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On to the Next One

I've been getting in a lot of miles this week, not particularly quality ones, mostly easy with two semi-attempts at a track workout.  Monday was 10x400m with 1/2 lap jog, at 82; 82; 80; 80; 80; 81; 82; 81; 83; 82 (a sleepwalk compared to the speed my fellow Rose has been whipping out). Wednesday I went for 5x1 mile, but I stopped at 3, for 5:49; 6:02; 6:05.

On my Wednesday visit to the track, I saw two men as I arrived that made me certain I was in the wrong place.  Where is my normal track, with those two gossipy women who walk on the outside lanes, and the older man in the sweatsuit that jogs clockwise, and the two young girls who sit on the grass inside the track and stretch for 40 minutes? And why are these two elite Olympian-esque guys sprinting up a storm?

I don't actually know if they were Olympians, but they looked to me like very important Ethiopian/Kenyan racers (I admit to having zero skill in identifying the country of origin of someone based on their appearance, so I don't know whether they were born in Oakland or Africa or South America but let it be known I COULD tell by their 0% body fat, their sinewy skinny runner muscles, and their floating sprint across the track, that they were elite runners).
I stared in intimidation.  Halt! How can I join thine glorious elite runners on this simple track, which turns to gold upon their light-footed prances?  It was a Shakespeare moment.

Then I knew without a doubt that my true calling as a blogger had finally arrived.  My job, in this moment, was to spy on these elites, and then pass on to all of us hobby joggers  (whatever "jog" means) what their highly confidential workouts are.  Here's what I got:

A lot, lot, lot of 400m repeats, with about a 30-45 second walk/standing break in between.

They must have been running the repeats under 70 seconds.  I was in the middle of running a 5:49 mile around the track on the 2nd lane when they came speeding by on the inside lane.  So I'm thinking a low to mid 4:00 minute pace.  Yuck.

****

It's been hard for me to get super excited about a marathon this year.  I love not worrying about tapering.  And I love not hobbling for 3 days from sore marathon legs.   I know I read a common sentiment on other running blogs about how NECESSARY it is to take breaks--as in, one or more weeks off of running, to recharge etc etc and everyone comments, "yes, me too, I totally need breaks every once in a while," but I have virtually.....never craved a running break.  In 10 years.  Maybe 1-3 days max?  So to that extent, marathon training and tapering is a big ole burden and interruption in my enjoyment of just running to run.

However, I do want my 2:59 marathon, and I do enjoy many aspects of running a marathon, so I guess out of default convenience it is looking more and more certain that I will just run the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, CA again, and call it a year.  Making it exactly 1 year since my last marathon.

The convenience factor of this race for me = excellent organization, cool weather, wonderful course, and the most important factor of all, it is within 2 hours of my home.  Chicago would be wonderful, Grandma's marathon in Minnesota is on my list, I love the idea of running a marathon in Ireland, or Greece....but.....I'm not going to steal our shared vacation funds so that we can get on a plane to Chicago, have the Gentleman watch me run by him for 11 seconds, and then fly home.

Marathons close to home it shall be.


CIM YesterYear

Seems like everyone is running CIM this year.  I expect to see some blogger faces, yes?  If you will be there, I hope to meet everyone!  We can all join hands in the expo and walk up and down the aisles, taking over with our advice and running stories, throwing frozen yogurt at non-bloggers, it will be soooo blogger cool!

Besides CIM, I also have at least 2 half marathons on my horizon.

Water-to-Wine half-marathon in Sonoma, and a trail marathon in Santa Cruz.  Both are in August.  Some other half-marathons that I ran last year in the fall will be approaching too, and because many of those are small, cheap,  less than 1 hour away, and earned me free running shoes, I may join some of those again too.  I can consider it my training for CIM, since I know I won't stick to any other marathon training plan.

My number one goal between now and early December for CIM, is to find my perfect pair of marathon running shoes.  My Goldilocks pair.  Not too thin, not too cushiony.  Last year I wore the Asics Gel Nimbus, which I like, but a tad too thick and cushiony.

I'm running dry on thoughts to share right now.  Miss my car.  Thanks for validating my anger/sadness, and thank you BRITTANI for always knowing how to cheer me up....came home tonight to a box delivery of See's Butterscotch pops.  :)