"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Running, Running, Holidays!

It has been awhile since I posted last. A lot has happened in my training regiment. I have gone from mostly indoor running (indoor track), to getting outside more often. We got a HUGE snow storm a few weeks ago. It took them a long time to plow the sidewalks. Dumptrucks are still carrying snow out of the city. Snowbanks are taller thank most cars still. We have come to a point where Minnesotans will whine about every inch we get going forward, because there's so much, it's never going to melt. It just keeps piling up! So after the snowfall, most of my running was inside, while they cleaned up the sidewalks and streets. However, once they got them managed, it has warmed up enough that I have ventured outside more often than inside the past few weeks.

My mileage has started to climb with being outside. It's more manageable outside, compared to the dreadful dreadmill, I mean, treadmill. I've been getting more 6 mile runs outside. They are slower, because of the slippery places, yet still challenging because it's outside. I have been running along the river parkway more often. It is very hilly, and reminds me that I have room to improve. One Thursday morning, I went to St. Paul for our normal 12 mile loop; however, the trail wasn't plowed, so we ended up doing hill repeats, and the a short run to cap the morning off at 6 miles.

The St. Paul crew I've been running with completed our first 18 miler a couple weeks ago! That was a toughy! Between the snow-matted paths, icy patches, and just a long time running, my hips were very sore the next day. I attribute that to my feet hitting uneven terrain with all the snow on the sidewalks. Even with the sidewalks plowed, there are still patches of snow. We ran from the St. Paul Lifetime, to the River Parkway, to the greenway, to Lake Calhoun, to Lake Harriet, to Minnehaha Parkway, and back to the club. It wasn't fast by any means. But we it is worth celebrating that we finished, and felt great about the work we did! We are ahead of schedule in training for Boston. And I know the work I'm putting in is helping me get stronger. I have been intentional about hill training, and now I need to be intentional about speed work--but that requires a treadmill.

Speaking of hills. Jeremy and I went to State College, PA for Christmas to see family! We had such a great time! Our trip was jam-packed with Christmas festivities, a trip to Pittsburgh, girl time, seeing family friends, seeing youth group friends, a little bit of running, but mostly just enjoying family time. This is where my running went a bit off track. I did not run on Christmas Eve because it was too snowy! It had snowed about 2 1/2 inches Thursday night, so when I woke up to try and run it was still snowy and icy. After I got off work, it had continued snowing and we were up to about 4 inches. It was Christmas Eve, and needless to say, the sidewalks probably weren't on the top of the list. On Christmas morning, if I wanted to run, I had to get up at 3:45AM to squeeze it in before we hopped on our plane. My alarm went off at 3:45, and I just couldn't do it, after a late night celebrating Christmas with my family. So I stayed in bed until 4:40AM and skipped the run. Jason and I ran Sunday morning before heading to Pittsburgh. We ran a nice 5ish mile loop, and I ran around the neighborhood to top it off at 6 miles. The nice thing about State College, is anywhere you go, you'll run into rolling hills. Our loop had some rolling hills, and a nice size hill towards the end. I may regret that prior sentence as I go into this next part. Monday, I took the day off as I wasn't feeling the greatest. My throat was pretty sore, so I decided not to try and fight the 25 mph winds that day. But Tuesday, Tuesday was a different day. I got up, still with a sore throat, but Jason and I decided to brace the 22 mph winds, and go for a 5 mile run. I will say this run was the most difficult 5 mile run I can remember doing. Our course was hilly, the whole time. Constantly up and down. At one point, I remember climbing a hill thinking, "What goes up, must....keep going up!" Here's a glimpse of the largest hill I've ever run....

Unfortunately, the picture doesn't truly do the hill justice. This hill was long and steep. It didn't even feel like I was running up it. It was at the beginning of the run. The rest of the run consisted of climbing more hills. I think Jason took me running around the hilliest part of State College. He definitely made me work!!!

Now I'm back in Minnesota. And my running should get back on track.

Sidenote, my athlete profile has been added to the Fitsok page! Take a peaky: http://www.fitsok.com/index.php/site/athlete-profile/ It is an honor to be a part of a team and support a company like Fitsok!

See earlier blogs about Fitsok, and their amazing sock options! Friends, if you are looking for running sock options, let me know!

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