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Hills of San Ann, Wine & Cheese, and a Return to Yoga

Last weekend felt sort of like a real weekend--like one that didn't revolve solely around training, or rather, like one that didn't start with a long run that drained the life out of me.

Of course, it still started with a long and hard training run, but the training burden had been somewhat ameliorated since completing my last 20-miler the weekend prior. I still wanted to get another hill run in before the marathon, so Tim and I woke up at our usual 4:30 a.m. and grumpily drove about 45 minutes out to San Antonio, Florida.

We met up with a few friends and started out in the 68-degree weather and darkness. The guys went off ahead of me and another friend, Cathy, and I was hoping to be able to see them long enough to know which way to turn onto the main road. I brought my handy flashlight that I'd bought for the Longwood run, but it only shined 10 feet out, and the guys were much farther ahead than that. Luckily, one of the guys stopped at the turning point and yelled back at us to indicate the turning point. I heard him first and then yelled back at Cathy. (I then wondered what all of the quiet residences alongside the road must have thought.)

Once on the main road, Scharber Road, the route was just out and back. I was doing 14 miles, which is the same amount of mileage I did last time I ran San Antonio, so it was familiar to me. I thought I'd be a bit sluggish, having just come off of 20 miles the previous weekend, so I was a bit surprised when some of my miles were dipping down in the 9:30s and faster. And as the mile splits indicate, I was sort of all over the place with my pacing:

I guess that's what happens when running up and down hills, but I'd like to have a little bit more control over it--especially on marathon day. I sort of let the downhills take control of me, and then it's a struggle to go back uphill. But all in all, it was a good, solid run. I definitely struggled up the last big hill and even walked a few steps and thought, no--must run! And I did, as best I could. Despite that, I have mostly negative splits, and I especially like seeing those eights at the end! This run left me feeling encouraged for Steamtown, and, best of all, it didn't suck the life out of me.

Later that evening, Tim and I finally went to check out a newish restaurant in downtown Tampa that we'd heard about for some time--Crumb & Cork. I was excited to relax with some wine and live jazz music, but I wasn't entirely sure how accommodating the menu would be for me. I don't really eat cheese, but I figured they'd have something for me. As it turns out, the selection was pretty limited--especially for a true vegan (which I'm not, as I eat fish and eggs, occasionally). What they do offer, though, is an extensive selection of hand-picked wines, cheeses, and meats. And the menu items are offered as samplers, sort of. Just as they offer wine flights, they also offer boards of cheeses and meats with various spreads. There was one vegetarian board that did not include meat, but that much cheese would have done my stomach in. So I settled on a caesar salad and some "accessories"--baguette crostini with an olive tapenade and mini pickles. And while Tim ordered a white wine flight, I opted for a sangria (I can rarely pass up a sangria--even in a restaurant with a vast variety of unique and hand-selected wines).

Tim's white wines, which he finished like a champ--a very sophisticated champ.

Happy about my sangria, to the chagrin of our server, who really wanted me to try a red wine flight.

Perhaps the classiest move I made all night was to present our server with a coupon for $30, which I paid $15 for through CL Deals (this restaurant's deal is no longer available, but many other great restaurants have good deals posted).

The next morning, I had plans to attend a yoga class taught by my friend Kerri Mersereau, at Lululemon, a yoga apparel store that also offers community yoga classes once a week. I was really looking forward to this class, as I had been away from yoga for nearly a month, and was missing it. Her class focused on yoga for runners, which was perfect for my needs so close to the marathon. Yoga has always felt very natural to me--far more natural than running sometimes feels--but I was a little surprised that I had to focus so much on my breathing. That part is what was lost after being away from practice for so long. But the class was wonderful and reminded me to keep yoga in my weekly routine, no matter how much marathon training I'm doing. It's good for my body, mind, and soul, and the benefits are pretty immediate.

As I'm a week behind on posting, you'll likely have the great privilege of reading yet another post very soon on the last long run before marathon training. Try to contain yourself!


B.o.B. said…
Awesome awesome awesome run lady!!! You're going to do so well at Steamtown. I can't wait for the recap! Can we PLEASE meet up for coffee or something? Miss your face!

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