I just finished the real work of training! 12 miles yesterday, and it’s all tapering and gentle maintenance until race day, Nov. 3. Here are a few of my favorite parts of training for Rails to Trails, Fall, 2013.
- Getting to know my (sort of ) new home through its trails. After being a country runner for years, I now know some spokes out from my hub in the city where I’ve lived for two years. Thankfully, those spokes connect me to beautiful marsh trails. I’ve gotten to enjoy the seasonal changes on long, quiet runs, and have pushed back my fearfulness about running alone in these areas. I’ve been too determined to put in the miles to let fear get the better of me. As I continually run these trails, I feel more at home and more at ease.
- Finding new routes! I really enjoyed running downtown this weekend, and across the bridge that leads to French Island and on over to Minnesota. It was fun to do my first 7.5 miles yesterday heading to downtown La Crosse, stopping in at a gas station to use the rest room, and seeing other people in their task-oriented Saturday morning while I was in my running zone. I loved running across a bridge that I usually take in from a car window. The views were glorious.
- Renewed confidence in my body: I trained for half-marathons twice before, and succeeded in completing them. But after that second one, I struggled a lot with plantar fasciitis. When I tried to train for a third, I couldn’t finish. I did enjoy a lot of time training with my husband that time around. We got to the 7-mile mark, but my foot forced me to stop, and he was mostly training to keep me company, so he stopped too. (Maybe I’ll rope him in next time I do this!) Anyway, I approached the goal this time with the attitude of holding loosely to the goal, believing an injury could throw me off Here I am, near the end of training, all in one piece.
- Adding in a few runs with my son. Running time has become our time for real conversation, as opposed to the grunts and mumbling which are no doubt familiar to many parents of 13-year-old boys. It’s also just been fun to share our thoughts on a sport we both enjoy.
- Training and sharing encouragement with my friend Sanna. Our schedules haven’t always meshed, and our paces are sometimes different, but sharing this goal, and sometimes managing to train together, has deepened an already wonderful and treasured friendship. I am really happy that we’ll be running the half-marathon together. It’s also been fun enjoying a few runs with friends Christine and Jara.
13.2 miles, here we come!