Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun Marathon Training

I guess for most people the words fun, marathon, and training don't seem to go together.  Some of the time those words don't belong together to me either!  But most of my long and medium runs are fun, because I run them with friends.  We talk and visit and solve all of our problems while running.  It's great therapy!  

Last Saturday, Leanna and I went on a new running adventure.  Normally, we meet at a subdivision in Tupelo, and run miles and miles from neighborhood to neighborhood.  We have a friend who allows us to use her bathroom (and keep Gatorade and Gu there too), and we also have a couple of other designated spots where we drop off drinks before we begin running.  It is both convenient and safe to run there, but sometimes we need a change of scenery.  So Saturday we ran somewhere new.

The hills of Hwy 350.  And these are hills that I will always remember.  Usually when someone asks me if a course or route is hilly, I respond with "I really don't remember".  Unless it's the Bodock 5K race course in Pontotoc.  I definitely remember that one mile hill at the end.  But, Hwy. 350 is hilly.  About three hills in all, but they are long, long hills!  And since it is an out and back route (7.5 miles out, 7.5 miles back), you get to run those long, long hills twice!  Fun!  Jimmy, Leanna, and I all had 20 miles on our schedule, so we ran 2.5 miles out and back (and didn't encounter a hill yet) before we joined the 350 Lunatics at 7:00 for the remaining 15 miles.

Koach Kenneth Williams organizes a group of "lunatic" runners weekly on Saturday mornings.  The minimum distance is 8 miles, and of course you can come early and therefore run as many as you want!

 Leanna and I posing by the 350 sign.  Can you see that small hill in the distance?  That is NOTHING!  We ran up mountains!

 The entire group of lunatics

Leanna, Koach, and Me

It turned out to be the most difficult long run that we have done.  It was the longest that Leanna has ever run, so that was a milestone in itself.  Those hills really whipped us! Our pace was slower than when we run in the flat subdivision, but I know that it was good training!

After the run, Jimmy and I joined Koach and a couple of other runners at The Whistling Dixie Cafe for a southern breakfast.  I think everyone but me enjoyed pancakes---I am not a big fan of pancakes, so I ordered plain grits and a plain biscuit.  It was delicious!  And I drank 4 cups of coffee!

I have two very long runs left--a 20 and a 22.  Then I taper down to a 17, and finally a 15.  My 20 mile run this week will be back on my regular course, and I am getting to run half of it with Lynn!  Fun!  Then I plan to run the last 10 alone.  I figure I need to practice running by myself since I don't have a running partner for the actual marathon.  Do you think I can run 10 miles without talking to someone?  If you see me out there, I may be talking to myself!  I am counting on making friends during the marathon, but in case I have periods with no one to chat with, this Saturday will serve as a good practice session for me.

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