Mike was browsing the bulk bins at our natural food co-op the other day, when he came across a bin labeled "jogger's friend." Apparently it's just a sugar and electrolyte drink similar to Gatorade, but with no artificial colors or flavors. He bought a bag of it, and I've been using it on my longer runs recently.
Oh. My. Goodness. Where has this stuff been for all the years I've been running? I trained with sports drink for a couple marathons, but it always gave me a stomach ache. I definitely need to investigate what this stuff is, because I absolutely LOVE what it does for my running, especially on hot days. I also love that I can control how strong it is, so it's not overly sweet or concentrated.
I got bad news on Friday morning - apparently it was a really tough decision (don't they always say that?), but I didn't get the job I was hoping for. I took it pretty hard, but things are looking a lot better now. I'm going back to school in the fall for the one class I need to get a single subject credential. After that, I'll be able to teach K-12, which opens up my options (and apparently science teachers are in demand in quite a few places). Plus, like Ali pointed out in her comment, subbing leaves a whole lot more time open for training!
After last week's crappy runs, this week felt like a breakthrough. I felt strong on pretty much every run, and today's was the icing on the cake. I had 15 miles w/ 12 at marathon goal pace. I was hoping I'd be able to hold an 8:15 pace, which would give me a 3:36 marathon (the McMillan race calculator thinks I can do that based on my last 10K time). I was definitely pushing it a little, but not killing myself, and I did the 12 at 7:54 pace! What a HUGE confidence booster. I passed the 13.1 mile mark around 1:44, which is faster than my PR, so I REALLY need to find a half marathon to do one of these days!
Summary of the week:
Monday - 45 minutes stationary bike, plus some abs
Tuesday - 10 miles w/ 5x1000m (4:09, 4:10, 4:06, 4:05, 4:02)
Wednesday - 5 miles @ 8:01 pace
Thursday - 12 miles @ 8:24 pace
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6.5 miles @ 8:20 pace, plus 6 100m strides
Sunday - 15.1 miles w/ 3 @ 8:14 pace followed by 12 @ 7:54 pace
Total - 48.6 miles