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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Slow Hand of the Training Clock

In my wildest dreams I wouldn’t have imagined that I be a runner.  And a long distance runner, running up hills?  Ha!  That’s truly funny.

Let me be a testament to the fact that you can do it.  Whatever it is that you’re trying to do, you can.  The biggest thing it will take to get wherever it is that you want, is patience.  That was something that I DID NOT HAVE.  Patience.  Somehow, and I’m not sure how, running seemed to give me patience.  (Oddly, the biggest compliment I get from my students is “You have so much patience.”) 

I had to work up to 3 mile long runs.  Heck, I had to work up to running a block!  And I was embarrassed, I felt foolish. And since I was first a road runner, in order to keep it up, I had to pretend the rest of the people whizzing by in their cars, on their bikes, etc., weren’t there.  I sobbed when I first ran ten miles.  I felt like vomiting when walked to the Start Line of my first half marathon.  And I was scared to death to run my first marathon.

All along it seemed like training wasn’t really helping.  Obviously it was helping.  I just had to have the patience to allow enough time to pass to see results.  It’s similar to staring at the clock; you rarely see its hands move, but they move!  And they move pretty dang fast.  Smile

Yet I still continue to train.  I find new things to train for – greater distance, steeper hills, rocky terrain, and It it still continues to pay off.  Now I know that I won’t really see the results until I look back (though sometimes I see the results as they happen).  When I start a run now, I feel much stronger.  I used to need a good three miles to warm-up.  Now I don’t experience anxiety when I know a big descent approaches.  I used to feel that terrible anxiety on my drive to the park where I was going to run the hill. 

SO . . . I have another mountain marathon this weekend.  It’s got 6,000 feet of elevation gain.  And it’s on trails that I’ve never run, in mountains that I’ve never run (however, I have done a bit of hiking in them).  I’m not scared because I know that I can do it.  And I also know that anything can happen, good or bad (like a PR or a twisted ankle).  I also know that since this race only has a little over 30 runners, I have a pretty good chance at a DFL.  That doesn’t scare me much either.  The only thing that scares me is coming in thirty minutes to an hour after the last runner.  If I’m going to take that DFL honor, I want to come in minutes after the runner in front of me.  I’m also a little scared about not making the half cut-off.  But those things too, I can deal with. 

I know I ‘m supposed to taper before a big race.  But I hate The Taper.  In my defense, all my runs this week have been less than ten miles.

Scenes from today’s run:

I really enjoy looking up beneath trees:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Crazy for Cholla, a short descent up to the ridge trail (West Ridge):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Running West Ridge, up ahead, a little hill that I call “Good Girls Don’t” – a couple of years ago, I couldn’t run it.  Now I can (of course not very quickly Smile):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A new (for me) little single-track I found along West Ridge:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Where I crashed my head into this branch:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

And came out and found this (not me, but these rocks overlooking the Pacific):SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Top of the World once again:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Running down Rockit:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA


Running in for the final stretch along Coyote run toward Wood Canyon:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

My Activities Top of the World Loop 12-8-2011, Elevation - Distance

Miles run this morning:  8.08 (13 km)


  1. I am excited to read your race report! Good luck and have fun!! :-)

  2. Another race this weekend?! That's rad! Good luck, and have fun!!!

  3. Wow that path down rockit is very ummm rocky? (that sounded lame) Happy racing this weekend!