Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks

Turkey Day proved to be a challenging run. We decided to run early Thursday morning for our long 10 miler to burn off those calories we were going to eat at turkey dinner. As Bryan and John refer to it: Guilt Free Turkey Day run. We started at Botkin and ran our way north all the way to Hillside, back down H and around through Donut Bay and back east through town until we headed back south towards Botkin again. We stayed at the same pace, about 9:25 until around mile 6. I was the first to slack off as my knees were killing me and I had to stop and walk a bit. JB and Alison kept a good pace with Kitchel in tow. I walked quite a bit during this run as my goal from finishing in a descent time changed to simply making the distance. Alison had a little walk session around mile 8 and slowed down quite a bit. If she only knew that when I saw her walk, I thought "just keep running!" These group of girls are amazing and so supportive and they actually came back and ran and picked up "The Slacker" aka me a few times. We keep each other motivated and even when we have to go slow, it's a comfort to know the girls are there whether we're in front or behind each other. We still finished in a good time, but you always feel disappointed when you have to walk during a run.

We have discussed the walking issue in quite detail before. Is it really that bad to walk during a run that is difficult? In a runners mind, walking is the ultimate betrayal. It's that issue that you feel as if you're giving up...allowing the body to win in the running mental battle. And of course once you allow yourself to stop that first time, it makes it so much easier to give up and walk a second time, and a third and in my case on this particular run more than I'd like to admit to. And isn't it so much easier to let yourself walk? Than to keep working and fighting through the pain and keep running. Jeff Galloway has made the run-walk method of training for a marathon famous by suggesting that walking during a run is good for your body as it gives a brief relief to the stress you put on your body. It makes sense.. but it's been hard in our case to let ourselves give up in that way. Of course we don't beat each other up about walking, but we all are thinking the same thing.."man, I wish I wouldn't have walked".. unless your JB who never walks! Hey, but we are doing something more than that person sitting on the couch, walking or running, right?! long as we keep doing what we are doing and train in the right way, we should be able to RUN the full marathon without having to walk. Plus isn't that what water stops are for? A brief break in the monotony of running to get a drink and take a second to catch your breath? Ahh.. but then there's the pain issue that comes into the discussion. Is it OK to run through pain? Or is your body really trying to tell you that you're doing something wrong? Some would say just walk, others would say run through it. All I know is the feeling of accomplishment when you tell yourself that you have to stop, but you keep running... It's an amazing feeling when you know you've beat your body and just kept going! That far surpasses the pain... Well, maybe next time we'll remember that and not walk :) 

This week we ran 21 total miles for our training schedule. Next up, we have the Anders Trail Stomp 2 mile extreme race on Saturday morning; Tuesday-3miles, Wednesday-5miles, Thursday-3miles and our long run next Saturday will be 7. Total weekly mileage will be 18 miles. Until next time..

Quote of the Day: "I will persist without exception"
-Andy Andrews

Monday, November 21, 2011

Niner and Trot

Our first major long run of the training schedule was Thursday, November 17th. We started our run at 4:45..well, of course one of us was late, I can't remember which one..anyways, it was a cool evening. We had to break out the pants, jackets, gloves and hats. Having the proper equipment in this cold winter is definitely an important thing! OK... and also making sure we still have a bit of fashion during the hard runs is essential too :)  JB was channeling her inner leopard in her black and white jacket! so cute - If we're going to spend the extra money on the expensive stuff we might as well make sure it looks good, right??

These longer runs are going to become a lot more challenging if we want to run inside the Wellington city limits. Running outside of the city of Wellington brings back haunting memories of our first half marathon training and our idea to run out on Oil Field road to the Becker's. It was just a 6 mile run... but it was brutal!! It was windy and hilly with long straight stretches...this was the first time I cried after a run. It was so hard and all five of us did not have much fun, so needless to say, we like to stay within the city. Our 9 mile route was a good one, but it was a little hilly. Those who say Wellington is not hilly haven't actually ran in Wellington before! Kitchel ran with us for the first time and we all loved every moment of it. In the past, when we've ran our long routes, we depend a lot on our iPods and our music. We're becoming to realize that the time goes much faster when you're talking and sharing stories. We didn't even put our iPods in for the entire 9 mile run. We very much enjoyed Kitchel and the conversation and HOPE that she can make every long run with us so that the time goes by much faster!

Turkey Trot-Because we did the 9 mile run on Thursday, we decided to run the 2 mile Turkey Trot route. Mitzi and Lisa are still nursing their foot, but they did complete the 2 mile Turkey Trot this weekend in under 20 minutes. Alison ran her Turkey Trot in just over 17 minutes. I think it's all those fast short routes that we've been doing :) JB was with her sister out of state and I had too many things happening on Saturday morning to make it. Sounds like the route was a good one, with a good cross wind. JB ran her run on the treadmill and I ran that afternoon and am still dealing with intense knee pain. Hoping it will go away soon.

Thanksgiving is this week and it's becoming apparent that working around the holidays may be a challenge along with the ever changing weather. This week, we will run 3 miles today (or skip it if we can't squeeze it in), 5 miles on Tuesday afternoon, our long run 10 miles on Thanksgiving morning and the Trail stomp race this Saturday. Might as well run our Thanksgiving dinner calories off before we eat them :) Until next time..

Quote for the day: Life is short..running makes it seem longer. 
- Baron Hanson

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Weekend

JB, Mitzi, Alison and Lisa ran their long mileage on Friday morning. I ran the mileage on Saturday morning in the 20+ mph winds. According to our schedule, this week our long run was 5 miles. We've been running for at least 2 years now and 5 miles is a debatable "long" run, but the Master schedule says that and we will not stray from the Master. It's like our Bible during our training. So, whatever it says, we do!

On Sunday, we ran our first run for this week at 4 miles. It was such a great day outside, almost a little hot for a November run. Wearing shorts and short sleeves in November is pretty amazing and we loved it! It was a faster pace than what we are used to, but we have to remember that putting our bodies into a little bit of shock by running faster during these shorter distances will help with our long distance training. Allowing our lungs to expand, our endurance to increase and our legs to get sore and tired will help us for the long haul that is 26 miles. JB and I finished at an 8:56 pace and I would've slowed down much more in the end if JB wasn't there. Alison also ran faster than she's ever run at about a 9:06 pace. We all ran faster and that's what counts. All 3 of us have good and bad days and we flip flop between who finishes first, second and third, but if we didn't have each other, we wouldn't be quite as successful.

So the debate of the fast do we want to run this marathon in? It is our first "rodeo" in the longer distance, so what should our goal be? Is there really a right or wrong answer? Goals generally change as often as we want them to. So, our goal this week may change over the course of a few weeks or months and that is OK. One clear thing that needs to be established is that goals have to be challenging. You have to set your goal to be one that you can meet, but will have to be met with some degree of difficulty. So our next mission is what is that goal? Should it be just "to finish" since it is our first one? Or should we set our time goal to be one that pushes us to the brink? I lean towards the latter because who is guaranteed another race? No one is guaranteed another day or another race, so why not run as well as you can the first time? Isn't this just one more parallel to life? Live today as if it's your last, and run your marathon as good and as fast as you can just in case it's your last. :)

Quote for the day: "A winner is someone who sets their goals, commits themselves to those goals and then pursues their goals with all the ability that is given to them. That requires someone who believes in themselves, who will make self sacrifices, work hard, and maintain the determination to perform at the best of their ability." 
- C. Leeman Bennett

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Health Shmealth

Saturday November 5th was our longest run to date at 7 miles. JB and I ran in the morning and Alison ran with 20+ mph winds in the afternoon. We all did it! That's the key is just getting out and doing it. Lisa and Mitzi ran 4 miles and are still working on getting better. That's the thing about running, you have to be healthy.

It's very easy to take your health for granted. As a runner and also in life. When the run feels good and you feel great during a run, life is good! But once you are in pain or don't feel healthy, life isn't so good! Running has many parallels with life. It's amazing how perceptions of things change. How putting one foot in front of the other can be so easy some days but be the most difficult thing to do on others. We've all felt that way in some way or another. Each one of us has had to deal with a health set back, but we just keep going! Why? Why do we keep running and why can't we stop? To be honest I don't really know the answer. Is it the competitor inside of us that just refuses to quit? Are we just stubborn? Or is it an addiction that's hard to beat? It's something, it's just hard to put it into words. The only way you can understand it is if your a runner.

Quote for the day: "The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running." 
- Author unknown

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Second Week

Welp, the second week of training is in full swing! 3 miles for each day this week and the long run on Saturday will be 7 miles. All five of us are professionals at running these 3 mile routes, so the main goal for all of us to work on increasing our oxygen intake, speed and endurance to help us with the full 26 mile trek we are embarking on. Tuesday was a difficult day for myself and the others as it was very windy and coming back south on our route was brutal! JB and Alison battled through the wind and finished at a 9:13 pace, with JB's burst for the last 1 mile. She's strong! Alison stayed close behind and I brought up the third.

We had a fellow male runner join our group for the first time and it just shows that it is much easier for a male to run than it is for us females. This is not an excuse, just an observation. Not sure if it's the length of their strides, their stubbornness or what the difference is, but frustrating when someone who has ran for a mere 3 weeks can finish at an 8 minute mile pace! Arggh. We need more men in our group to give him a challenge, us old ladies probably just frustrated him. :)

Lisa is working hard at getting back into the running game. She is a trooper and we love her and want her to be up and running with us very soon! Mitzi is still nursing the heel and is basically trying to learn to run all over again. She is working on her foot strike to combat the plantar fasciitis. It's amazing how little things like how you land on your foot can affect your entire running career. And like Mitzi said..."we should've stretched more often during our first training". Stretching is so important..let's not forget and MAKE each other do it!

I read an interesting article last night about the 11 mistakes marathoners make while training. One thing that stood out to me was the long run mistakes. There were two main points made in this article:  discussing the long run schedule and the intensity of the long run. The first point was that the long run doesn't necessarily have to be every weekend. I had never considered this before, but it made sense. Their argument was that if you do a long run every weekend, you're not really allowing yourself to recuperate as needed. That makes sense! So, why not every 2 or three weeks doing a long run. My question is what they consider to be "the long run"?? Is that 10+?? Another point was the marathoners thoughts that they need to run the long run slow. This is definitely something that we have all said at one time. "We will just do the long one slow" Well, what's the point in that? We should be training at the same intensity as we would like to run on marathon day! The article points out that marathoners believe that they will run their marathon faster on race day, but that really doesn't make sense?? So, our next job is to decide what exactly do we want to run that marathon in? And train with intensity and meet that goal! We have to put it in writing and set that goal! And we have to put it in writing and say "We are running a marathon", right JB? :)

Article: 11 Major Marathon Mistakes 

Quote for the day: "If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much"
- Borden