Tuesday, September 8th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike.
Wednesday, September 9th 2009: 30 minutes on exercise bike. FYI: it's impossible to find anything semi-amusing about riding an exercise bike. Consequently, here is a semi-amusing picture:
Thursday, September 10th 2009: 5 miles speedwork at track. I did 5 800's (twice around the track. My times were 3:35, 3:46, 3:45, 3:43, and 3:41. They were mowing the lawn at the high school track so I had to dodge the riding lawnmower a few times. I'm thankful I lost no limbs.
Friday, September 11th 2009: Rest.
Saturday, September 12th 2009: 20.25 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes on St. George marathon course. The running buddies and I headed over to the marathon course where we were spoiled. Amber's dad was a true angel of mercy. He set out a table full of drinks, energy chews, and Band-Aids every two miles. After we passed him, he packed up then drove two miles down the road to do it again. It was a HUGE help.
Around mile 11 I nearly stepped on this big muther arachnid who was crossing the road. I kept running, but turned around a minute later to go take a picture of it for the blog:
This was an unbelievable run for me. It felt like my training over the last year finally came together and things clicked. Don't get me wrong - it still hurt. My feet felt like they were being smashed in a George Foreman Grill. My knees felt like they were being pecked by angry ostriches.
Despite the aches and pains, I had a feeling I wasn't accustomed to: I felt strong. I had endurance. I had kick. I couldn't believe I was feeling so good after 17 miles. I averaged under 9 minutes per mile almost the whole way. Even though the last few miles were harder and I was getting tired, the run really boosted my confidence. I pray that I can feel that good during the marathon.
When I was having my Zen running moment, I thought of one of my favorite quotes:
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, But rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW, what a ride!!!"
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