Friday, September 26, 2008

i (they) have arrived

welcome to my new asics gel kayano 14s. yes, i got them in purple.
16 miles. tomorrow. here i come.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

20 (22) miler report

i got lost! talk about a mental challenge (as was my intention in taking on two 20 milers for this marathon training). around mile 13 i missed a crucial turn and ended up at the north end of the park on glenwood avenue. i was able to cut through the middle of the park after a map consultation with a park ranger, but i still ended up running about 22 miles yesterday.

i'm glad it happened, though. i needed something like this to try and mentally "break" me. i am happy to report that it didn't. the air was cool, and i felt loose and strong the whole way despite getting lost and the challenging hills. i am pretty tired though. tomorrow's five miler might just be pushed until tuesday. :)

one down. one more to go.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i love the hills, and the hills love me

the experts at tote hill training and all of its benefits.

The obvious benefit to hill training is that you become better at running hills. But what might not be as obvious is that you become better at running on flat land too. The muscle groups used to get over the hills are the same groups used in sprinting, so by running the hills you are enhancing your speed by building strength. This effect also increases the frequency and length of your stride, both of which are very important aspects of speed. In addition, by strengtheing your leg muscles, hill training helps to reduce injuries.

translation: hills can transform you into a stronger, faster runner. sweet. but tell me that during a long run and i've got a serious hill to climb, right? hills can be so daunting.

i have a serious mental challenge when it comes to hills. i know my breathing is going to get faster, my muscles burn is going to increase, and i'm just going to feel super uncomfortable as i climb. i have discovered, however, that after the hill, the discomfort eventually goes away and the mental boost it is replaced with far surpasses any level of discomfort i've experienced. so in essence: buck up sweetie, it'll be over soon.

in many of our races this fall, there will be hills ... inclines if you will. :) so maybe here's a reminder to get out and train on 'em a little so that our PRs can move that much closer within reach.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

spirit of the marathon

i think i'd be doing all of you "love to run" readers a huge disservice if i didn't let you know that the spirit of the marathon is now available for preorder on dvd and will ship on october 7! i just ordered my director's signed copy (at no extra charge) this morning. cannot wait. click here for more details.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

getting over the 3, 4 mile hump

emma brought up such a good question in wednesday's post ... when does running get easy? when does that 3 or 4 miler feel like no big deal? when can you take on more mileage? it's a hard question to answer, which is why i wanted to ask it here.

can you remember your first four miler? can you remember the first time you said "i'm just going out for four miles?" what happened in between those runs?

my first four miles was with jeni on a trail in san mateo running along the san francisco bay, just under the san mateo bridge. i kept thinking to myself "ok, it's only two miles out, and then two miles back". but those two miles out, and then two miles back felt like an ETERNITY! i remember finishing the run just before dusk, feeling exhausted but like a true rock star. i think we got a jamba juice to celebrate. fast forward a few months later, and a four miler was my easy run on thursdays at rancho san antonio. what happened in between? lots of running. lots of discomfort, and i think the key: longer runs. don't be afraid to try a 6 miler (or maybe longer), even if you've got to walk a bit (or a lot) and suffer, it will push your endurance levels and make that 4 miler feel like a piece of cake.

well, that's my theory. what do you think?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

a few small triumphs

this past week resulted in a few small triumphs i had to share.

last saturday i was slated to run 16 miles. count them. 16 big ones. cold turkey, to boot. after my last post i decided to sleep, sleep and sleep that entire week we came home from china. i didn't run at all. that following monday i ran 2 miles (felt horrible) and then on wednesday i ran 6 miles (felt horrible). so the 16 miles on saturday felt daunting to say the least.

i resigned myself to the fact that i was just going to suffer through the 16 miler. it was going to suck, but i was going to do it. no matter what. i had to get back on track for ny. i popped in my ipod and away i went into the humid, 75 degree air. as always, miles 1-4 were a little rough trying to get in the groove, but after that my body just relaxed. 5-16 were cake. who'd a thunk?!? the trail was beautiful, i let go of my brain, and i just ran. totally unexpected. it was like my body hadn't forgotten what it was like to put out that kind of mileage. i felt like a million bucks.

triumph no. 2: it dropped below 70 degrees in cary tuesday morning. it felt fabulous to run 7 miles in 65 degrees. mmmmmmmwah, autumn. i cannot wait to run some more in your crisp morning air and cool breezes.

i think i'm ready. ready to get back into the mental and physical game it is to run a marathon. bring it on, ny. bring it on.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

dear driver of car:

i know you think you're being nice, but you're not. you're only being stupid. all i ask is that you pay attention to and obey the traffic laws. i promise i will do the same.

the problem is: when you see me coming, for some very strange reason, you panic. maybe you think i'm going to dart out in front of you. maybe you thought that you stopping in the middle of a very busy road when you have the right-of-way was a good idea. it wasn't. in fact, it was a very BAD idea.

i won't run until the little white man on the light post tells me i can run. i promise. you shouldn't stop and wave me one when lots of other cars are waiting for you. they're not waiting for me...i'm not running! however, when you stop, it makes ME look like the idiot when, in fact, YOU are the idiot. so please, please, please: just obey those laws you learned in driver education class so many years ago. i promise to do the same.