Monday, July 19, 2010

Ooo, a peanut butter cup!

That would be the name of my team if I were running the inaugural Hershey Half-Marathon in lovely, chocolate-scented Hershey, PA. I just found out about this sweet race earlier this morning thanks to friend, fellow Flying Pig runner, fellow chocolate-lover and Pennsylvania resident, Gayle. And now I almost wish I didn't know about it, because the very thought of it is inducing uncontrollable bouts of drooling.

The course runs past the world's largest chocolate factory, and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup factory, and there's even a chocolate aid station. That's right folks, AN AID STATION THAT SERVES CHOCOLATE!!! I realize this really isn't a new concept, as the Nike Women's Marathon includes a Chocolate Mile (and arguably serves better chocolate - Ghirardelli). But an entire half-marathon dedicated to chocolate sure beats a chocolate mile any day of the week, as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, I don't think I'll actually be running this race, at least not this year. For one thing, it's one week before the Chicago Marathon. And for another thing, it's all the way in Pennsylvania. But I will definitely be putting this on my dream race list for the future. In the mean time, I will just have to bring some Hershey's Miniatures on my long runs with me.

In other news...

Summer/Fall FAST has gotten off to a great start. I think our new co-coach is starting to feel like a part of the team. I know this because she dropped an f-bomb at practice on Thursday. Yep, she's definitely one of us now. And this is a good thing because Coach Brad is on vacation this week, which means Coach Maggie will be completely in charge. I'm not sure whether or not to be afraid. She seems laid back and easygoing, but you just never really know what will happen to someone when they become drunk with power. She could unleash hell on us and have us begging for mercy. I will report back after tomorrow's workout. If I survive, that is...

Our workout last Thursday was a really good one and I just had to share it with y'all. It turns out there is a fun way to run hill repeats. That way is short and fast. The coaches had us do 10 x 20 second sprints up the Hill Of Death with lots of recovery between (enough time to get the heart rate back down). The goal was to engage those fast-twitch muscle fibers, which despite all evidence to the contrary, I do actually have. I may not have very many and most of the time they're asleep, but they're in there.

As you can see from the graph (where the sprints are highlighted in purple), I had to run up the Hill Of Death twice to get 10 sprints in. The faster members of our group had to run it more than that in order to get their 10 sprints in. Ha ha - sucks to be them! After the hill sprints, we did a 2 mile tempo run, and that was that. All in all, a pretty good workout. The Hill Of Death is not nearly so deadly when it's broken up into small chunks. Oh, don't get me wrong, it still hurts. It just hurts in short bursts instead of one long, continuous pain.

On Sunday morning, I had a lovely 10-mile run with the Stashies. Well, that is if you think stifling humidity is lovely. I don't, really. So actually, it was sort of a miserable run, although it was made better by two things (1) the fact that the Stashies are such a great group to run with and (2) the fact that eventually, it was over. I actually ran pretty well despite the oppressive humidity, and was able to run my characteristic negative splits (which for me, is always a sign of a good run).

Next Sunday's run with the Stashies will be 14 miles, which is starting to get into serious marathon-training territory. At this distance, I need to be concerned with fueling on the run, and getting enough carbs the day before. I better start stockpiling pasta, and making sure I have big enough supply of Sharkies. Oh, and Hershey's Miniatures! *commence drooling*

Peace. Love. Train.

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