Saturday, September 25, 2010

One week!

I'm getting excited for the marathon next week! I'm concerned on my running, but hoping my mental game will keep me going. I ran yesterday and was having splits that were normal a year ago, so that's good at least. Despite my lack of training I haven't lost everything I have gained in the last few years. (Of course the guilt in me makes me wonder how much faster I would be now if I had been running and training more...but alas...)

So I'm making my plans. I have a pre-race massage set up for Saturday with Keith, then I'm going to run to get my race packet, then back to Keith for some kinesio taping. I'm very stoked for this. After my back hurt so bad at the SF Half, I need something to help for another 13.1 miles. He's (most likely) going to tape my knees and legs too to help that. It'll be good though...every little bit helps.

So this is taper week, but the weather is looking beautiful. It's going to be tough to keep it at taper pace, but we'll see. I might just push it a little bit more since I haven't really pushed it this year. We'll see how it goes. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Judging the run

My half marathon Sunday got me thinking. This isn't unusual - I generally do think while I run, but I dug deep on Sunday.

Maybe it was the beautiful weather and the streams of speedy runners passing me. Maybe it was my lack of training and just trudging forward. Maybe it was all of it. But it got me to thinking how running is not a race against others; it really is a race against yourself.

Now, I know this isn't a novel concept. It's been said time and again that you're only running against yourself, even if you're in a competitive race because if you let your mind beat you, your body will beat you too and in the end you'll be beat.

But it really triggered as I watched women and men of varying shapes and sizes run 13.1 miles. There isn't a set body type for running. Anyone can run (like Ratatouille where anyone can cook!)! And truth - you can be fat and fast, you can be thin and slow. You can be old and run, you could be young and not able. There are no hang ups. You just have to lace up the shoes (or not, if you're a barefooted fiend) and go.

As I would pass runners or (more often) was passed by runners, I realized that I'm not running against them. I'm running with them. There were women who passed me who initially I judged that they shouldn't be because they were heavier or older - but they had trained better. There were women and men I passed who I initially thought I shouldn't be - they looked like they should be in shape and able to run like greased lightning - but I don't know what was wrong. They could have been in pain (as I was with my back), they could have been on the verge of throwing up, they could have just been lost in thought and got their rhythm off, they could have been using their walk/run training program ...

Basically what I'm saying is there are a myriad of reasons why people run, why people run or walk they way they do, why they are walking at that moment, why they can run as fast or as slow as they do... all of this should mean nothing. Use it as an inspiration, but don't judge the other runners. They are out there with you, running or walking as you are, and all hoping for the same outcome - to finish, with a respectable time (for them), and get the medal/t-shirt.

I'm not in my greatest shape this year, and Sunday proved that. But I was able to finish with a semi-respectable time given my training. Others trained harder and didn't make it. Others probably trained less and did better. But the truth was, the race was only a race against me. Could my head and heart hold out long enough to give me the strength and stamina and endurance to finish? Yes. Yes it can.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Half Marathon recap

Sunday, September 12, I ran the SF Half Marathon again. It was awesome. The weather was perfect (almost got a little too warm), the course was new, and the people were great.

I haven't been training like I did last year, so I was hoping for a time equivalent or better to Brookings back in May (3 hours). Of course withe my 3-tier goal process it was basically this:

I want 2:30
I'll accept 2:45
No slower than 3:00

I ended up with 2:47:57. I can live with that.

The funny thing was that my legs felt great. I could have kept running with the legs I had, but my back was killing me! I don't know if it was a stress problem or the fact I had completed my fitness test for work (with pushups and situps) on Friday. It was weird. My whole shoulders and back just got stiff and sore. There was so much pressure I felt like I had to lean forward. So I'd walk so I could straighten up and stretch, then ran again.

So if I can keep my back upright the marathon in 3 weeks should go well, right? I probably won't get the 5:21 I had last year, but I should be able to stay under 6.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Running catchup

I have been running! Really, I have. My Dailymile log can prove it.

While I was in Alabama I ran once - once. That was sad, and painful. 4 miles at 94% humidity and 100 degree weather. Not fun. And it wiped me out the rest of the week.

But last week I got going. I walked 2 miles on Tuesday afternoon to get my legs working again.

Wednesday AM I ran 3
Thursday AM I ran 3
Friday AM I ran 4
Saturday AM I ran 7.5...on gravel...with hills...with MS pushing me. :)

20 miles this week. It's good to take today as a rest day, though the weather was gorgeous this morning so I really did want to. But my knees probably are thanking me. Or they will when I ice again tonight.

It's great to be running again. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I'm excited for my races coming up - a half on Sunday and a marathon in 4 weeks. The times this year will probably be rough but this has been a rough year. I'm excited to run them and finish. That's the goal. And of course, the medal. :)