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Athletes for Real Medicine:

Sunday Training Run Blog

January 11, 2011 - United States

by Brandi Howell

This week’s Sunday run was an intense 11 miles, with 1200 feet of elevation gain.  We started out at the base of Sullivan Canyon, surrounded by towering oak, eucalyptus and sycamore trees.  It was 8:30 am.  The canyon was cold and misty as it hadn’t seen direct sunlight since the previous afternoon.

We wore layers to stay warm.  Within ten minutes of running, we could feel our breath deepening, our heart beats speeding up.  We were already gaining altitude.  A small stream intersected the trail on multiple occasions, which gave us a chance to catch our breath as we stopped to observe the best point at which to cross.  After gradually ascending 950 feet over 5 miles, with muddy shoes and tired legs, we arrived at a plateau.

Here, we stopped for a quick water and nutrition break, before tackling the last 300 feet of elevation in the form of steep switchbacks.  Huffing and puffing, we focused on the ridge above us.  And before we knew it, we were out of the lush, green canyon, and atop a ridge surrounded by sprawling city views.  From here, we ran east along the ridge, taking in the beauty and ease of running on flat ground.  After a few miles, we turned South along a wide fire road and started our quick descent.

After all of our hard work, we let gravity pull us down the trail, enjoying the serenity of an early morning run in nature.  Looking back, we realize that when the run got tough, it helped to think about the bigger purpose of these runs, like helping communities through Real Medicine.  Those positive thoughts gave us the strength to keep going.

Only nine more distance runs to go before race day…Go Athletes for Real Medicine!!!!

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