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A Day Off of Running – A Walk on the Beach

Trading My Run for a Walk on Keawakapu Beach - Taken Today 4-27-2012

Vacations are so relaxing and sometimes are extremely relaxing.  My wife, Debbie, and I are spending time in Maui, specifically in Kihei town (which just borders Wailea, where mostly the rich and famous stay!).

This week was a fantastic running week for me.  For some reason, the heat, humidity and pounding sun did nothing but enhance my running this week.  My body felt great and even the hills were easy for me.  I was actually running a faster pace than normal for a training run.  I’ve not been an especially good runner in the heat the past few years, so it’s a mystery why I’m feeling so good.  Nonetheless, I accept it and hope it continues throughout the summer!

Today however, since I have a good base of miles in for the week, I decided to treat myself and go for a walk on the beach with Debbie.  Usually as I am finishing my run while in Kihei, I cool down by walking the last half-mile on the beach, usually soaked in sweat.  So this was a nice alternative, especially since I was able to just walk with Debbie, and enjoy the views, sounds and smells.  We even talked to a few friends that we passed along the way.

Runners – Don’t Fear the Wall, Crash through It!

 

Don't Fear the Wall!

 

“The Wall” is one word that runners fear most.  It’s the point of a marathon where your body basically falls apart due to depletion of glycogen stored in the muscles and liver.  This in turn increases lactate acid build up in your legs.  Your leg muscles become so sore that it’s almost impossible to keep running and threatens to destroy your race.  This  can happen at any time during a marathon, but is usually somewhere between miles 18 and 22.  It’s long been immortalized at mile 20.

I’ve seen many marathon runners hit the wall during a race and, yes, I’ve hit the wall.  It’s crazy; you’ll be cruising along at mile 17 feeling great and BAM, it hits you as if you actually ran right into a brick wall.  It generally doesn’t creep up on you; it just suddenly happens.

Self-Motivation for a Runner on Vacation is Necessary!

 

Self-Motivation on Vacation is Tough!

 

I’m currently on vacation in Maui, Hawaii (yea tough) and am completely off my regular running schedule.  You would think, man, being on vacation (especially in Hawaii) you should be running 100 miles a week!  Well, that’s just not the case.  Have you ever been on vacation and been super-motivated the first couple of days, then found your self-motivation just dissolves?

Vacation is a time to relax and enjoy, right?  That means good food, drinks and fun times with your spouse, family, significant other or yourself.  Plus, Hawaii brings some additional distractions such as the ocean, beach and plenty of warm sun.  Kinda gets in the way of running.  Right now, if I don’t get up at the crack of dawn, chances are my run for the day will quickly fade away.  Sometimes when I get up while here, I just don’t feel like running — I’d rather stare at the ocean (understandably).  Plus, I don’t have my running group nor running friends to drag my lazy butt out like I do in Denver.  So, I gotta do it completely on my own and that’s where self-motivation needs to kick in.

The 2012 Boston Marathon – Remembering 2004! Awesome!

Just Like 2004! Fun Times!

A marathon is like a vacation.  You wait for months planning and training for that big day and, like a vacation, it comes and goes at lightening speed.  Once over, the feeling’s the same; it’s done, it’s just a memory.  Maybe even a little post marathon blues set in, just as you feel when your wonderful vacation is over.  Well, your experience at Boston this year brought back memories for me of the 2004 Boston Marathon.

Yesterday, was the Boston Marathon and now it’s over.  All those months of training and excitement building up to the big day.  The heat was a curve ball, not really thought about nor planned on during all your months of training.  Chances are, you didn’t hit your goal, and even found some new things out about yourself since you had to dig deep to finish this one.  For me, a hot marathon sucks and I basically turn off my watch and just focus on getting to the finish line.

I am a Runner – I Run in the Present and I Live a Longer Day!

 

When Running, You Live in the Present!

 

I was with a friend recently and he shared this Dalai Lama thought on “man” with me.  It resonated with me in so many ways that I asked if he could email it to me.  I’ve looked at it a few times and then pondered upon it being a runner.  Now, I ‘m not going to get all spiritual on you, but if you think about it, runners really are closer to living in the present than most people.  What do I mean?

Lets break this down: “Man… sacrifices his health to make money.”  Okay, we all need to make money to live, but runners balance it all out by living an active lifestyle to maintain not only physical but also mental health.  Next, man “sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”  All in all, most runners live an active and healthy lifestyle.  Therefore, the money we invest is in running shoes and active wear.  Sure, we runners do get colds, flus and other common illnesses, however, all in all, we reduce the risk of many diseases due to the health benefits realized by running.

Statistically Speaking – Running is Off the Charts Popular!

Running is Popular and Really Big Business!

 

As I was mentally drifting during one of my runs this week, I was thinking about the popularity of running and how it’s grown over the years.  And honestly, since I’m finishing up my book, I was also wondering how big the running market really is, and the extent of my potential reach, so I did some fact-finding digging.

First, I know that running’s popular, much more popular than when I first started running marathons in the late-1980s.  I was, however, blown away to find out it’s over a $2.6 billion dollar industry.  Wow!  That’s a lot of scratch (and gels, orthotics and clothing, etc.).

To illustrate, in 1995, roughly seven years after I ran my first marathon, total entries were about 74% men and 26% women.  Today, 59% are men and 41% are women.  Conversely, half-marathons entries today are flipped; 59% women and 41% men.

Embrace the Taper? – Not That Easy for a Runner!

 

Tapering Prior to Your Race Can Be Stressful!

Okay.  So you’re now in the heart of spring marathon and half-marathon season. Boston is just over a week away and a lot of other popular marathons and half-marathons are scheduled for April and May.  You’ve been following your training schedule and probably doing several long runs.  At this point, you feel you’re trained, although maybe feeling a little fatigued.  You’re done with your last long run, and then you announce to the world, “I’m now tapering!!”  Oh boy, everyone around you will feel the need to duck or run for the hills!

Tapering is supposed to be your time of rest before your race–time for your body to relax and store energy for the big day.  Time for you to sit back and reflect upon all the hours upon hours of disciplined running that sucked up your life for the past four to six months, and a time to ponder your upcoming race.

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