Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breaking Through

I've been running as much as I can lately. A. it's summertime, so the weather here in the Pacific NorthWet is actually agreeable and B. I've turned into one of those running addicts I've always mocked heard about.

I really have discovered a pure joy in running and it was totally unexpected. Even 'bad' runs have some silver lining, and even those don't come around as often as they used to. I think the biggest thing is I am finally out of the newbie/beginner phase; I'm consistently running longer distances and making improvements. I'm still at the slower end of the spectrum, but I'm much more concerned with building an endurance base right now. Speed work is the next phase (post- relay month). I have no intention of trying to be "fast" during either relay (Cascade Lakes or Hood to Coast). I am honestly just thrilled that I feel confident enough to say i'll be able to finish out both of them running. 

Speed work comes in for the fall half-marathon I've decided to do. See?! I told you I've become addicted. The half is a trail race in one of my favorite places on Earth and looks to be tough (read: hilly). I've got my own super secret proving ground on which to replicate race conditions. And by super secret I obviously mean the public park four miles from my house.

To that end, I ran my longest run to date today: 8.2 miles! What?! I know. a year ago I would never have thought I'd be running this sort of distance as a 'regular run.' I am honestly as surprised as anyone that I've hit this mark and will have my second 20+ mile week this week. Crazy, right? 

Alright, off to bed  make a milkshake. I figure, if chocolate milk is good for recovery, milkshakes must be awesome! AmIright?, AmIright?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Catching up: Summer Vacation and 20 miles

Hello blogfriends! I've once again gone MIA (no I did not need Chuck Norris to rescue me, but thanks). I was busy graduating with my Master's (shameless plug for me), going on vacation, and running. Here's the recap:

1. graduation. I now have my Master's in Teaching. Won't you please find me a teaching job? My wife would be most appreciative if I began earning a paycheck once again...

2. Summer Vacay. Took the fam on the quintessential American Road trip, meeting up with my folks in Wyoming to do Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. I took a ton of pictures, but the trip can really be summed up in just a few:

Jenny at Jenny Lake


It was great, but a little too much seat time in the car. I think we calculated about 1800miles total trip mileage (may have been more).

3.Running (you didn't seriously think I'd post without running talk, do you?). I only ran one real run at Yellowstone, just shy of a 4 miler. The 7000 foot elevation made it feel like 15miles. I didn't take a camera on my run, but it was gorgeous. I ran a trail along the rim of Flagg Canyon overlooking the Snake River. Amazing. Mrs. M. and I also did an 8 and change mile hike around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. We hiked it at a decent clip and I would definitely call it a workout, given the heat.

So, I got home and felt pretty rested, I guess, because I knocked out a 20 mile week this week! I know that's not long by 'hardcore runner standards,' bit for me it was a huge improvement in overall mileage. Here's the breakdown:

Monday: Off/driving from Boise to home
Tuesday: 6.2 miles
Wednesday: 2.3 miles, recovery
Thursday: Off/rest
Friday: 5.3 (hard) miles
Saturday; 4.1 miles. Hills
Sunday: 2.2 miles, recovery

I don't even feel broken! I feel ready to tackle next week's mileage. Which, as it turns out, is a good thing; not only am I running the Cascade Lakes Relay in three weeks, but it looks like i've been called up to a Hood to Coast team 3 weeks after that. I need to get miles on these legs and be ready to go!

'Til next time! Happy running