A 20 Mile Week!

Forgive this marathon update coming on a Monday – the holiday has put me a bit behind the 8-ball. Still, it was lovely to rest and enjoy some time with family. Speaking of which, special thanks to Christine and Vin McGrath and Bonnie and Gerry McGrath for the wonderful donations! I just need a little over $500 to hit my next goal – 50% of target!

The mileage for our runs has started climbing as well, with the long run this week at 9 miles, and the total mileage for the week at 20. This is where I really start noticing the effects of my runs – they’re more exhilarating, but more exhausting as well. For my 9 miler I decided to revisit my favorite hill and extend it by adding another, smaller hill at mile 8.

As promised, I brought my camera and took a picture of the fantastic view of the city from Park Ave:
Breathtaking, isn’t it? Though I was certainly breathing better on this trek up – this week’s jaunt felt a lot easier than two weeks ago, a good sign that my training is paying off.
And just for fun, here’s a picture of the water tower!

The weather was unusually good for the end of December; a bit gray but extraordinarily warm at 50°. For the first time in weeks I was able to run in shorts!

Clarendon Street, the mile 8 hill, is much smaller than Park Avenue, but I remember when I first started running three years ago how difficult it was. I think my favorite part of running as a sport is how much better one can become simply through perseverance and dedication. I’ll never be fast, but I’m stronger and faster than I was and it’s really gratifying. Here’s the view from the top of Clarendon:

It looks a bit less steep than it is because there’s a plateau smack in the middle of it. Just as you think you’ve crested the top, there’s another half of the hill to climb! It’s a fine lesson for training in general – no resting on your laurels – there’s always more of a challenge to be had.

To date I’ve run 94 miles, and it feels pretty great. However, there are 482.2 to go before I cross the finish line on April 19th, and it’s good to remember that every day I need to keep getting stronger and better. Likewise, I’ve raised $1,439 for Boston Partners in Education – but that leaves $2561 to raise if I’m going to meet my goal. So keep your eyes and ears open – in the next week or two I hope to have some fun fundraising activities to share with you all! And if you’d like to make a New Year’s donation, you can always do so at http://www.firstgiving.com/erinmcgrath. Thank you all for your support!


7 responses to “A 20 Mile Week!

  1. Those will definitely prepare you for Heartbreak Hill!

  2. If only I could FIND hills here! I’m not jealous of (but AM impressed by 🙂 the winter-time training, but I do wish we had more than one (teeny, tiny) hill in this flat, flat city. I require lots of hill training for the 2 big runs I have planned this year (which bill themselves as “hilly”), and if there is more than one hill in this whole city, I have yet to find it 😦

    • theredmenaceeats

      I do wonder what the folks who live in very flat places do to prepare for hillier races. Would you ever do some sort of trip out to the race course prior to the race itself to prep? How far out are they?

      • I think what we do is run that one hill over and over and over :S The Tan Track (a running path in the Botanical Garden) has one sort of decent hill (which YOU would laugh at :), and a little bit of slope on the other side.

        The problem with the courses (both just over 14K) is that for course 1 (March) the “hilly” bits are closed to foot traffic except this one day of year – you have to get up onto and across a span of freeway bridge and down into, then out of a tunnel. I think I can manage this one. The second one (August) is in Sydney, and has a 2K-long “heartbreak hill” at the halfway point. (Again, go ahead a laugh, marathon-lady 🙂

  3. Really impressive Erin! Just looking at your pictures is making me tired. Let me know how I can help with the fundraising.

  4. Woo hoo, for running in shorts! With the 14″ of snow we got on Christmas… I don’t think I’ll be doing that for a while. 😦 Enjoy your hills this weekend!

  5. I can’t wait for an Arlington run – what a view!

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