Less than a month to go until the VT City Marathon! My training is definitely paying off. This Sunday I ended up running by myself on the beautiful dirt roads near the Kingdom Trails in Burke, VT all the way up to Newark, VT. It was a crisp 22 degrees when I started my run and you could see for miles. The skyline showed off the brilliant features of the Northeast Kingdom, Burke Mountain, Willoughby Gap, and even the newly constructed wind farm. I found that I needed this solo 12 mile run to challenge myself mentally. Sometimes it is important to face challenges alone because when it comes down to it you are the one that chooses your path.
My body feels strong but it is definitely important to be able to find the inner strength and focus. Running alone, hearing only the sounds of my foot strikes, my breathing, the wind, and the birds was almost meditative. The workout my coach had planned for me called for 8 miles at a 9:25 min/mile pace with the last 4 miles at an 8:05 min/mile pace to challenge my muscles when they had already been working hard. I was enjoying my easy pace and focusing on my form. When my Garmin beeped letting me know I had four miles to go I switched gears, revved up my pace and found my marathon pace rhythm. I am starting to get excited about marathon day but do not want to get ahead of myself. I am continuing to focus on one run and workout at a time to learn, develop strength, and to find my speed.
Here is a little “Chick-Inspiration” from my run on Sunday and some of my latest races . . .
My marathon training right now is in overdrive but I am loving it! I am feeling stronger than I ever have and with each run am feeling myself get faster and my confidence is building.
I have become a different competitor now that I am a mom. I feel like I can push my body harder and mentally feel more prepared. My training for this marathon has been very focused thanks to my awesome Sustainable Athlete coach Denise Goode.
As the date of the marathon draws near my weekly mileage has been building and some of the workouts have been much more challenging due to training at a higher level when fatigued from the previous workout. The increased “loading” with speed workouts in addition to the longer runs is teaching my muscles to recover more quickly. I am definitely finding that this is paying off!
This weekend I ran in the StonyfieldEarth Day 5K and fair to run as well as work in our Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs booth. I was feeling fatigued the morning of the race due to a hard training week post half marathon. I wasn’t sure what kind of speed I would find. I decided to just go out and run hard and have a good time. I definitely surprised myself finishing in 21:39 (7 minute/mile pace) which put me 3rd in my age group (30-39) out of 273. The best prize at the end was all of the delicious food after the race, my favorite being a nice ice-cold Stonyfield Yogurt Popsicle. The perfect treat after a hot race!
On Sunday I woke up for my 20-miler listening to the sound of rain drumming on our roof. The temperature had dropped from a beautiful, sunny 77 on Saturday to a gloomy, damp and raw New England day. Instead of the running tank from the previous day I bundled up with 3 layers on top, my running skirt (Mountain Hardwear Power Skort) and some SLS3Butterfly Compression Socks to help with circulation but also to keep me warm! Bridget and I hit the dirt roads, Kingdom Trails, and the VAST trail (snowmobile trails).
The first four miles felt as though I was running with my feet attached to the ground. What happened to the spring in my step? Thankfully after that I loosened up and was able to get into a rhythm and enjoy the run. We picked up the pace for the last 5 miles arriving at “Heavens Bench” towards the finish after a lush and mossy looping uphill on single track mountain bike trails. My legs are definitely cooked after the weekend but I’ll be back at it tomorrow!