Haven't blogged in awhile, so I need to get this a little more up to date real quick. Let's see. We're now in our 9th (of 12) week of training! Wow, this is going fast. Our longest run yet was 8 miles this past Sunday. That was a tough run. We picked a trail we weren't familiar with, and it was much more difficult than the even rail trails we've gotten ourselves used to. This one was near Crater Lake, up in the mountains. The plan was to swim afterward, so we chose a trail close by to save time. Well..talk about rough. We ended up turning back around because it got to the point where we couldn't run, just kinda marched through these rocky areas along the mountainside, quite ridiculous really. Actually, it was ok..until my Nike+ decided to give out just past our half way point. The iPod and Nike+, I've discovered and confirmed by reading others' cries for help, does not do well with perspiration. Go figure. So it stops recognizing the receiver somewhere around 4 miles, and we just had to estimate the rest of the way. We decided to run another 40 minutes. Typically, we tend to run a 10 minute mile (together, that is. Tom's much faster on his own.) We're pretty sure we cheated ourselves, though, because with the hills and a little walking, it's doubtful we did an additional 4 full miles. Oh well. It was definitely an intense workout.
So that was Sunday. On to today. Wednesday. By the way, we took Monday as our rest day this week instead of Friday. It was a very enjoyable day! Tom picked out his *free* pair of running shoes at the runner's store (umm, forgetting the name here). He won the shoes at our last 5k, because the first place winner for his age group never came up and he was second. So he got a $100 pair of New Balance trail shoes free! Nice : ) Of course, you have to dodge all the sales pitches. Tom did all the fancy shmansy "shoe dog" measurements, ran on the treadmill and was videotaped. They even made him personalized insoles. (Come to find out-at the register-those insoles were going to cost $80! Sorry, no thanks.) Overall, the store was a nice experience. We like those places. You just feel like you have to remind the sales people, "Hey, one of the big reasons we run is because its an inexpensive way to stay in shape!" There are a lot of unnecessary extras out there.
Anyway, didn't I say back to Wednesday? Yes. This morning I ran by myself for the first time in a few weeks. I also ran on the roads for the first time in quite awhile (since this was a lone run). I wasn't sure how it was gonna go, but today was a beautiful morning. I decided to just go down run road 2.5 miles and turn back around, instead of weaving in and out of roads. This took a little bravery because I hadn't been more than a mile down this road before and wasn't really sure what to expect. I decided, "Ok, whatever it is, I'm gonna run it. That's that. 2.5 then turn around and run back." I found myself going down a lot of hills, thinking maybe I had made a bad choice. But then I found myself talking to those hills. "I'm gonna beat you on the way back. Don't worry, you're not gonna get me." Haha..yeah. The steepest hill was just about at the half way point. I made it almost up the hill, then I hear my iPod "Half way point." So I turned around. Then I started getting back to all those hills I had just run down. I started talking to them again. "You're not as bad as you look. I can do this." I knocked down every single one! This is huge for me. Yes, I did slow down quite a bit, but for me not to avoid the hills and to face them head on was a really big deal. It's really all a mental game. You have to picture yourself having finished that hill and tell yourself, "No, you were never really going to start walking. It was built into you to finish running it from the start." When you're thinking this, it makes it kinda like a give-in that you will just run the hill. I don't know if that makes sense.. but it worked for me. For every up hill, there is a down hill that you are going to enjoy so much more if you endured the run up.