Saturday, September 14, 2013

In The Books!

I ran a glorious 7 miles early yesterday morning and another 4.5 miles with Kevin this morning. It was quite chilly out - 52 degrees yesterday and 43 degrees today. Although I didn't give in to the temptation to wear long pants, I did wear a long sleeved shirt and a pair of light gloves both mornings. All I can say is that it is going to be a long Fall and Winter. I do love running in this cooler weather though!
Yesterday morning, the sun hit me full on in the face at mile 5 and I desperately wished for my sunglasses. Something to remember for the next time I run later than zero dark thirty! 

I have been getting a lot of hill running in just by nature of where we live. My favorite route to run is what I call the "Oakton route" which takes me through the back roads and neighborhoods of, well, duh, Oakton. I can easily change up my route along the way and add/subtract mileage as necessary. However, there are no sidewalks, no streetlights and lots of wild animals (deer, raccoon, fox and skunks) so it really must be light in order to run this route. It is a tough run - the first mile is a long downhill, the second mile is a long uphill and then the route is a mix of flat stretches and smaller hills. On the return trip home, having to run that last mile (which is now uphill) is a killer but I just duck my head, focus on putting one foot in front of the other and repeat some kind of mantra to myself. Yesterday's mantra was, "the old grey mare just ain't what she used to be." For some reason, that popped into my head early in my run and wouldn't go away.

A friend recently told me about a few trails through the woods around our neighborhood and I have run a few times on them but only for short distances - the trails are just too isolated for me to run them alone. This morning, Kevin and I explored two different trails and managed to run about 80% of our mileage off-road. It is hard to believe that there are so many trails in this very suburban area but I guess you just have to know where to look. I really like to run on trails but must remember to pay attention to the ground because it is so uneven and rocky.

The Army Ten Miler is just over one month away (October 20th) and I feel really good about my running. Although I wasn't too happy when we started running this morning, I am glad I stuck with it. Not only did it give Kevin and I some time together, it was a good run and brought my weekly mileage to 24.5 miles. Next week my long run will be 8 miles on Saturday morning since we have a party to go to Saturday night. If that goes well, I will try for a 10 mile long run the following weekend and will then run a 10 mile long run each week until the Ten Miler. Not a very official training plan but I think it will work. 

Have a great Monday!

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