Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I got the confirmation email, I am all set for Tampa on Sunday. There is no turning back now right!! After reading the confirmation I followed my usual routine. I re-read everything on the website, reviewed the course and located every water stop/food stop/medical tent etc. Once I am satisfied that I know every inch of the map I relax, but not for to long as I will go through this process several more times prior to the race.

Why I do this, I don't know. I have never run this race before and have only been to Tampa once prior to this. I have no idea where the course is in relation to the city, not to mention where each specific water stop will be located. It is all part of my process. Everyone has one, some crazier than others. At least my process is completed at my house or hotel rather than doing some "routine" race morning in front of all the other racers. (Whatever gets you through!!)

Ran a fast 3 today, will run tomorrow take off on Friday and Saturday. Women Running the World

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mommy, are you going to win the marathon?

This is a great question that I have been asked numerous times by all of my children and they always look at me with the same mixture of pity and a little bit of disappointment when I reply "no".

From that point the exchange goes something like this:

I explain to them that running a marathon is more of a race against your time rather than against other racers.

They ask, 'So there is no winner of the race?'

I explain, 'not exactly, but it is just an accomplishment to finish the race and I do not care if I come in first or last.' (ok, that part is a little bit of a stretch, I definately do not want to be last)

My 11 year old, quickly tiring of this conversation, educates the others by telling them that, 'mom is just not that good and she can not win so leave her alone.'

This finally ends up with the, 'Oh, why bother' comment "(more pity)

I try to explain further, but the boys are bored with the conversation and leave me to ponder while my daughter, trying her best to be reassuring, grabs my hand and reminds me that winning is not everything, it is having fun that counts.

Oh no, is that supposed to make me feel better? I wonder, is that how the kids feel when they have just been clobbered in a youth soccer game and I tell them that winning isn't everything? Maybe I need to rethink that entire statement!!!

One day I am going to be able to make them understand (or maybe I could win the race).

Anyhow, I am off to run another losing race on Sunday, maybe during my 5 hours of running I will come up with a good retort for when I come home and they ask me if I won. Women Running the World

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tampa Marathon This Sunday

This Sunday I will be running the Tampa marathon. I have never run this race before, but it has many good reviews and looks like it will be fun. Hopefully I will make it through the race without any emotional or physical scars!! I am not up to the training level I would like to be, but I am hopeful. I ran 14 on Sunday. It was a rather uneventful run that honestly left me exhausted. The one tough thing I can say about trying to train with four children is that there really is no opportunity for rest (no nap time for me), your children really are not sympathetic to the, "mommy just ran 14 miles" excuse. On of my husband's favorite stories about training for his first marathon was that after every Sunday long run, he had to go with the family and walk around Disney World all afternoon! I just like to say that it made him tougher, I think he thinks we were cruel.

Anyhow, I went to bed at 9:00 and am feeling better today! I am going to take it pretty easy this week and hope for the best on Sunday. Women Running the World

Friday, February 20, 2009

It is Cold Outside!!

I had to run on a treadmill for my morning run. I am not very happy about it as running on a treadmill for extended periods of time is very monotonous. It was just to cold and windy to run outside. I know, I live in Florida and the cold we experience here does not compare to the bitter cold of the north (I have tried training in that and failed miserably), but as I pondered whether or not to run outside today I reminded myself that one of the reasons I moved to Florida was to leave the cold weather behind. I decided to wimp out and opt for the warm gym and boring run. Hopefully it will warm up by Sunday for my long run. Women Running the World

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Scared of a Marathon

I find that in my travels, and in my circle of acquaintances many people find out that you run marathons and have no idea how many miles a marathon is. After I tell them that it is 26.2 miles most come back with a, " I could never do that" type of comment. I am always puzzled by that comment as I know that there are all different types of people with different life situations that successfully run the race. After running and training for races for three years I feel strongly that anyone in average to good health that is committed can successfully finish a marathon. I am an average person, working mother of 4, who never ran before training for my fist marathon and I finished it with a smile on my face. My feeling is that, although the training is a commitment, if I can do it anyone can.

What is it that scares people away from even considering running a marathon? Is it the distance, is it the term "running", or is it just the thought of doing any exercise in general. For me, it was a combination of the term running and the distance. I really thought that to "run" a marathon you have to run the entire 26.2 miles. I quickly learned that the term running is a loose one and does not mean running as fast as you can, but at a pace comfortable to you. I also learned at my first marathon that there were many people walking (especially after mile 18) and jogging and running, kind of anything goes.

Most people who run marathons would say that I am downplaying all the ,"blood, sweat and tears" that goes into training and finishing a race. I definitely agree that it is hard work and a large commitment of time and energy, but it could be an attainable goal for the majority of individuals who say they could not do it. I guess my point being that it is more of a mental obstacle than a talent, or physical obstacle.

On that note, I am going to try to recruit some marathonmamas to run our next few races!!, Women Running the World

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On the Road Again

After a week off for sickness, I am on the road again. I ran this morning to the gym before my workout today. It felt good to run outside rather than on the treadmill (avoiding cars definitely keeps you more mentally aware). I am fortunate that here in Florida the weather is great and I do not have to fight the bitter cold, snow, etc. Well I am trying to work for running the Tampa marathon on 3/1, I hope it works out for me better than the Melbourne beaches marathon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Running and Being Sick

Well sickness has kept me down for the last four days. It is killing me not to run, I just do not think It wise for me to go out. This latest turn of events brings me to ponder whether or not one should continue to train when not feeling well, does it do your body more harm than good to keep pushing it when it is down? We have all heard those stories about the athletes who ran a race with the flu, or trained through various sicknesses, but is that realistic for the regular guy or girl? My personal opinion (and what has worked for me in the past) is listen to your body. If you are not well enough to go to school or work, do not run. I feel that running while sick will only stress your body out and prolong the illness. Take a rest and as soon as you feel better get back to it where you left off. I did some research on this topic and the general opinion out there is the same as mine, listen to your body. We regular girls and guys are not at the levels of these elites who's job it is to train!! Most of us are running to stay healthy, so it is important not to hurt yourself doing it by running sick.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Long Run

Well, I did not run the Melbourne Beaches Half Marathon after all. After I wrote on Thursday, I wend to register and found out that the online registration was closed and I would have to register at the expo, the cost being $100.00 for the half. I do realize that it was my procrastination that caused me to miss the online registration so I am not going to complain about the price, but for me $100.00 was way to much for a local half marathon!!! So I decided to run my own half (well actually 14.1 miles). The run was OK, I am actually glad I did not register because it would not have been one of my best events. The weather was great, just wasn't my day. I finished the 13.1 in 2.5 hours (approximately) so I was not breaking any speed records, but I did go out and get it done. I am on a rest day today, and it will all start over again tomorrow!! Happy running!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Melbourne Beaches and Music Marathon

Good Sense prevailed and I registered to run the Half, not the marathon for this weekend. I just completed my registration and paid the fee of $85.00 which I think is very large for a half marathon. Granted, I am a late comer and if I would have registered early I could have paid $65.00 which frankly I still think is expensive for a race that is not a big city type event. After Sunday, I will let you know if it was worth it as compared to other races.

The cost of these races has me wondering what it is going to do to the sport in the next year or so considering the economic crisis. Lets face it, you can run and be healthy without running in a sanctioned race. Is paying the race fees a frivolous expense that people will think twice about doing it when times are tight. The number of people running races has shown a growth of about 10% a year for the last 5 years, I am curious to see what happens next year. Maybe some of these race directors should look at the budgets and try to offer a economy conscious race fee.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Training Update

I did my long run 10 miles this weekend, surprisingly it was fairly easy. I am going to continue on with three mile short runs for the next week or so, and then move up to 4 or 5 miles. For this weeks long run, I am toying with running either a half or going for the whole marathon that is going on here in Melbourne, FL. I did not plan on running it at all, but I thought it might be fun as it is the first year, and it is practically in my back yard. I guess the more practical thing to do would be to run the half, it fits within my training plan and will be much more likely to keep me injury free, but there is always something alluring about a challenge, and this would definitely be a challenge. I have two days to decide!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Running vs. Jogging

I call myself a runner. I feel like a runner, I wear "running shoes", so why when I run into people who see me on the street do they always refer to my running as jogging? Am I that slow that the passer by decides that I must not be running, or is it just symantics?

I talked with my husband, who is also a runner, about this and his determination is made by the way you look. According to him, if you are wearing a headband and sweat socks, you must be a jogger. Well I do not with a headband or sweatsocks so his conclusions do not seem to be the proper barometer.

I always thought that jogging was a phrase that was more used in years past. Today it seems that people that once used the term jogging now refer to their activity as running. This can be easily proven by going to any race around the country and see how many participants you offend by calling them joggers (I bet quite a few). But this is not the 70's and people still call me a jogger here in 2009 so I guess I too am off the mark.

This leaves me but one somewhat sad conclusion, it is my speed. As it turns out, the difference between the two has nothing to do with how you look or what decade you trained in, it has to do with how fast you move. If you run slower than a 9 minute mile, you are a jogger, if you run faster than a 9 minute mile you are a runner.

This does not make me happy, as I have been working for the last three years to get below a ten minute mile and never have considered myself a jogger. No matter how fast I go, I will still be completing training "runs" not training "jogs". Oh well maybe someday I will be fast enough to be worthy to carry the runner title until then I guess I will be a rebel and keep refering to myself as a runner.