Monday, August 19, 2013

Runner rant and random thoughts

I am currently in training for my second half marathon, and have noticed little things that I may not have noticed before. For example, my running shoes pinched in places that were causing me serious physical pain. Music that I don’t normally listen to is my biggest motivator. My shorts were causing some serious chafing. I’ve learned I need to ice, even if what I feel is only a slight twinge. Blogs and articles that I wouldn’t have looked twice at before, are now on my list of daily must reads. I am a subscriber to Runner’s World.

I log my miles with diligence on the Daily Mile, and receive motivations from others that keep me moving. I am now part of a community of people that motivate each other and encourage each other and recommend new ideas to each other. I have a shoe box full of energy beans, energy gels, water enhancers and honey stingers. My all-time favorite store is now Performance Running. I notified my fiancĂ© that the best gift ever is a gift card for that store. I finally got fitted for a good pair of running shoes. The change from the Asics Gel Blur 33’s to the Brooks’ Defyance 6 has made a world of difference. I no longer have shin splints or foot cramps. My feet feel lighter and my legs feel better overall. I read an article in Runner’s World about the Boston Marathon survivors and found myself in tears, saddened at how two individuals could cause the sport that I have come to love so much such pain and heartache. Anyone can run a mile, or two miles, but I believe it takes more to become a runner. You have to want the finish line more than you’ve wanted anything else. You have to push yourself beyond, not only your physical limit, but more importantly your mental limit. You have to give up the happy hours in favor of going for a run. You have to give up wearing heels every day even though you love them. You have to drop the extra few pounds because those extra pounds will eventually wreak havoc on what little time your knees have left. You have to ignore the stares of people when it’s 95 degrees out and you’re running and they’re staring like you’re crazy (likewise when it’s downpouring). You have to run in the rain, the ice, the snow, and the heat. You learn to live with minor aches and pains because the reward is so beyond worth it. You accumulate motivational quotes and running clothes like other people accumulate electronic gadgets and recorded tv shows. Most importantly, you have to LOVE running, almost more than anything.

My training this time around has been a bit different; rather than logging extra miles each Saturday and short runs during the week, I have been incorporating my training runs into fun races. I ran the Big Ten 10k on the day I was scheduled to run a 6 mile training run. I ran a couple 5ks when I was scheduled for short 3 mile runs. I still set little goals for myself if I accomplish what I’m supposed to. For example, after the Capuchin 5k for the Hungry, I told myself if I finished under 32 minutes, I could have Germanfest food for dinner and a ‘bier’ afterward. 

While my races might never be the fastest, and I might turn bright red and sweat like crazy, racing is in my blood now. After my 5ks and 10k, I’ve learned that my favorite race is the half marathon. I love the physical endurance and the mentality needed to train for and accomplish the race. I love the feeling I get when people say, you ran how many miles today? Or my favorite reaction to date: “You’re training for another half? Wasn’t once enough?” The answer is no, one is not enough. If my knees hold up, 100 will not be enough.

Now that I have run my 5ks, 10ks and half marathon to completion, I am focusing on my training for my next half in 5 weeks. After that, considering I’ll be halfway there in my training, I would like to focus my energy on training for a full marathon, which I hope to run before my wedding next June. 

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