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Can we say cold? It had been dropping in temps all week. Cara, my running friend, and I ran a few times trying to figure out what we were going to wear for the CIM, as we were running in 27 degree temps and heard the morning of the CIM was going to be bone-chilling cold!! I’m glad I was able to practice in those temps and come up with the least amount, but enough clothing to keep me warm, but not too warm!!!

We left our home at 4:15 to pick up the girls and their husbands and my sweet little Allie, in Placerville. Praying that we would not slide off the road.

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We didn’t . . . but not exactly the before-the-race-calm moments that I needed!!

We picked up the shuttle bus in Folsom to take us to the start and actually timed it perfect to get on the last bus group going and we only waited about 10 minutes in the brrrrrr . . . cold before the race started!! Didn’t have a chance to visit my fav spot, those special porta-potties, but I knew I would see them again on the run.
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I took this picture right before the start of the race . . . and can we say – emotional moment!!! Amazing moment!! I was about to run my first marathon with my girls . . . doesn’t get much better than this . . . hence, the tears began . . .

To our surprise it was actually warmer at the start a nice warm 33 degrees, 8 degrees higher than expected!! Yay!!! Little did we know at that moment that the temps would drop as we ran, down into the 20′s. But . . . ignorance is bliss, right?!!! :)

We lined up with the 4:55 pacer and after my (few-miles-in-and-the-lines-don’t-look-too-long) porta-potty stop, we ended up tracking right along with the 5:25 pacer. It was cold, but not unbearable. I tossed an old sweatshirt I was wearing about mile 6. The girls ended up passing some of their outer layers to their husbands along the way. It seemed like it warmed up a bit in the sun before the half-way point and then got colder with a bit of a north-wind the second half.
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Seeing my little Allie made me smile even bigger than I already was. We had a great cheering crew. Mike (my husband), Matt (Jenna’s husband) with sweetie Allie, Joey (Emmi’s husband), and Teri (Steve’s wife – Steve was running his first marathon ever with his two kids. They rocked their marathon). They should receive a medal of honor for standing in the cold to see us, take pics, cheer us on . . . they are the best!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

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The picture of all three of us was at the 20 mile point. I think a few of the smiles may be fake, not sure . . . :)

It was always easier to smile when we saw our cheering team there for us.

For fueling, I have been using a product called UCAN – I love it!!! It is made from cornstarch and no sugar. It kept me at an even energy level with no highs and lows, which I experience with too much sugar. It surprised me that I needed to take it sooner than I expected. Not having run in such cold temps for that length of time before, I learned that my body needs more of everything . . . I must have been burning calories just trying to stay warm. At mile 22, I believe, I took a V-fuel, which is a gel, for that added boost I so desperately needed and at mile 23 I sucked on a strawberry-banana gel they were handing out . . . can’t recommend that flavor, but the effect was great!!!

Two very cool things: Deborah, who you have seen in previous blogs of mine, wasn’t running, but was CHP on duty at mile 11 or 12. It was so cool seeing her in uniform and hugging her. She even ran a few steps with me in all her heavy gear!!! I love you, Deb!! Thanks for working in the cold that day to keep us safe and give us hugs!!!

The next was Kari, another dear running friend, who showed up at mile 23. I knew she said to watch for the yellow sign, but honestly at that point I think I was in a daze of some sort . . . I remember looking to my left and seeing yellow and Vander Dussen on a sign and wondering who else was there with that name, when Kari came running up to me with the sign. I started crying . . . smiling . . . laughing . . . she ran with us for a mile!!! What a treat . . . what a gift . . . she was at the perfect place at the perfect time. Thank you, Kari, Alex, and Max for braving the cold to cheer us on!! You made a difference!! You kept my smile going!!!

We did lose sight of the 5:25 pacer, but Kari assured me he was just about a minute ahead. I looked at the girls with that look of ‘lets catch up’ and they gave me that look of . . . are you crazy?!!!!

I’m just amazed at how long and straight L Street is. It seemed like it just went on forever. I kept asking Jenna, who is familiar with downtown Sacramento, “Do we turn here, do we turn here?” and she patiently would respond, “No, mom, but soon”. . . she said that for what seemed forever!!! Jenna reminded me that as soon as we round the corner the finish line will be right there . . . it was . . . yep, the tears flowed again . . . we ran the last .2 side-by-side wearing shirts that said “Persevere” and we held hands and raised them as we crossed the finish line together. 5 hours, 25 minutes, and 54 seconds after we crossed the starting line we crossed the finish line. Okay, now I have tears again remembering that amazing moment!!

I received my CIM 26.2 medal around my neck and joined the wonderful group of marathon runners at that moment!!! I AM A MARATHONER!!

After any long run, I have to keep walking for at least 10 minutes. Mike had my UCAN recovery drink for me and walked with me, trying to find the sun to warm up. They also had a nicely spiced tomato soup with bread at the end. How perfect was that?!!!

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These girls bless me!!!
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What a beautiful spot to run to!!!
As you can see by the coats it is still pretty nippy outside . . . I think I am still thawing from that race. :)

This was the perfect celebration for this season in my life, which God has given me. He has proven Himself faithful. He has gifted me with good times and bad times, but He has been with me every moment of every day in the midst of it all. God gave me this verse back in July 1981 and I have held it closely –

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ” Jude 24-25

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I love this pic . . . it says it all . . . It’s all for you, God!!

He has kept me from stumbling and He has kept me standing!!!

Through my race, I held close in my heart so many . . . remembering them . . . praying for them . . . trusting God’s plan for them . . .

I have many more thoughts and things to share about this amazing experience, which will wait, as I process that I have just run 26.2 miles and am a Marathoner!! Woohoo!!!

Patty :)

Sunday, November 10th . . . . a fantastic day for a half-marathon!!

The temps had been running cooler in the mornings, but this day was a bit warmer, actually warm enough to toss the arm sleeves aside and run in my short sleeve top and skirt.  Loved it!!

This was a nice FLAT course.  I don’t believe I have run on anything this flat for 13.1 miles.  Debora and I had a great start, middle, and end to this run – not getting a PR but close, we were only 4 seconds behind our best time.  We were happy with that.  This is definitely a race I will run again.  It was  a smaller race.  It was flat, I think I’ve mentioned that :).  It was beautiful.  People were very friendly.  The only thing I would change is the starting time.  The race didn’t start until 9:00, hence, it was a warmer start.  I like to just get up in the morning and get to it, as I don’t eat before my runs/races.

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We got to run through many vineyards . . . fall colors . . . and flat :)

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Kaylie wearing purple dress, black blouse.

Debora and I crossing the finish line – together!!!

This picture means so much to me!! So many thoughts cross my mind when I remember that moment and what it meant. More on that in a future blog.

At the end of every race I have run with Debora, when she sees that finish line she takes off in a sprint.  Of course, this means I have to start sprinting to the end, too, right?!!! It amazes me how Debora can just take off with such energy at the end of a race . . . I tried to keep up with her, but I am just not as fast as she is in this whole sprinting thing . . . so, as we are sprinting in and I’m falling behind, she refuses to cross the finish line without me . . . she turns . . .  slows . . .  grabs my hand  . . . and we cross the finish line together . . . holding hands!!!! That, my friends, is a true running friend.  Thank you, Debora!!!

The half-marathon was a nice little break between my long runs in prep for the CIM.  On Saturday, November 16th, I ran 17 miles with Jenna, Emily was sick.  It was a great run.  Then my final long run was on Saturday, November 23, I ran 20 miles with Emily, Jenna was sick.  I missed my girls when they were sick, but it was also a nice time to just catch up with each individually.  I love that we can run together and share together – what a gift it has been to share running with them.  I’m thankful that I can run and we can do this together.  It is a gift.  I am blessed beyond my dreams with these girls.

These past two weeks I have been tapering my runs.  This is not easy for me, as I love long runs!! This final week, before the CIM, I ran 4 miles today, and I will run 3 on Wednesday, and 2 on Friday.  I will rest as much as possible on Saturday and run 26.2 miles on Sunday!!!

I am excited.

I am scared.

I am thankful.

I am anxious.

I am . . . . . trusting a great God, who has brought me to this point in my life, has given me the strength to train, to endure, to love the long run . . . He will never leave me or forsake me . . . When I am weak, He is strong . . . the joy of the Lord is my strength . . . I can do all things through Christ . . . 

If you’ve been reading my previous blogs, you will know that I chose the CIM as my way of celebrating a new season in my life . . . because new seasons are to be celebrated and what better way to celebrate than to run a marathon . . . right?!!!! Well . . . it sounded good at the time . . . and actually, still does!!!

Here’s to . . .  taper weeks . . . and running friends . . . and beautiful daughters who bless me beyond words . . . and a patient husband who rides his bike on cold cold mornings as I run my long runs . . . and a faithful God who has been with me every step of the way!! 

Patty :)

PS . . . My goals for the CIM are . . . 1) Finish the race . . . 2) Enjoy the race . . . 3) Smile – a lot!!!

I’m very happy to report that I think I really did learn some lessons from my last, long, dehydrating run. Miracles do still happen!! :)

 On October 12th, I ran 20 miles!!! I not only ran 20 miles, but I felt great before, during, and after my run!! I was hydrating the days before with water and NUUN. The day of the run I stuck to my MAF for the first half – my daughters, Jenna and Emily, made sure of that!! :)  They are training for the CIM also and were running 14 miles with me and then I would carry on for another 6 miles with the promise that I would stick to MAF until the last two miles then I could run as fast as my little heart desired.  I also made sure that I was drinking water every time I heard my running program notify me of another mile.  I fueled as necessary with gels and  drank my recovery drink after the run. This, followed by a nice relaxing breakfast out with my girls, made a perfect Saturday morning.

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Emily, Me, Jenna – I love running with these girls!!!

Last Saturday, October 19th, I ran the Folsom Blues Half Marathon in Folsom.  It was the same basic course around Lake Natoma that I have been training on.  I ran with my friend, Debora, who I believe is still my friend even after I ran the race higher than my MAF, which meant higher than her MAF.

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Me and Debora (I’m holding Emily’s coffee so she could take a pic – hmmm . . . a sip might have helped!!)

The temperature began in the 50′s. The sun was just peaking it’s head up over the skyline when the race started.  It was a perfect day for racing.

The race started out on roads, which were nice and wide and eventually funneled down to the bike trail, which was not nice and wide.  The weaving in and around others became like a puzzle of sorts.  In time it thinned out. :)

I knew I wasn’t going to run by MAF and tried to keep my heart rate 10-15 above MAF, which was doable most of the time.  It never fails at the end of the race, yards before the finish line, even if we are going uphill, Debora sprints to the end and, of course, I need to join her in that – huffing and puffing!! It wasn’t a PR for me, but it was a great indication that training by MAF has given me a good aerobic foundation to support my faster running and not feel like I’m dying.  I’m glad that I have been adding one or two faster paced runs in each week.  I can see that I need to add more race pace runs to my training, as my hip flexor the last two miles was screaming at me, a new pain, which I don’t have with my slower running.  Foam rolling, after the run, took care of that.

I am fascinated by my body and how it is learning to adapt to longer, slower, running and yet, also learning how to run shorter faster runs.  Am I weird?!!!

I love to hear how others fuel before, during, and after a run and how that affects them.  I love to try different ways of fueling for myself and then tweak when needed.

I am learning, although I think I already knew this, that I am very competitive . . . with myself!!! When I reach one goal, I set a new goal.  When I reach that goal, I set another . . . why do I feel so compelled to strive for faster . . . why can’t I just be content to run and enjoy?!!!

It is a battle of my mind – scary place to be, trust me!! :)

I am working on being content in my running . . . enjoying my running . . . being thankful that I have been gifted with the desire to run and to run for God . . . His glory . . . ultimately it is all for Him!!!

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Steve, Me, Debora

Finishing = Winning

My new motto – because it’s true!!!

Have a great week – get a run in . . . you know you want to. 

Patty :)

 

I am remiss in writing a post these last couple of weeks, partly due to total frustration with my long run of a little over a week ago.  Thankfully, time has gone by and I have had a chance to get over it and hopefully learn from my mistakes and move on to more enjoyable long runs, as I am training for my first marathon and venturing into the unknown.

As I look back, many things were out of the ordinary for my 18 mile run a couple of Sundays ago.  I started later in the afternoon, around 2:00, which meant it was much warmer.  I was not adequately fueled before my run.  I had actually planned on running by MAF, which I have been doing for all of my long runs.  Today, though, I was thinking and talking with, Cara, about my goals for my marathon pace and what was possible.  The run started downhill and I just ran a natural pace, not fast, but about 10 above MAF.  It felt good and I ended up running the whole 18 miles between 10-20 above MAF.  Under different circumstances and if I was prepared that probably would have been a great idea, but today . . . not so good!! :(

Things that didn’t go right . . .

1.  I didn’t fuel properly before a faster-paced run.

2.  I didn’t fuel enough during the longer run . . . that was faster than planned.

3.  It was warmer than I thought outside and I wasn’t drinking enough . . . resulting in dehydration.

4.  My heart rate didn’t go back down when I slowed to a very slow pace, indicating dehydration.

5.  When I slowed to walk up the last hill, I was so nauseous I was sure I was going to throw up – another indication of dehydration.

At the end, I ended up having to sit down I felt so faint and eventually lying down for a bit on the ground.  As I was lying there feeling oh so sick, I really wondered what the heck I was doing training for a marathon.  What was I thinking?!!!! I made it home, only to finally throw up.  It was reminiscent of an earlier 11 mile run, a couple of years ago, when I felt the same way and it was from dehydration.  The scary part, to me, is that I had my hydration pack on filled with water and NUUN (electrolyte replacement) and was sipping it along the entire run, but when I looked at what was left, only half was gone.

Things I learned . . . hopefully!!!

1. To fuel correctly for the run.

2.  My long runs are meant to be run at a slower pace for the most part, maybe the last 4 – 6 at a faster pace in preparation for the marathon.

3.  Hydrate – purposefully drinking, even if I don’t want to, while running.

4. Pay attention to my heart rate if I am slowing and my heart rate isn’t dropping there is a problem.

5. Carry salt tablets with me and be aware of the heat.

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Me, Amy(first time rockin’ a half-marathoner), Lhia(my new running friend), and Debora

The good news is that I ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon with friends this past Sunday!!

What a refreshing 13.1 miles with Debora and Amy and my new friend, Lhia (a co-worker of Amy’s).  It was so much fun to run along side Amy, who was running her first half marathon!! The Urban Cow was my first ever half marathon last year, so I knew how she was feeling towards the end and the push to keep going through the pain.  It was a push towards the end, but she pushed through and totally rocked the race.

It was a refreshing and encouraging run for me after my previous run!!   I ran by  MAF  the entire distance and I felt most wonderful. I made sure I was hydrating.  The temps were much cooler!!  I realized how far I had come since running this race last year.  I had continued running and trying to run a few longer runs each month.  I have become a stronger runner through continued training and have come to a point of great enjoyment, for the most part, when I run.  The result of that training, was being able to run a very difficult race last year and feeling relaxed and enjoying every moment of the race this year.  Yay for running!!

I guess all this to say there are bad runs and good runs, but really – they are all GOOD!!! I’m out moving and doing good for my body and learning all the time what my body is telling me.  I’m learning to read it better.

As always, I am thankful to an amazing God, who has made this amazing body that I live in and is capable of so much more than I ever thought it could be.  I’m thankful that He is always with me and is always teaching me and that He loves me more than I will ever be able to grasp.  I’m thankful that He has gifted me with the ability to run and to enjoy the run.  I am thankful for all of the friends He has brought into my life through running.  I’m looking forward to meeting many more.

Enjoy your week – get a run in!!

Patty :)

The days are beginning to cool off, not quite enough for my running, but it is better.  I LOVE summer!!!!

This is the first summer I have been consistent in my running – not so good in the heat, hence my desire for fall and cooler temps.  I can’t believe I am actually looking forward to cold weather running!!! Please remind me of this statement in February, please!!

I try to run one longer weekly run usually between 10 and 14 miles.  These past couple of weeks my long runs were not under normal conditions for this time of year.  On Labor Day, I ran with my friend, Kari, around Lake Natoma in Folsom.  It was cloudy up where we lived and had been raining, but the weather reports looked promising for a great run.  Well . . . we got rained on, drenched actually.  It was such a refreshing run after so many warm sweaty runs this summer.  The temp was perfect for running in the rain!! Mike, my husband, not such a happy camper on his bike ride around the lake.  Biking in the rain does not equal the same amount of joy as running in the rain does!!! Sorry Mike . . . :(

My run last weekend was around my favorite neighborhood lake – Sly Park Lake.  I feel so blessed that it is only 3 miles from my home.  Running that day wasn’t the best decision I have made, but at the moment it seemed like a good idea (maybe because Debora and I really wanted to run!!).  After running a couple of miles we could taste smoke in our mouths.  We ran slower and could feel the lack of oxygen in our bodies due to the smoke, although it really didn’t look as bad as the pictures while we were running.  We felt like we were running at a higher elevation, our legs felt heavy and it just took more exertion to move.

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The first picture shows the side of the lake we ran first, taking a picture of the other side.  It really didn’t seem that bad, but when we got back to our starting point and looked back up the lake this is what we saw!! Yikes!! The smoke was just settling in.  No wonder we felt like we had no energy.  Hopefully . . . lesson learned. :)

Tomorrow, Saturday, I am looking forward to an early nice long run with no rain and no smoke!!

I know I have mentioned in earlier posts that I have been MAF training.  Training using my maximum aerobic heart rate and not going above that.  It has been slow going this summer in the heat, but I believe my pace has increased as my body as become more aerobically fit.  I am really looking forward to cooler weather to see how that affects my heart rate and pace.

I have also stopped eating anything before my early morning runs and only drinking water with NUUN (electrolytes) during my runs and feeling great.  Before a run, I  always  had to get up extra early to eat my eggs and oatmeal.  I had been reading about running without nutrition as I was doing my MAF training and decided to give it a try.  I am loving it.  I always take along  sport beans or a gel, something just in case I feel the need.  This shows me that my body is/has learned to use fat efficiently as a fuel.

My one question right now, I have 2 half-marathons and a marathon coming up and I will be running them faster and will need to fuel my body – I’m just not sure how.  As my long runs get longer I will be experimenting with fuel.  Do I eat before my run? Do I start without food? At what point do I use a fuel during my run? This is all very new to me and exciting.  I would love to hear from anyone who has done this before and what has worked for them.

I am thankful that I have been gifted with this amazing body that can run, that can be trained to be aerobically fit, that can fuel itself for a couple of hours all on its own!!!

Our bodies are a miracle!!! Thank you God for this gift!!

Patty :)

 

 

It was an early start that morning, meeting up with Kelly and Cara for the drive to Tiburon at 4:45am!!!

We could see the fog rolling over the hills, as we were driving down . . . hmmmm . . . how far inland was the fog?!!!

We got down to Tiburon, parked, and waited for the ferry to take us across to Angel Island.  There were 434 people racing – 336 ran the 12k, once around the island and 98 ran the 25k.  We were looking forward to cool temps after so many hot summer runs, but we actually were freezing, teeth-chattering, hands-shaking cold!!! Brrrrr . . .

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Me, Kelly, and Cara . . . freezing!!!

The race started around 9:30 after two loads of people were brought across the bay by ferry.  I was looking forward to my first trail race and getting warm!!!

Off we went up . . . up . . . up . . . a little down . . . up  . . . up . . . . around . . . down . . . down . . . down  . . .  turn around and repeat!!!

The fog was burning off slowly, but surely.  I had decisions to make – was I running by MAF or running a race? With so much steady uphill and my heart rate already over 136, I made the decision to just run and enjoy.  I did keep an eye on my heart rate, but not trying to keep it at my MAF rate, which would be 126.  I ran the race between 136 and 150.  I felt great, the temperature was perfect, and the elevation decrease a bonus.

It was definitely different running single file on a trail.  At times the trail would widen, but mostly single file.  I tried to be aware when others wanted to pass me and I would run as far right as possible or at times I just slowed and moved off the trail.  I found that I just had to run and let others work around me.  What became even more hectic for me was when there were runners behind me and the 25k’s running back up for the second time around passing me, as well as random hikers here and there.

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Golden Gate Bridge

The views were amazing!! I didn’t take pictures the first time around.  The second time around it was pretty much just me and the trail and I loved it!! There were people a ways in front of me and a ways in back of me.  I didn’t feel any pressure.  I could just run my race in God’s amazing creation!!

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Looking toward SF with Alcatraz in-between

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Golden Gate Bridge, again!

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Looking down into the bay and Tiburon

I loved running down the final long hill!!   It’s kind of like being a kid again . . . running free . . . filled with joy!!  At the same time, watching carefully all those rocks in the trail because I’m not a kid again and I didn’t want to fall . . .

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And . . . I finished!!

It was a total climb of about 2000 feet!!! My quads and calves were talking to me when all was said and done.

My time was 2:56, which is a PR for me, as this was my first 25k!!

I came in 2nd for my age group!! Okay . . . I must confess . . . there were only two in my age group!!! :)

Would I do this again? Absolutely!!! I loved it!!!!

I wasn’t sore on the days following the race, which helped me to see that I could have given more.  Good information for next time.

What’s next? I have two half marathons coming up in October and tonight I printed out blank calendar sheets for laying out my marathon training!! I’m getting excited, overwhelmed, nervous, excited, ‘what-the-heck-did-I-sign-myself-up-for’ – I will just say, a myriad of feelings flow through me at any moment of my thinking process for the upcoming CIM in December.

When this happens, I just need to sit quietly with a great God, who is the one that gave me this body and the desire to run.  I pray I can learn more and more how to rest in Him and trust Him for all I will need to do in this journey of running and in this journey of life.  There are so many lessons to be learned in both . . . they go hand-in-hand.

Thankful . . .

Patty :)

When one is MAF training, which equals SLOW especially in heat, it is a gift to run at a lower elevation and in a nice overcast 56 degree temp!! A gift!!!

But . . . the biggest gift of going to San Francisco was to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!!

We each had a day that we planned what we wanted to do.  Obviously, if you know me, running was a must to be included in my day of choice.  :)

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It began with a lovely windy walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Having come from 101 degree temps it was delightful!!!

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Once across we headed to Crissy Field and I ran and ran!!

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I ran from the Warming Huts to the Marina and back several times

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It was a gift to run in such cool temps, which kept my heart rate lower, which allowed me to run a quicker pace – a pace I missed running!!!

The views were refreshingly beautiful, as I ran my heart out!! There was a bit of a headwind running back in the direction of the bridge, which caused my pace to slow, as my heart rate increased.  I was too happy to care.  I was running in San Francisco, a location I had dreamed of running for quite some time.  I ran four heavenly miles enjoying the people, the scenery, my heart rate, my pace, the fact that God has gifted us with these amazingly made bodies that can run, thankful for the 38 years with Mike and looking forward to many more. 

The next day was Mike’s day.  He picked Point Reyes and a lovely hike out to the ocean.  Perfect choice!!! Again, very nice weather,  overcast, but not foggy!!!

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Ooops!! Yes, this was his day, but it was so beautiful and I just ran for a moment . . . in such lush surroundings, just for a moment . . . :)

It was a wonderful relaxing, yet exercising-in-some-way-each-day getaway for Mike and I.  So thankful . . .

Good news to report on my running scene . . .

I ran 4 days this week, done correctly. Are you reading this, Jenna, done correctly!! :) 

I ran on Monday, shorter run on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, run on Thursday, rest on Friday, and long run around Lake Natoma today – all without ‘issue’ (Runner’s Ischemia)!!! That’s worthy of a celebration!!!  It looks like four days of training per week will make running the CIM not only doable, but enjoyable and will result in me having a blast running my first marathon.  Can you see that I’m giving myself a pep talk, as I write here.  :)

My next race is coming up on August 3rd. 

It is a 25K trail race around Angel Island (run around it twice).  I am looking forward to running down at a lower elevation again in cooler temps with great company.  It’s an adventure!!!

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See Angel Island in the distance . . . do you notice any hills?!!!

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Just one more pic of one of my favorite places.

Again, I end this with a thankful heart to a great God, who has always been with me every step of my life whether I acknowledged Him or not.  He has been faithful, oh so faithful!

Patty :)

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