Showing Posts Tagged: half marathon

The Post-Marathon Blues

The fall marathon season is about to wrap up.  The weekend cluster of marathons will soon diminish and the cold days of winter will follow.  Sure, there are a few marathons to choose from, but those are usually for more hardcore marathoners.  It ‘s not that far off until the winter and spring cluster of  marathons consisting of Disney, L.A. and the super bowl of marathons – Boston, plus many more.

Post Marathon Blues

Post Marathon Blues

This past weekend I was checking Facebook, and it seemed that everyone on the planet did a marathon.  Post after post after post by my friends relaying that they completed their race, celebrating a PR, or relaying their pure satisfaction at their accomplishment, and even some bemoaning their disappointment with their result.  I could hardly keep up with all the posts and that got me thinking; after all those months of training, now what for them?  Of course, my mind immediately triggered “Post-Marathon (or Half-Marathon) Blues.”  I’ve been there and know the feeling all too well.

MY 2013 RESOLUTION – KEEP RUNNING

Running has been in the fiber of my being for several years, 25 to be exact.  Now, however, when the new year comes around, I don’t even think of resolutions that pertain to running.  Now a days, running is more of an enjoyment than an annual competition with myself, and I like it that way.  I just want to keep running!

Running Resolutions

I no longer get wrapped up in extensive regimented training, but don’t get me wrong, I give every run, training run and race my all.  I still prepare for marathons by doing my long runs, speed and hill work.  However, I no longer get wrapped up in trying to set a personal best or to qualify for Boston.  I’m just happy that I’m still running, especially injury free.  I just want to keep running!

When I’m at the start line of a marathon, I know I will end up at the finish line… eventually.  I also know it won’t be my personal worst.  Believe me, I still have my fierce drive and laser mental focus, and I still get that exhilarating feeling every time I cross the marathon finish line.  I just want to keep running!

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.

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.

As a Runner, the Fire Within Sparks a True Burning Desire!

Do you have the "Fire Within?"

 

Last Tuesday I was watching The Biggest Loser with my wife, not to be misinterpreted that my wife was watching me thinking I was the biggest loser.  This show motivates me, not only due to the physical transformations which happens right before our very eyes, but also the mental transformations.  Seeing people that were overweight, depressed and had no hope in life slowly start to gain belief and confidence in themselves, and completely changing as a person is so inspirational.  This show reveals that, with the help of others, a “Fire Within” can be created, which in turn ignites a burning desire to change as a person.

I’m fortunate I’ve never been severely overweight, nor had life threatening health issues.  However, I’ll be honest, I can recall only a few times during my life that I had a true internal burning desire.  Like most of us, I’ve had the “Fire Within” many times, only for it to be doused.  Burning desire is a very hard feeling to come by but is the most powerful, positive, internal-motivating feeling you may ever have in your life.  If you read enough positive-thinking books, burning desire has a common theme which is, if you have a true burning desire there is nothing or nobody that can stop you from reaching your goal.

A Majestic Run is Good for the Soul!

A Majestic Run is Good for the Soul!

 

In my last blog post, I wrote about when a “Bad Training Run is Good for You.” Well, our running group members from Runners Edge of the Rockies in Denver got a royal treat on Saturday.  A run on a beautiful day on a spectacular, breathtaking course on Rock Creek and Coal Creek trails around Broomfield, Colorado, which is very close to Boulder.

There’s something to be said that beauty can tame the beast.  This was a day that I enjoyed running the first half of my 14-mile run with my pace group, but really wanted to run most of the way back by myself.  I wanted to take in the scenery of the beautiful Rocky Mountains and just get into my own head.  It was actually a “Zen run” for me. Along the way, I even took pictures of a few of our other pace groups.

Bad Training Runs are Good For You!

Bad Training Runs are Good for You!

 

Sounds strange doesn’t it, “Bad Training Runs are Good for You.”  I had one last Saturday and although it was bad, it still was good. Seven miles of ease and then seven miles of hell.  Fatigue, soreness, pain and my mind just saying, “let’s get this over quickly.”  Why was my run so bad?  Our running club coach warned us that the first half of the run was downhill but on the way back, it’d be a 5% hill upgrade… and it was going to get warm.  Amnesia–did I forget what he said?  I guess so since I hammered it on the first seven and paid dearly on the way back. I knew eventually I would have a bad long run since I have had several great long runs recently. Maybe spring fever got the best of me.

In Running – The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Your Mind is the Key to a Successful Race!

 

Spring marathon and half-marathon season is upon us, and there are a slew of them in April and May, including the Super Bowl of all marathons, Boston.

The cold months (in most areas) of physical training, with a combination of long runs, goal pace miles, hill repeats, cross-training and all the other ingredients to prepare you for the big day is not only necessary but mandatory–it gets all your critical body parts and muscles in condition.  However, besides building your body engine, you also need to work very hard on your computer, the critical hard drive–your mind (also known as mental conditioning).  For many seasoned runners, this is all too familiar and to be straight up, the mind is the ultimate make or break component as you work your way through your race.  In my opinion, mental conditioning is even more critical than all the physical training you’ve done to prepare for your race.

}