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HILLRUNNER's Recent Blog Entries

Three Weeks

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I cannot believe it! I'm only 3 weeks from running another marathon, number 8! My training for the most part is over, I've done my longest week I've reached my virtual summit and I'm standing on the precipice of stepping into a waiting achievement.

All the miles I 've done thus far, all the hours upon hours I've spent on the road and strength training. This week was 52 miles and hundreds of minutes! I did the 10 mile marathon paced run and the Saturday 20 miler. I feel such a sense of satisfaction already.

I see a drop of 11 miles less this coming week vs this past week. I still have 40 miles to cover this week but the hardest work is completed. I'm still waiting for my shoes which are due to arrive Tuesday! Then my mind will focus on maintaining the strength and endurance these past 13 weeks have provided. I inwardly can't help but smile, I've actually worked my plan...soon I will test it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAGONA 11/1/2010 9:56AM

    Can't wait to hear how your marathon goes. you have worked hard. you will do well

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 10/31/2010 8:08PM

    I do hope you are smiling outwardly too!

WTG on your plan coming true!!

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2BERUNNING 10/31/2010 2:39PM

    I am so excited for you Mary! 3 weeks will fly by quickly. I wish I could met you in person in and cheer you on! Maybe I'll run a mile or two with you while you run that day and cheer you on that way. emoticon

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LYNNANN43 10/31/2010 12:20PM

    OMG! 3 weeks!!!!!!!!

I'm hoping that we can make some concrete plans to meet up soon:D

Good luck with the training this week! emoticon emoticon

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Four Weeks

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm down to just four weeks until Philly! 28 days, less than a month. This is crunch week..the high mile week, the final push upward towards my virtual summit! My pinnacle of training happens this week. I have prepared, been consistent and logged the miles. Even when I feel like I don't really want to lace up, I think, it will be over in just about an hour and I can cross off another day's miles.

This was a high week in my running miles, over 46 miles run. I don't count my walks or my cool downs, if I did I would have gone over 50 miles out on my feet. That's a lot of hours on the road. The miles go up once more...to 52 this week. I hit the 10 mile marathon paced run and the BIG long run of 20 miles on Saturday, all going to plan that is. I can see the awaiting summit!

I ordered my marathon race shoes and they should be in the end of the week. I'll break them in during the last 2 weeks and then pack just them for Philly.

So as I look down the week to the longest and hardest one awaiting me, I'll draw strength from having done these numbers before. I'll relive the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment at being able to do what I have set out to achieve. in four short weeks this will all be memories that I'll relive over and over again!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BERUNNING 10/30/2010 10:26PM

    emoticon because you are amazing!

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RHYNIC 10/27/2010 7:11PM

    you done it again, gotten through marathon training. Okay, you are not quite done, but since you have gotten this far I know nothing will stop you now.

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JILLWILSON2102 10/26/2010 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are amazing!

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LYNNANN43 10/25/2010 11:54AM

    4 weeks!!!! My heart is starting to jump around. Being sick for so long REALLY messed up my running plans. But it's OK. Deep breathes. I can do it!

I wonder how bad the hills are on the 8K? Do you have any idea?

Hope those new shoes come in quickly! Happy training! emoticon emoticon

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PAGONA 10/25/2010 11:49AM

    you are going to do great, I decied that hills are my friend :)

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There are hills and then there are the Bradford City Half Marathon HILLS!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I don’t recall right off how many half marathons I have run. But I can say that I have never run one as difficult as the one I ran on Sunday! I chose the Sparkpeople name “Hillrunner” because no matter which road I choose to come back home, I have to come up hills to get back to my village. At the Bradford City Half Marathon yesterday, I more than earned my name!!!
Bradford is a small city a little more than an hour east of me over in the county of Yorkshire, UK through the Yorkshire Dales (Moors) and into “Bronte Country”. Those of you familiar with English Literature will recognize the Wuthering Heights setting by Emily Bronte. The countryside is vast, expansive, picturesque and full of hills!!
Hubby and I made the early morning trip to be ready prior to the 9am start. It was clear, cool, and crisp. Dropping off our kit bag to retrieve at the finish we made our way to the start funnel. Since he is much quicker than me I remained half way back as he moved closer to the start line. The chip timing would be very helpful as it would give an accurate accounting of my finish. My training for my marathon had being going well so I was optimistic that I could do a PB in this race. All that was going to change after mile 4!
With the sound of the start horn ringing in my ears, it only took seconds for me to cross the mat and start my ascent that I would soon learn would just go on and on and on. I was on my goal pace of 12 min/mile until in mile 3 the climb took a sharp increase. The total ascent for the first 4 miles was over 600 feet!! When we reached the 6 mile mark the elevation had already hit 1,000 feet. I kept thinking that what goes up MUST come down, eventually??!!
The crispness of the day and freshness of the air made the hilltop running spectacular and at about miles 7-8 I started to feel like my breath was returning. The panoramic views were stunning and I soaked them in. The locals dotted the rural roads and offered their much welcomed cheers of support. I relished the spotty downhill places and let my gears open up and relaxed enough so that when the road levelled off and undoubtedly climbed again I had the leg strength and stamina to keep going.
I had considered printing out a pace band to wear during the race, but after the first half I was glad that I was just depending on my Garmin to guide me. I think I might have gotten too disheartened to see the goal time I was aiming for slipping further away with subsequent miles. What looks good on paper is just that, it doesn’t take into account what will be met on the road, and these roads were incredible!
By now at mile 9 the ascent seemed to turn into a slow decent with short teasing and leg punishing uphill parts. I found my mile splits beginning to even out with being able to sprint on the downhill. Then came the cruelness of the “king/queen of the mountain” challenge part. Nearing mile 11 where the road takes a steep downhill the bottom had been equipped with a timing mat and the challenge was which ever man and woman that could make the quickest assent up the almost half mile 200 foot elevation gain would win a “King/Queen of the hill” shirt. Those who had gone before me had nothing to worry about. I inwardly chuckled as I passed over the bottom mat and saw what awaited ahead! My run had turned into a hand on quads slower paced “just get this over with” as I climbed to finally meet the timing mats pair at the top.
I pushed hard as I crested the top of the hill and along the now tree lined street I welcomed the cheers of those there to witness the final downhill run of that last 1.5 miles. I found myself running alone in full flow down the middle of the traffic free road. Those applause were for only me and I used them as fuel to enable me to increase my pace. I could feel the pressure on my toes; I told myself I was strong. I could feel tightness in my left quad; I told myself I had strong legs. I could feel the tiredness creeping into my breathing; I told myself this race would be finished in less that 20 minutes and to just continue to flow down into the park like water rushing down a hill side.
I then saw the left turn into the park and passed several other runners I had seen at the start and now were just attempting to put one tired foot in front of the other. I found new energy as I sped passed Sunday park visitors and half marathon completed athletes, and shouted a warning of “RUNNER” to alert them to not get in my way. I desperately wanted to finish strong and not collide in the final 400 meters!
I had a sneaky feeling that this race was going to end the way it had started…uphill..and I was right. The run through the park and to the very edge made it necessary to do a u turn up the other side. I dug deep into what reserve I had left and pushed on and then saw my husband poised in the distance to capture my final moments. He snapped and then ran along side to encourage me to just keep focused and I was nearly there. He told me I had done a great time on such a difficult course. He then stopped to enable me to make the final right turn along the finishing funnel and sprint to the timing mat with a finish of 2:47:07.
I was exhausted, elated, breathless and extremely pleased at my determination to not once give up during this race. Not once did I let up and relax my attack. This race was more than a half marathon to me, it was a testing ground for what I am made of. Bring on PHILADELPHIA

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 10/19/2010 10:02AM

    Mary you are amazing! Yes, the views are gorgeous, but terrible too, in ways that only runners would know. CONGRATS on your perseverance and know that you are more than ready for Philly!

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ANNERBEES 10/18/2010 6:29PM

    You never cease to totally amaze me!!! What an amazing test of endurance and you did remarkably well!! I love all the mental 'chats' you have with yourself! This was completely awesome and you will do so well in Philly I just know it!! A big CONGRATS to you!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUGSMOM211 10/18/2010 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SANDLADY48 10/18/2010 12:08PM

    I am doing a flat half this Saturday and your description of hills will keep me motivated and grateful the whole race! Thanks for this blog.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/18/2010 12:08:33 PM

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ZORAHGAIL 10/18/2010 11:46AM


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TERJEGOLD 10/18/2010 11:41AM

    Wow! Those hills test your drive in ways you can't imagine until you do it. I am so very proud of you. Way to go my CAMO, hill-running Friend!!!!

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LYNNANN43 10/18/2010 10:33AM

    Good Lord! I'm huffing, puffing & coughing just reading about this HM! emoticon

You did emoticon!!!!!!

I imagine the drive around that area would be absolutely beautiful, but count me out for a run there if I should ever visit!

Bring on Philly!!!!!!!!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2BERUNNING 10/18/2010 10:20AM

    Love the blog! You are truly amazing! I mean, you are so strong mentally and physically...my hero!

And what beautiful views to enjoy too. So proud of you Mary! So very, very proud of you emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/18/2010 8:50AM

    What an awesome account of your hilly challenge! I will remember your mental coaching and use it when I run out of steam.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

High Five! Give me 5! I can now count the weeks until Philadelphia on one hand or foot!! 35 days! With my half marathon behind me I now have a clear view and focus of what lies ahead. Preparation has been a vital aspect of my training and being able to do what I have done. Just as I was prepared for today's race I am working at being prepared to take to the start line in 5 weeks.

My running miles this week were just over 41 mpw. The half marathon was more difficult than I expected. The hills were longer and non stop and I kept thinking that what goes up must go down, at some point. Thankfully I had some marvelous downhills and felt as if I was flying! My training is paying off and I'm pleased with the results.

There is no let up for me this coming week. The miles go up in amount to the higher 40mpw and I will take on an 18 mile long run! The summit of my mountain is just 2 weeks away! I put my head down this week and just get on with it.

It's now just doing the miles, getting out there, not making excuses. I keep in mind that to have the results I want 35 days from now, I need to do the preparation each day. So I lace up, get out the door and become one with my training and escape into the miles.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLWOF1 10/18/2010 6:57AM

    Excellent job! You can do it! Good luck in Philly!

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ALLDAY 10/18/2010 6:42AM

    emoticonGreat job on the half buddy Mary! Those tough hills on the course were there to help you train even harder and better for Philly! emoticon 5 weeks is so close! Just keep lacing up and heading out!

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2BERUNNING 10/17/2010 10:03PM

    Great job today on the half again. I am so excited for you and only 5 weeks! I love following along with you. Can't wait till that day I can say I did a marathon too :) You are going to do wonderful!

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LYNNANN43 10/17/2010 8:20PM

    You breezed right over the HM today! I wanted to hear all about it:D

5 weeks, huh?! We booked our Philly hotel room this week. (Thank you, baby sis, for working for Hampton Inn and getting us a $29 room rate!)

I'm hoping we can make some concrete plans to meet up soon! I would never be able to forgive myself if we were in the same city and I didn't get to meet you in person!!!!!!!

Hopefully, my stupid cough will stop soon, so I can go back to training. Wish me luck!


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LAGREBE 10/17/2010 8:10PM

    Way to Go! emoticon

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Six Weeks

Monday, October 11, 2010

Six weeks, just half a dozen weeks, and my mind does a mental flip! Oh my!! There goes my stomach now. Yes, just 42 days! Geezeee! Ok, I accept those feelings and now I move past them. It's not marathon morning yet, so no need to get the adrenlian racing though my blood and mind just yet. So calming down, and refocusing on this week.

Last week the miles dipped and this week they will be about the same; near 40mpw. I top the week off with a half marathon race. This will be a new location for a half so don't know what to expect other than a bit of an uphill closer to the end. I'm no stranger to hills and I have no choice but every day to experience the undilating roads of my area. I have a longer marathon paced run on Thursday and aim at doing what I need.

I feel the training is going well. Oh there are days when I have to not even let my mental voice start complaining, to just sushhhh it and just roboticly put my running gear, shoes and watch on and get out the door. Once there, I just let my mind relax with the run before me and enjoy the time that is mine. This is my alone time, my time to let my mind wander as I put foot to mile until I reach my planned distance.
I'm watching the need for more sleep and keeping close tabs on the nutrition. With some very high mile weeks approaching these points will be a concern. Today I look down the road to my half and do what I need to prepare well for it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFEDSTUFF-- 10/11/2010 7:35PM

  Mary, I just finish my first half and my second half is only a few months away. So wish me well, as I wish you the best as you race toward your goal. emoticon

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PAGONA 10/11/2010 10:18AM

    I'm right with with you, but mine is a 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, I leave on Friday with all my friends to enjoy this.

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RHYNIC 10/11/2010 9:03AM

    well buddy, I am thinking of getting my body ready for another marathon. I don't know which one, most likely I will run one next July near my home. I want to work on speed and endurance. Once I get my distance up, and I am able to run that distance at marathon pace...I will consider running another one. I have a lot of work ahead of me! both fitness and nutrition. And it has to start with a 10 pound weight loss!

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