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Fall Run Challenge

Plank bridges to cross on Grater Woods trails. Fun! The pond is 1/4 mile from my house off a dirt trail. There is a couple of others near by too, including one that makes odd sounds like a singular guitar string being plucked.

As I said in the intro of my blog, I love to run and to do triathlons. I originally started running so that I could compete in triathlon. I learned to run back in August of 2010 and have kept with it. Each time I accomplish something I am amazed and it fuels me to push myself farther. I joined Fleet Feet Sacramento’s amazing training programs for all distances from 5K to a full marathon. I knew nothing about running; I used to joke that I’d only run if I was being chased by the police. Now that I know how to run, it has opened up so many possibilities. I starting to remove my internal restrictions on myself on what is possible. Of course, I can’t give running on the credit for that,. I have a wonderfully supportive husband, amazing friends, some very inspirational blogs to follow and the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

I have come to find that I’m an endurance runner. I love the challenge of longer distances 13.1+ miles. It takes 2-3 miles for me to get warmed up and in my groove, I’m usually panting like I just out ran an angry mastodon during this period, but once I fall into my pace, my breathing smooths out and I can run, run, run. My tolerance of pain over distance is what I plan to harness for Ironman distance triathlon events when I finally get  a chance to complete one. Because of our move across country, I choose not to compete in any Triathlons this year. That was a hard determination, but it made sense. Training properly for a long distance event requires more time and practice in 3 different sports. So this year I’m really focusing on running only, although I will cross train on bike to prevent injurys.

It hasn’t been all work and no play for me this year, so far I completed a small portion of the training for Fleet Feet Sacramento’s Shamrock’n Training program and finished the Shamrock’n Half Marathon in March. I was busy during Winter and Spring working full time, studying for my final architecture exam, volunteering as a mentor for the No Boundaries 5k running group while training for my half marathon, and packing for our move. I even got roped in for one last training class and race. I completed the Dirty Secret Trail running program and on May 12th (2 days before our cross-country move) I ran the Dirty Secret Trail Race in Cool, CA. It was a blast and a great experience that confirmed that I really like trail running more that road running. As you can see I keep busy, real busy. I’ve learned that I’m either doing it all, or nothing. I don’t seem to have a middle gear.

Now that I’ve moved the NH, I’ve been working in filling my schedule out with productive things to do. Cooking, cleaning, yard work, volunteering for a seat on the Town Planning Board (hope I get accepted), looking for work in Architecture, reading, playing with the doggy, running, bike riding, making friends, baking a wee bit of pie…. and in general anything else I can think of. I begun to fill my calendar out with activities and goals. I was looking for a challenge to mentally prepare myself for undertaking the Vermont 50 miler in September 2013. I originally proposed to complete 4 marathons in 4 weeks. I figured what better way to take in the “skittle season” of New England than to run the trails and roads, a lot of them. (Note: “skittle season” was a term we learned from a lady we met in Concord, NH, it describes the amazing array colors in the leaves during the fall.)

The races I had planned on completing were as follows:

I finally decided that I should do just 1 event. This feels like the best solution both financially and physically. I’m just now ramping up my training for a marathon. I wasn’t 100% sure how 4 marathons would pan out and I certainly don’t want to injure myself. The event I’ve decided on doing is call the Clam Chowdah Challenge. It is part of the Cape Cod Marathon on 10/27-28 in Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA. It is a two day event. The first day you do 13.1 miles around town. The second day you do 26.2 miles around the greater Falmouth area. It’s supposed to be a beautiful and challenging course with a light house and lots of ocean to enjoy. You get a sweet t-shirt and ceramic chowdah bowl for finishing the challenge.

I’m using the schedule that I had for training for CIM last year. I even improved on my 2-mile assessment time from last training class. It’s true, trail running makes you faster on the road, that or my Garmin is lying to me. As a part of my schedule I have a half marathon assessment to judge my pace and ability in the middle of training. For that race I have signed up for the Monadnock Half Marathon on 08/11 in Jaffrey, NH.

This back to back race challenge with help me build the mental strength and determination to move on to the ultra distance events. I really, really enjoy trail running and I will be doing a lot of my training on the hilly trails around my home, with plans to check out the White Mountains from time to time. I’m still meeting people to add to my run buddy list, but there are a ton of outdoor enthusiasts in the area. In fact, I’ve already met a group of cyclists that go out on twice weekly road rides. The rides are very challenging, with lot of hills and speed in the group, it will be a great way to build my bike chops. Woot!

Have any thoughts on running back to back events or preparing for ultra endurance runs? I’m all ears. Please feel free to leave a comment of any kind, even if it’s just to tell me I’m crazy. Cuz I am.

Below are a couple of pictures of the lake next to the bike shop in Milford, NH:


About Pie on the Run

I love running, triathlons and pie!

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