Tag Archives: marathon

Damn You and Thank You, Nike

Last December, the Nike women’s race series announced that it was dropping its San Francisco half marathon, so this is not new news to the running world by any means. I’ve had nearly 7 months to get used to the idea, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still angry at Nike because I AM still angry and after running that race for 5 consecutive years in a row (plus Nike DC its inaugural year so 6 times total), I expected a little more explanation from Nike as to why they made that decision and took away my lucky #7 and what they were going to do to replace the race here in California, but noooooooo… no reasons, no future plans for a U.S. race, no more tuxedo-ed firemen, no more running for Tiffany’s… grrrrrr!!! <shakes fist in air>

In my 41 years of life I have learned that all things, especially the good things, do come to an end. I get that. Doesn’t make it any less annoying knowing that truth but I also realize the other side of the coin- be sure to enjoy while it lasts.

And when it comes to the Nike Women’s Marathon, I certainly did just that…

My first Nike finish line and my first 26.2.

My first Nike finish line and my first 26.2.

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Journey to 26.2, Part 3: The Reality

If you know me in real life or if you have read this blog for any period of time, you know that I aim to always be honest with myself. While I am elated that I finally overcame the 2014 Year of Injury and am back to successfully running the road, I know that I’m just not where I used to be nor where I need to be to tackle a full marathon right now. For these reasons, I decided to downgrade from the full to the half at this weekend’s SLO Marathon. I’m not at all bummed about this, however, I am happy that I am not allowing my ego to overrule good judgement and I know that I am making the right decision.

I started training for this full in January and got up to 16 miles, the longest distance I’ve run since training for my last marathon nearly 3 years ago.  The 16 was great!  I felt good, my injuries were just fine, it was slow (took just over 3 hours) but it was accomplished nevertheless- I was proud of my effort and ecstatic that I was mentally and physically able to finish a 16 mile run after all I went through, physically, last year. Totally planned on 18 miles the following week. I swear I did. The day-of-the-18 came and I just couldn’t wrap my head around 18 nor the impending 20 mile runs. I refused to give running all that time, I simply didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. I ran 10 instead and thought, “Half marathons are awesome too, darn it.”  Continue reading

Journey to 26.2, Part 2: The Plan

Just about 5 weeks until The Big Day, until the SLO Marathon, until my third 26.2. I’m feeling okay about it… ish. My training has been going fairly well, save for the month I took off to grieve and eat all the carbs and all the sugar. Had to be done. 2 weeks ago, I accomplished a 3 hour and 15 minute 16 mile training run and it went surprisingly well after all that time off. Those 16 miles gave me just the boost of confidence I needed to get back to my training- I completed that run feeling surprisingly refreshed, very happy, and (after a long ice bath) not sore at all!

As a proud SLO Marathon race ambassador, I was lucky to be introduced to Greg McMillan of the McMillan Running Company.  After completing a very detailed questionnaire about my running history, strengths/weaknesses, and time/distance goals, Coach Greg crafted a training plan for me that included my upcoming races plus a lot of fantastic advice about recovery, increasing speed, and running efficiency. Since this marathon will be the first I have done without the support of Team in Training, having a (virtual) coach to guide me through plus a new, custom plan to follow really helps to increase my confidence about this impending 26.2. Continue reading

Journey to 26.2, Part 1: Beginning Again

I attempted yet another half marathon this past weekend despite the fact that I’ve been injured for over a year, and it really didn’t go well.  Duh. I plan to write the race recap, of course, but wanted to write this first in an attempt to ease my mind… to be completely and totally honest, I haven’t been running much at all lately. I ran a bit prior to the Nike half and that race went really well (not speedy well, just hey-I-don’t-feel-like-imminent-death-this-time-woo-hoo kinda well) so why I seem to think I can race and expect a positive outcome while NOT training at all and eating ALL my kids’ Halloween candy is a certifiable mystery to me. I’m crazy like that.

I pushed and pushed to cross the finish of the half last Saturday, and as soon as I was done, puked about 5 times, much to my husband’s dismay. After I recovered, we headed out for my traditional post-race-burger-and-beer and chatted about the race, the course, and I complained about my sundry issues- that list seemingly 13 miles long itself… Hubby asked, “Why do you do this to yourself? I know you love running but why do you suffer so much? I just want to protect you and make sure you aren’t in pain but you just keep punishing yourself! Why???”

That’s a stupid question, I thought. Running is hard and I don’t expect every race to go perfectly, especially when I’m not prepared. I’ve always believed that the ultimate goal of training IS discomfort, you’ve got to push yourself past what you are able to do in order to get better, no one improves in the comfort zone… but then I remember that time- oh so long ago- when running was easy for me, training was a joy, PRs were a plenty, long runs were something I looked forward to and upon completion, would give myself a big pat on the back, proud of my accomplishments. Now, it’s more like, “Well, let’s get this fricking thing over with!”

That tells me it’s time to press the re-set button. I’m going back to square one. I need to re-teach myself all the basic mechanics of running in order to start doing it the RIGHT way again. Get back to the roots of why I started running in the first place and get my body and mind ready to accomplish the goal I wasn’t able to complete through this past year-of-injuries: crossing the finish line of my third 26.2.  Continue reading

Today’s Reason: Team in Training

This video was produced by Erica, one of my Team in Training mentees from last season, and sums up what it means to be a part of such a dynamic group that’s dedicated to running and fighting to cure cancer. Yours truly is at 3:48 and I meant every word I said.

Last week I celebrated two important milestones: 3 years with Team in Training and 3 years of writing running4thereason.com– happy runniversary/blogiversary to me! In fact, this blog was born because of TNT as I wanted to document the process of fundraising for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while training for my first marathon. When my first season with the team ended, I stayed on, became a mentor, continued to fund-raise, and ran another marathon… then seven more half marathons with the team after that.

The cliche “absence makes the hear grow fonder” is so very true! My 6th season with TNT just concluded and I really miss seeing my team, manager, and coaches on a regular basis! I am not on the team right now because of my injury but still wanted to relay the “why” behind my dedication to TNT & LLS in order to encourage and motivate others to join up and run for this stellar organization.

Be it sunny, windy, snowing, or raining, I won’t mind as these miles are all for Team in Training!

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SLO Going

856831_632902716762948_1313491635_oI’m still injured and as of today it’s been 35 days since my last run… 35 days, that’s it??? Feels like an eternity!  Recovery is going very slowly and I’m looking at a few more months of no running. I’m feeling a TAD better about that, just a TAD. Given my 1-race-a-month habit, it’s been soul crushing to have to give up and/or plan to bow out of race after race after race.

So, I’m sure you can imagine how happy I was to read that the course limit for the SLO Marathon is 8 hours! Yipee! That means I don’t have to give this one up! Can’t run, can walk, can’t wait!!!  While it’s strange to think that I am going to intentionally walk a half marathon, as an ambassador for the race, I am beyond elated that I am able to still participate and am really looking forward to spending the weekend in beautiful San Luis Obispo surrounded by magnificent blue skies and those gorgeous rolling hills.

(SLO Marathon has extended the deadline for online registration to April 17th so if you want to join me and #RaceSLO (you can run though!) register here and use code 2014AMFRIENDS for $10 off.)  Continue reading

Ambassadorships Abound!

I am super stoked to announce that I have been chosen as race ambassador to the San Louis Obispo Marathon, See Jane Run, and the San Francisco Marathon this year! When I mention this to my friends, I am often asked, “What’s an ambassador? What do you have to do?” and “That race is really popular, why do they need you?” Here are your answers…

An ambassador is basically a cheerleader for the race- these are races I am happy to write about as I absolutely love the organizers as well as the race itself, and in the case of SLO, supports a cause close to my heart. As an ambassador, I write/tweet/pin/post about the race often, getting readers excited, motivated, and inspired to run. It is a mutually beneficial relationship- I help promote the race, getting them more registrations and more social media exposure, while the race promotes Running4theReason, sends more traffic to my blog and gives my readers perks in the form of registration discounts and, often, entry giveaways.

It is an honor to be chosen, that’s for sure, and it is equally an honor to be able to use these platforms to share my running story with more people as a way to encourage others to lace up and hit the road- I’m 39. I’m a mom. I’m a middle-of-the-pack runner… and if I can do it, so can you.

Please read on to access your perks and let me know if you will be at any of these awesome races!

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