Believe and the Impossible Becomes Possible

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At one point in my adult life I was confused about what all those stickers on cars with numbers meant. I wasn’t a runner and honestly I didn’t think I new any runners. I certainly had never had a conversation about running distance races with anyone. At that point in my life I was still going with the theory I learned from my dad “When I see at least one person running with a smile, I will start running.” So running itself was a crazy concept to me. When I finally figured out what those 13.1 and 26.2 stickers signified, I didn’t get why those people felt the need to brag about what they did. I mean come on I played in volleyball and basketball leagues for exercise and fun and I didn’t put stickers all over my care about it. Continue reading Believe and the Impossible Becomes Possible

Trail Running

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Trail running is a bit of a different experience than running on pavement. Running on trails is quite a bit more of a technical experience, because you need to be aware of your foot placement for the entire run. Somehow for me, this helps me to keep my mind focused on that and less on how much farther I have to go, or how big that next hill might be. It’s a lot easier for me to get lost in the run and clear my mind.

Trail running is a different type of workout than regular running. When you run trails there is generally more and steeper hills. Because of this your heartrate will likely be elevated more frequently, but yet will have time to recover on the downhill portions. Also trail running, because of the “rough” terrain uses more muscles than running on pavement. Your body is forced to work harder balancing on the trail so muscles that normally get ignored will get a workout. One of the best aspects of trail running for longtime runners is that the dirt displaces force that normally goes straight to your ankles, shins, knees and hips. Trail running is actually a good workout to start back with after dealing with runner’s knee. Obviously, trail running comes with it’s own risk, but in general it is a good think to mix in some trail runs with your normal runs.

Richmond is within an hour of some of the greatest trails in the United States. The Red River Gorge is  know throughout the world for its trails. The sites and sounds you can experience getting miles out on a trail in the Gorge is going to be completely different than you can experience running the city streets in Richmond. Part of that experience is going to require the ability to accept the fact that the run will be slower. Most will add a minute or even more to your time per mile compared to road runs. That’s OK though because if you enjoy nature at all you won’t want to miss anything.

It’s important to be safe with trail running just as with any other runs. Safety looks a little different on trails though. For one, there is a very good chance you will get no cell phone service on the trail. Be sure you are with other people and that someone knows where you are going, the trail you plan to run and when you should be back. Be sure you know the trail or are with someone who does. There are lots of twist and turns that look very similar. Plus intersecting trails that can get very confusing. Have a plan and stick to it.

One of my goals is to run the Rugged Red which is a half marathon through the Red River Gorge. I know several of you have shown interest as well, so this summer I am going to schedule one Saturday group run each month at Raven Run in Lexington. This is another great place to explore some trails. There is a mix of single track (one person wide) and open field trails. Raven Run is only about 20 minutes from our normal home (White Hall). Watch the Run Richmond Group Run page and Facebook for more updates on the trail runs.

Lesson Learned During The 26.2

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I have been training for the Horse Capital Marathon for 18 weeks now. As I think back over that time I realize how fortunate I am to be part of Run Richmond. Without this group there is no way I would have got up every Saturday morning to do my runs. Life has gotten so busy over the last few months that I can’t believe I managed to pull this off.  Weekday training runs are what suffered the most, and that isn’t surprising because those are the runs that I had to find a way to get done on my own. Continue reading Lesson Learned During The 26.2

Tips For Running In The Rain

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Well, I guess it’s time to start talking about strategy and getting prepared to do runs in the rain (or even races). The Horse Capital Marathon is this weekend and we are looking at a decent chance of rain.  Running in the rain isn’t completely a bad thing. There are some benefits to it. It is a lot harder to get overheated in the rain. Without the sun beating down on you, your also less likely to get a sunburn. See rain is a good thing. Continue reading Tips For Running In The Rain

Motivation Isn’t Difficult To Find…But Maybe To Keep

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When people come up to me and start talking about Run Richmond lately there seems to be a common theme. Almost everyone says they need to get motivated to start showing up to run or walk with us. I know for a fact there is no shortage of desire from most people to get outside and move. The idea of taking a hike, going for a walk or going for a run is something that most people like the idea of, just struggle with getting the activity going.  Sometimes health issues make it hard, but most of the time life just makes it hard. We are busy people. Between work, kids, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else falls onto your list we have a lot to do. That doesn’t mean we don’t have time to go run, it just means you have to find more motivation to do that than to sleep in or watch TV. Continue reading Motivation Isn’t Difficult To Find…But Maybe To Keep

Race Day Preparation

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Getting in your miles and taking your training serious is a crucial part of success on race day, but there are a few things you do leading into race day that can either help or hurt your performance. The last thing anyone would want to do is ruin 12-18 weeks of training with a bad decision the week or night before your race. So lets go over some of the basic things that you need to keep in mind heading into race day. Continue reading Race Day Preparation

There Is More To Training For A Race Than Just Running A Lot

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It really amazes me how different it has been training for this marathon (in 12 days) than training for the halfs last year was. I was very strict with the training program last year and didn’t miss one run. I was truly excited to get to race day and see what would happen. There were certainly some disappointments along the way, but looking back it seemed so much more productive than my training now.

Don’t get me wrong some of the struggles last year were real. I remember getting to my first (scheduled) 6 mile run and finishing pretty good and feeling ready to conquer the world. I had tried to run 5 and 6 miles before and failed miserably, but when the time came in my training I was ready and killed it. The next week though I died at mile 6 and had to walk most of mile 7. The week after that I died around mile 4 and walk a bunch until I got to 8. It took 3 more weeks of this mess and me being convinced 6 miles was my limit until I made some changes and made an 11 mile run around the bypass at my goal pace. I figured it out and I was ready again.

This year I have really struggled to find the time to stay on top of all the training runs. I realize they are longer, but I really think even if it would have been the same distances as last year I would have struggled to find time. I feel a lot busier now than ever before. I started out feeling pretty good though. The training would call for a 4 or 5 mile run and I could go out and breeze through it. It even jumped up to 10 or 12 and I could calmly cruise the the runs and go about my day afterwards. I was feeling pretty good even though I was missing some of my weekday runs because my longs runs were so easy.

Until I got to 16 miles. I find it ironic that it was 16 this year and 6 last year. 6 may be my unlucky number. The week before 16 I did my longest run ever, 15 miles, and ran the whole thing and had a pace that would make me happy at the race. The very next week I started knee issues and quit the run on mile 4. Over the next several week I tried to get going again and would have some minor success only to have to quit again or walk (alot). That all came to a head on my 18 mile run. The previous 3 runs had been quit due to knee pain and I knew I needed to get this one done. I plotted a course around the bypass (and everywhere else in Richmond) to get my 18 and I took off. 5 miles in I knew it would be a long day, the knee pain wasn’t gone. 8 miles in I was walking half the time. 14 miles in I was 100% walking. I told myself I would not quit so I didn’t. I walk all the way back to my car and drove home very defeated. Not what I was looking for just weeks out from my first marathon.

The next week was to be 14 miles and then 20. 20 is the longest run I am scheduled before the marathon and I knew this would be important. On the 14 mile day I went with a couple other Run Richmond guys to the Horse Capital Training Run so we could see the course. It was set up for a 10 mile run and that is what I planned to do. I fought a lot of pain at times, but it always went away. David and Tim pulled me along when it got bad and eventually it just left. I learned that even though it hurt bad it eventually would go away. That was a game changer for me. The next week I did my 20 mile run and I did walk some after 15 miles, but I was still running at the end. I hit a pace that would satisfy me on race day and I final felt I was ready.

Until two days later when I started a fever of 101.5. I have battled being sick and not up to running for over a week now. It’s knocked my confidence some, but I will push on in 12 days. I will finish. I will be proud of the fact that I did. This has been a learning experience from the beginning. A lofty goals comes with some pretty tough training. A marathon is no small task. You need to be ready mentally and physically to pull it off. I have no plans to run a second marathon, but I am so glad I am running this one. It has shown me the difference in the journey from a David that is committed and focused to a David that is trying to just get it done. The results are different and the journey getting there is different. That is the mental part of the training. You can’t overlook the importance of it.

I will be sure to figure out what is important in life and stay focused and committed to those things under any circumstance. I will still push through on the other things, but the results in the stuff that really matter is so much more important.

Being Sick Really Messes Things Up!

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I was searching the internet this morning to find a photo about sick runners (side note: be careful if you google that for images) because I have was running a fever of 101.5 last night. I am in the middle of one of the busiest weeks I have had in years and now I get sick. I thought what are the chances. Then I found this article on Healthline.com about getting sick while tapering. I don’t know how frequent this issues is, but I seem to be experiencing it.

Hopefully, I will recover quick and get back to business. I don’t have time to be sick. I have work today and tomorrow and events to be at tonight, tomorrow night, Saturday and Sunday. Then a relaxing week at work again. Running may take a back seat to pushing through life for the next few days. I hope you guys are having better luck with your training.

Your Mind May Need To Run But Your Body Needs To Taper

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Spring race season is upon us. Last weekend was the Derby Marathon and the Flying Pig in Cincinnati and we are only a few weeks out from my first full the Horse Capital Marathon. Runners put so much energy into getting their bodies (and minds) as ready as possible for the test that these races will put them through. All that training becomes like a security blanket almost and the idea that the weeks leading into the actual race you need to slow down and even not run as often can be seem counter intuitive. Continue reading Your Mind May Need To Run But Your Body Needs To Taper