This weekend I did my long run on Friday since that afternoon my boyfriend (D) and I left for Lake George. My Dad had off from work as well so we drove to a park about 20 minutes from my apartment to start our run. My Dad was told about this route from a coworker of his, who is also an avid runner. We wanted to give it a shot because up until this point we had been doing all our long runs through local towns and have encountered problems with lots of traffic, streets to cross, people, strollers, construction, etc. Sometimes it is nice to run when a lot is going on around you, but many times when you are 18 miles into a run and almost finished it is just too hard to stop at a red light, or your brain is not thinking clear enough to safely cross the street. Is that bad? Does anyone else encounter these problems? NJ needs more runner/biker friendly shoulders and paths! We tried to avoid these problems by going out early in the AM when the roads/towns are quiet but after a 3 hour run, the rest of the world is out and about so we almost always have this problem at the end of a long run.
Anwayyy, we went to this park, map in hand, snacks packed to go, and fuel belts all loaded up. We knew it was fairly quiet and that much of the route was on dirt roads (yay!). So we headed out. As we got going, the road quickly turned to dirt and trails. It was beautiful! We passed farm after farm (my favorite was called Namaste Farm) and saw more wildlife than I ever saw in NJ on a run before. We saw snakes, hawks, dogs, cows, horses, different types of birds, etc. We even passed more runners than cars. I honestly felt like I was in a different state or even a different time. I think we saw 2 traffic lights the entire run. There were beautiful covered bridges and estates with enormous white fences closing them in. We even ran right passed the Forbes Estate. I wish I took pictures but my blackberry does not have a camera (I def need to upgrade). I want to run the route again just to take pictures of the scenery! The course was more challenging than I had expected, having not completed any trail runs before but the beautiful scenery took my mind off of the pain (for the most part). There were many steep hills, but at the top of each one I looked down and it was totally worth it. It was probably the most peaceful long run I’ve ever done. We were going to try to do a little more than 20 miles (the most we had done to date was 23) but we were hurting pretty bad (mostly me) so we decided 20 was enough. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful run and I was able to sleep in the car on the way up to Lake George (some of the ride, anyway).
Philadelphia is approaching and I can’t believe there is only have 1 long run left to do. When I started training for this marathon back in July, I looked at the training schedule and thought how in the world am I going to be able to do 5 20-mile runs?? At that point the most I had ever run was 1- 18 mile run and it was difficult. Now I am 3- 20+ mile runs in (we traded one long run for a half-marathon race) with just 1 long run to go until Philadelphia. I can’t believe it. You hear stories about people feeling sad after the big race they have been training for is over…that is absolutely going to be me. (until I sign up for the next one of course!) Hope you are having a lovely weekend. Happy Running!
Soo tomorrow will be exactly one month until the Philadelphia Marathon! I am nervous and excited. I have 2 long runs left to do and then I taper. I am looking forward to this weekend’s long run because we will be doing it on a quiet trail. The worst part of the long runs for me is worrying about the traffic! In NJ there are always cars everywhere and the roads we run on are not very runner friendly. Much of this weekend’s route is on a dirt road, which I am not used to but hopefully it will lead to a relaxing and beautiful long run!
I am feeling good after the Harvest 10K. The race seemed to go by unusually quickly and while my time wasn’t what I hoped it was, I finished 3rd, and more importantly, I felt good. I think the marathon training I have been doing has definitely improved my endurance and while my speed hasn’t improved, thats not what is important right now. I just have to keep telling myself that. Its also interesting how my feelings have changed towards long runs. I was never very fond of 10-12 mile runs. I would just rather do short fast runs or speed work. I was afraid that I was a decent short-distance runner but would never succeed (or enjoy) running a marathon. What kind of runner is that?? Fortunately, I have come to love the long run! For some inexplicable reason, I actually enjoy the looooong long runs (20+) better than the middle distance long runs.
It has also been so nice to run in the cool fall weather. I was always more of a summer weather girl but I have been enjoying fall lately! It is just so hard to breathe and enjoy a run in the hot and humid summer. I hope it lasts for awhile and doesn’t turn to snow too quickly! Last weekend I bought my first pair of arm guards which I am loving. It makes me feel like a real runner. I love seeing pics of elite runners in snowy conditions wearing shorts, a sports bra, a beenie and arm guards. Of course I am way too chicken to ever wear something like that in the snow but I think its a great look
Check it out: Tera Moody and others at the Shamrock Shuffle!
More to come later but here are some pics from yesterdays cold and rainy 10k!
This one is my Dad and I after the race…it was SO COLD.
Did I mention I won 3rd overall female?
My time wasn’t the best…44:40 (actually my worst 10k time to date) but considering the cold and rainy conditions I am happy!
More to come later!
Sooo its raining again in NJ…big shocker there. Apparently there are 2 noreasters (sp?) coming through. I even hear that parts of PA and NY got snow! Now, I am a teacher and am all for snow days but this is TOO EARLY! Fortunately we didn’t get snow here (yet). I’m sure its only a matter of time.
This weekend I was planning on going out and doing a 26 mile run. I know most training programs don’t require or even recommend a 26 mile training run but all the research I’ve done (yes research) suggests it is a good idea. I figure many people hit the wall around 20-22 miles which is what is usually the recommended long run in most training programs. I figure if I cover the entire distance in training, I have a better chance of not hitting the dreaded wall. I guess I will find out. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing the big 26 miler this weekend for a number of reasons. First, the weather. Its not only raining, but cold too! Mid-40s during the day and well into the 30s at night. That is not normal, even for NJ in October. Warm rain I can deal with but this icy, cold, wet stuff is the pits. I can manage short distances in it but 26…no thank you. The 2nd issue is USATF. I am missing 2 nonchampionship races. I need a medium length race (8k-10k) and a long race (anything over a 15k. This seriously limits the races I can do and I have narrowed it down to 2 possible races for my medium distance. The most convenient race to do is tomorrow and although it will most likely rain , I would much rather run 6.2 miles in the rain than 26.2! So this weekend is out for the long run. Next weekend I will be away in Lake George and unable to run that long of a distance by myself in an area I am unfamiliar with. I guess I will have to get it in somewhere. If it were easy to run marathons everyone would do it right??
Today was a rest day, so this morning I went to Pilates with my mom. It was actually a good thing to do the morning after the 23-miler. The class wasn’t too hard and my body felt good. Then this afternoon I went hiking with my friend, V. I couldn’t resist! V. is super athletic and she had me off the trail and climbing trees. Stuff I never do, but I had a great time doing it. It was a beautiful day and a nice activity to take my mind off of not running. We took some great pics and it was good to catch up with her. Not a bad Sunday afternoon!