Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nerstrand Big Woods Run, Faribault, Minnesota

I decided to take a drive up to Minnesota to run the Nerstrand Big Woods Run, in Faribault.  I arrived at the run location around 7:30, it was dark and misting.  They were setting up for the run.  The start was in the middle of no-where.  So, I rolled down my window and asked where the nearest town that had a hotel.  30 minutes away, they told me.  I drove to the nearest hotel, Country Inn and Suites, full, then AmericInn, full.  They mentioned that both colleges St. Olaf and another college were having parents weekend, the hotels were booked.  I should try the next town.  So, she called up a hotel and they got me a room.  I drove 20 minutes to Faribault, finding the first AmericInn. the lady at the front desk mentioned that she didn't have me on file and they make that mistake a lot, calling AmeriSuites which is a trucking motel.  She mentioned that she wouldn't recommend that hotel, it's pretty disgusting. So I asked if she had any rooms, she said she thought she had one cancellation, but wasn't sure if that was last night or tonight, the nights blend together.  She said she had a suite and she gave me a discount.  I called the other hotel and cancelled the room they booked.

So, I sit here, after eating my pasta and salad, relaxing before I hit the hay to rest for the run tomorrow.  I plan to run and change into dry clothes in the bathroom and head back home right after the run.  I hope to leave here around 7:30 a.m. to get there at 8:00 a.m., enough time to register and mentally prepare.  It's going to be a cool one, but...

I'm ready.

Isn't if funny! I ran a half marathon today, and ended up coming in at a 10:35 pace, walking the hills. The course was natural paths in the woods, only 2 miles were on a flat road. I was exhausted and not happy with myself because I use to do an 8:30 pace. And each time I run, I get slower and slower. Maybe it's because I ran the chicago marathon last weekend, I'm sure it's part of it. But, even still, this was pretty slow. I realize, when training for the chicago, I got injured more, pulling a muscle here, then laying off my speed or distance to let it heal, cross training where I could. I even threw in my first 1/2 ironman during the heavy mileage, just to get my body going. (I did pretty good on my first 1/2 ironman and I was pretty proud of myself, even though I was in the group of later swimmers coming in and of course on the bike, I was dead last, I did end up passing several people during the run, coming in only 15 minutes slower than my avg 1/2 marathon time, not too bad).. When I was training, because of my injuries, I babied my body, allowing me to run very slow during training runs. Even walking during the longer 20 some mile runs. It's mentally draining not getting back to my time. I have been able to hit my pbr but never getting a new pbr on my halves, if I run a half for 14 weekends straight (during my 1/2 marathon in 25 states goal this year I ran each weekend from Feb through May). I am just going to keep going and learn as I go. I will do another marathon and my next BIG goal is to do an Ironman (in 2 years once I get more coaching on swimming technique and join a bike team next year and get a good bike with clips and learn how to ride that way). I will continue to strive to qualify for Boston, I know I can do it, and each time I do a marathon, I experience something different, but learn from each story. So, it's not that bad that I get a slow time here and there. It's okay! I know when I'm in prime I can make my best times, I just have to listen to my body and sike myself up mentally. I know what works for me. And each person is different. Even though I train with a bunch of guys who are about my pace, One person can train at a different schedule and do differently in a race. I'm learning what works best for me. And that's what counts. The main thing is that I CAN run and I want to be able to run as long as I live, because it does good things to my body and soul.

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