My "Hagg Lake Mudd" trail race debut has come and gone. As always, I suffered a little post-race blues. The trails have been like my own private sanctuary. They are the perfect showcases of nature's beauty. Surprises are lurking at every turn of the trail, no matter how many times you've run it. One day it could be how the trees filter the sun onto the foliage of the forest floor, the next day it could be a critter that bounds across the trail just feet in front of you, or another day it could be the beautiful sounds of a waterfall or stream.
With the Eugene Marathon as the next event on my race calendar, it was time to move away from my beloved trails and hit the hard roads. As if that weren't challenging enough, I would have to work hard to develop the speed required to complete the marathon with my desired sub four time goal. Ack! What did I do to myself? I set a lofty goal, registered for the marathon early and have been overly vocal about all of the above. It's time to get serious. No more blowing off my weekly tempo runs or track work outs. Those would be an essential part of my training program. They would require me to push my physical and mental limitations. I would have some *shudder* uncomfortable runs where my lungs would burn, my muscles would ache and I'd feel like puking. This was going to be work. I am not used to working on my running.
The other aspect that worries me about moving from the trails to the roads is the increased potential for injury. Training and racing on the trails has been something I have been able to do without hurting myself. While training for my previous two marathons I suffered injuries that required weekly visits to my chiropractor for ART and graston. After seeing me the second time around, my doc recommended that I give up marathons and take up ultras where I would be on more forgiving running surface and be able to take walking breaks. I decided to do both.
I've declared Tuesdays, "Tempo Tuesday". After getting off work and taking care of my daughters until my husband gets home. I head out the door for six to nine quick miles. This Tuesday's run happened to be the rainiest day of the week. All I wanted to do was pull on my polar fleece and play on the floor with my daughters. Fortunately my husband encouraged me to get out the door. He convinced me that once I got out there that I'd hardly notice the rain and would feel SO much better. I wasn't so sure but grabbed my iPod, started playing "Lose Yourself" and out the door I headed pretending to be a tough running chick.
Mile 1 was a warm up, miles 2-8 were between 8:42 and 9:10 pace which is exactly what I wanted, then I had a mile cool down. The tempo portion was hard but got easier as I warmed up and loosened up. My body felt good and was cooperating surprisingly well. I felt tough out there running fast in the pouring rain. There was hardly anyone else crazy enough to be out on the paths in the cold, wet rain as the sun was setting. Dang, I was actually having fun out there! 9-1/4 mile tempo run done. I'm ready for my next challenge. What will it be?