Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 Weeks To Marathon

Monday, September 7th 2009: 7 miles in 69 minutes. Our family camped near Kolob Reservoir so I thought I'd take advantage of the cooler temperature and go running. Unfortunately the cause of the cooler temperature is higher elevation. My lungs were not thrilled with the idea.

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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