"The beauty of running is its simplicity; the beauty of runners is that we all have a similar drive to improve. We are either trying to run a personal best, or toeing the line for the first time, which will snowball into a future of trying to run personal bests. We road racers are a tight community of mileage-happy, limit-pushing athletes."
~Deena Kastor (American record holder for the marathon, half-marathon, and numerous other road distances).
It truly is a beautiful thing to be "in-between" marathon training schedules. And although I'm not following a training plan right now, I am enjoying the mileage that I am able to determine. Last week I hammered a heavier mileage week, logging 8 miles on Monday, 6 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, 10 miles on Thursday, and 5 miles on Friday. I would have loved the opportunity to run this weekend, as it was gorgeous out!
I had an even better opportunity to coach the Rams at the NCAA Division III, UMAC Conference Championship race in Ashland, WI. Our teams did well. It was chilly and windy along the shore, with a somewhat soggy course, but they bucked up, and gave it their best effort. Not super fast times, but many of the Rams ran the course faster than they had run it three weeks prior. I know that they are in shape. They are strong, and their mileage is going down, which means their bodies are finally recovering from the heavy load of work they've done over the months prior. We came in 3rd place (both men and women). I am so proud of my Pink Hotties (aka Lady Rams), who gave it their all. That was their last 6k course. From here on out they have the Fall Finale Race at St. John's University, which is a 5k course-practically a road race. Super fast, and super fun. From there, they'll head to Cedarville, OH to tackle the NCCAA National Championship. The ladies will be hoping to score their sixth national banner, and the men their fourth national banner!
This week is going to mean long hours (7:00AM-5:00PM) Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I can get off early for intervals on Tuesday, and leave early for the race on Friday! In order to accomodate my 8 mile run this morning, I had to get up at 4:00AM. It wasn't pretty at 4:00AM, I didn't enjoy the beauty of the sunrise, because it wasn't up when I finished my run. But I did enjoy the stillness that the morning brings. I did enjoy the wonder of a new day, and a new month to be filled with adventures waiting to be had. Layered with two longsleeve shirts, a hat and gloves, I ran from Mensing, around Elliot Park, to Olie Park, over the Stonearch Bridge, across the 10th Street Bridge, through Seven Corners, past the Metrodome, and back to my building, for a solid 8 miles. My body and my feet are happy. My mind is satisfied from an hour of solid reflection.
My heart is pleased, that today, I had another opportunity to run.