On writing and running

It’s hard to believe it’s already September. While I haven't written here since May, I have been writing like crazy all summer. In June, I began a 10-week essay-writing class through Stanford University, during which we wrote short essays each week, as well as a longer piece toward the end of the course. Among other topics, I wrote about how heartbreak led me to both long-distance running and writing, which over the years have become inextricably linked. The story also focused on how we shape our patterns and how they shape us. Women’s Running Magazine published the essay last week. Here’s the link if you’d like to read it: Focus on the Mile You're In.

On changing patterns, I realized in May, after missing my goal of qualifying for Boston by more than six minutes, that it was time to try a new training plan. After a month-long post-marathon recovery period, I hired a coach in June through Hanson’s running program. Coach Katie and I have been working on increasing my mileage base this summer by running six days a week (my old routine consisted of running five days a week) along with incorporating more speed work and strength training. Yes, it's tough, but I do feel stronger and I love having a coach. Over the next few months, I’ll work up to 62 miles a week (from about 42 now) for an early December marathon. If I can stay healthy, I'll be ready. During the last five days, I've been training in the Wallowas in Eastern Oregon (on a family vacation) at elevations between 4,000 and 8,200 feet. I'm sure I was breathing harder than usual, but in the midst of such immense beauty, I hardly noticed... 

Training at 8,200 feet in the Wallowas, a.k.a. Oregon Alps

Training at 8,200 feet in the Wallowas, a.k.a. Oregon Alps