This week's runs have been a bit harder than the rest. This was a big week - 54 miles - and I had a hard time keeping my head in the game for some reason. I'm not sure if it was the hub bub of the holidays (though we did a decent job of keeping that to a dull roar) or what, but I"m hoping this week is a bit better... though my legs are pretty thrashed from a hilly 10 mile pace run then a hilly 20 mile long run. I did it and I hit my goal times, but didn't feel as good as I felt on my last 20 miler. Granted last time I only ran 10 easy the day before not 10 HARD w/ a crap load of hills.
I was excited to do the 20 miler after my punishing hilly 10 miler. I had dad drive me to a neighboring town so I could just run home instead of finding a loop or out and back. We did this for my last 20 miler and it worked out nicely to do point-to-point on roads I had never run before. So we are driving driving driving and I'm wondering if it's really that helpful to see exactly how far I'm running when we start to DESCEND.. big time.. into New Milford. Yes ladies and gentlemen my hilly 10 mile pace run was to be followed by a 3 mile mountainous climb out of town at the BEGINNING of my 20 miler. I decided I wasn't going to be psyched out by this. Instead of jumping from the car to avoid going any deeper into town I took a deep breath and reminded myself that my goal was to go nice and easy and keep my heart rate down to train my body to use fat as fuel. I'm walking those puppies and I don't care what anyone thinks... so that's exactly what I did. I ran until my heart started beating a little harder than I wanted it to (haven't located my chest strap for my Garmin yet) and then walked. Walked and walked until I got to the top then ran on the flats and walked some more. It was fine. I hung in there and listened to my book (Freakonomics this time) and thought about all my friends out there running 'w/ me' (thanks guys) and plugged along. By the end my left knee was done and my right arch was yelling at me a bit, but I persevered through the pain and the rain that had started. All in all the run was BEAUTIFUL and frankly I'm surprised I don't see more people out there running it's so pretty... maybe in the summer. I ran through hills, by creeks and lakes and ponds and it was all heavily wooded like someone had paved a nice little road through 20 mile long state park just for me (and a few cars) to travel on. It was quite serene...
As I'm quickly coming to a close on this training session I'm starting to plan for next year... lot's of things rolling around in my ol' noggin'. I did join the Bethel Cycle Tri club and am meeting w/ the crew in early January so we can talk about what races everyone is doing. I'm looking forward to tips from everyone as to the good races in town. I also just registered for a masters swim class (12 weeks) put on for triathletes and am hoping to get some much needed guidance on my swim. There are some goals around that part of the sport for sure!
I can't believe that 2009 is coming to a close.... 2010 is going to be EPIC!