they had samples of Gu for us to try so we can start experimenting on these longer training sessions to determine what works for us in terms of fueling for long distances. According to the information Rich gave us, your body stores enough carbohydrates to keep you going about 17-18 miles, so if you don't want to "hit the wall" at that point, you want to refuel to keep your energy up. He said the rule of thumb is to take one Gu (or whatever food or supplement works for you) about once every hour. The idea right now is to try things out so we'll KNOW how our bodies react before we're doing the 20 milers. So I grabbed 3 Gu packs, and my daughter grabbed a couple as well (though we both had other options with us - I brought honey sticks for each of us and we both had trail mix packs).

Getting ready to hit the road!

Here's the route we took - all the way from O'Bryonville to Downtown, across the river into Kentucky, back into Ohio and then a LOOONG way down Pete Rose Way/Riverside until we headed up Collins Lane hill and back to the shop.

Here, come along with me and see the sights of this beautiful city of mine!

Heading along Madison Road towards Victory Parkway

Victory Parkway turns into Eden Park Drive and rambles through Eden Park (where I STILL need to take 'Yote one of these days). Shots from the park...

One of the lakes

Heading towards one of the bridges in the park

The tower off to the right of the bridge we passed under

**Edited to add - I totally forgot to mention the most incredible moment on the walk when I original wrote this! Right after we walked past that tower and under the bridge, as we were coming around the bend towards Krohn Conservatory, a HUGE white-tailed deer bounded from our left across the road right in front of us and up the hill towards the tower, not more than 10 feet away! It was SO FRICKEN COOL! My daughter was so excited "Everybody else always sees the deer and I always miss it - that was SO COOL MOM!"

Krohn Conservatory (such an amazing plant display)

Mirror Lake (obviously well named, particularly when the sun is just coming up)

One of the entrances to the park (right by the Channel 9 studio)

Out of the park now, heading down Gilbert Avenue towards downtown

One of my FAVORITE places - that Greyhound station meant trips to see 'Yote (and picking up the now ex-girlfriend when she'd come for weekends) - I have a HUGE affection for this buildling. :) KITTYWULF stopped for a quick potty break and I refilled my water bottle, so I took a picture of the entrance, and then the view of downtown from the front door.

Heading towards Pete Rose Way - another shot of my favorite building downtown (the new skyscraper for Great American Insurance)

Approaching the Purple People Bridge

Crossing the Purple People Bridge - looking west towards Covington as we crossed

Passing by the Newport Aquarium on the Kentucky side of the Purple People Bridge

Passing by the old Southgate House (which closed last month *cries*), the Courthouse in Newport and the Freedom Bell

Looking north towards Cincinnati as we approached the Clyde Wade Bailey bridge heading back to Ohio (and more pics of the river - this time looking east)

A neat sculpture heading east on Pete Rose Way (actually I think this may be farther along, where it turns into Riverside Drive - I'm pretty sure that's Mt. Adams up the hill so this is a WAYS down the road)

And the last picture I took - I finally found out where WAIF FM moved! WAIF is one of the public radio stations in Cincinnati, and my ex-husband used to have a pagan talk show that ran during the wee hours of Saturday mornings. It USED to be in the basement of the Alms Hotel in Walnut Hills (which we also passed walking...SCARY place frankly, they had a crow-bar attached to the bathroom key so you could defend yourself walking through the halls if necessary), and I knew the studio had moved but was never sure where - now I know it's on East McMillan! Sweet!

Pretty huh?

All in all, it was a GREAT walk! My daughter and I were the caboose again, but the one coach who tends to stick towards the back of the pack made a great "pace car" (we were laughing about that towards the end) - when she'd get too far ahead of us we'd run to catch up, so we were keeping a really decent pace - generally 15 minutes or less per mile. It was a tempo walk, so we were to do the first 4 miles at an easy pace, the next 5 miles we were to increase to "race pace" and then the end was to be cool down. I'm not sure how well we stuck to that, PARTICULARLY since the point where we were to slow down was on Collins and OMG that's a ridiculous hill! Which then turns on to William Howard Taft Drive and East McMillan, which were ALSO hills - every time we thought we'd reached the top we'd turn a corner and OMG it's STILL GOING UP! That seriously slowed us down towards the end, but we kept on going (my daughter went a little faster than I did and stopped a couple of times, I just kept on slow and steady) and honestly? Having conquered that hill, the last couple of miles felt SO much easier! Well, except that my legs were starting to feel like lead...but still. The Gu did me pretty well (I liked the Strawberry-Banana and the Vanilla better than the chocolate), but it seemed to cause my daughte gas problems, whereas she did better with her trail mix and nuts. I also needed more water towards the end - I know there will be plenty of water stops during the race, but even having refilled my water bottle at the Greyhound station I should have found someplace while we were in Kentucky or after we got back across the river to Ohio on the way back to refill it again. By the time we were at the top of Collins Hill I was empty - happily my daughter still had some left and she was kind enough to share, but I need to have more than that on me. Will have to consider options there since my water belt doesn't really have extra slots (and most water belts use special clip on water bottles, not generic 24-32 oz water bottles you can get at the grocery store like I use). Pondering is.

The really cool thing? We did a good portion of the course we'll be doing for the actual race, only backwards. The coaches have told us by the time we actually do The Pig we'll have covered the whole course during the training.

So yeah, my daughter and I walked 13.3 miles which is more than a HALF MARATHON on Saturday! My sister and I trained for 5 months to do just that in 2004. My daughter and I have been at this for less than 2 months, and we knocked it outta the park!
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