Archive | April, 2013

Reading material, a run, and sitting on a wall

30 Apr

Before talking about my latest run, I want to share a couple of articles with you that I recently read.

First, After Boston: A Run the Recovery, a powerful article written by Michael Cassidy, an Olympic marathon trials qualifier who ran Boston this year. The entire thing is incredible and inspiring, but this is my favorite excerpt:

“To run is to live. Running nourishes our muscles and nurtures our minds. It induces clarity of thought, vitality of physiology, and tranquility of emotion. It demands complete unity of body and spirit, it requires your legs, your lungs, your heart, your mind, but rewards all those parts too. It’s in this harmonious holism that we come to understand our true identities, our authentic selves. The universe’s uncertainty is distilled into a singularity: We exist in and of the moment. In the midst of entropy, serene bliss. In the midst of confusion, clarity. Surrounded by constraints, we are freed. Running creates.”

Chills.

Second, Being a Runner Does Not Make Me Crazy, a Hello Giggles blog post by Miriam Lamey. My husband sent me the link to this article a few weeks ago and it immediately struck a chord with me. I’m sure my fellow runners can relate. Here is how Miriam responds to those who call her “crazy” for running:

“I think one of my chosen hobbies instead makes me balanced. I think that I’ve learned discipline, the benefits of endorphins and good, old-fashioned enjoyment of being in and moving one’s body. I think that I’ve learned to be at peace with myself, given that on a 15-mile run, I’m with myself for two-plus hours. I think I have developed some pretty badass mental strength in order to keep going even when it hurts, I’m tired and/or it’s cold. And I also think that I found something healthy, free, fun, occasionally hilarious and definitely unique that brings me (mostly) joy.”

100% agreed.

***

Yesterday was one of those Mondays when you just know it’s not going to be a great one from the start. I went to sleep wayyyy too late and couldn’t force myself to open my eyes at 5:30 AM. I quickly rescheduled my run for after work and stayed in bed until the very last minute possible. Truth be T, the day sucked. The best thing about it was getting notifications that my orders from Running Warehouse, Under Armour, and Pro Compression had shipped. YAY!

Even my run was kind of, “meh.” It was damp and most of the run I was working hard to convince myself not to just stop and go to sleep. I ran for 42 minutes and made it 4.75 miles.

run2I took a break to have some salmon for dinner with Mark, then got on with leg and abs circuits from Running in Heels while watching 2 Broke Girls. Laughing while strength training makes it go by much easier. Or does it make it harder? I can’t decide.

This is me about halfway through the wall sit, trying to distract myself from the urge to just fall over.

wallsitOn to the abs:

I had every intention of doing each circuit twice through like it says to, but that whole eating dinner thing really slowed down my mojo and I just put pajamas on instead. Good choice, I’d say. 🙂

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Monday Meditation: Look Back

29 Apr

With Spring racing season starting to pick up and fellow bloggers writing recaps and getting ready for upcoming events, this quote seemed appropriate.

“You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don’t run and never will… those who run but don’t race…those who started training for a race but didn’t carry through… those who got to the starting line but didn’t in the finish line… those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You’re still here. Take pride in wherever you finish.

– Joe Henderson, Runner’s World Magazine

Sometimes we can get really caught up in competing with ourselves and others that we overlook the powerful meaning of simply finishing a race. Maybe you didn’t get that PR, you hit the wall or you had to stop and walk. It can be easy to focus on disappointments, but keep in mind that you have still gone further than those who can’t or won’t.

Whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, or ultra, you earned the bragging rights. It doesn’t matter if you come in 4th or 5,004th place, crossing the finish line is an accomplishment. Wear those finisher medals and race shirts proudly, they aren’t just swag – they are badges of honor.

Here’s a little laugh for your Monday:

The long run and a photo shoot

28 Apr

What a beautiful and busy weekend! It seems Spring is finally here in New York’s Capital Region and we have been trying to take advantage of it by being outside as much as possible. Now that the weekend is winding down, I have a few moments to share the details of Saturday morning’s long run.

Mark came along to keep me company as my coach/photographer/biggest fan. I love when he bikes alongside, he is always so encouraging and it is nice to spend that time together.

coachmark wm

Before leaving the house, I safety pinned my hydration belt to my running skirt to keep it from riding up. I really think someone needs to start making running skirts with belt loops for this purpose. Or am I the only one who has ever thought of that? Maybe I should take out a patent on that idea…

safetypins wm

Belt loops would be a better solution.

Throughout the run Mark got a lot of great action shots! There are a couple hundred (no joke), so I’ll just share a few of my favorites. I’m very excited to have some new photos to play around with!

before_run_pose wm

Posing before the run (this is the only edited one, the rest are not yet)

powerup wm

Warming up  and obviously paying close attention to form

curveahead wm

More than halfway done

throughthewoods wm

Running through the woods

trees wm

Full trees ahead and feeling good

finished wm

Strong finish!

riverview wm

I really need some running sunglasses…

11 miles done wm

11 miles | 1:33:43 total time | 8:31 avg pace

Now that you’ve seen the photo essay version, I’ll tell you a little bit about the run. Technically, this is supposed to be a “long slow distance” (LSD) run. According to most training programs, you are supposed to run the LSD a minute or more slower than targeted race pace or at a conversational pace. There is some disagreement about this. For me, I tend to run the LSD a touch faster than what is traditionally recommended. This isn’t because I am ignoring advice, I just go with what feels good and listen to my body and my comfortable pace during my long runs seem to be getting faster. During this run I started just around 9:00/mile and was hitting around 8:20/mile after the halfway point and came in to finish at 7:46/mile. And yes, I was still able to hold a conversation!

I honestly felt really good after this run and I think the nuun, Gu gel, Pro Compression marathon socks, and Brooks Pure Cadence are a winning combination for me. The Body Glide really helped with the chafing situation.

I really want to love the bargain running skirt from Champion but the legs ride up too much. I just bought this skirt from Brooks because it has silicon grippers on the legs, so hopefully that problem will be solved!

Immediately after the run, I popped open a Designer Whey chocolate protein shake. It really hit the spot!

photo 3

And then we stopped at the local drive-in for (veggie) burgers and curly fries for lunch. That’s an appropriate recovery meal, right?

jjs recovery wm

Disclaimer: I am not a professional or coach by any means, I am only expressing what seems to be working for me. Do what’s right for you!