Half Marathon

Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running...

Love These Links!  Reading why others run reminds me of why I run.  And knowing why I run makes me want to just keep running!

  • Zoe shares her enthusiasm for running and ends a post with this note, "I just did some calculations and I figured out I've run 667.6 miles since last September. To me, this is awesome. My first "Runnerversary" is coming up and I'm happier now with my progress than ever. I feel great! :) This is totally why I run. "   Which reminded me of how important it is to celebrate all runs but especially our runnerversaries!
  • Phenominal story of why Emily runs!  Read her story of her success in her recent race and how she uses running to battle Ed (Eating Disorder).  
  • Morgan posted a great piece on why she runs.  Read it - it will resonate with you.
  • Article about a mom running for TNT to battle her son's leukemia.  So many good reasons to run...

LoungeCast: Half Marathon Challenge Week 11

This week Steve joins me as we talk through a series of topics.   One suggested by RunningLaur is the use of "half marathon" or "mini marathon" title for the race we know and love that covers 13.1 miles.  What is mini about 13.1 miles anyway?   If you were king/queen for the day, would you change the name of the half marathon?  We know our friend, CoffeeBetsy would - and has to "Trisko".

We also talk about running through unexpected changes in our routine and training schedules and how we handle it - or at least should.  :} 

And last but not least Steve throws out his questions and thoughts on gear and apparel as a follow up to Loungecast logo a thread started by Gregg.  In the discussion, I mention a couple recent forums.  Here is the link to the summer gear forum where runners listed their must have gear.  And here is a link to the recent forum where runners brought their favorite running tunes.

Download Half Marathon week 11

Thanks to all the listeners out there!  Become part of the fun!  Join us on Sunday evenings at 9 EST to talk about running and give your input.   It's as easy as a phone call at 724-444-7444, call id 53767.

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No Matter Why...Just Keep Running

And more links to posts which answer the question, "Why I Run".  Stop by, check them out and enjoy!

If you were going to run 5 Ultras in 9 months, something tells me that you would get the question "Why Do You Run?" a lot.   That is exactly what John Kynaston is doing right now.   And to the question, "Why..." he responds in part this way"When I started I honestly didn't know whether I could run for 95 miles and I wanted to see if it was possible for me. I assumed that once I'd done it that would be it and I'd try something else. But like so many before and after this race and ultra running gets under your skin and now I just can't imgaine not training for and running ultras."

I know that I bike to be a better runner, but this post caught my eye that there was a biker who ran to become a better biker.   Check out Trek7k's post for a new perspective.
Judsdad took some time to reflect on why he runs, here is an excerpt: " I run for those who ask me why? I run for those who want to run with me and learn and do...one day I WILL RUN for those who can not!  Next time you head out to find yourself or even lose yourself on the trail think about why you run and who you run for..."

A classic post from Cotuit Runner that is good enough to share again.  Here is the short list of reasons he brainstormed while trying to get through a run. 

  • I like ice cream.   
  • I like beer, too.
  • I don't want to be fat, and I'm not prepared to give up ice cream and beer
  • I spent money on the winged foot tattoo on my left calf … it would look really silly if I wasn't a runner.
  • What the hell am I going to do with six pairs of running shoes?
  • All of (OK, both of) my friends run. I don't want to have to find new friends.
  • I'm finally starting to get some definition in my calf muscles.
  • The nice lady with the llaso apso would miss me on my 6am runs near Loop Beach (I think I see her every morning).
  • The only stories I have are running-related. As boring as they are, they're the best I have.
  • A Runners World subscription in a house w/out a runner is just sad, and I signed up for another 2 years.

Kelly is training for the Walt Disney World Marathon and created a list of why she runs so she can be ready to answer the question as friends and coworkers ask her.   Check out her list.  My favorite is "transends through the rest of my life..."

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Why Do You Run?

Have you ever noticed there isn't a shortage of reasons of why we run?  Or runners writing about why they run?  Here are a few more links to check out and enjoy:

  • Ongster recently jotted down the reasons for running on the blog, For the Love of Running.  They include:  "I run because I like running. I run because it enables me to go to last minute hiking trips whenever an opportunity arises. I run because I like traveling and remaining mobile even when I retire. I run because I enjoy the company of other runners. I run because it makes me feel fitter. I run because I like the idea of going different places to participate in a race."
  • Jason Michael Douglas recently wrote down the reasons he runs.  And then pointed out a very logical fact, "every action has a least one reason."   Here are some of his: 
    • I run to get in shape
    • I run to get to the finish line
    • I run to prove to myself that I can
    • I run because others cannot
    • I run to get away from you, from myself, from everything
    • I run to clear my mind (though it has yet to work)
    • I run to separate myself from my past
  • Great post from Michael Hyatt on Balancing Priorites.  He runs as one of the ways he puts himslef first so he can serve others.   It's a good read!
  • Even if you don't write it down in a forum or blog, it's still ok to jot yourself a note about why you run.  Here is a link to one runners handwritten entries of why they run.
  • Fantastic post by insideout22 about why I run...here is one of the great excerpts:  "I LOVE running.  Give me a slow, plodding, painful run.  Give me a zippy, light on my feet, springy morning.  Give me a downpour.  Give me a beast of a hill.  Give me a fartlek (I can't believe I just said that).  But whatever you do, give me my run." 


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More links, more reasons why we run...

...but we really don't need a reason to run, now do we.  :}

  • April from the Live Your Passion blog loves shares this about why she runs, "THIS is why I run. Not body fat percentage, not 5k times, not even the demons it tames. I run for that rare moment where it ALL comes together as euphoric bliss: endorphins, ecology, exertion."    It is true that one good running moment can keep us running for a long time.
  • Becky from her blog, the Daily Dozen, gives all kind of reasons of why she runs.  She reminds us that it isn't just one thing, it is many.  
  • From the Team CAMFED blog, a wonderful reminder of why a group is raising money while they train and run the NYC marathon.   It's it amazing that running can bring so much to us personally but at the same time we can give so much to others?!?
  • Run2Rock has a short post quoting George Shehan about why he runs.  It was a wonderful reminder to me to pullout my book by George and put it by my nightstand.  He has such a wonderful way of looking at running.
  • Uncoveringme has a good way of talking about the most obvious reason most of us run - it just makes us right.  It makes us work better.   "I can wake up tired, doubtful and worried but within a couple kilometres of my run I'm energized, positive and confident that everything in life will come together as it's supposed to. It's hard to explain the feeling that rushes through your body when you run... you just have to experience it. The runners high is a feeling like no other and improves your mood everytime. "
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A few links to get you through..

Hi runners, here are a few posts that stood out to me this week:

  • From Writers Block, she had a great post about why she runs. "I run because it is a challenge and it's not easy.  When I run I feel very powerful. My head is clear at the end of a run. My body has been put to the test and my mind feels like it has accomplished something great."    Isn't it funny that sometimes we dread and look forward to the challenge all at the same time?
  • Mark shared a great description of the physical benefits of running on his recent post on his blog, Kendo.   Here is an excerpt - drop by and read the rest.   "There are many reasons why I run. The greatest of which are the health benefits. It took me ten years, but I can finally say I enjoy the actual running itself. "   Isn't it a great day (or year) where we run for a reason AND enjoy it!
  • Collection of great running quotes on the blog, Puma Racing Shoes.
  • Being a huge fan of cookies and beer, I couldn't resist sharing this short but eloquent post from Sun Runner:  "Why I run: so I can drink good beer. Right now I am in Ypsilanti's Riverside Park at the Michigan Brewers' Guild Summer Beer Festival. I look forward to this event all year. In my left hand is a Scotch ale from Copper Canyon Brewery. I am happy. Life is good. So is beer."
  • From Harmony's travels comes a great idea - make a list of the Top 10 reasons why you runs.  In her top ten list are important things like peanut butter cookies, cheese an da quest to find the cleaniest porty potty. 
  • From The Beginning of Something Legendary comes a good reminder.  Sometimes running doesn't feel good physically, but it feels good mentally.  "so I was able to run today. Wow! Did that feel good. Now what might be interesting to you is this: It did not feel good physically. I am a little sore 5 hours later. But it did feel wonderful clearing my head. And that is why I run!
    Exercise just helps you clear you head. I don't care if you like running, or if you are a basketball person, boxer, whatever. Just do something! Get your head cleared!"

Half Marathon Challenge - Week 6: Cross Training and Other Runs

Half marathon logo5 Running into week 6 of the Half Marathon Challenge - phew - time flies when you are having fun!  This week I was lucky enough to be joined by three great runners - Sneaker Sister, Mark Berry and Steve to talk about cross training, different types of runs and recovery.

It was great to hear how each runner tackles each topic - some alike and some different.  In the end, the theme that ran through all the advice was "listen to your body" and "do what is right for you".   Isn't that the wonderful thing about running - everyone can do it in their own way and still reach the finish line!Loungecast logo

Download Half marathon challenge episode 6

Take us along with you on your next run or cross training.

And don't forget to join in the fun - every Sunday night at 8 CST/9 EST - we get together on the phone and talk half marathons and running stuff.   No topic to big or small - just runners talking about runnng.

And it is as easy as a phone call.  Dial 1-724-444-7444, and enter call id 53767.

If you are looking for some additional resources on the topics this week.  Don't forget to stop by the Lounge in the Cross Training or Getting Faster sections.   Great posts from real runners like you!

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Links, Great Thoughts....There is So Much Great Stuff Out There

More great finds out there the last few weeks.  So many great runners and great thoughts.  I have yet to meet a runner that doesn't inspire me or teach me something.

  • Amy from Running Commentaries had a great post about "Wanting It".  Asking herself the question if it was worth it.  Trudging through a track work out that she didn't feel quite up to.  And then a walker on the track had this dialogue with her.   I thought it captured a conversation many runners have with themselves (or others):

    She tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you must really want it.” I was a little confused and responded with, “want what?” She said, “Whatever it is you’re chasing– you must really want it. No one is here taking attendance, no one would know if you quit. I’ve been watching and you don’t quit, you just seem so determined.” I responded “well, I guess I do want it… thanks!” It hit me midway through my next interval that I really do want “it.”

  • And from "Adventures of a Running Mom", a good thought on why she runs as she prepares for her third half marathon.   "I realized again that running is my therapy. It's my drug."   I think all of us moms need a little guilt free therapy time.
  • Great post on why she runs on the "100 Day's Club" blog:   "...but its more about the time to get out to clear the mind whether it be 20 minutes, or an hour. It just is nice to look around but not really zone in on anything but the task at hand. When I see the km´s add up on our challenge it makes me want to do even more-its a race against myself, a race to see how far I can push myself..."    And even better idea is the 100 Day Club.  It is an idea two womean created to take 100 days to get in shape without dieting or spending money - just good habits.
  • Happily Ever Now had a great post with quotes on why run as she prepares to take on a 50K race.  My favorite included the lines from Jack London,

     ”I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” 

  • Culinary Designs  Solutions blog had this great thought about why he runs - even when it is hard, he is tired, and life is busy, "I remember why I run.  It’s not a punishment it’s a pleasure, a gift. 

  • And Bill, on his blog, My Training Blog, dug out one of his old posts to remind him why he runs.  I think it is worth sharing and remembering:  "I find this sport life affirming, spiritually enriching, ego gratifying, transformative, and even magical. It is alchemy. It is an elixer. I love the feeeling of running what seems like, at least to me, fast and forever, when almost everyone in their 50s does not or cannot run. I can and will continue to run as fast and far as I can and as long as I am able."

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Half Marathon Challenge - Week 5: Successes and Challenges

Half marathon logo5 Arriving at Week 5, we are a quarter way through our Half Marathon, Full Challenge Series.   And to celebrate this milestone we took some time to talk about Successes and Challenges this year.   Joining me in the conversation were Steve and Mark.    What a great exchange!  

What was so interesting to me is that while these two runners live in different places and have different running goals, their successes and challenges were very Loungecast logo similar.  Both have been able to accomplish more than they thought and both are working through the summer blah's of running.   You know, that mid point in the summer when you are slightly between your goal races and you are up there in mileage and once in a while you feel just a bit bored with your running.  I think everyone experiences them to some degree.

Take Steve and Mark along with you on your next run and think about how you would answer the questions:    What have you achieved this year in your running?  How is it different than you thought?  What are your running challenges?

Download Half Marathon Challenge Week 5 Success and Challenges

And then plan to join us Sunday night at 8 CST/9EST for our Week 6 recording of the podcast.   It's as easy a phone call.  Dial 724-444-7444, call ID 53767.   Next week's topic is cross training, speed work, hills, tempo runs and more!

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Long Run Tips

I have been doing regular long runs for over 13 years now.  Always in training for something.   I will say that it has taken many years to work out the kinks of my system and now I feel lucky that my long runs are relatively routine - but never boring.  I always learn a new lesson on a new run. 

Here is a run down of the key lessons/parts of my long run:

Two days before scheduled long run.  I double check my family schedule and the weather to see if anything has snuck into the time slot that may make me miss or delay the run.  This gives me a few days to shuffle things around if needed.  I don't mind a little bad weather, but really hot or really cold or other extremes (foot of snow, lightening, etc) is stuff I will shuffle my run for.   And in the summer, I start watching my water intake and try to bump it up a bit more than normal and try to hold back my caffeine.  Decide on running route.  Decide initial goal.

Day before scheduled long run.   Remind my family of my long run.  Just because I mentioned it a few times and it is on the calendar means nothing - always good to confirm.   Water is with me all the time and make sure I drink it in lieu of other beverages.   I usually don't run anything hard or long the day before.  Start making a mental list of "challenges" I can think through on my run.  Start thinking about post run food reward.

Night before long run.  Small to moderate sized dinner, nothing unusual, nothing too spicey.  No alcohol - not even one beer.  I find alchol makes me drag in my runs for at least 24 hours after drinking it.   Small snack at bedtime - something easy to digest like a rice krispie treat.   Water at bed.   Clothes laid out - my most comfortable, nonchafing stuff I can find.  Water bottles, iPod, phone, SpiBelt, shoes, Gu, towel for after ... anything I need I lay out - just like I would do the night before the race.   It makes prerace prep more like a routine than a test.  Decide on three possible goals (usually some combination of miles and timing).

Morning of long run.  Put on running stuff.   Body glide in rubby spots.  Small snack like a banana, glass of OJ, or granola bar before I head out.  Light stretching.  Last trip to the bathroom.  Note to family of route and expected timings.   Gather up all my crap.   Drop off water bottles along route if needed.

Long run - part 1:  Walk 1/4 mile to warm up and make sure all my gear and stuff is on right and feels right.  Start running really, really slowly.  I force myself to run slower than I think I should for the first mile or so.  Goal is to settle into a groove, an easy to sustain pace.  Water stop every 15-20 minutes.

Long run - part 2:  Still running slow, but slightly faster than part 1.  Work on couple mental challenges I brought along.  Think about training plan and if any modifications are needed.  Breath deeply - enjoy the first half of the run.  Water stop.  Depending on distance could be a fuel stop with GU as well (about every 30-45 minutes).

Long run - part 3: Turn around or half way point for run.  One of my favorite parts of the run.  If it is an out and back course, I now know that I will finish because there is only one way back to the start.  Short walk break.  If I figured out anything about my mental challenges, I jot down notes on the voice recorder or notepad on my phone.   Start picking up the pace a bit.  Goal is always negative splits for my long runs.  Begin varying the pace more - short pickups - to keep my legs interested in the run.  Water stop.  Could be GU depending on distance. End of part 3 and going into part 4 is a tough leg for me - I am ready to be done.  Pull out something from bag of tricks to keep going - sighting short term milestones, walk breaks, listing all the things I have done harder than this, slowing down to a crawl, switching music, thinking about new challenges, mantras ("all forward motion is good motion", "i can and i will", "just keep moving").

Long run - part 4:  Funnel spirits of other runners in the community.  Call to mind great stories of tough runs.  Start thinking about how good it will be to be done with this run.  How so many people didn't get up and do this run today.   Run through lists at home and what needs to be done after the run.  Begin thinking about post run food reward.  Smile.  Pick up the pace some more.  Visual the finish line at a race.

Post Long Run:  Walk it out.  Drink lots more water and touch of Powerade.  Listen to a great tune as I walk and drink.  Wipe off a bit before hopping in car.  At home, get good for me snack first.  Usually a fruit and something with protein.  Drink more water.  Shower.

And then...back to reality. 

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