Friday, April 19, 2013

The Real Spirit of the Marathon

When I first started this blog, I had been running regularly for several years. One of my first posts was about how moving to Madison made me finally love running. And I still get pumped. My fastest and easiest to write post was the one where I wrote about how I started getting into it. If you look back at that post today, you will see what inspired me to run in a marathon. I was living in Boston and was watching the event in the spring of 2003.

Here is what I told you about the event back in 2011:

Let me tell you about the Boston Marathon. It is one of the ultimate marathons because unlike most marathons, you have to qualify for it [unless you do one of those “Team in Training” type of fundraisers.] For example, if I wanted to participate in it, I would have to run a previous marathon at about an 8.40 pace. [Dad – you would need to complete one at a 10.8 minute pace, so you should really consider it. Just saying]. So, I watched the marathon and said, “I can do this” and then I signed up for one and started training.

I was motivated to push myself. Watching a marathon, especially as a runner [even an amateur like myself] is like nothing else I can describe. Participating in a race is such a great feeling. Well - at the end anyway. There is nothing like finishing a race and rewarding yourself with a beverage and feeling all sore and worked hard. The physical goodness. It's just a remarkable feeling.

That finish line. That's where you want to be. When I went to New York to watch my sister Leslie run in the marathon, I described the emotions you feel as someone who has raced.

When I reflect on my run in the marathon, I get very emotional. I didn't then, but I do now. In 2007, my sister ran the New York marathon. I flew in to watch her. As I got off the subway, and entered the street, searching for my sister, tears streamed down my face. It was a beautiful moment, all of these people who all experienced the same grueling training, pushing their bodies to do things God did not intend to put us on this planet for. I completely connected with, and understood their feelings. It was also beautiful because there are few times I have ever been surrounded by so many people, in a large city, who have all come together for a joyous event, in a city that was terrorized. I cried a lot that day. I felt for the runners, and I think it was the first time that I ever realized what I had accomplished four years earlier

There really is something to be said about the beauty of a marathon. What happened on Monday in Boston is so sick. I feel for everyone who was there or had any connection. Let's keep the spirit of running a joyous one. There's nothing in my life that brings me the physical and mental pleasure that running does.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Run - a Training Guide

Well I finished my burpee challenge ... with myself. Oh well. I tried. I didn't think it was any big deal but I also don't miss them. If anyone wants to do a month with me, I am happy to!

In other news, my dad and sister agreed to train for a 5k. My dad has never really been a runner besides one summer in the old black and white days.

While he was visiting in March, I had planned to take him over to a running store to get fitted for shoes. He said he has a pair from when we were in Minneapolis [which was in the year 2000] and went out for cheeseburgers* instead. This is not a joke.

This is that burger joint he insisted we go to. Note * I drank my meal and downed 2 bloody marys.

So I decided instead of sending him 1,000,000 articles on why you should NEVER run in shoes that are thirteen years old, I would just blog about it instead.

So if you are wanting to go from 0 - 5 K, here is my advice.

1) Get medical clearance from your doctor.

2) Get fitted for running shoes at a running store.

These retailers are experts at fitting you based on your stride. This will be very helpful and will hopefully prevent injuries you can avoid by running in 13 [OMG!] year old shoes.

3) Wear appropriate running gear.

You do not need to get fancied out for this. You want to wear comfortable clothes. It's simple. You shouldn't have to buy anything new.

4) Start out slow.

Go around your block or down your street at a very slow jog. The biggest mistake I made when I tried to run the first few times was really running. Just jog. Slowly. You should be able to make it for one minute at a jog pace.

Here is a guide I found that you can use to get you from 0 to a 5K

My one [and only?!] marathon. My sister joined me at the end.

When I had my birthday last week I sent out my usual birthday wish list. Let me start by saying that my dad has fully furnished my wardrobe at this point. I am sitting in a cute dress and tights from a Banana Republic gift card he got me last winter and next to an adorable Orla Kiely purse
he comped for my birthday, I love to tell people who compliment my outfits that they're from Bob. Although they were picked out by yours truly.

However, I really want a dad and mom who are healthy [they are healthy - just to age well] And I wish now that I had asked my dad to do the 5K and not get me anything.

 I was really teased growing up for changing my mind. And I am the complete opposite of that now. I like to follow through on things. I hate when people tell you

"I'm going to see a movie tomorrow night"

and when you ask them how it was, they tell you they didn't go. It irks me.

If I could be your accountability partner I would be. What's keeping you from training for your first 5K?