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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friday- 13 mile run around Salt Lake City and Liberty Park

Friday was another gorgeous day in Salt Lake City.  Again the weather was sunny, high 60's to low 70's.    And again, Thatcher had to work most of the day.  A full day to myself... what to do.  
Well I am really bad at relaxing and really good at keeping busy.

I am starting to taper for my Marathon on May 4th.  I had just run my 20 miler the weekend before, and was going to attempt a 12-15 mile run this weekend. 

The problems with running in Salt Lake City, or Utah in general is:
A:  I am not used to the altitude-  Harder to catch your breath out here
B:  I am not used to the mountains.  We have hills at home, rolling hills, but I am not used to running straight up and then straight down.
C:  It was really warm this weekend- I had been training throughout the winter in very cold temperatures.  My body was not used to the sunny 70 degrees that was forecasted for Friday.


Because I had A, B, and C against me, I decided to stick with a flat route.  The only way to do that is to run the city blocks or find a park.  I did both.  I did some research and found a park called Liberty Park about two miles from the apartment.  My plan was to run 2 miles to the park (stopping to buy a Gatorade somewhere) run 9 miles at the park, and then run 2 miles back to the apartment. 

I wore a pair of biking shorts, a tank top, my compression socks, my newtons, and some sun screen.  I headed out and bought a Gatorade at a local convenience store.  I don’t like to drink super sweet gartorade while running, but my NUUN tabs were at home and I knew with the heat that Gatorade was the better option over water.

When I got to the park, I was stunned.  It was runner's paradise.  There were several “tracks” that went around the park, a mulch path for runners, grass, and two cement sidewalks for runners, walkers, rollerbladers, or bikers.  I switched from the mulch track to the cement track to the grass track.  It was really nice to have the different terrains (oh, and all flat!) -- The track around the park was roughly 1.5 miles.  This worked PERFECTLY for my 1.5 mile running and 1.5 minute walking.  Ran a lap, walked a minute with my Gatorade, set it down, and repeat.  There was also some shady parts around the track, water fountains everywhere (even doggy ones!) and several bathrooms around the park.  Runner's paradise indeed.

I finished my nine miles, all while taking in this gorgeous park.  A big pond with boats, tennis courts, pavilions, benches everywhere, fields, an aviary, bocce, horseshoes, volleyball, you name it.  There were people everywhere, dogs everywhere, and everyone out enjoying the day.  It was one of those runs that just makes you happy to be outside, and reminds you why you run.   This will be a spot I absolutely come back to run, visit, and enjoy the park with Olive.  

At mile 11 (9 on the track) I left the park and headed back towards the apartment.  I was feeling pretty tired and ready to be done, but I think this was mostly due to the heat I was not used to.  I finished my 13.01 at a 9:53 pace, which included my walk breaks.  I was pretty happy with the time that has been consistent with my other long runs.  Consistent pace even with the altitude change and heat? Not bad Katie. 

At this point, I had successfully trained in all types of conditions.  Sun and heat, bitter cold, wind, rain, and even altitude.  I had gotten to the important 20 miler, and I finally feel really ready for this marathon.

The one thing I realized, was that I was going to need some better warm weather gear.  I was going to need some quality shorts for my marathon, that would wick and wouldn’t ride up, and I was going to need a running hat that would wick away the sweat while keeping the sun off my face.   And while I am at it, maybe a fun new tank top to celebrate the occasion ;) 

Once back at the apartment, I hopped in the shower, got dressed, and met Thatcher for a late lunch.  Even though it was quite warm out, he had Ramen on the brain, and who am I to say no to a bowl of noodles?  We went to Naked Fish, a few blocks from Thatcher’s apartment and I ordered a bowl of classic Ramen and a glass of refreshing white wine.  After lunch, we headed to Lululemon to pick out a pair of marathon shorts.

This was not as easy as I thought.  Most of their shorts are  INSANELY short, and made for girls with twigs for legs.  I wanted something a little longer with a little more room for the thighs.  After about 30 minutes and 5 shorts, I finally settled on this pair.   The length of the shorts was perfectly, the legs were roomy, and the band was seamless and really comfortable.  They even have a pocket that’s just big enough for my phone, or some keys and a card.  And don’t worry friends, I will be doing my next long(ish) run in these to see if they will work for my 26.2. 

After Lululemon and lots of walking around town, we were hungry again, and stopped at the Desert Storm Brewery for beer, wine, and an app.  We sat outside on the deck and settled on some veggie spring rolls and I had a glass of white wine which was a refreshing snack on a beautiful day. 

After all the eating out, we deiced to make dinner at the apartment.   I made porkchops with a mushroom and red wine reduction, with quinoa and green beans.  A relaxing and healthy meal enjoyed at home to end the day.

A 13 mile run, a walk around the city, a trip to Lululemon, a pit stop at a brewery, and a delicious homemade dinner.  The day’s just keep getting better and better.

<3 Katie 

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