So a quick update on training… I got up with the team coach this week to talk about my training. She gave me some good tips for getting a little caught up without overdoing it. I made a big jump up to 9 miles this week. And it was a BIG jump. I went out first thing Sunday to run through Umstead Park and it was just not happening for me. It took me about a half-an-hour to find any sort of rhythm and keep up a decent pace. By the time I got back on track, I was already struggling just to get through it.
I ended up getting in 8.87 miles in 2 hours, and that was really just because I was doing an out-and-back run and misjudged the distance and didn’t have the energy to finish off the rest of the .13 of a mile. Granted, running through the woods is going to slow you down a bit, but I have been able to keep up a much better pace recently, so it was disappointing to have such a difficult run. The last 2 miles, my legs felt like blocks of concrete and I had moments of feeling that I wouldn’t make it back to my car. It felt the same way as the last 2 miles in Vegas, except I had no motivation to pull out a sprint near the end. But I’m glad I’m passed it and now it’s time to move on to the final 2 weeks of long runs and get myself prepared for the big day, which is now just over 3 weeks away.
On top of a hard run, we received some difficult news here in North Carolina this week. We found out that this will be the last season for Team Challenge in the Carolinas. Basically this means that we no longer have a full-time staff person and will not have a local group to train with before the race. If one of us wants to be a part of Team Challenge again, you become part of the National team, so you’ll still have the accountability that comes along with the program, but you won’t be surrounded by the people like we are now.
Even though I haven’t had quite the community that others have had, it was really hard to learn this last week. The program has meant a lot to me over the past 7 months and I’ve enjoyed being a part of it, even from a bit of a distance. It’s not easy to understand why things like this have to happen, but I also realize that all of this is about promoting research for a cure and resources for patients, so if a program is not being able to do that, then it’s time to rethink things. I just hate that it came down to this.
I’m not sure what this means for me in the future. I had already decided to take the fall season off because I have discovered this time that doing back-to-back seasons is a very big commitment and more than I was prepared to handle coming into this. And I don’t know if they’ll restructure and bring it back in the future, but I’m not counting on that for the time being. I guess we’ll see what the future seasons bring.