{Monday Motivation} Finishing Only Stokes the Fire

It’s no surprise that running can be addicting. You can’t possibly pump your body full of that many endorphins and not expect to get addicted to it. Well, I recently found out marathoning is no different. From the moment I crossed the finish line at Big Sur just over a week ago, I haven’t stopped thinking about my next marathon- when will it be, where, how will I do, can I finally set a time goal? So, when I saw this graphic on Pinterest, I thought it was perfect for this week’s Monday Motivation. Happy running this week!


Why You Shouldn’t Be Nervous for Your First Marathon

922874_4931838093758_1915257636_nI won’t be the first to tell you that running a marathon takes a lot of hard work. Most training programs last anywhere from 14 to 18 weeks and over the course of that time period you’ll log literally hundreds of miles. And what for? A few hours of running on a single day culminating the entire experience in a celebration of all of your hard work and dedication. Now, for a first-timer like myself, that is a lot of pressure on a single day, a single run. That pressure cannot amount to a lot of anxiety the week leading up to race day. But remember when I said this is a “celebration?” Well, it’s true.

My marathoner friends tell me I’m ready. I’ve logged every workout, tackled my 20-milers and (knock on wood) have made it to race weekend relatively injury-free. As I write this on the plan ride out to California, I found a note one of my coworkers and friend, left on my desk in the middle of this past week. She outlined 10 reasons why she is confident I’m going to “rock Big Sur.” The note was genuine and helped put me at ease. It was also too good not to share, so I’m sorry Megan but I’m putting you on blast and letting everyone know why they shouldn’t be afraid to run their first marathon either.

  • “You’ve conquered 10th Street how many times? Like a million. Look at your log and count the number. It’ll surprise you.”- 10th Street is a very hilly road near work that we use for hill workouts and hill runs are vital to Big Sur preparation. But this is good advice for any first-timer- look over your log, look at your workouts, your miles. You’ve come SO far.
  • “You dominated your 20-milers. I remember how nervous you were before it and how ecstatic you were when you finished it successfully.” –This is true, I was scared out of my mind for both 20-milers but I finished both of them feeling strong and happy. Even if your 20-milers weren’t perfect, you still managed to get them done and that’s what counts. You can cover the miles, what’s 6.2 more?
  • “You did all the little things- you’ve done enough core/strength/yoga for the both of us. You’re strong girl!” – This is true and every first-timer should try to incorporate as much core, strength and yoga exercises to supplement their running as possible. I credit all of that to getting to the starting line injury-free.
  • “You followed your plan to a T. I’ve never seen someone so committed to a plan- that means you’re prepared.” – Again, yes I may have been a little neurotic in sticking to my plan but as a first-timer, I didn’t know how to train for a marathon so I figured following a training plan as close as possible would be the best way to learn.
  • “You’ve actually seen your progress- figure out how much your average pace has dropped since you started. Instant confidence booster.” – I’m not the only one who has seen a change in pace throughout marathon training. Many of my other runner friends said training for a marathon made them faster overall and it was definitely a confidence booster.
  • “Unless a landslide falls on you, you will finish. This is your only goal for your first 26.2 and there’s absolutely no reason you won’t make it.” – True, my only goal is to finish and I would advice other first-time marathoners to have the same goal. Time doesn’t matter because you really don’t know what to expect. If your goal is to just finish it’s a lot easier to handle.
  • “You’ve said it yourself that you’re committed to sticking to your game plan. That’s like 95.6 percent of the battle. You’ve got this thing in the bag before it’s even started.” – It’s good to go into any race with a set game plan but also to be willing to make changes along the way and be flexible depending on how you are feeling.
  • “If Joey Fatone can do it, you can. Period.” – Enough said.
  • “You can bank on those freaking stunning views to get you through the last 6.2 miles. Seriously, your first marathon is Big Sur…. Umm… Awesome!” – True. Big Sur is rated one of the top marathons in the country and it is on many people’s bucket lists of races. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to run my first marathon at Big Sur.
  • “You’ve made it to the starting line healthy and ready to go. Remember, the race is just a celebration of all the hard work, dedication, freezing cold miles, and sacrifices you’ve made to get there. There’s no pressure. You’ve got this!”

It’s true, there really isn’t any pressure on me and like everyone has told me, you only run your first marathon once. So now that I know I’m ready, I am going to enjoy every mile.

{Friday Faves} Reads, Runs and Raves

Phew, it’s Friday everyone! If you’re living in the Northeast (and really the majority of the U.S. right now) you have survived one of the coldest weeks of the winter so far! This has been my first real bought with winter running and I’m proud to say I kicked winter in it’s piriformis and ran outside anyway. Take that, Mr. Frosty. While running these frigid miles, of course I was thinking about what to add to my Friday Faves. Here they are:

  • On Thursday, a bunch of the Runner’s World ladies and myself took a “Gentle Flow” yoga class after work. I read this post by Sally, from Oiselle, and she echoes our sentiments about yoga for runners – Yoga for Dummy (Runners) via Oiselle Blog
  • Dream race alert! Someday I will complete the Empire State Building Run-Up – Stairway to Hell: Racing Up the Empire State Building via Greatist
  • It’s amazing how training for a marathon can alter your entire lifestlye. I’m vowing to cook much more and that begins with buying a crock-pot this weekend. Here are 77 healthy crock-pot dishes- I will attempt to try (most) of them. – 77 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes via Greatist
  • Post of the week: I really liked this post from Ali on the Run about taking responsibility – Taking Responsibility via Ali on the Run
  • If you’re a runner in Boston and you haven’t heard of the November Project, you need to get your shiz together. This running group takes winter running seriously, as portrayed in their amazing feet (pun totally intended) of completing their 8-miler Ninja Race – 

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  • A friend asked me this morning what my plans were for the weekend and my response: Well, I’m training for a marathon so I have a lot of running to do… 14 miler you are MINE tomorrow #marathontrainingSlow them down 

Twitter talk: Getting injured while training for a race

Getting injured while training for a big race is not easy. It’s hard to figure out if you should keep training, seek advice from a doctor, or just rest. I’m training for a half marathon and marathon now and an IT band issue cropped up. I decided to ask my Twitter followers for advice.

  1. FitHappyGirl
    How do you stay positive after an injury during training? #runchat #fitfluential
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 11:55:42
  2. RunningBecause
    @FitHappyGirl I focus on what went wrong first of all. Then enjoy the downtime. Then plot out a strong comeback.
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 11:57:57
  3. FitHappyGirl
    @RunningBecause good tip! I’m dealing with an IT band issue but have a half on Sept. 30. I’m trying to rest but I hate it haha #runchat
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:05:38
  4. RunningBecause
    @FitHappyGirl I had an ITB injury 2 years ago. Came back stronger and faster, but not after stupidly trying to run through it
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:12:15
  5. FitHappyGirl
    @RunningBecause good to hear. I was nervous if I rested too long I’d loose everything I’ve worked for.
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:17:50
  6. JWLevitt
    @FitHappyGirl I’m looking for answers on this one too. Have a stress issue in one of my arms. Not fun.
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:18:03
  7. ryanjknapp
    @fithappygirl What sort of injury do you have? I get my clients into another activity to keep them fit and happy!
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:25:29
  8. ryanjknapp
    @fithappygirl IT band..let’s look at cause and not treatment. Are you a heel striker at all?
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:38:01
  9. ryanjknapp
    @fithappygirl That is why you have the issue. Pronation only is an issue when you heel strike because of the roll from heel to toe.
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:53:27
  10. FitHappyGirl
    RT @ryanjknapp: Running injuries: If you have an injury don’t look at how to treat it. Instead, find the root cause and fix that! #runchat
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:58:42
  11. nathan7264
    @FitHappyGirl Mental counts a lot. If you have access to pool, consider pool running, did that with prior IT injury, not last year,&foamrllr
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 13:48:20
  12. Andrea_runs
    @FitHappyGirl you have lots of time. Don’t panic yet!!
    Thu, Aug 23 2012 12:27:06

Monday Motivation: Do what others say cannot be done

When I first started running, I was focused on just finishing a 5k. I was not a runner and just started last March but I knew if I set that goal for myself, I could accomplish it. Pretty soon, I realized I could run farther and longer than a lot of other people. I remember the day when I broke through the mysterious “wall” and was able to just keep running, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had never been really good at anything athletic but now I was able to run 4 miles and then 6 miles and pretty soon, a half marathon.

But when I told some of my family and friends about my dream to run a marathon, a few doubted me. They told me it was too ambitious, I hadn’t raced enough smaller races yet, I could hurt myself and I just wasn’t ready. It’s hard to hear this form people you love, especially when you just want them to be happy for you. But it gives you a choice. You can either listen to what they say and change your mind about your goals, or you can ignore them and go full speed ahead with confidence in your ability to reach your goal. I did the latter.

Video: NYC marathon time-lapse

I came across this video made by Gwen Schroeder on Vimeo and had to share it. Using a GoPro HD Hero 2 camera strapped to her head as she ran the 2011 NYC Marathon, she was able to compile this time-lapse video of the duration of the marathon. The camera took a picture every second, allowing her to then edit the images into one clip.

I can’t imagine running 26.2 miles with a camera attached to my head but I give Gwen the biggest of props for doing so because it allows viewers, like myself, to experience running the NYC Marathon. Also, for anyone who’s already run the race, they can relive it!

2011 New York City Marathon Time-Lapse (ING NYC Marathon) from Gwen Schroeder on Vimeo.

Boston Marathon Infographic

I am so sorry for neglecting my blog the past week, school has been crazy busy but don’t fret, I will be back in full force tomorrow with some new blog posts. In the meantime here’s a cool infographic from yesterday’s Boston Marathon. As a Massachusetts native, and the daughter of a former marathoner, Marathon Monday has always held a special place in my heart. My dad ran the Boston Marathon a total of eight times during his running days and I can only hope to run it some day.