Monday, March 11, 2013

One Year Wiser and Faster!

I am happy to report that I was successful in my quest to run 43 miles last week in order to celebrate my 43rd birthday. I enjoyed every run, and ran with joy.  I truly do love running, and to do it without pain is just the best gift I could ever wish for. 
 Monday was a 10 mile run, and I set out for it with a little bit of trepidation. I don't think I have ever run 10 miles on a MONDAY! It just seemed a bit unnatural.  I had to plan the timing just right so that I would have time after dropping off my daughter at preschool, and when she need to be picked up 3 hours later.  I wanted to make sure I could allow for stretching and a shower.  Success! I ran fairly easy, and was still able to run an average pace of 9:08.  That is a great pace for me. I've been reflecting lately how my "easy" pace has gone from 10 min/mile to 9 min.  This has all happened in the last 18 months or so.  It seems that the more I train, even though I am aging, I am getting faster.  Not sure how long this trend will last, but enjoying every moment of it!!
 Tuesday I ran 7 miles.  The weather was mild, 34 degrees, and sunny. Beautiful day for a run.
Wednesday was my actual birthday, and I had planned to run 4.3 miles with 3 running friends.  We were all to meet at my home and run in a local park, and then go for coffee.  The weather had other plans. Tuesday night, starting after midnight, the snow started.  It came down heavily, and at 5:30 in the morning we received a call from the school, letting us know that school was cancelled for the day. I turned off my alarm, and went back to sleep.  Once I got up at 7, the snow was still coming down heavily.  I texted my friends and let them know that I was still planning on doing my planned miles, and they were off the hook.  I wasn't expecting anyone to drive to my home to run with me.  An hour later, one friend called to say she would still join me.  She lives less than a half mile away, and she was going to run to my home, and we would leave from there.  How great is that?  So, I convinced my husband to go out and shovel the driveway and walkway so she could get to the door.  He shot me a look, then reconsidered and silently went out to shovel.  Luckily it was my birthday!! My friend showed up, and we trudged through the heavy, wet snow for 4.3 miles.  I gotta say, this was the toughest run of the week.  My legs were tired from the previous days, and running through snow is not easy! So glad I did it though. Thanks Chrissie!!
 The rest of my birthday was spent at home, with the kids and my husband, who also had the day off. I share my birthday with my oldest son, who turned 12.  We had fun opening our presents, and just hanging out.  Later that evening, the weather had cleared up, and we were able to go to our local Red Robin for dinner. I had a yummy veggie burger, sweet potato fries and a Guiness beer.  We finished off the meal with chocolate cake we had bought at a local grocery store.  Delicious!
 Thursday called for 7.7 miles. I figured out a new loop from my house which I really enjoyed.  I have never done it as a loop before, just out and back.  It actually worked out very well, and ended up being 7.5 miles.  I ran a small loop around my neighborhood to add the .2 miles and was done for the day. Still feeling great. I was careful all week to stretch, foam roll and hydrate/fuel well. Every afternoon, I took the time to ice my shins which kept shin splints away.
 Friday was a day off. First day off since the previous Wednesday, so a very welcome day off.  I attended my monthly book club meeting, where we discussed the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Great book, and a great discussion with my group! I always look forward to our meetings, and 2 of the members are also my running buddies, so we made plans for the following morning to get together for our long run. Friday night I did go with my 2 sons and 3 other preteen boys to play Laser Tag. My oldest son was having his birthday party with a sleepover, so no rest for me that evening!! It was fun, but a bit tiring, I have to say.  I handed off the party to my husband at 9pm and wished him luck.  This old lady needed some rest before the early morning long run!!
 Saturday I met with my running group and we figured out a 14 mile loop to run.  The weather was a bit cool, but the sun came out and it quickly became much warmer.  My two running friends and I enjoyed a great conversation as the miles just flew by.  The only time the conversation was paused was during the many hills we conquered that day. This photo shows the elevation profile of our run:
All in all, it was a great run. We were able to run an avg. pace of 9:25/mile for the run. Not bad for some tired legs over rolling hills. After a very large breakfast of pancakes with blueberries, home-made latte and orange juice, I was a happy lady.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and recovering. 
 So, what did I learn from this week?  I learned that I am strong, determined, and motivated.  I love setting goals for myself and accomplishing them.  I learned that no matter how many miles I run, I run with JOY.  I actually loved every mile I ran this week.  Some people cannot relate to this, but running is truly my passion.  I am so blessed to have found this passion more than 15 years ago.  I only wish that I had found it 30 years ago!! I plan on running as long as my body will allow.  Hopefully another 43 years!!


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