A TRAINING PARTNER!

I am SOOO excited. Unbelievably excited, actually. Although I've done well the last 7-8 months, training alone because I haven't been able to find anyone my speed within a reasonable driving distance, it gets REALLY old. Plus, I know I can push myself harder if I'm chasing someone or being chased.

[Aside on running in Red Wing: I loved the town, don't get me wrong, but there honestly was no one that even ran 8 minute mile pace (which isn't even fast!). I tried running a long run with a group one Sunday, specifically meeting a faster woman who was going 12 miles. We started out at 8 minute pace, but for the last 3 miles, we went between 10-12 minute mile pace, going slower each mile. I completely killed her. I felt SOO bad! She thought she was an 8/mile person, but obviously wasn't. She hasn't called me to meet up for a run since :)]

Anyway, back on topic. A while ago Jerry, my coach, was at a meet and he ran into the Carleton head coach. They talked about Carleton's top women's runner, and commented on how she didn't have anyone to train with. Jerry suggested that I might be able to help out.

WELL, I started the conversations in earnest after the move, and it looks like I'll be able to! Hopefully I can run with her twice a week (maybe more often, if we work well together and it works with our schedules). Need the boss' approval on leaving early once a week (hope, hope, HOPE he says I can!)...

She's very, very fast. 10:07 3k fast. Remember when I was pumped about my 10:23? :) So, she has a lot more foot speed than me. That's a good thing, I can use help there. I (per the coach) have more stamina/threshold strength (our threshold speeds are the same), so I think we'll actually make great training partners.

In addition, the assistant coach, a 2005 Carleton grad, might run with me once a week as well. So, I may go from training completely alone to meeting with someone 2-3 times a week. How absolutely wonderful!

Can I say it again, YEAH!!!

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Because of the move?

I took 2 days off because of the move. Wow, how do we have so much stuff?? [Aside: when we drove to our closing, it was literally -20 out, without windchill. Yikes!] Luckily, we had a lot of help, but it still took 2 full days. I meant to try to run Saturday evening, but I was completely exhausted.

It's the first 2 days I've taken off in a row in a LOONG time!

I ran Sunday for the first time, and went 16. My pace was slow -- 8:20-8:30s. I haven't run that slow in a while (can't remember the last time), but figured it was both 1. Because it felt like -10 out, I had a ton of layers on, and it was windy, and 2. Because of the move. My quads were really dead after the 16, which is also weird, since 16 isn't even that long.

I ran Monday evening again, and same thing. 8:25 averages. Weird. I felt like I was moving pretty decently! Guess the move takes more out of you than you think!!

I'm going to try to run hard tonight, we'll see how that goes. I'm just going on "feel" now, so if my "hard" this week is a little slower, that'll be fine.

On the bright side, I absolutely LOVE our new home! I feel so at home, even though it's a complete mess and there are boxes everywhere. That's a really fun feeling -- the last 1.5 years I've just felt unsettled and not completely "at home". Not sure why (probably because I didn't let myself call it home because we didn't officially own the house?), but I'm loving the difference!!!

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Moving...

Wow, what a busy time! I'm excited, yet un-excited at the same time. Is that OK?

I'm aprehensive about the move because I know it'll change my daily life a bit (ok, not "change" -- just shorten). I've loved living and working in Red Wing and I really like the house we've been renting (and tried to buy)! For the last year, I've been able to swing home over lunch to get a run in, swing home just to fold a load of laundry if I want/need (this rarely happens because of my schedule, but it's nice knowing I could if I wanted to!!), etc. Granted, it has become harder to find the time, but I really try to get home at least 2-3 times a week to run. Running over lunch has been my savior this winter -- starting a run when it's 7pm, dark, cold, windy, and just plain miserable is no fun.

Moving won't be the end of lunch time running, I'll just need to plan things better. I can use the YMCA down the street, I'll just need to buy a membership & remember to pack clothes for the day.

Ellie will be so sad to lose her lunch time running buddy!!! :)

I think we'll love the NF community. It has a great endurance community -- there are groups that meet on the weekends, not to mention the college runners I could hook up with (still working on one connection...). I'm already excited about running in the Carleton arb -- soft surface running without any technical footing/turns, yeah! Plus, NF just seems like a really fun town.

I'm sure once we start moving in and making the place "ours", I'll love it... I'm just scared of the change.

In the meantime, because things will be so busy in the next couple of weeks, Jerry has limited my weekly mileage to 60 just to make sure I'm not overdoing it. I hate having limits, but I know this one is good for me, so I'll comply :). (I like how he tells me, but then makes a point to tell my husband as well... he knows me well, I sometimes need Nate to watch over and enforce limits like this :)

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10:23.46!

An all-time personal best indoor 3k for me. And it felt GREAT! I felt completely in control, strong, and smooth the entire race. I hit 41s pretty much every lap (42s were the goal). I'm normally a really consistent pacer, but I was a little surprised by this just because I haven't done any pace work lately. But, 41s just felt right, so I went with it.

My previous indoor 3k best was 10:24.35 in late feb of 2003 (really? 8 years ago? wow, i must be getting old).

I finished 1st in my heat by 34 seconds, and 7th overall. It would have been fun to see if running alongside quicker competition (the first heat was much faster) would have pushed me faster, but oh well. My only real goal for today was to get a read on where my training was at -- and this showed me -- it's going very well! Plus, it was fun to race for the win, picking off girls as I tried to lap them :).

Now, time to head to bed. Nate and I are going up to Boulder Lake tomorrow for a ski race... not looking forward to it, it's supposed to be about -10 degrees at the start :(. Can winter please be over soon?

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3k? Should be entertaining!

I think ahead to Saturday, and all I can do is smile and shake my head :). Ha! I'm looking forward to seeing where I'm at, but know I'm completely unprepared for something this fast/short (it was really fast for me in college, when I was a 5k/10ker!) & will have some really fast competition from the U of MN's women's team. As I was lying in bed last night thinking ahead to the race, trying to picture myself racing, and the only image I had was of me running in slow motion, trying to keep up with heavy legs. Hmmm, need to work on that mental image :)

I don't have a hard and fast goal, but would like to be as close to 10:40 as I could. That isn't blazing fast, but would be a respectable time to build off of.

As a reference, at MIACs in college, I ran 10:30 (freshman), 10:29 (sophomore), 10:43 (junior, after struggling with a mess of injuries all indoor season), 10:52 (senior, first race back after injury). My personal best 3k is a 10:12, run outdoor my senior year. Without having run any sort of short reps lately (usually only 1200s/1600s and tempos), I think I'd be pretty happy with a 10:40.

And, just so I have some idea of pacing, that would be: 640 total seconds, which is 42 2/3 seconds/lap assuming a 200 meter track. I have no idea what a 42 second 200 feels like (other than "fast"! :).

Should be an adventure! Now, I should probably do a few shorter reps and/or striders this week, just to remind my legs how to move fast :).

P.S. I've been having a little bit of hip/SI discomfort lately. I think it's due to all of the uneven footing on MN's snowy roads. It seems that once the roads are somewhat clear, we get another 2+ inches of snow, and then you're fighting the slop again. Jim (aka miracle worker) is on top of it. Glad I'm completely aware of my body now & can jump on things right away.

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Flu :(

Dang... the last 3 days I've been completely knocked out by some sort of flu bug. I have honestly not been this sick in a very long time!

Tuesday I literally did nothing except sleep and lie on the couch. (For those of you who know me know that I NEVER sit on the couch for any extended period of time doing nothing). Everytime I'd try to eat or drink, I'd feel nautious. My body just hurt, and I'd get dizzy when I tried to move too fast. Yuck. Nate was just as miserable with me on the couch :(.

I was able to run today for the first time since Sunday. My stomach didn't feel well the entire time, but I just wanted to get out, go slow, and test everything out. After the frist 1.5 miles, things were a little better. I finished 4.5 miles, and felt pretty good about it. Stomach not doing great, but at least it's runable. Can't wait until I'm 100%, though... this is terrible!

BTW, before I got deathly ill, I signed up to race the 3k at the U of MN indoor meet on the 15th. EEEKKK! I sort of freaked out after I signed up, but then was like, "Well, guess it's just a chance see where I'm at -- might not be pretty, but there's no use ignoring reality!". Now, losing almost a weeks worth of quality training, I'm feeling even more unprepared -- 3ks are sooo fast! I haven't done speed work since the snow came and ruined reliable footing!! Oh man, this'll be an adventure :).

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