Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good-bye, 2-a-Days

So I was reading an article on the benefits and pitfalls of running doubles, which got me thinking.

I love running in the morning and again in the evening. It's an easy way for me to get my mileage, and with my busy schedule, it fits my life. Last year, as I trained for my first marathon, I made heavy use of doubles. Last year, I bonked hard at 18. Of course, I have other valid reasons why that happened, so it never occurred to me to question this piece of my training.

And so this year I am back at doubles with a fervor. Until yesterday, when I read, "Staying with longer single runs builds endurance, while shorter doubles allow you to train at a faster pace." This is true; I have gotten much faster. But my longer runs have not gotten any easier. By splitting my mileage into two runs, I have not gotten all the benefits of endurance training.

I truly do not want to have the same marathon experience this year. So this is the end, for now. Hasta la off-season, 2-a-Days.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Running in my Now

Running sometimes sucks. I'm not one of those people with natural ability, I work hard to get where I am. But I work hard at everything else too, so sometimes when I get to the run I'm fresh out of drive.

On those days, I spend most of my run thinking about how hard it is, or what hurts, or how many miles I've logged this week. But usually it's how much farther until I can stop. Those are very tough runs, and I don't enjoy them so much.

I did not want that for my long run today. Long runs are hard enough for me, I don't need my whiney inner voice to get involved too. So I took a day's rest, had a good sleep, and chose a new route.

I like variety where I run. My route today was awesome. Lots of uneven running surfaces kept me paying attention to where I was stepping. Rolling up and downhills were such a nice break from running around the flat circle lakes. There was no dodging strollers, pedestrians, or dog leashes. This run was over before I knew it, and I enjoyed mostly the whole thing. More of that, please.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Someone Else's Race

There have been so many cheerleaders in my life -- especially this last year -- pushing me on, picking me up off the asphalt, inspiring me to try for more, and generally just telling me "good job." It has meant so much to me. So, yesterday, I gave some love back.

I volunteered at the 3rd annual Minneapolis Marathon. It was my first time volunteering. I brought everything: cowbell, whistle, noise maker. Sunscreen? D'oh!

I was near the start of the race, and everyone took off like the crazy, happy, 7am runners they all were. Lots of smiles, so awesome to see.

After they all cleared and we had taken down the barracades and cleaned up, I was sent to mile 18. I was so excited to be there. What a wonderful place to be a cheerleader. At the top of the hill. And right after the water station. I screamed and whooped and smiled and flirted and cowbelled and "good jobbed" for four hours. I stayed until the last runner passed. So many people thanked me, and I remembered how grateful I was for the words of encouragement at the tough spots on my marathon.

It was so inspiring, and so fulfilling, to see so much passion and grit pass before me, humbling. This is only the beginning, I will be doing this again and again.

If you can't run, volunteer!