This is breathtaking...
but it's easy to take something that you really appreciate and love for granted when you think you've got unlimited time together.
I don't know if I really truly appreciated Chicago lakefront running until I knew that one day we were going to part ways and move on separately with our lives. It just became a part of my routine and my only safe place to get in my miles without dodging taxis that think stop signs are optional and drivers that swear they've master texting while driving. I didn't think twice about my route and instead laced up and would do a mini variation of the workout I did the day before. I became a terrible creature of habit that found blissful contentment with the same old route with the same old view that never seemed to get old to me.
In the 12 days that I've been out of the city, I've had 9 very different runs that haven't mirrored one another yet. I've stumbled on some equally as gorgeous trails out here, some of which have majorly kicked my booty. My legs aren't used to inclines or surfaces other than asphalt as they've been running the same route over and over for almost the past decade.
|These inclines don't look like much, but to someone who never ever runs on anything other that flat surfaces these short seemingly steep grades amidst a speed workout really get the heart pumping.|
The first few days I was out here I did some trail running in a forest preserve near my home that I used to run cross country meets in as a middle and high schooler 10+ years ago.
The area has changed quite a bit since I last lived here where the miles of trails have increased and the area seems to cater a bit more to those who are looking to sweat it out with nature. Funny that I hadn't thought much about the long stretches of desolate pathways which swerve in and out of tree canopies making a person feeling like they are a million miles from no where before I arrived here, yet here they've been all along.
|Indian Summer seems to be slowly creeping it's way in|
It's weird when you go from being on a tiny over crowded path where you often have to fight for space and no one acknowledges your presence to open uninhibited spaces that seem to be never ending. People wave, (what's up with that by the way...am I supposed to wave to EVERYONE that passes by asking them how they're doing greeting them with good morning/afternoon/evening?) and while it bothers me, I'm starting to get a small sense of what it's like to live like a civilized human once again...and quite embarrassed that I've somehow forgotten this.
With my goal half now just 10 days away, I'm feeling as ready as I'll ever be. I've gotten some fairly decent workouts in within the past few weeks, but it is starting to seem like that aggressively insane sub 1:25 goal may be slightly out of my reach at this current time. It's been rough trying to get back on track after I basically threw myself violently off of a building earlier this year that I've been attempting to slowly piece back together. Realistically I would put myself somewhere in the low 1:26's right now, which I will gladly take with a smile.
In the past week I've had:
1 threshold workout of 2x15 minutes @ HMGP (6:30) with splits of 6:22 & 6:23
A 4 mile tempo run that was sub par with crazy splits of 6:38, 6:27, 6:20, 6:25
And what should have been 3x2 mile repeats @ -5 to-10 under HMGP but the sun cooked my brain and I instead ended up with 2x2 mile repeats and one lonely 1 miler with splits of 12:55, 12:40, and that solitary 6:30 mile
Tomorrow will be either a 4-6 mile tempo or an 8-10 mile steady run and Sunday will host the hubby's 1st 20 miler of his marathon training, than it's a week full of taper where 2012's racing will most likely come to a close at the Chicago Half Marathon on 9/9. No fall racing plans other than the marathon fun run with the hubby on 10/7, which most likely won't change. At this time I do have my eyes on a local 5k Turkey Trot, but post marathon recovery will determine that.
Basically this week will be my last big week of focused training for 2012!