Yahoo!!! Gotta love 22!

September 19, 2008 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training | 5 Comments

Gotta love 22 miles, that is. 

Tomorrow marks my longest run before my marathon – 22 miles.  I’m psyched!!  I just love getting up early on a Saturday morning, lacing up my shoes, and heading out for a few hours of running.  Usually I run with girlfriends, but this Saturday I’m opting to run alone as I probably won’t do a lot of talking on marathon morning and I want to practice running silently (a real challenge for me!). 

Several local runners ask me what my secret is to keeping my attitude positive toward the long run.  Hummm, this is an interesting question to which there is no quick answer.  I guess the single biggest influence on my mental fitness is yoga.  Emphasis on being present and on breathing in peace, love, acceptance, and joy helps my focus remain positive.  

Tomorrow I’ll attempt to run the last 8 miles at my goal pace, 8:45.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Happy weekend to all and happy running!

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Should you go farther than 20?

September 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Posted in friends, Long Run, Marathon training, running | 3 Comments

Yes, that’s my question:  Should you run farther than 20 miles during your marathon training?  What are the benefits?  I’d love to hear your opinions!

Saturday I ran an incredibly difficult almost 21 miles.  My girlfriends and I ran up and down hill after hill and only stopped once to refuel our fuel belts.  For me, it was one of those runs that just felt tough the entire way.  You know, the kind of day when every mile is an effort.

What got me through this run was my mind.  Somewhere around mile 13 or 14 I let a few negative thoughts creep into my brain.  “I’m so exhausted!  I just don’t have it today!  I want to stop!”  But then a little voice (I call it my yoga voice) broke in and said, “Hey, just be present.  Right now your feet are moving and you’re doing it.  Keep it up!  Shine! Be present, be present.”

So, I kept going and finished in 3:06 and change.  The mind is miraculous!

But I have to wonder, do you really need to go that far in training runs?  Thoughts?

Training for the week of August 11 – 17, 2008

August 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training, Yoga | Leave a comment

Rest weeks are always welcome in my world of running and this past week was an opportunity to for my body to enjoy a little rest and recovery.  Having completed a 50 mile week that included a 20 mile run the previous week, this was such a great break.

Rest weeks are not weeks absent of all running and cross training, however.  I still did my track workouts and long run; each run was just shorter runs than the previous week.  Also, I added an extra day of yoga and if you’ve ever done Power Vinyasa, you know that it’s no joke. 

My continued focus is on keeping my mind positive and running easy on easy days. 

Monday, August 11:  Track Workout #1 – 6 x 800m in 3:40 with 400m recovery.   After a 2 mile warm-up, I started my 800m repeats.  For me, the first couple are always the most difficult but after I get into the groove, I love the repeats.  I find that they keep my mind focused and the time goes by so quickly!   Total Miles for the day= 7.3.  Yoga day.

Tuesday, August 12: Easy run. 6.25 miles at an 8:53 pace.

Wednesday, August 13: Easy run.  5.20 miles at 8:49 pace. Yoga day.

Thursday, August 14: Long Run. 12.1 miles at an easy 9:06 pace. In the spirit of rest and recovery, my long run was only 12 miles today and I keep these miles easy.  Typically, I run the last several miles at goal pace but not during a rest week.  I enjoyed a great run and incorporated several moderately long hills in the course.  Yoga today.

Friday, August 15:  REST!

Saturday, August 16:  Track Workout #2.  12 x 200m in 50 seconds with 200m recovery.  Total miles for today: 6.25.

Sunday, August 17:  Easy Run.  5.5 miles at 8:49 pace.

Total Miles for the Week= 42.2

17.2 Miles on a Hot Saturday in July

July 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training, running, Training | 4 Comments

What a hot one!  I started my 17 mile run at 6:00 this morning to avoid some of the heat.  However, even at 6:00 a.m. it was 75°.  How does that saying go…”That which doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.”

Given the heat and my health issues, I started at an incredibly slow 9:30 to 9:40 pace.  It felt so slow that it was nearly like a fast walk.  But now I see the importance of running slowly during a long run:  I conserved my energy for the final 4 miles.  In fact, I ran the final 4 at an 8:35 pace and I had to keep telling myself to slow down.

Well, I’m proud of myself for going the distance – 17.2 miles in 2:36:35.  Now, time to relax and read a book!

20 Miler on Thursday, April 3

April 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training | 2 Comments

Knowing that the next morning I’d be under the knife, I ran my 20 miler last Thursday after work in Greece, the town in which I teach.  Now, if you know anything about Greece, NY, you know that it’s extremely busy and resembles a small city more than it does a suburb.  Honestly, there are few good places to run (meaning quiet) and, invariably, (thanks to my students) I hear my name screamed out of at least a dozen cars.  But there’s nothing like pending surgery to motivate me to get out for a long run.

I found a pretty cool place to run along the shores of Lake Ontario.  Enjoyed a great, great run and I only stopped for a few traffic lights!  Here are some highlights of the day.

Edgemere Drive (approximately mile 7) – WOW!  My eyes stay fixed on a man standing in the lake fishing.  I’m so shocked by the sight that I actually take off my running sunglasses and stare!  All I can think is that he’s absolutely nuts! (Remember, folks, this is Rochester, NY.  The temp is only around 50 degrees and it’s very windy.)  Of course, most would find me crazy for running 20 miles after working all day.

Charlotte Beach Pier (approximately 9 miles) – I’m starting to zone and am quickly awakened when I very nearly fall flat on my face from tripping on a huge branch.  (Okay, so it was a twig…shhhhh!  I don’t want anyone to know I’m clumsy!)

Edgemere Drive (approximately 14 miles) – Again, brought back to reality by the shouts of a man driving by, “Hey blondie!  Nice legs!”  For some strange reason I wave and smile.  I must be half mad!

Long Pond Road (approximately 15 miles) – Okay, I tell myself, time to pick up the pace.  For the last 5 miles I focus on keeping my pace between an 8:30 and 8:45.  Remind myself every two seconds that I’m almost done.

Greece YMCA (20.4 miles) – YES!  I DID IT! I’M DONE! 

Distance:  20.4 miles

Time: 2:54:26.

A Great Long Run

March 30, 2008 at 3:56 am | Posted in Buffalo Marathon, friends, Long Run, Marathon training | Leave a comment

A great day for a great run!  The person I was supposed to meet for the first time was unable to join the Kellmans and I today – too bad but maybe next time.

I had such a fun long run on this sunny Saturday.  The first 7.2 miles I ran with Matt and we talked and talked and talked.  We talked about mutual friends, about racing (he’s a racing machine), about careers, about the Boston Marathon, about the NYC Marathon.  You name it, we talked about it.  Before I knew it we were back at his house in 1 hour 32 seconds.

Next, Karin and I ran 10 miles broken into two 5 mile loops with her house as a water stop.  This was the first time I’d ever done a long run like this and it was great!  We, too, talked and talked and talked but about girl things, memories from college (I’ll never share these on my blog!), men, kids, etc.  Another great couple of runs.  Our first loop was a slow 43:00 minutes but our second loop was 42:00 minutes

I finished my last 2 miles from the Kellman’s house but alone in 16:38.  Honestly, I felt better when I finished than I did when I started (I think this is a good sign).  Now, I just have to stay injury-free until the Buffalo Marathon on May 25.  To do this, I really need to let my body lead and not get caught up in the mental trap of “just a couple more miles won’t hurt!”

Total miles for today: 19.2

Tomorrow’s Long Run

March 29, 2008 at 12:41 am | Posted in friends, Long Run, Marathon training, Wish list | Leave a comment

Just a quick post to say that I’m looking forward to meeting some friends tomorrow for my 19 mile run.  (Actually, I’m meeting a new potential friend for the first time, so I’m a bit nervous!)  Running long is always more fun when done with others – especially 19 miles!

It seems like many Rochester runners are heading to Boston in a few short weeks.  I pray that they’ll have a great time and a great run.  I also pray that I’ll be joining them next year!  Just have to keep my focus on Buffalo and pray that the surgery I’m having Friday doesn’t set me back too far.  My doc promises that I’ll only miss a week to 10 days of running and I’m holding him to his word!  (Pssst…crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes – anything that can be crossed – right now!)

A Weekend of Running

March 15, 2008 at 5:31 am | Posted in Early morning run, friends, Long Run, Marathon training, Racing | Leave a comment

A busy weekend looms ahead – laundry, cleaning, packing, and, oh yeah, running.

Tomorrow’s 5 mile Runnin’ of the Green marks the first official race of the spring running season in Rochester, NY.  I’m looking forward to seeing my girlfriends and, hopefully, running with my friend, Karin.  The predicted weather forecast looks favorable and my legs are feeling fresh but in my mind I’m just looking to have fun.

Sunday I’m scheduled for a 17 mile run with the last 3 miles at goal pace.  Since it’s Palm Sunday and I’m expected to be at church by 9:00 to sing for 10:00 Mass, I’ll be up before dawn to complete this run.  I’m looking forward to shuffling along the streets of my town in the early hours before most folks are even contemplating rising from their sleep.

BUT I DON’T WANT TO!!

January 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Half Marathon, Long Run, treadmill running | 4 Comments

Have you ever awakened on the day of a scheduled long run and thought, “Damn, I don’t want to do this!”?  Sure you have; we all have.  Yesterday morning that’s just how I felt as I anticipated my scheduled 14 miler.

Part of the reason I dreaded this normally comfortably hard distance is because I knew I had to run it on my treadmill.  Given my recent health issues, running far from home just was not an option this weekend.  Plus, I only had 2 hours to run on this very busy Saturday, so I knew that I could hop off my treadmill and cut my run short if I needed to. 

Running 14 miles on a treadmill is D-U-L-L  (although I’ve run further in the past).  Boy, did I want to shorten this run!  My mind kept saying, “Ten miles would be just as good as 14 and then you’d have more time to get ready for your day. You don’t need to run 14 miles to run a half marathon.  Really, you’ve been so ill (although I felt pretty good yesterday) – give yourself a break.”

I’m happy to report that I DID IT!!  I ran my 14.25 miles on my treadmill in 2:00:56 and I felt super!  This is the furthest I’ve run since October, so I was proud of myself.  Now, I know that on the treadmill there is no wind to contend with; therefore, it’s definitely an easier run than running on the roads.  But the treadmill does force you to keep a steady pace, and I’m FINALLY learning the benefit of starting slowly and increasing my pace as I run.  Yesterday I ran my first mile at a 9:00 pace and felt like I was crawling.  But as the run went on, I was able to run faster and faster, finishing my last 4 miles at an 8:00 pace.   So, yesterday I ran 14.25 miles in 2:00:56, an 8:29 pace.

I think the trick to treadmill running is finding a way to distract your mind.  For instance, some folks like to turn on a movie or listen to music.  I like to do both of those things but what I find most helpful is to “play” on the treadmill.  If I’m watching a sitcom, I pick up the pace while the show is on and slow down during the comercials.  Or sometime I increase the pace for a few minutes or change the inclines.  The point is, you have to find a way to fight the urge to “count” each .10 mile.  When you do, the treadmill’s not so bad.

(As a side note, only 27 days, 21 hours until my mom and I run the Breast Cancer Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida!!)

Reflecting on the Week

January 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training, running | 1 Comment

What a week of glorious weather we enjoyed in Rochester – outstanding for running! Last Monday the high temperature was in the low 60s and Tuesday it was in the high 60s. Wow! It sure felt great to run in shorts again!

Although I was very ill with my intestinal troubles mid week, I still managed to run 40.25 miles. I only ran 4 days but most of those days were longer runs with my longest run being 13 miles on Saturday. What a great long run I enjoyed along the Erie Canal from Schoen Place!

My mom and I decided to travel to Florida next month for my February recess and we’re running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon together. The trip is her early birthday gift to me (boy, am I one lucky lady!), and this will be my mom’s first half marathon. Really, she shouldn’t attempt such a long race with the few miles that she runs, but she insists upon giving it a go. Last night I printed off a training schedule for her to follow. I’ll keep you in the loop regarding her training progress (and mine, too!).

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