Friday, February 1, 2013

Just Run?

I'm a casual, though decently competent runner. I know the basics: put one foot in front of the other and repeat...and repeat and get the idea. So, alright got it. I go out and I run, putting one foot in front of the other. Is that it? Nope, definitely not.

 After a couple sunny this going to be standard now??

After I decided to accept my sister in law's bib and attempt her marathon, I started some running research. Not only is there an unbelievable amount of information about running via blogs, books, stores and websites, but there is so much stuff out there about marathons specifically. I have been slightly overwhelmed by the amount of information and trying to remember all the crap I'm supposed to be doing, eating and thinking. Eat pasta before a run and rice & beans after. Go vegetarian. Do ice baths. Follow your plan and take rest days, but also cross train 2-3 times per week. It's all a little exhausting, especially considering the fact that with all the running I'm doing, I just want to cash it out on the couch when I'm not pounding the pavement...not cross referencing running advice. 

Click here for a Top Ten Tips for First
Time Marathon Runners that is actually
feasible and helpful. I especially like 
#2 Get Real, #5 Eat Up and #6 Be Tough.

I've come to realize that your running is yours and (light bulb on!) you have control over it. I talked to a guy I met in a coffeehouse who had qualified for and run Boston a number of times and he confirmed it. His advice: do what you can during the mid-week runs, but get your focus face on for the long Sunday run. Don't make any excuses for that one - just do it. He said one of his marathons was during a particularly busy part of his life and he only got one or two short runs during the week, but that he was consistent with his Sunday long runs. Granted I'm pretty sure that running is easier for him than for the rest of us, but still, I'll take his advice. 

In addition to the epiphany that my training is my own, using my sister in law's GPS watch has made training dramatically more fun and less daunting. I wore it for the first time yesterday and loved it! I did a 7 mile fartlek and it was awesome to have my pace immediately available to me - though there were a number of times were I was SURE I was running really fast only to look down and see, well...maybe not quite as fast as I thought. I guess information can be encouraging and defeating. Regardless, for once having more information available to me, felt empowering and not overwhelming, which was a really nice change. Then the info that the watch (and garmin online) provided post-run was incredible! Check it out below:

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