Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rockwood Park

Days 'til Marathon: 16

Today's Run

Rockwood Park
6.51 miles
Time- 1 hr

When I set my sights on the Instant Classic Marathon, it seemed so far in the future. The months have flown by and March 15th is almost here. 


I'm officially in "taper" mode, which means that the bulk of training for my very first marathon is behind me. What an incredible journey this has been! I hit the 21-mile mark during last Saturday's long run @ Pocahontas. Wheew! Glad to have that one behind me. I was too busy laying flat and drinking Sam Adams after that adventure to write a blog. Whoops!
I'm feeling much stronger and more confident now than I did before the 35k I ran back in January. I surprised myself that day with how good I felt; despite some crazy racing conditions, I finished strong and even won my age group (there were only 3 of us, but still...hehe). 

I've heard it said that on any given day, you are capable of way more than you think you are, and I really believe that to be true. Most of us don't push ourselves to the edge of our abilities very often, so its a bit of a mystery.  

How far, how long can I really go?

I'm hoping that on race day, I'll perform the way I know I'm capable of and enjoy the ride (not just the finish line).

This week I've been spending some time on my old stomping ground, Rockwood Park. When we first moved to Richmond, I ran at Rockwood almost every day with Porter. I haven't been there much lately because there isn't a ton of mileage, which means a lot of laps around the same trail. But, there are so many fun little hills and bridges, I decided to take the dogs there on Tuesday. That was a joke; those mutts are out of practice on their leashes; they drove me bonkers. We lasted 4.5 miles before I couldn't handle it anymore; Val trying to chase every squirrel (tough to do on a leash), Porter stopping to sniff every flippin' bush. 

Wisely, I headed there solo today, just to switch things up a little (sorry, pups). 

Rockwood is a great place to measure  power. There are a lot of short, steep hills that are too small to walk up but steep enough to really engage the legs. In other words, the kind of obnoxious little jerks that you almost have to sprint up. 

I know what I used to feel on these short hills: fatigue, pain and an acute need to drop the f-bomb.

Now, I sort of enjoy sprinting up those adorable little hills. Pretty fun to see how far me & my quads have come.

A beautiful morning out on the trail; just me, the dirt, the water and Lady Gaga. 

Gregory's Pond, taken from the Orange trail @ Rockwood Park

 Now that we are members at the YMCA (hollaa!), I've been adding more cross-training to my weekly schedule (better late than never!) and dang, does it make a difference or what?! I always knew that I should be cross-training, but now I realize its totally not optional. After just 6 weeks of adding yoga, cycling and swimming to my routine, I feel more limber and stronger than ever. Thank you, Downward-Facing Dog!
YOGA rules.

I wish I'd gotten our YMCA membership sooner; its been an incredible addition to my training program and to our little family in general. But, since I'm a bit on the thrifty side, I waited until they were offering $0 enrollment to fork over the monthly dues. Anyway, we are all loving the Y; I can't say enough good stuff!

Post-run. Rock & Roll!