"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."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Running in PA

My training has been going exceedingly well in preparation for the Twin Cities Marathon. I started running/training on June 1st, after two months off after my stress fracture. I spent the past 8 days in State College, PA-visiting my in-laws, the Williamsons. It was a fabulous trip, filled with fun, laughter, adventures, meeting my first niece, new experiences, my birthday, and running-lots of hard running! I could write a long blog on all the fun things we did, but since I have kept this blog as a training blog, I will stick to the running.

We left on Saturday, July 2nd. I ended up doing my 15 mile run before leaving for PA. I was extremely discouraged by this run. It was so hard. I felt like I had to stop so many times. It was so hot, and so humid, and I felt like I couldn't keep enough water in my system. But I finished it, and was glad it was in the books. I took Sunday off because we got in late, and it was raining in the morning when we got up.

The running in PA is tough! I couldn't seem to get away from the hills, anywhere. There is always an up, a down, and an up again. Monday, the 4th of July was a fun day! Jason (Jeremy's brother), Jeremy, and I ran the Firecracker 4k, in State College. Lindsay and Saoirse were our fabulous cheerleaders! I knew I needed to get more mileage in, so I went for a 3.5 mile run before the race. I ran sub-17 (I'm guessing 16:55)-which would equate to a 6:48/mile average. It was chip timed, however, there wasn't a start mat, just a finish mat, so I had to guess when I crossed the start line. I had my splits on my garmin. The first mile was fast, I ran a 6:30. The second mile had some larger climbs, and I ran a 7:10, and finished the last half mile at a pace of 6:35-this also had some climbs. It was a nice challenging run. I placed 2nd in my age group! I'll take it. I found out later I missed out on getting an award, but that's okay. I had the satisfaction of a nice hard run, and that was enough! 6 miles in total for the day.

On Tuesday I got up and ran a 7 miler downtown State College. This was a tough run. It was hilly both ways. Here's a snapshot of the 3.5 out and back course:

After the 7 miler, Jeremy was about to go on his 3 mile run. So why not? I joined him. Finished it off as a nice 10 mile day.

To celebrate, that night, we got frozen yogurt, with our own toppings. I got heath and chocolate pareils on top of no sugar added vanilla yogurt. Here are the others:

Wednesday was a quality running day. I did 2 miles quickly (7:25/average per mile). Then went to the track with Jason to do some speed work. Those of you who know me, know that I would rather do hills any day, rather than intervals. So this was a nice kick in the pants. Jason and I did an 800 as a warm up. I followed that with 5x800 on the track. This is my first speed workout of the season, and post injury. My splits were:
3:15, 3:12, 3:12, 3:15, 3:11-There's work to be done, for sure.
Here's some documentation of the work that went down:

I think that last picture was to get me to the finish line faster! Again, when I got back from the track workout, Jeremy was about to venture on his 6 mile run-so why not spend more time with my favorite person. An 11 miler day in the books, with some serious speed thrown in there.

On Thursday, my birthday, I mostly wanted to get it over with, so I hammered out a slow 5 mile run. Nothing special.

On Friday, I ran a quick 4 mile run. It was hot and humid (100% humidity to be exact-but who's keeping track?!)

Saturday was my "long run day"; however, it was a recovery day. I only "needed" to do 10 miles. Jason went with my by bike, and showed me part of State College I had never seen before. There were many hills. My garmin tracked elavation between 800 feet and 1,250 ft. Talk about some work! The route he took me on was beautiful! I ran past a creek that was gorgeous. I couldn't escape God's presence in this run. I saw fields and flowers, trees and shrubs. Hardly any cars on this road. This was a part of the Nittany Half Marathon course. I enjoyed the scenery, minus the hills ;) Ended up with a solid 14 miles. It was extremely challenging, and I had to walk a few times, but I don't feel guilty about it, it was a tough run. And no, I did not go back out with Jeremy on his long run (he had left by the time I got home).

I ran Monday-Saturday, and took Sunday (today), as my rest day. I'm hoping this gives my legs some good recovery. I'm ready to hit the pavement tomorrow in my new Brooks for the first time :) Hoping the running feels easy after a week of mountainous running!

I feel stronger, mentally and physically, and my heart is full after a week with family.

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