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Monday, December 19, 2011

Week One, Seven miles.

I ran seven miles on the C&O Canal last Saturday. In the hope that I can make my runs a little more entertaining, I plan to start running in different sections of the trail as much as possible.  This time I parked at Point of Rocks and ran up-stream.  I only went seven miles this week but it seemed further for some reason.

There were a few sights to see along the way which was welcome.  The shutter speed on my phone's camera is pretty much crap, so trying to snap pictures without stopping doesn't work.  My old phone was a bit better at this.  Maybe I'll invest a few bucks in a cheap camera to carry with me.

I'm trying to get into the habit of stopping once in a while to take a picture or have a drink.  My reasoning behind this is that I want to get used to starting back up again after I stop.  I think this is important for two reasons.  First is that I plan to have FUN on this marathon.  I'm not out to set any records or to prove that I can run all 26.2 miles without a single break.  If I see something interesting I want to stop and take a picture of it, or high five a spectator or thank a volunteer, etc.  The other reason is more practical.  I'm a mouth breather. My sinuses are complete crap and there isn't anything I can do about it.  Consequently, I have a tough time drinking and running at the same time.  So when I hit the water/Gatorade  tables I plan to stop and drink and fill up my bottles so I can take little sips as I go.

Here are a few pictures from this run:

See the smile? This is fun, right?

The Potomac river is really beautiful. There are a few places where you can go down to the water's edge but I don't usually make time for that.  I'll try to work that in next week.

The C&O Railroad runs right next to the old tow path.  There is usually one or two trains headed down the track on Saturday mornings when I run. They are loud but it makes for a nice diversion.

This is one I tried to capture without stopping. It was much prettier in person!  I think I'm going to go back to this spot next weekend so I'll try and get a better shot then.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fourteen Weeks and Counting

Week one of training didn't start off so hot for a couple reasons. The first was that I didn't realize that I was already supposed to be training!  Somehow I got it in my head that my training plan was only ten weeks when it was actually sixteen.  When I grabbed a calendar and started counting I discovered that I only have fourteen weeks until the race I panicked just a little. OK, maybe more than just a little.

After I read everything through again I realized that the training plan I'm using is for true rookies.  I haven't run a full marathon before, but I'm in decent shape.  The first two weeks, the long runs were only five and six miles so I'm actually not behind at all.  If anything, I'm ahead of schedule.  My long run this weekend will only be seven miles which I know I can do so all is well.

I'm fortunate enough to have a lot of people in my life that want me to succeed at this and I'm friends with a few people that have run marathons before.  I'm sure I will turn to all of those people for encouragement and advice as I move through this.

I plan to do as many of my long runs at the C&O Canal as possible. I'll be there this Saturday. :-)

Also, I wrote a silly caption for a picture on the ChristmasTown Dash's Facebook page and was one of a dozen people to win an ornament.  It arrived in the mail yesterday.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Registered

I registered for the race today.  I guess that means I actually have to do it.  Now I'm nervous.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ChristmasTown Dash 2011

It's been a couple weeks since we ran, but I need to follow up on the ChristmasTown Dash 8K that Logan and I ran together.

The race was a lot of fun!  Logan was pretty nervous going into it because he didn't train much leading up to the race.  In fact, he didn't run at all until just 11 days before the big day!  Like a lot of people, he often underestimates what he is capable of and this was no exception.  On our two or three mile training runs he would often tell me that he didn't think he could do it.  It was difficult to convince him what I already knew, that he was more than capable of being ready to run the race in time if he just put in the work.  Our entire training plan was simple; run at least two miles every other day.

To make a long story short, he did great!  He even took off and beat me by about five seconds at the end.

In the days after the race, I have been taking it easy.  My right ankle has been sore and I need to get healed up before I start training for the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March.  I've been keeping my runs to 3 miles with at least one rest day in between.  On January First I'll start the 10 week training schedule. Until then, I'll rest as much as I can stand it.

Pictures of the CTD:

Pre-race. Cindi and Samie were there to cheer us on. Lauren had to work so she stayed home. :-(

This is right before we rounded the corner in the last half mile.

Logan is ditching his Santa hat. The morning started of cold but it warmed up quite a bit during the race!

The happy finishers.

One of the race sponsors was Chick Fil-a. Before the 8K, they had a 1/2 mile kids fun run with the Chick Fil-a cows. Who can resist any opportunity to have your picture taken with someone in a cow suit?