Friday, April 15, 2016

Everybody needs the Peace run

During 2015 when my wife and I were preparing for Ironman Chattanooga, we worked with and owe a lot of our success to the training and mental preparation from Katie Malone, head coach at Malone Coaching.  She set our training plan from almost a year out.  With her I made two successive PRs in the half marathon distance, the 2nd of which was a rather hilly route.  I PR'd in the 10 mile distance, also on a hilly route.  I PR'd the half Ironman distance (5h10m, PR by 45 min) and we both went below our goal times for IM Chattanooga (I went 11h49m, goal time 12h).  At IM Chatt, I also met my secondary goal which was to be in the top 50 in my AG (46th). 

In that year of training we had hard workouts, long workouts, very specific workouts and much needed rest days - and I mean TRUE rest days where we had very specific instructions to minimize our physical output - certainly no workout for that day.  One particular run sticks in my mind and after the week I've had, I needed to re-create it. 

I'm not sure I'm remembering what she called it correctly, but I believe she called it a 'Peace' run.  Put away the devices, forget about any plan or specific run workout, just lace up and shoes and run; for the pure love of it.  On that particular day, Jenny and I ran into Paris Mountain State Park.  For us in our new home, it's basically our go-to run.  In fact, if I had to route out a 'flat' route from the house, it would be into the park and around Lake Placid.

It didn't hurt that Katie also sent out her weekly newsletter today with some great reminders to just get out and enjoy what you do and what we are so blessed to have here in the Upstate. 

Today, after a week of work, an eye exam that left me with bleeding eyes (figuratively of course) and a bit of a headache, I needed a Peace run.  When I got home and after I unloaded the groceries, I wasted no time in finding my trail shoes and heading over to the park. 

No heart rate monitor, no garmin, just my Nike shoes, my Maui Jim's and my running kit.  It's about a mile on pavement before I turn into the park, then a short run before I turn onto Mountain Creek trail. 

Mountain Creek to the Turtle trail connector, Turtle trail to the road, then back towards the Park Center.  Around Lake Placid, out and back on Turtle trail with a cut through on the connector back to Mountain creek.  Then the mile back to the house on pavement.  Five miles of pure running bliss. 

I took it easy today, or maybe I didn't, I just ran however my body and mind dictated.  The feeling of my heart beat in my ears, the sound of my breath, the scents of the forest, the wind in my beard.  All the things that running should be. 

Go find your own Peace run, then tell me about it. 

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