Running Strong

thumbnail-4.aspx24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – 1:Corinthians 9:24-27

My apologies to those of you who follow me on Facebook.  You have been hearing quite a bit about my running exploits this week.  This has been quite the week on the running front.  I am deep in the heart of training for the Richmond Marathon.  This was a 39 mile week – 18 of those coming on Monday – with 19 scheduled for this coming Monday.  I wrote the other day that when you are training for a marathon, it becomes an all-consuming passion – either you are all in or all out – 26 miles is a long way to train for.  I have been (like the verse to the left) running with purpose.  I have my eye on the prize – that prize is to complete 26.2 miles and hopefully within 4 hours.  Because this is my first marathon, the biggest goal is to finish.  My secondary goal is to finish in under 4 hours.  If all goes perfect, I would like to finish at an 8:45 pace.  My run on Monday was at just over a 9:00/mile pace.  And yet that pace was faster than my first half-marathon pace.

This has been a very good week, and I am experience (in my opinion) some of the best running that I have in at least a year.  The last time I felt this good about my running progress was last fall.  It was following the Danville Half-Marathon that things fell apart a bit.  That is one of the cautions as I finish up training and running Richmond.  There will be a let down following the race.

Thursday’s run and today’s run were both sub 8:20/pace runs.  While Thursday’s was run in the relative flat of Gypsy HIll Park, today’s run was over the streets of Staunton.  You can’t run anywhere in Staunton without encountering hills.  I was excited that today’s run was under an 8:15 pace (which is about what I ran the Park to Park at in April.)  I am looking forward to see what next week holds.  If all goes well, I should run 19 miles on Monday, a slow 6 mile recovery run on Tuesday, 7 miles in the park (in the dark) on Thursday and probably the same on Saturday (because we have a service project at Valley Mission.) I’d rather not run outside the park anymore in the dark, especially after the skunk encounter several weeks ago (no I didn’t get sprayed.)

That’s about all till next week.  Pressing On!

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