Friday, January 30, 2009

It is OK to have a BAD Day

Well today’s run was not a great one. To start I was feeling tired and sluggish, but like a good soldier I got on the treadmill and got started. I got thorough two miles and had to stop to walk. I know I am capable of much more, but I just chalk it up to today was not my day. Maybe I will try again later.

I know from my experience that for most of us bad days are bound to happen once and a while and, as long as they are once in a while it is ok.

This concept was hard for me to accept in the beginning of my “running career”. I used to be very hard on myself for not having good runs or having to stop and walk. I have learned over the years that it is much more important to listen to your body rather that being so rigid that it becomes a chore. I like to compare it to dealing with the feeding of an infant where we are taught not to feed on a rigid schedule but take the baby’s cues and feed him when he is hungry. Follow your body’s cues. It is much better to have fun doing it than to force yourself. Just like anything else you just have a bad day from time to time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Mental Battle of Long Runs

I love to run, for me it is a great way to relax, clear your head and get some good exercise. It is for these resons that I think it is a great option for a mom who rarely gets a chance for some quiet time. To me running is as much mental as it is physical. Running long races such as halfs and marathons put you out on the road for several hours leaving you plenty of thinking time. You have to train your mind to attack this type of solitude. Keeping your mind busy is key. I spend a lot of time calculating and recalculating my finish time with my current pace. I often save some of my bigger thinking issues for my long training runs so I can think them through. I have redecorated rooms, worked on Science Fair project concepts, thought up business plans, and worked out the family budget all during runs. It is important to keep in mind that depending on your pace, your training runs and the race can be long and you are going to want to keep your mind busy so that you do not allow it to focus on the pain, heat, thirst, etc. This is all part of the training of the mind. On the training runs, when I find myself starting to focus on the negative, I try to as quickly as possible come up with a new topic to ponder for a while.

It can also be helpful to run with a partner and chat during your runs but beware, this plan does not always work, you must make sure that you and your partner are compatible runners (run at close to the same pace, have the same type of running plan, and both like to chat). If you are not the same type of runner or your partner is always focused on the negative it could bring your mental state down and lead to a bad run and hurt feelings.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Running Shoes

My mornings are pretty hetic here, trying to get everyone up and out of the house (including myself) and this morning was a typical one here. As a result, I could not locate my favorite # 1 running shoes, and had to go with a back up pair. Both are good shoes, my favorite ones are Brooks and I have been running with them for two years. I am on my second pair of them and love them. They are affordable and work great for my feet. Prior to that I used Asics which are also good shoes but after one year of successful injury free running with them I was unable to find and exact replacement and the model that I tried does not work for me. I was never a believer in the "shoes make all the difference" theory but my own personal experience now tells me otherwise. Everytime I set out for a run with these new Asics I get knee pain, which never happened with the older Asics, or now my Brooks. They are all a similar neutral shoe, but there is something about that shoe that does not work for me. I now feel strongly that the shoe should be the first thing that you try to change if you are experiencing pain. I do not think price matters as much as finding a good quality shoe that works for you.

So today, when I had to get my back up pair, my Asics, my training run was not the best. Fortunately it was short. I think that tonight I will spend some time searching for my Brooks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Training continuing on status quo, I have to admit that I do have some soreness after my short run of yesterday. It is amazing that I could get sore after two weeks of rest. Staying injury free is a big concern of mine (especially running two marathons so close together), so I am trying to develop a new stretching routine that will work within my time constraints. I always seem to leave something out or compromise my stretching because I have a limited window for my run time (and honestly, I would much rather be running than stretching).

My thought for the day: if you want to stick to your fitness plans, make sure that the plan is attainable, the result is rewarding, and you have fun. I feel that anyone can run a marathon (with training) so it is definitely attainable and finishing the race is extremely rewarding and fun

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Plan

New day, new plan. I am trying to begin my training for the Tampa marathon on the heels of the Disney. I am going to start out easy this week and run three miles each day with an easy ( I hope) 10 mile this weekend. I am trying to see how my muscles and knees hold up. If all goes well I will kick it up a notch for next week. Only time will tell. It is time to hit the road again!!!

I decided to start a training log and see how many miles I am logging in prep for this marathon. I also have decided while I am in "logging mode" to keep a food diary to see what I am eating. I have to tendency to eat a lot while I am training (more than I should), so I am thinking that writing it down, especially next to the running log should help. Check out my my site at to check out my progress..

A new race

Sunday, January 25, 2009
Well I did it; I signed up to run another marathon at the end of February. I am going to try another run in Tampa, FL on March 1st. I have never run two marathons this close together so this is going to be a first for me. I am starting to think about what my training plan should be like. I have been on a two week rest period since running the Disney Marathon so I have to start kicking it into gear (I hope to be better prepared than at Disney). I am just trying to figure out a good training schedule that works with family and work. We will see how it goes. On another note, I am trying to get my 11 year old son to join the running club at school and run a 5 k with me at the end of the winter. He is resistant, and it is hard for me to believe that with both a mom and dad who love to run, he would not want to be a part of it. Oh well, I have to try to remember that just because it is my passion, it does not have to be his, but I can not help but think that if he just tried it he would love it just like I did. I remember when I was his age through college, I hated to run. It was not until I was in my mid thirties and after 4 children that I really gave it another try and could not imagine my life without it now!!!

My Latest Marathon Experience

Friday, January 23rd

It is amazing to me to think that less than a month ago I was trying to run in the frigid temperatures of New York wondering if I should even attempt to run the Disney Marathon as my training had been so spotty due to the weather conditions. Most of my training for the past several years had been in Florida where the climate has definitely been more agreeable. I really do give those northerners credit who continue to train outside during the harshest of weather conditions. You guys are tough!!! Well a lot has transpired during this past month, and I am now fortunate enough to be back in sunny Florida, where I did run and finish successfully the Disney Marathon. I have to say that I love the Disney Marathon. Each year I say that I am not going to do it, do a different race instead, but each year I can not help signing up for it again. It is such a happy race, full of energy and very relaxed. Where else will you find runner after runner stop running and wait in line to get their picture taken with Goofy or Mickey in the middle of the race. Also Disney can pull off a great race. I give them top marks on the organization, the frequency and quality of water stops, and the entertainment and crowds. In all it is a favorite.

This year unfortunately for me was more difficult. And even the Disney magic could not make the hurt go away!!! I have no one but myself to blame as I literally stopped training for this race 10 weeks prior (quite a taper with my longest run being 18 miles). I had my doubts about my performance, but figured the race was paid for , I might as well give it a try and have some fun. I did have great fun, there is nothing that compares to running through all of the theme parks, but my performance definitely lacked, and I hurt like never before for a few days after the finish. I learned something at that race, you can run a marathon with a little training (if you have some baseline endurance built up) a lot of determination, and a high tolerance for pain!!! I would definitely not recommend it, but I actually would not trade the experience for anything. I learned a lot about myself and my physical abilities. Also I signed up for next year, so it could not have been that bad!!!