Monday, June 10, 2013

Twin Cities Marathon Training - Countdown: 117 Days

Another week in the books. And this was a great week of trail runs loaded with a huge group of new runners showing up to train.  I've finally got a good week of miles under my belt, and feel more and more confident about this summers training.  Nothing too exciting to post, other than an array of back to back trail runs of more than 2 hours each.  Something that isn't that much of a feat to most trail runners, but something of a challenge for us roadies.

The first adventure was an easy 10 miler up to the 1955 TWA crash site.  This run had a huge number of Dukes TC runners, and it pleased the majority of them when the crash debris became visible from the long climb through the canyon.  The first thing you see is the tire of the 19 passenger plane, then more and more metal.  Soon enough, this junk pile becomes conceptualized when you read the plaque dedicated to the victims, and realize how awful of an event this was.  As an erie thought, we have the fortune opportunity to this site and take pictures of a horrible accident.  Something must be wrong with us, but death is what makes us live for every moment we have together.

After Saturday's run, we decided to run to another iconic location - South Peak.  I hadn't been to South Peak in over 4 years, so this was going to be a treat.  And it was.  The view and the isolation from other people was well worth the 1:53 minute accent.  I was very pleased and happy to be back running and challenging myself on a run such as that one.  With over 4000' of elevation gain, it honestly felt good to be pushing myself that hard.

South Peak

Relaxing atop South Peak
Now it's on to some "normal" training, which as many of you know, isn't always the most fun.  Which is why I encourage you to try something different, and new when training.  We get stuck in such a rut, that our fitness will stay in that rut.  Pushing yourself in a speed session, or tempo run isn't quite the same as getting lost on a new run.  By just venturing out of your normal routine can really reenergize your spirit and make other aspects of your training more clear.  I remember during college, we'd have more freedom during our base training, and I'd always attempt to run up the tallest known object within sight.  This was usually Twin Oaks Mountain (which isn't much of a mountain in San Marcos compared to what we have in Albuquerque), but it was a physical and metaphoric challenge of climbing something to overcome it.  I didn't really know what I was overcoming, but it felt good to reach the peak.  So, during this marathon cycle, I'll be overcoming a lot to reach the peak of fitness, but as all instances of climbing a mountain, you still have to come down.  And coming down to reality and racing a marathon with the sight of a PR upon the horizon will be just as difficult as the climb.

Week in Training:

Monday - easy 8
Tuesday - am. Track: 4x400, 4x200, 2x800, 2x400 / pm. 8 easy
Wednesday - am. 9 easy / pm. 6 easy
Thursday - am. 8 easy / pm. 7.5 easy
Friday - am. 6 mile tempo - 5:34 average / pm. 6 easy
Saturday - am. 10
Sunday - am. 17 miles on South Peak

Total: 99.5 miles -  I feel like a real runner again!

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