Running Words of Wisdom

In my 11 years of running I have learned a lot. A lot. About myself, about training, about fueling, about dressing properly (clearly still learning this one after last Saturday), about hydrating, about resting, about pushing it, about GI issues (I couldn’t resist!), etc., etc. There are so many things that come to mind, it is hard to list them all (and I will spare you a lengthy list).  Here are a few…

You probably have more in you than you think.

Stop talking about it and JUST DO IT!

Hard work really does pay off.

Looking back and analyzing a bad race will uncover a lot of information. Take notes and implement changes in your next training cycle.

Training plans are NOT one size fits all.

Choose your goal marathon pace wisely.  It should feel relatively easy.  Everything feels hard during the last 6.2 of a marathon.

Drink chocolate milk after hard efforts. You legs will thank you the next day.

No one knows “you” better than “you”.

Stop comparing yourself to other runners. There will always (always) be someone who is faster.

Never run through pain.

If something hurts, do something about it. See a doctor/physical therapist/chiropractor.

A lightweight, waterproof, and windproof jacket is essential in the winter.

So are warm, dry gloves. Stash an extra pair in your pocket or car if you can.

If you want to start running, get fitted properly for shoes. Don’t even bother running in your old Nikes you found in the back of your closet.

Always drink and fuel during your long runs before you need it.

Take notice of your upper body at the end of a long run. You shouldn’t be leaning forward, shrugging your shoulders, and your face should not be all tense.

GI issues creep up sometimes without rhyme or reason.

Saying you have no time to run is an excuse. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Smile and remember, you do this for fun!

Any words of wisdom to add?


Being Flexible and Boston Week 1 Recap

When I first started training for marathons and knew very little about myself as a runner (or really anything about marathon training), I would follow a set training plan.  All 16 weeks planned out in black and white.  This type of training is beneficial for beginners, as long as you are listening to your body and pushing when appropriate and resting when you need it.  My approach to training now is drastically different then it was back then.

Every Sunday, I plan out my running schedule for the week.  I’m using the FIRST plan so in a way those 16 weeks are planned out but I modify the plan so much it’s never set in stone.  Things I consider:

  • Am I busy this week?  Do I have stuff to do after work or during the weekend?
  • What’s the weather like (especially in the winter)?  If there is even a hint of snow, I will finagle my schedule to get all my key runs in before the snow hits.
  • What was my total mileage last week?  How much should I increase it this week or decrease if it’s a drop back week?
  • When will I strength train this week?
  • How am I feeling overall?  How did my runs go last week?  Did I hit all my key workouts?

All of these factors go into my planning.  The only things really set in stone are my track workouts and long run mileage.  Everything else I decide on the Sunday prior.  Even the days I do track, tempo, and easy runs change each week (although I try and get track work done on Mondays to get it out of the way).  I love the flexibility this gives me and my training has improved so much.

Boston Week 1 Recap
I’ll call week 1 a success!  Aside from my failed tempo run and yoga fail (I just couldn’t get my butt there on Sunday – I have no better excuse than that), I was happy with my long run on Saturday.

MON:  3 x 1-mile repeats
TUE:   7 easy
WED:  barre class
THU:  rest
FRI:  6 pseudo-tempo miles
SAT:  13 (avg pace – 8:37).  I totally under dressed for this run.  I started running at 7:30 and it was bitterly cold (it later went up to 60 degrees!).  I had a thin, long-sleeved tech shirt and cheap Target stretchy gloves.  I thought my hands were going to freeze and fall off.  I even stopped into a bathroom to use the hand dryer to warm them up (I hate stopping during long runs too but this was so necessary).
SUN:  6 easy

38 total miles for the week 🙂

Do you follow a set schedule or plan your runs weekly like me?

Ever think you were going to get frostbite during a run?  Once my hands get cold, it’s all downhill for me.  It actually gets painful and I can’t concentrate.  I do use hand warmers sometimes but apparently didn’t think it was necessary on Saturday.  

A Strength Training Conundrum

For the past few weeks, I’ve been going to a Whole Body Strength class at my yoga studio.  It’s a 1-hour circuit training class and it’s enjoyable and convenient.  And…it’s also getting comfortable.  As in the last 2 times I went (despite upping my weights) I woke up the next day not sore at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m challenged during the class but the next day I want to feel like I did something.  And, it being a circuit training class, we do some drills and jumping which I’m not a fan of.

Marathon training is taxing enough.  Each time your foot stikes the ground it has to absorb two to three times your body weight…multiply that by miles per week and you got a helluva lot of pounding.  Add drills and jumping during your strength training class and I get very nervous about injury.  Call me a nervous Nellie but I’ll save CrossFit and Bootcamp for the off season.  I even asked my PT about CrossFit (since I have a Groupon) and she told me to be very careful.  She treats a lot of patients because of CrossFit.

So I’m looking for strength training that is marathon training-friendly (i.e., minimal impact).  Here are the options I came up with:

I would love to do this but, unless I join a gym, it’s not feasible 😦

Pure Barre
Per the website,  Pure Barre is intelligent exercise. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk. The workout launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up.

Defies gravity?!  We’ll see.  I have heard that you feel like you got hit by a truck the next day.  Sweet.  Just what I’m looking for.  And I can unleash my inner Black Swan.  Look out.

Power Yoga
A new yoga studio opened up around the corner and they only offer power yoga.   I used to take an athletic yoga class years ago that always kicked my butt to the curb.  And I don’t even need to list the ways yoga benefits runners.

I’m thinking a power yoga and Pure Barre session each week will work out just dandy with marathon training.  We’ll see.  I plan on going to Pure Barre tonight so, as long as I’m able to type tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Ever take a Pure Barre class?  

Do you enjoy the hit-by-a-truck feeling post-race or post-strength training?  I have to admit I love it.  It’s a nice reminder of what you accomplished!

Passer vs. Passee


10 miles


9:05 avg pace

I wanted to end 2010 with a good run so I decided to do 10 miles at my old goal marathon pace .  Plus, next week I’ll be doing 13 miles at 9:15 pace for my first long run of training so I wanted to ease myself back into things.

Let’s talk about passing people when running.  I rarely pass anyone (always a passee) but today I was the passer.  My passee was a guy in his mid-40s.  I was coming up on him for awhile and knew I would be passing him eventually.  When I passed, I said a friendly “good morning” to which I received no response.  And no, he wasn’t wearing an iPod.  He heard me.  Guess he didn’t care much for being passed by a girl.  This happened to me another time last May during the end of a 15-miler.  Except this time the guy caught up with me and ran the last 2 miles with me.  He was very nice and we talked about marathon training but he kept picking up the pace.  I glanced at my garmin and saw we were doing an 8:00 minute mile.  I told him I need to slow down a bit since this wasn’t exactly my long run pace.  At the end of the run, he confessed that he hates to get passed by anyone (in his head I’m sure he added “especially by girls”).  Why do guys care so much?  Yes, part of me likes to pass people (male or female).  I’m not being malicious; it just happens so infrequently.  And I could care less when people pass me.  I’ve been passed by 70-year-old men and women during marathons!

Check out Susan’s funny re-cap of being a passer.

Happy New Year!

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