I know, I know. It has been a long time and I am sure you were worried about where I have been. Is she running anymore? Did she hit the bottle and throw in the towel? Did she have one too many 80 degree, 100% humidity runs, lose her mind, and move to the mountains, never to be heard from again? (I wish) With all the running, working, traveling, and watching the Gators play, [poorly], there has been little time to write. Luckily FN released another wonderful issue with all those power couples. So now we are one month away from the Chicago marathon and I am not quite sure where the summer went. I do know there have been lots of good, sweaty miles both on my own and with friends. There have been some really tough miles as well. I have not been following the Hanson’s training plan perfectly, but have done my best to stay pretty close. I am averaging about 45 miles per week and am feeling good. My tempo runs have been the hardest for me each week, which makes me a little nervous about my goals, but I try to remember all the hard work I am putting in and the humidity factor. This week I had planned to chat all about fueling and my experiments with nutrition before and during the runs. Unfortunately, things changed slightly last week, so this is going to be a little more personal this week. Look for fun with energy gu’s and salt packets next week. In the training plan, there are three 16 miles runs at peak mileage. Last week was the second 16 miler and I planned to do at least 17. My husband and favorite training partner has been working a ton and not running much during the weeks. Last week before the long run, he came to the difficult decision to not run the marathon. I one hundred percent support him and know he is making the right decision. That doesn’t change the fact that I am sad not to run with him and will miss running through the crowds together in Chicago. Deep down, I was also nervous and a little scared to do another full month of training on my own. That being said, the irony of my last post is not lost on me. “Don’t fall into the trap of relying solely on another other person or group for motivation.” Yeah definitely a little guilty of doing that. For some reason, I was so nervous to do my long run without him. I had a very strong 16 miler previously and knew I would have no problem, but could not shake that insecurity. Could I finish the whole 17 by myself? (I do realize my own ridiculousness) The morning of the long run he agreed to run with me for the first five that morning, but then headed home. I met up with our running group and ran with two friends for the next six or so miles. It was actually a nice change to run with different people, but we were running different distances and I broke off around mile 11. I was feeling strong and headed homeward. The last six or so miles were fantastic; I felt strong and held a good pace the whole time. The miles flew by. At mile 16, 10 miles more didn’t seem completely insane. Legs felt great and I was in a peaceful place. That run was great as a long run, but more so, a huge boost to my confidence. I know 26.2 is never easy, but mentally I am now ready for the peak weeks and getting ready for race day. One month left!