Thursday, September 11, 2008

out with the old, in with the new

It has been three and half months since I strapped on my first real pair of running shoes. Since then I have taken on over 200 miles of various terrain. My shoes, much like my body, have taken a serious beating, but they wear the scars more then I do. Check it out. Here is what my shoes looked like when I first got them…

…And this is what they look like now…

Pretty crazy, huh? I guess that’s what 200 miles of pounding the earth will do. Jamie and I went and picked up some replacement shoes to begin working into our training. I won’t fully commit to them until after I complete my 20-miler. By then I think I will retire them to some dark place in my closet.

This past week we made another return to the hilly streets of Porter Ranch. The coarse took us through the biggest hill we will see in San Francisco accompanied with six and half miles of moderately hilly terrain. I set out on this run with a new attitude - the last time we did this hill I just wanted to get through it.. this time I wanted to destroy it. My pace was very aggressive and I kept it strong. After about four miles of hilly terrain, the two and half mile hill was upon me. I rounded the corner and began my hunt for the top. My legs were persistent, only needing a single rest break to catch their prey. The hill was brutal and snapped back at my will every chance it got. But my aggressive assault paid off and I dispatched my prey, leaving it bloodied with my tenacity.

With the top of the hill behind me I hit the last water stop where Coach Brett's mom was serving up cold Gatorade and cookies. I gulped down a few cups and hit the backside of the hill with a lighter foot. I have been working on refining my downhill running strategy and today I think I mastered it. I was able to maintain a good cruising speed down the hill without using too much energy and minimizing the impacts to my joints. The bottom of the hill came much quicker then the top, and then it was just a smooth half mile run into the finish.

I made good time today, and Jamie was not too far behind me. We hung around and brought in the rest of the team before heading off to an ice bath. That's all for now.

Try and keep up with me!

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