Tag Archive: Running

Happy Running New Year

It’s the new year, and I’ve got some new running goals.  First up, I had to update my running log.  I’ve been running a lot on the treadmill, which means manual entry (rather than auto-entry from my Garmin).  Today will make 2 years and 7 months on the streak.  Crazy and I never thought I would go this long.

The treadmill is great because it allows me to run any time in any weather.  But, it also makes me very lazy.  I don’t actually like running on the treadmill, so I find myself just running the minimum for the streak.  That is a habit I would like to break this year.  My  average running distance has slipped from 3 miles down to 2.  To that end, a friend of mine has signed up for a half marathon and asked for a virtual running partner (virtual because she’s in another country), so I’ve agreed to run a half marathon “with” her.  Luckily I found one here about a week after hers, so we are good to go!

After a less-than-enjoyable marathon, and a DNS (did not start) marathon, I am looking forward to training for “just” a half.  I really find the half marathon distance to be much more fun, and the training to be soooo much more bearable.

So running longer distances, tracking better, and a half marathon.  Those are my goals for running this year.  What are yours?

Dread

A while ago I signed up for a marathon. It was to be my second, and a do-over of sorts for my first marathon, that didn’t go at all as I had hoped. Well, this one isn’t exactly going as well as I had hoped either. First off, I hate running in hot weather. I will happily run in snow and freezing temps, but I just hate heat. I dread it. So, an early fall marathon was really a bad choice, given that my long runs would all take place in the high heat and humidity of August in New Hampshire.

I was going to run the marathon, and much of my training, with my good friend Jess. Sadly, after our 12 mile run, she went to the doctor because of foot pain, only to find out that she had tendonitis. No running for a month, and no marathon.

I’ve been looking at my running schedule with dread. Absolute dread. I didn’t want to do it. Any of it. Not even the short runs. I just wanted to bury my head in the sand.

This week I was travelling. A couple of conferences and some time off. A lovely time, but no time to run. And certainly not in the heat and humidity of St. Louis. During the conference, one of the days had a high of 100. Did I mention I hate running in the heat? All of my runs this week were indoors and short. Really short. Definitely not marathon training short.

So it was with deep dread that I knew I had a decision to make. I had to suck it up and train for this marathon, now at least a week behind schedule. Or I had to admit to myself that my heart wasn’t in it and I had to give up. Let me add, I do not give up easily. I am stubborn. Very stubborn, just ask my mother.

But I did it. I made the decision. I am choosing to run the half marathon on race day rather than the marathon. And oddly, I feel better. I knew I had made the right decision when I suddenly felt lighter. I saw a woman running down the street and rather than being annoyed, I mentally cheered her. I’d been mentally swearing at other runners for weeks. As soon as I made the decision and said it aloud, I felt a million times better. I even felt like going for a run!

PS Part of me HATES admitting any of this. I hate that I gave up on something I said I would do. But sometimes we have to admit when our hearts just aren’t in it. And really, why on earth would I run 26.2 miles unless I REALLY REALLY wanted to?

Running in the Heat and Humidity

As mentioned (possibly ad nauseum) I am training for a marathon. I’m currently in the 10-12 mile long run and working my way up. Unfortunately, it is July and I live in New Hampshire. Which means sometimes it is really hot and humid. I have a treadmill in my basement, where it is a bit cooler and drier. However, I can’t seem to convince myself to do more than about 4 miles on the dreadmill.

So I turned to Facebook and Twitter and asked around for thoughts/tips/tricks.

Of course, staying hydrated is huge. From experience, I cannot stress this one enough. You need to hydrate. And you need to do it BEFORE your run, in addition to during.

Go early or late, if possible. Avoiding the hottest part of the day, with the sun beating down on you will help. Of course, schedules what they are, this isn’t always possible.

Take breaks, if necessary. I used to be one of those runners that thought you had to run the whole distance or it didn’t count. Phooey.

Go slow. I already do this, not sure I can go much slower, but still good advice.

My friend Libby said to persevere, she finds that she gets acclimated to the heat and humidity and it gets better. This gives me hope.

My friend Mitch had a great idea, that I have to think about to see if it would work with my schedule, but he suggested splitting up the distance across outdoor and indoor. So maybe I could run the 3 or 4 miles that I can stand on the treadmill, then run 6+ outside. (Or reverse the order if it was early morning and getting warmer out, rather than evening and getting cooler).

So, it’s your turn. What suggestions do you have for dealing with the heat and humidity? Or dealing with boredom on the treadmill?

Top 5 Things I Do Not Want To See On A Run

Top 5 Things I Do Not Want To See On A Run – but probably will, or already have.

5) A driver, coming towards me, on their cell phone, oblivious to my existence on a narrow road.

4) A big, mean, ugly dog. Running towards me. Without a leash.

3) A group of bored and surly teenagers.

2) A thunderstorm. Heading towards me. On an open plain.

And the number one thing I do not want to see on a run…

The chase van – aka the van that drives slowly along the course of a race and if you see it, it means you are so friggin slow that you’ll never finish the race before they pack it all up and go home, so this van is going to pick up your sorry ass and drive you to the finish.

Never Give Up on a Run

Today I ran the Market Square Day 10k in Portsmouth, NH.

marketsquareday.jpg

I’ve run this race before and it’s a fun race. It winds through several neighborhoods, and if the weather is nice people come out and play music (think Chariots of Fire and the Rocky theme) and cheer runners on. When it’s really hot, many people put up hoses/sprinklers to run through.

The weather was great for running, low 60′s and overcast. I was running with my friend Jess and her cousin, Meg. None of us were looking for a fast finish, but just to run it and finish it. Then Jess said she was trying for under an hour. Around mile 3 (?), I told her I didn’t think I was going to come in under an hour. I kept her in my sight through mile 5, but then I lost her as she went ahead. It was at that point that I relaxed a bit. I knew I wouldn’t make the one hour mark, so I could relax. Boy, that was dumb. I came in at 1 hour, 36 seconds. Had I just pushed it the tiniest amount, I could have come in at an hour.

Anyway, it was still a fun race, and I’m glad I ran it.

Possibly the best part of the race was a pair of runners I ran into somewhere around mile 4 or 5. A guy and his daughter. His 10 year old daughter. She rocked, and I told her so. She smiled and kept running. She was like a celebrity, it seemed all the spectators knew her and were so surprised and delighted to see her running. “Charlotte! Oh my gosh that’s CHARLOTTE!” was said a lot. She was beaming. Dad was proud. It was fun to watch the spectators see her and be so impressed by her, and to see her reactions. Think she’ll be a runner? Yeah, me too.

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