And let the long runs begin…

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I just finished the book, The Cool Impossible. Wow, I learned a ton from this book. It is definitely on the top of my list of favorite running books, right up there with Eat and Run, and Born to Run. You should read it.

There is really great stuff in this book. The first half of the book focuses on preparing you to run physically. The last half of the book focuses on preparing you to run mentally. The advice and knowledge I obtained from the last half of the book is also something I can use in other parts of my life. Some things you learn about running and from running, you can take beyond the trail.

The above photo is a great example. Don’t let the day run you… One thing I am going to work on is better preparation for my runs and for my day.

By reading this book, I have learned that before I run a race or long training run, I do things that mentally prepare myself for the distance. These things, mantras, visualizing, and rituals are things I do and didn’t realize I was doing them. Now looking back, I am more aware of these helpful tricks for the mind. Because these have helped me find success, it may be helpful to use them in other parts of my life, including other sports.

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I am a very positive person. However, the above photo reminds me so much of the book, The Cool Impossible. What I like most, is that the author Eric Orton, says negative thoughts are not a bad thing. Negative thoughts are a normal thing. However, become aware of your negative thoughts, identify them, and realize they are just thoughts, NOT truths.

Update on my Running

I ran the day, the day did not run me. This weekend my long runs began. I love running my first long run of the season.

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All winter, I have been lifting weights and running shorter faster runs. It felt good to get out there and run far. I ran a 10 miler, to help my sister prepare for her half marathon coming up in April. As for me, I have two 10 mile races coming up the first two weekends in April.

On this 10 mile training run, I wore my new Newton Gravity. It has 5 lugs instead of 4, which makes it feel like the toe box is wider.

My sister and I ran MVT over the 14th Street bridge and then to Hains Point.

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Have your long runs started yet? What are some mental tricks you use that helps you find success during running?

I got lucky!!

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I’m in!! The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my very first race and I have been running it every year since. Because of popularity the last couple of years race organizers have changed the race from first come first serve to a lottery. I am always nervous I might not get in, but thankfully I got lucky. This will be my 7th time running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I now have spring fever. I am super excited for this race and more to come. I am also looking forward to announcing my future races for my running season with you guys after the holidays!

Is anyone else running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler? Do you have a favorite race you run every year?

10 mile Run with Em and Honey Stinger

Last week two exciting things happened.

  1. On Saturday, I ran a 10 mile run with my sister, Emily.
  2. And I also finally typed up my Blog Award post. If you have any desire to get to know me better, you should read the post, because it is super personal.

Anyway, in my Blog Award post I was asked what was the last movie I had watched. I answered with, The Fighter. One thing that I love about the movie, The Fighter, is the bond the two brothers, Mickey and Dicky have. I am very close with my family, so I can totally relate to this.

Dicky is the older brother, who has a star shining boxing moment back in the day. He still wants to be involved in boxing so he coaches his younger brother Mickey. Drug abuse ends up becoming an uncontrollable obstacle that alters Dicky’s ability to coach. Although, Dicky’s quality of life suffers, the brotherly bond never breaks.

Of corse there is no drug history among the relationship I share with my sister. I can relate to this because in life, your sister, is the one person, you can be totally honest with, and who will push you to your fullest potential (especially in sports.)

And that is exactly what happened during my 10 miler.

My sister pushed me to my fullest potential.

Here is what went down…

I met my sister at her apartment. Before we left we looked up this Half Marathon Pace Chart. I am no longer just going out there to run. I learned from Hal Higdon, if you want to run fast, you have to train fast several times a week. So we decided to practice our 10 miler by running at a pace similar to the one we are planning to run race day.

We decided to hit the MVT, but to get there we had to run down hill for two miles, stopping at some street lights. Once we got to the trail, we ran three pretty flat miles and then turned back. The last two miles were off the MVT and up hill. We wanted to add two miles up hill because Annapolis is super hilly, so we are expecting a lot of hills race day.

Honestly, I don’t know what happened during this 10 miler. Normally my sister and I run at a similar pace, and sometimes I am a little bit faster. But during this run my sister was much more speedy.

There is a quote from the book, Born to Run, it goes like this, ‚ÄúBut you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.‚Ä̬†¬†Even though, it may seem like an excuse to you, it is the truth. During this run, I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t find my running rhythm.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 10.00 miles

Time: 1:37:31

Average Pace: 9:45 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:51 min/mi

Calories: 814 C

Run Cadence: 96

HONEY STINGER

One thing that did help me when I felt a little bit low in energy was my Honey Stinger. This is the first time I have ever tried this product. I actually had never heard of this product until the blogger from All Seasons Cyclist suggested I give them a try. ¬†I am really thankful I did. I love the fact that this product is more natural and free of chemicals. They also tasted really good, and didn’t cause any stomach problems. The Honey Waffle was a fantastic post run snack. For a more detailed review check out the blog All Seasons Cyclist or click here.

 
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to do an 11 mile run with L. So stay tuned…
Questions for You
  1. Have you tried Honey Stingers?
  2. How did your long run go this week?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Army Ten Miler aka ATM

On Sunday, October 21st, 2012, I ran the Army Ten Miler. ¬†With almost 22,000 runners crossing the finish line, this is the largest ten mile race I have ever run. I was really excited to run this race because as popular as it is, I had never run it before. Normally, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon, which always falls on the weekend after the Army Ten Miler, so I don’t really see a point of running a 10 mile race the week before my marathon when I am already passed that point in my training.

EXPO

The Expo was held at DC Armory. Because it is a military event, security was tight. Everyones’ ids were checked and in order to enter you had to go through a medal detector. The long lines went by quickly and we were able to get our bibs and t shirts.

Me and my Bib. Bib # 9525

L with her bib number, and running in memory of her hubby who died fighting in Iraq.

Me with my t shirt!

What can I say… one of my favorite things to do is shop for new running stuff… So I love huge Expo’s with tons of vendors. One of my favorite vendors is One More Mile. One More Mile is a company know for the most hilarious phrases written on their t shirts. The shirts are not the best quality but they are fun and very comfortable to wear post race.

One More Mile

L found one for me that said, “Does this shirt make my butt look fast.” And I found one for her that said…

One Bad Mother Runner…

The Expo was also very well organized and although I didn’t buy anything from them, I spotted two of my other favorite vendors, Garmin and Newton.

NIGHT BEFORE RACE DAY

So the night before my race, I prepare everything. I get my my race outfit ready. I pack my baggage claim bag. Then I take a picture of everything and upload it to Facebook. All of my runner friends get it, and all of my non running friends think I’m weird. But that is what I do and L started to do the same thing. I guess you could call this a ritual, because I do it, the night before every race. This helps me at 5:30 in the morning, when it is too dark to see. I don’t need to see because everything is organized.

My race outfit!

If you are interested to know what makes up my race outfit please click here. I review each product in detail.

RACE MORNING

On the morning of the race, I received a “wake up” text from L at 5:30 am. Because I had prepared my race outfit and baggage claim bag the night before it didn’t take me long to get ready. The only thing I couldn’t find in the dark that morning was a hair tie which is ironic because I am a hairstylist. I normally have a pixie haircut and never needed to worry about my hair.

Anyway, L picked me up and we drove five minutes to Pentagon City where we parked and met up with friends. The start of the race was at the Pentagon, and although the Pentagon is walking distance from Pentagon City we decided to hop on the metro.

One of my favorite things about race morning is riding a metro train packed with runners. The energy that fills the train is intense, exciting, and positive. It really gets me pumped up.

30,000 runners at the Pentagon Metro stop.

THE START

Although, it was a little bit cold, L and I stripped down at the start and checked our bags.

L and I at the start of the ATM 

We got one last group shot and then headed to our corrals.

The whole gang at the start!

I love military races because they always have the most organized races and the most entertaining start lines. At the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon, all of the runners huddled together on 110 while they flew Military Jets over our heads. At this race, military men/women entered the race by sky diving to the start line.

the sky raining people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RACE

Then the gun went off and the race began. Honestly, the start was a slow one for me. Once I started running, I began to feel really crowded and couldn’t run at the pace I had planned.

We ran down 110 to Arlington Cemetery. I love running on highways that I normally drive on. As I ran down 110 I began to remember the last time I ran down that highway, in Marine Corps Marathon.   We ran up to Arlington Cemetery and then over the Memorial Bridge. This part of the race was also very familiar because it is a part of one of my regular training routes. Then we ran around the Watergate Hotel, the Kennedy Center, the National Mall, then over the 14th Street Bridge.

The 14th Street Bridge is cool place to run over because it brings you from DC to Virginia. However, it is also an annoying place to run because whether you are running a 26.2 or a 10 miler it is a place that is hard for spectators to get to, and a place you really need support, being a spot towards the end of the race.

The 14th street bridge also brought back memories from when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. This was around mile 20 in the marathon and mile 8 in this 10 miler. So far, besides a slow start from crowding, I was feeling pretty amazing. I was running with natural form, landing on my forefoot. Legs felt strong. Breathing was good. My form was perfect, staying balanced and focussed.

landing lightly on my forefoot!

A tad bit of an over stride. The photos never lie.

running

However, it was on the 14th Street Bridge in this race that I started to feel a weird burning blistering sensation on the bottom of my feet. I continued running, and even sprinted to the finish line. After the race I checked the bottom of my feet and only had one small blister, and it wasn’t even a blood blister, so I guess it was just from friction feeling the ground. So although, I felt pretty amazing through most of the race, it is times like these (when I feel an unusual discomfort) that I begin to question how far I truly can run in the Newton shoes.

Finish line

Once over the bridge, the race route took us down to Pentagon City and finished where we started, at the Pentagon. Because L and I parked at Pentagon City, we decided that once we go our bags from baggage claim we would just walk over to the car. So thats what we did, which was shockingly quick and easy.

Overall, I though this race was pretty well organized, but not as organized as the Marine Corps Marathon. I though the route was pretty amazing and in the end I recommend this race to anyone and everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on the Newton Shoes

When I first started using the Newton shoes they felt extremely fast and light. I love that weightless feeling, however I have yet to PR in them. Since April I have run four 10 mile races two of them in my traditional running shoes, and two of them in my Newton shoes.

Cherry Blossom 10 miler -April 1st, 2012 –1:29:26 (traditional running ¬†shoe)

Parkway Classic 10 miler РApril 22nd, 2012 Р1:28:05 (traditional running shoe)

Annapolis 10 miler – August 26th, 2012 –¬†1:33:23¬†(Newton shoes)

Army 10 miler- October 21st, 2012 –¬†1:30:16¬†(Newton shoes)

These may sound like excuses but, the Annapolis 10 miler was run in a hurricane, and the Army 10 miler was crowded at the start. But overall, I feel pretty consistent when it comes to my times.

December 1st I will be running the Annapolis Half Marathon, in my Newton shoes. If I get 1:59:00, it will be a PR for me. So I am hoping for that.

Questions for You

  1. What is your favorite vendor at the running Expos?
  2. What is you race night ritual?

© 2012

Results or Excuses.

You can have Results or Excuses not both…

I came across the above picture on a running tumblr blog, and I literally lit up. This quote is exactly what a friend and I were talking about the other day. Everybody can relate to this idea. Most people don’t see results… why? because they make excuses.

Is it possible to make excuses without even being aware you do? I never thought I made excuses. But the other day I found myself venting to a friend about reasons why I couldn’t fit in a run. It wasn’t until then that I realized I too make excuses.

Some of the most common excuses I make…¬†

  • It is too hot outside.
  • It is raining.
  • It is too dark.
  • It is too cold.
  • I am way to busy at work, and just can’t fit it in.
  • I will run tonight.
  • I will run tomorrow morning.
  • I haven’t had a chance to fuel up.
  • My iPod is dead.
  • My Garmin is full, needs a new battery.
  • I didn’t wake up early enough, it is too late.
  • Or my favorite… I want to go for a run, but I already showered today.

When I train for a marathon, I always follow Hal Higdon’s¬†training program. This is an amazing plan, because it gets you out there running 5 days a week, cross train 1 day, and rest the other. Having a disciplined running plan like this one, makes it easier for you because it is all written out. You literally don’t have to think about anything, you simply run the miles it tells you to run that day.

This summer, I did train, but in a different way. I didn’t have a plan and just went out and ran shorter more faster runs, focusing on form. And although, my form has successfully improved, I don’t think I was as prepared for the 10 miler as I could have been. ¬†When it came to this race, my excuse was… “I’ve run marathons, this is only a 10 miler… no big deal.”¬†

Well I have another 10 miler coming up. On October 21st, I will be running the Army 10 miler, and I want to take my training to a different level. No more excuses. I am going to get organized and write out the milage I will complete daily. It is that simple. I need to set goals for myself.

Another interesting idea is to do a 30 or 60 day challenge. My bikram yoga studio does this, and I have seen on some other running blogs, runners doing this challenge as well.  The idea is to choose 30 or 60 days, and make it a goal, to run everyday for the amount of time you choose, even if it is just one mile a day.

Every day counts!

Look forward to seeing more motivational pics in the future. I will also be posting  a recap on my race the Annapolis 10 miler, and a training plan for my future race the Army 10 miler.

Questions for you…¬†

  • What is your biggest excuse?
  • What motivates you?
  • Which training programs or plans have you used in the past?