First of all, with the Thanksgiving Holiday having just passed, a couple of things I'm thankful for:
*Beth - for being so supportive and encouraging of all that I do, even when I come up short of my goals.
*My family - that I had a chance to spend some time with on Thanksgiving.
*My job - some days I truly reflect at the end of the day and think, "I'm even getting paid for this." At least most days. Some days are rougher than others. Also, just thankful with so many people out of work.
*Our church - it's great to be able to celebrate our relationship with Jesus with such amazing people. And, if you are into praise music, you have to check out Cornerstone's newly released 2-CD album of live and studio music. It's so neat to think that these talented people on the album are the ones up in front leading worship each week. Check it out!
*My health - to have the chance to do all of these fun sports activities
And, I'm just thankful for each day God's given me to make a difference. Not to get into the details, but I was in a car accident two weeks back. The car got totaled, but I came away with just a sore neck for a day or two (I kidded with the insurance adjustor that my legs were sore, but that was more due to running a marathon two days prior). A split second one way or another, things could have been very different.
So, it's back to the drawing board with the marathon training to get ready for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May 2012. We've determined that we're going to tweak my training since I've done the same plan the last two times without achieving my desired goals.
I liked the weekly mileage I hit since mid-July (51, 47, 49, 45, 46, 55, 50, 51, 53, 50, 43, 46, 49, 45, 45, 53, 42, 32, marathon week), but there must still be some things that I can tweak so that I'm not running out of gas at the end of the marathon. Here's some of our ideas that I'm going to implement with my next plan:
*Weekend piggy-back of long day and medium/hard day to try to fatigue the legs more for either the long run or the medium/hard run.
*Throw in a double run day here and there (like Beth's doing for her current training)
*Maxing out the long run to more like 25 miles instead of 21. Beth was telling me that Josh Cox has a long run where he does a 3-mile warmup, 18 at marathon pace, and a 3-mile cooldown. I think that would be a good way to push the legs a little more on the long days.
*Not be so 1-dimensional in my training. Due to working/coaching/spectathleting, there's only so many hours in the day that I can allocate to training. So, I got all my runs in, but that was it. Just runs. My only "swim" since the start of school was 15 minutes in the Pacific when we were in Kona. My plan is to be more involved with weights (and I've started already) even if it's at the sacrifice of a few miles. Also, I want to "cross train" with some other sports. Whether it's going back to doing the box drills with the track kids, basketball,....and I think I want to channel my college days and get back into racquetball, but I've found there aren't many courts in the Pittsburgh area. So that may be on hold.
So, that's where I'm going to start. In the last week I got three swims in, so that's off to a good start. Any ideas out there are more than welcome in the comments section. I know there's a sub-3:00 marathon in me. It's just a matter of doing the optimal preparation to get it done.
RUNNING FOR LAPTOPS
And, with the marathon, comes another opportunity to support a great charity. The Elizabethtown College Alumni Group (Pittsburgh Chapter) wanted to support a charity as a group for this year's Pittsburgh Marathon. We started out with a list of 8 or so great charities and, after lots of discussion, narrowed it down and decided to go with Running for Laptops. I worked with them for the Great Race back in September and found it to be a great group and very easy to lend my support.
So, whether it's $5 or $500 (more like the $5), I'd love to have you join me and my Etown alumni friends in supporting this group that provides laptops for students who have "aged out" of the foster care program. These students don't have all the love and support that so many of us have with our families and having that computer to help with college, being organized at home, or looking for jobs could make all the difference.
What are YOU thankful for? Think about sharing just a tiny bit (the value of two cups of coffee) of what you've been blessed with to someone who hasn't had it as good. Thank you!