Sunday, July 31, 2011

Detroit Dreaming

It's been quite sometime since I updated this blog. I had a rough July with
running. Not only did I have shin splints but the heat & humidity was punishing
to every runner I know. I cannot stress enough how much hydration is needed,
especially in the summer months.

A dear very experienced running friend was down for a few days due to
dehydration. She knows what is needed & had even written an article on it weeks
before. It can happen to anyone. Drink drink drink.

I had two friends have injuries this week (knee & ankle). They may be laid up
for a week. I can only run on trails right now until I'm 100% again.

Being on the sidelines isn't easy. We are out of our routines. We cannot run &
in some cases cross-training is out of the question. So what do you do during
those days & weeks?

Refocus. Focus on that next race physically & mentally. What will your training
plan be when you return to running? What is your goal for the next race.

For me, I want to PR at Emerald City, use the USAF as a training run for Detroit
& finish Detroit with an average pace of 10 min. I know they are all possible, I
just need to take the steps to get there.

The other running goals I have for the next year are the Disney Race & a Half
(half marathon Sat & a full on Sun) & to run the Paris (yes France) marathon in
April. Pretty large goals for a new runner, but I aim big. I know it won't be
easy with school, but would it really be a goal if just anyone could do it? 
What are your goals & dreams?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking It Easy

There are so many things I could write about today. I could talk about running in the heat and high humidity, how to deal with injuries, nutrition, or even about staying on a training schedule. These four subjects seem to be constantly in my head.
Instead of those subjects, allow me to discuss the benefits of running with someone slower – yes I said slower.  As runners we always seem to want to go faster and farther. That is why we train and push ourselves so much.  We track our times, distances, paces, even our food – just to see what works for us.
Why would a runner who wants to go faster and farther run with someone slower. It’s actually very simple to me. When we run with someone slower, we tend to focus on the basics of running.
I had the privilege of running with someone this week who was returning to running after an extended break. They knew the basics already – hydrate, good shoes, cool clothes, etc. But what they needed most of all was motivation.
For someone who has run previously, 3 or 4 miles at a slow pace isn’t a huge challenge. The challenge lies in getting out and running. Once you are at the location you want to start from, the rest is easy – just start putting one foot in front of the other.
So how does running with someone who is at a slower pace help the faster runner? Very simply, it allows the faster runner to encourage the slower runner. This is just a small hill. You’re doing great. We are almost there. The faster runner isn’t thinking about the little things (aches, pains, pace, etc.). The faster runner becomes one with the slower runner and it actually makes the miles go by faster.
So to all of those (Mel, Dave, Jessica, Deb & Kym) who continue to give me advise and run slower with me, thank you. And to all of you who have encouraged me along the way (all of my DM friends - especially Marie, Alissa, Cindy & Kim, friends on Facebook – Ray & Karen, and to my family – my parents, Aunt Marcia & Uncle Brent), thank you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Runner's Health

Just like any sport, a runner must be healthy to compete. Not only do you need a strong heart & lungs, but you also need a good set of feet, knees, ankles, legs, hips... It seems like the list just keeps going. Even your shoulders need to be somewhat strong. Why? Try pumping your arms for about 2 hours without stopping and see if they get sore.

As runners we get blisters and don't think a thing about them. To us it is more of how many do I have this week attitude. I think I have 6 this week. They don't bother me. Its just from the constant rubbing in the shoe. Eventually they will dry up and become a callus. To bad there isn't a Blister Fairy. I would be a very rich man!

We also lose toenails. Gross I know, but it is a fact of life. I have one toe right now that has lost about a quarter of the nail. I'm sure you all want to be kept up to date on this topic. :)

There is also the mental side of running. Quite often we tell ourselves we HAVE to make a time or we HAVE to run a certain distance. We do this to keep up with our training and to mentally drive ourselves to our goals. Tomorrow I need to run 4 miles. Then Monday I will be running 9. I'm scheduled to run 4 miles every day this week, but I know my body will need a break so I will be making an adjustment.

Why does 9 miles sound so far away now? Probably because I have been running under 6 miles for quite some time. But it is time to put in longer runs to build up to the 26.2 that I will be facing in October. With the pace I am training at, I will probably run it in about an hour and a half. I'm sure I will run someplace with some hills too. I will probably end up at Dawes or in Granville. Again the hills are part of the mental aspect of the run. Running is as much mental as it is physical. You must have physical and mental toughness. You are the only one that can keep yourself moving when your at mile 20. What drives you - focus on it and finish strong.