Girlfriends

February 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Posted in friends, Goal setting, friends, Tempo Runs | 1 Comment

pre-valentine-race.jpgIt’s It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Life has been hectic; running has been terrific! 

This past Saturday, February 9, 2008, I ran an 8 mile race in Greece, NY with my girlfriend, Karin.  Prior to the race, Karin and I agreed that for once we would make a race a training run and enjoy each other’s company.  Our goal was to do a tempo run at an 8:20 pace in an effort to conserve our energy for our big races next week.  Karin is running the A1A Marathon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I’m running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida.

What a fantastic run we shared!  I wore my Garmin GPS, which tells me my exact pace at any given moment, and it really helped to keep us from running faster than we should.  Karin is known for her ability to run a very steady, consistent pace.  So, she frequently reeled me in and made me check my Garmin.

We chatted the entire run.  I must say, there’s nothing like a girlfriend with whom you share so many similarities.  It’s only been the past couple of years that Karin and I have gotten to know each other, but I’m so grateful for her friendship. 

This was the first time in a long time that I just ran a race to be with my friends and it was absolutely wonderful.  No, we didn’t place, nor did we care.  We accomplished our goal and kept a pace of 8:24 for the 8 miles.  Holding back and running easy will help us both next week as we run our big races.

Thank you, Karin, for a great, great run!

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Goodbye Columbus

October 19, 2007 at 2:47 am | Posted in friends, Goal setting, friends, Marathon training, overtraining | 6 Comments

If you don’t have a friend who truly cares about you enough to help you examine a situation honestly and objectively, I’m sorry.  Last night I spoke with a very kind, compassionate friend for a long while about my pending marathon in Columbus and he helped me see the light.  He simply asked me how I thought I’d feel in the later miles of the race given my current condition.  Immediately, I knew what I had to do:  let go of Columbus.

That’s right; I’m not running the Columbus Marathon this Sunday as I had planned.  Instead, I’m permitting my body to take some time to rest and heal.   I strongly believe that I’m currently experiencing overtraining syndrome.  The symptoms of overtraining include:  increased fatigue, poor sleep patterns, decline in performance, lack of appetite, unexplained weight loss,  change in heart rate (could be an elevated or a lowered heart rate), moodiness, and injury.  

Instead of Columbus, I’ve set my sights on the Richmond Marathon in Richmond, Virginia on November 10, 4 weeks from this Sunday.   If you get a chance, check out their website at www.richmondmarathon.com. This marathon is advertised as “The World’s Friendliest Marathon”, and wait ’til you see all of the free stuff they’re giving away!  I’ve never been to Virginia, so I’m going to make it a mini-vacation for myself.  My goal for Richmond is to get there healthy, happy, and enjoy every step of the race.  Perhaps it’s time to let go of my dream of Boston, at least for this marathon.

I don’t mean to trivialize my feelings.  If you’ve read my blog, you know how hard I worked and how much I dreamed about Columbus.  This may sound silly, but I even visualized myself crossing the finish line in 3:48:02 (that was the time the clock read when I crossed the finish at the Rochester Marathon).  To say that I agonized over this decision is an understatement.  This is the first time that I’ve ever set a goal (running goal, that is) that I wasn’t able to achieve.  Yes, I’ll admit that I’ve shed a few tears over Columbus and my foolish approach to my training.  But in the end, I know I made the right choice. 

The Eternal Optimist

October 14, 2007 at 11:27 am | Posted in blogging, Goal setting, friends, Marathon training | 4 Comments

A very dear friend of mine (as well as a colleague and a fellow runner) stopped by my classroom to say hi Friday morning.  Shortly after we said hello, he remarked on my lack of posts as of late.  It’s true:  I haven’t posted in a very long time.  Instead, I’ve enjoyed reading my blogging friends have to say.  Some of my favorites are run-a-bout.blogspot.com, runnerslounge.wordpress.com, and bellablogshack.blogspot.com.  (Psst…I don’t know how to create links or I’d do that so that you, too, could enjoy these blogs with just the click of your mouse.)   Oh, if you want to go to a great website where you can meet other runners with goals similar to yours, check out www.runnerslounge.com.  It’s a great, new site developed just for a runner like you (that is, anyone!).

One word best characterizes any runs I’ve had lately – painful.  My left inner thigh/groin is injured making even easy 5 mile runs  a challenge.  However, I’ve cut back on my running substantially and that, combined with my visits to my chiropractor, seem to be helping.  I’m still hopeful that I’ll be pain-free by next Sunday for the Columbus Marathon.

Having run 6 previous marathons, I know that I must be pain-free or close to it to run the distance well and right now I have some pain.  However, the body and mind are miraculous and, I believe, can heal very quickly.  So, I’m focusing on strength and wellness.  Hey, a lot can happen in a week!

The Power of Goals

July 19, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Posted in Goal setting, friends | Leave a comment

sandy-at-race.jpg

While I was out running yesterday, I ran into a friend and ended up running with him.  Boy, I was grateful to have someone to run with as I was TIRED and his camaraderie kept me moving.  Anyhow, later in the afternoon I got to thinking about one statement that he made.  It went something like this, “I was telling my wife that I had a goal to run stronger. ” (I think he was talking about running longer races – can’t quite remember.)  His wife’s comment was something to the effect of, “Why?  You’re not going to the Olympics!”

How many of you serious runners have heard this before?  I have on many occasions.  To the average (dare I say normal!) person who doesn’t run or doesn’t run seriously, setting goals to be faster, run further, run more often seem silly.  But I ask you, why?  Why is it silly to want to do anything worthwhile better?

Setting running goals can benefit individuals in so many ways.  For one thing, setting running goals and sticking to those goals improves one’s self-discipline and not only in the area of physical fitness!  If you’re disciplined enough to get up at 4:30 in the morning to run 8 miles before work, you’re probably disciplined enough to do just about anything. 

Additionally,working toward a specific (or several) running goal(s) will improve your focus and teach you to become single-minded.  Of course, running more will dramatically improve your fitness levels, and as an added benefit, keep your waistline trim.  Now tell me, who doesn’t want to look great? 

I’ve included a picture of myself being award 2nd place in my age group (40-44) this last February for a series of winter races held in Rochester, NY called the “Freezeroo Series”.  Prior to December 2006 when the first of these races began I didn’t think I really wanted to race during the cold, harsh winter months.  But I set a goal to run all of the series and I did, even though there were many days when I just didn’t feel like battling the frigid temps and gusty winds to do so.  In the end, the perseverence paid off!

Realizing your dreams takes a great deal of determination and hard work, sometimes even sacrifice.  However, I’ve never known an individual who was sad when he or she achieved his or her goal.  So, set goals, work hard, and attain! 

Firecracker 5 Miler

July 6, 2007 at 1:11 am | Posted in Goal setting, friends | Leave a comment

sandy-at-firecracker.jpg

Well, talk about a tough run!  Yesterday’s Fairport Firecracker 5 mile race felt more like 10!  But I do love this race because when you’re done, you know you’ve worked hard.

This race is known for its hills.  In fact, within the first 1 mile you’re faced with a long, steep hill and you’re not really rewarded with much of a downhill.  Within another .5 miles, you get your second climb, although this one isn’t as long.  By the time you’ve reached mile 2, you’ve climbed 4 challenging hills! 

From mile 2 to mile 3 you’re rewarded with a realitively flat stretch that runs along the Erie Canal, but don’t be fooled, another hill is waiting for you at mile 3.5!  From this point to mile 4.7 you run a series of small rolling climbs, but the last 3 tenths are uphill.  Calling this a challenging course is an understatement!

Prior to running the Firecracker I thought I’d “warm-up” with 3.3 miles – MISTAKE, BIGTIME!!  An easy mile would have been sufficient for this course.  By the time I got to mile 2 in the race, I was feeling fatigued.  By the end, I was beat!  My time was 41:00  – not my best 5 mile time.  Because I was disappointed with my time, when I got home I ran another 2.7 for a grand total of 11 miles on July 4.

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