15 miles with my little army

Holyrunningalot.  Yesterday I ran 7.6 pace miles (finished in 1:00 exactly), and I just finished 15 miles this morning (15.2 if you want to get technical- and I do).  I took the day off today as it is our anniversary (awww, I know), and I thought I’d get some things done and maybe make Bri a tofu-seaweed special for dinner!  He will be really excited- don’t tell him!

Anyways, 15 miles.  I went right out my front door and literally all around Fairport.  I strongly dislike running on the canal- it’s boring and unchallenging (I enjoy hills in my run), but I hopped on the old Erie at miles 6 and 10 for a little water fountain action.  My legs fatigued a little bit around 13 miles, and next time I will bring more water; maybe a gel- but for the most part, I feel great- not runner’s high elated- but great nonetheless!  I finished in 2:06 in dire need of a drink and some chocolate!

So.  Am I ready?  There are 69 days until the big race.  I think so- I mean as ready as I can be at this point.  Less we forget though, I thought I was ready before.

But I think I am training better this time around.

For my first marathon training, I had no plan besides my long run in Mendon each week.  I kind of just ran whenever I could at whatever pace I wanted.  Which was fine- my only goal was to make it to the end.  I remember the 20 mile run two weeks prior and I felt great!  Infact, I finished with ease.  So naturally I thought, I’m going to kick ass!  Well, mile 9 into the marathon, I totally gave up.  I felt awful- I can still feel the slushing of my stomach the whole race (I drank too much water!), and how hot it was in May.  At the half point, I was going to just go in- call it a day.  My coach and his wife really urged me to keep going.  She said, “you’ll regret it if you don’t!”  That did it, I had to go on; I was running this race in honor and memory of people special to me- I’d raised money for their cause.  I had to finish for them. With my coach Dave by my side, I ran/walked the remaining 13 miles and crossed that finish line- 26.2 miles later.  What I really think happened is I just plain freaked out- and when my mind stopped believing I could do it, there was no telling my legs and body I could.  I did finish that marathon with a smile on my face though- I have a picture!

I know what to expect now, so I’m training better mentally.  Yes, I’m training physically to run a faster marathon, but more importantly I care that I feel good the entire time- I’m not going to kill myself to qualify (just on Wednesday training days:).  To help me throughout my journey, I have a small army of tools.  These five are the most important things to me personally for my running fun:

1. My shoes.

When I first started running, I HAD to have the most expensive Asics on the market.  I didn’t care how it felt- I just thought expensive=best.  This is the most untrue thing in all the land.  When you’re looking for a shoe, find what works for you- be it that expensive Asics or otherwise.  My shoes are minimalist shoes (Brooks Green Silence).  I read “Born to Run” and was forever converted (amazing read)- just slight of barefoot running.  I was looking for something more affordable too, and I came across these guys- a vegan (the laces are made from CDs!), great priced running shoe.  I’m so glad I did; they are the best shoe I have ever run in.  I love how light they are. Unfortunately, I found them too late, and they’re discontinuing them. Wah wahh. Damn you Brooks!  I hope the replacement can live up to these standards!  Be careful if you choose minimalist shoes- they have almost no cushion (too much cushion, I think, is a bad thing) and you have to ease into them slowly.  But, I recommend them if you can!  I’m hooked- I like to think they make me faster;)

If you ever have a question about shoes, look for a specialty running store in your area.  They will closely observe your run and try to find a shoe that fits your arch, stride, and budget needs.  I like Medved Running and Walking Outfitters in Pittsford:)  Shoes are important (well, unless you’re into the barefoot running, in which case- kudos to you!).  Search around (I found mine after 10 years!)- make sure you find your sole mate!  Ha!

2. The Garmin.

My running watch is my best friend in training.  I thought I’d lost it in our move into the house, so I was without it for a year- but my amazing husband has a unique ability of finding everything I lose.  A GPS watch is expensive- so if you’re just running for fun, a regular watch will do.  But if you care to splurge, these things are great.  They tell you your pace, miles, time, elevation, and most have a heart rate monitor and tells calories burned (I never use this feature, but it’s there!).  You can time your splits, and I’m sure a whole lot more that I do not even know about.  I just wanna know how far I’ve gone!  Thanks, Garm!

3. My Hal Higdon Training plan.

http://www.halhigdon.com/

I’m sure there’s a million out there, but for me, this guy works.  I’m loosely working with the “Personal Best” Marathon Plan.  I add in my own stuff for extra fun;)  He knows running; his site is also packed with a TON of pointers and information.  But what I really like is how he makes a training plan with low mileage- shorter runs during the week.  I don’t have a ton of time, so weekend long runs typically work for me.  He has a plan for any distance race from beginner to expert- so if you ever get lost or don’t know where to begin, check these plans out.

4. The McMillan Running Calculator.

http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/calculator/

I have a goal- to run a fast marathon.  I love this because it gives me guidelines on how fast each of my runs should be to get there.  I just plug in my 15k race pace; and it can tell me how fast to run sprints, pace runs, and races.  Pretty cool, eh?

5. And finally, the Boston qualifying chart.

2013 Qualifying Times (effective September 24, 2011)

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec
Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard.

This only scares me helps me remember what my goal is.  They just recently changed it, so I have to run even faster than the ladies did before!  Thanks for that, Boston people!  Only time will tell…

So there’s my necessities.  Also, for the sake of the public, I wear clothes when I run.  But I wear whatever I find on sale wherever I happen to be.  I’m not big on the spending $50+ on a shirt I’m going to sweat in thing.  Races cost enough themselves!  I’m pretty sure expensive clothing won’t make me a better runner- but if you find proof otherwise, let me me know!  The elite runners I see run as close to naked as they can.  I’ll stick with my cotton shirts!  Buy what is comfortable for you.  And another tip- avoid cotton and add Bodyglide and a good pair of wicking socks to your own army if you’re prone to chafing!

Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention my motivation- the two who make it possible for me to do any of this:

little b and Big B<3

Happy Running!!!  I think an anniversary calls for ice cream later with my boys, don’t you?!

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