Monday, October 13, 2014

20 miler done......

                  Being a full worker and full time mommy does not allow much absent time for marathon training. On this day I woke at 4am and was out the door at 4:30am....not a soul in sight for the whole first hour. And even when I did see a human being into the first hour, I did not see another for a whole 45 minutes. Lots of people out a bit later, in groups, doing their long runs. Absolutely beautiful day! I have started off with a very tight and demanding training schedule, but as like started to happen I realized just how little energy I had left each day. So, now my goal is simply to finish. A secondary goal, and not much of a priority is to beat my time from my first marathon, which was also a road race.  More later. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Running- Beyond the Gadget Stage

                I have come to the point in my training where I have everything I need gear-wise. I have my summer shorts that easily pair off with one of my race shirts for when it's warm, I have a slew of expensive running socks that work well to prevent blisters. I have half a dozen Sweaty Bands that look amazing on my head. For winter, I have my favorites too, all the way down to the warm hat and ipod-friendly gloves. Therefore, except for the occasional shoe replacement and weekly GU's and s-caps for my long runs, I am pretty much all set. I liken this stage to getting past the 'honeymoon' stage in any endeavor, from house buying, marriage, having a baby, buying a new fancy car and on and on. Now is when the real running begins. Now it's when I get to appreciate running for running's sake and not for the cool things I can get as a runner. 
                  A few weeks back we dug out a slightly deflated basketball from one of our toy boxes and we decided to take it to the park. From that day on my daughter, who is 7, has become close to obsessed with shooting hoops. But being a shop-a-holic that she is, she immediately goes online and looks up basketball sneakers, and basketball shorts, etc.... She starts driving me and my hubby crazy about buying her the "proper" attire for the sport. Hubby and I try in vain to convince her that no such gear is needed to shoot hoops, and ESPECIALLY at her age, but no, she had her mind set. The parallel here is an obvious one. I too, at the very beginning of my running journey, have felt that I could not possibly be a "real" runner without all the gear. My husband, who has been running for much, much longer than me has always found it sort of silly that I was spending so much money to, in essence, become a runner. "You don't need all that, I've been running for 25 years without a tech shirt", he'd remind me daily, in a lighthearted tone. But I needed to do it and I did and now I am on the other side of this buying frenzy with nothing else to squeeze from this obsession, but plain ol' running and nothing more. Now is when my relationship with running actually begins. 
                    As a practicing Buddhist I work on myself daily to find value in the present moment and in our common daily tasks. Thich Nhat Hanh explained in his book The Miracles of Mindfulness: 

             “To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them…I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands.  I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living.  That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle.”

                Running is just now taking on its proper place in my life, away from all the inner celebratory fanfare experienced as a new runner it will take on its place as a 'common daily task'. Focusing on getting the proper attire for the sport is not at all a bad thing, that is not where I am going with this. But I do feel that we may lose or never fully gain a full appreciation for the sheer joys of running if we never step down from the 'honeymoon', gear buying stage of running. Now that my 'honeymoon' stage with gear-buying is over I can begin to fully focus all my energy on finding joy in learning more about my body, my breathing. I wake up daily now looking for wind on my face, and trying the catch that moment between mile 2 and 3 where I actually feel sheer joy, gratitude and humbleness at being able to run, nothing more. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Runner's World Front Cover Contest

Hey all! I just entered the contest and if you feel like it, would you please vote for me? Thanks. Here is the link...If you are a runner and want to enter the contest the link below will also take you there.
also find other runners and rad about their stories on twitter....just search #RWcovercontest



I started running the week I noticed I was 38 and just knew I could not run a block without getting winded. I had also gained a lot from my two pregnancies and needed to lose some of that extra weight. I no longer run for weight loss, but had gained confidence, tons of leg muscles and a true sense of peace and happiness that only running daily could provide.
I completed a very tough and technical 50K in West Virgina mountains even before running one marathon. Now I have completed 2 marathons, 3 halves, 1 50K and I am due to complete 2 more marathons in the fall. But what I am most proud of is the new way I see and relate to my body. This c-section scarred curvy mommy body has gotten me through so much.....I can truly say I have a very loving and compassionate relationship with my body.
Running is my sanity, my daily triumph, my mood adjuster, my problem solver, my special all-around friend. Running has brought me so much happiness, I can see myself running until I am an old, old lady. In fact, I aim on breaking Harriette Thompson's 91 year old record someday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Far Distant Future Goals

               We all get old, then older, then we slow down.....having my 94 year-old mother-in-law staying with us for almost two weeks has made me think a lot about my running goals for the far distant distant future. My mind keeps going back to Harriette Thompson, the 91 year-old (above video) who just won the world record this year for being the oldest woman (age 90 and over) to run a marathon. THIS is what I want to do, I want to continue to be active and never give mind also thinks of Joy Johnson daily.....she is the elderly woman who, after running her 25th NYC marathon, died in her sleep the day after....I have no plans to slow fact, once my kids get older I fully plan on doing more adventure-style races, races in which I can actually travel to.....can't wait. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Training plan for 2 marathons in the fall...3 weeks apart

            I am running the Marine Corps Marathon (marathon #3) and the Anthem Richmond Marathon (marathon #4) in the fall  of 2014 and basically chose Hal Higdon's 18-week Intermediate training plan and then to be ready for the second marathon I repeated the last 3 weeks to make it into a 21-week training plan with small adjustments to week 19 to allow for healing from the first marathon. I am actually starting on week 3 with 27 miles for the week and could not be more excited about this plan.
Notice on week 19, instead of doing a week with 5/8/5/4/ and 12 miles...I will allow myself to do a week with 3/5/3/4/ and 12 miles.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Anthem Richmond Marathon----all you've ever wanted to know!!

Runner's World Magazine named us a "Must Do" marathon in 2005 & 2009 and twice selected us as the site of their Marathon Challenge!
The January 2005 issue of Runner’s World magazine had this to say in touting Richmond as one of the 12 must-do marathons that offer “big fun, big scenery, big rewards”:
This marathon starts and finishes in charming historic downtown Richmond, once the capital of the south. The scenic, fast loop course takes in all of the city’s old neighborhoods, traveling up Monument Avenue, past statues of Confederate soldiers and Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe, through the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, then alongside the James River. Along with the typical water and sports drink stops, this is probably the only race in the country that offers junk food stops, at miles 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies, and soda. There are also two wet-washcloth stations, at miles 17 and 23, perfect for cleaning up for your finish-line photo. Three party zones set up along the way with free food, prize giveaways, and noisemakers for spectators and family means lots of enthusiastic, cheering support. The last mile features a fast downhill to the finish in the trendy Shockoe Slip area, where there are plenty of postrace goodies, including bagels, fruit, and pizza, and a band to celebrate your finish. (Runner’s World, January 2005)
-I got more food during this race itself than any other I participated in. 
-Spectators not many but very supportive 
- Wet towels during the race were very nice touch! "

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