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My Running Story

Well hello there!

Before you tell me how long it’s been since my last Renew You post, let me just explain how ca-razy my intern life has been in the last few weeks..

  • The ever-popular Clinical Rotation started on October 17th and has been in full force since then.
  • Personal Training has picked up! Which is good $$ and experience, not so good for blogging regularly.
  • Both the boyfriend and my Mom have visited me!
  • Weekends have been devoted to the office and new clients. I know, I live a WILD lifestyle!
  • Lastly, I am in the early stages of MARATHON planning!!!!!

I really couldn’t wait to talk about the last one, so I decided to devote the post to the subject. Yes, you read that right, I will training for and running the Colfax Marathon on May 20, 2012 and I could not be more excited!  I figured this would be a good time to discuss race training if any readers may be interested in the topic but aren’t quite sure of where to begin.

Now, I’m by no means an expert on the topic of running, but I do have a bit of experience with races ranging from 5k all the way up to 1/2 Marathon distance so I would like to think I kind-of know what I’m talking about.  I would be happy to answer any questions regarding racing that you may have!

First, I’ll tell you a little bit of a story…

So I moved to Colorado in the Fall of 2009–one of the best decisions of my life–and though I had always enjoyed running, it was suddenly a culture and I couldn’t get enough of it. Living in such a health-minded state was one of the major factors that gave me a boost to move forward with this hobby, which later turned to a passion.

Fast forward four months … My best friend and I began eying up races as a way to keep us motivated and challenged.  Right around Christmas-time (the point where we had realized we were probably having a little bit too much fun and had let our healthy habits fall to the wayside), we decided to register for a 13.1 mile race that was scheduled for the following March.  Training would begin as soon as we got back from vacation and we would dominate this challenge. Training was tough, but we made it through and we both finished the race strong.

Here’s me afterwards!

Lovely picture, right? Ha.

I was SO happy and proud of myself after I completed this that I immediately started dreaming of doing more races–maybe even a full marathon.  But was it possible? It just seemed so daunting to me at the time that I put the idea in the back of my head. People who want to run that far are “out of their mind” I told myself… I just wasn’t mentally ready.  But I kept running my heart out and loved every minute of it.  I thought about my next race, but only signed up for some fun races that required little extra training.

During the summer, Jessica (the best friend) decided to sign up for the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Marathon that coming October.  I was so excited for her and decided that i would do it too because I knew if we were together, we could do anything. Training plans were set and we kept each other accountable for long runs.  To me, everything seemed to be going great.  But I had also never trained for anything like this before so in hindsight, I really wasn’t working my hardest on training.

A few weeks before the race, we set out to do an 18-miler just like all of our other long runs on a cool Saturday morning.  We had camelbacks set out the night before along with our running shoes, ipods, and GU packets.  The alarm went off at 6am and we drove to our usual spot on campus to head out for one of our last scheduled long runs before the big day.  About two miles in, I felt a knee pain unlike anything I had every felt before.  It was so excruciating that I could barely walk let alone run and I had to turn back… Jessica finished the run while I sat in the car and cried to myself because I thought I was a failure.

Long story short (um, shorter than it could be?), I ended up bumping down to the half marathon distance after completely taking three weeks off from running.  Although I was happy to be able to stay in the race, I was still so hurt that I couldn’t complete my original goal.

That’s us after the race. Jessica did great… I was so happy for her but so let-down because I was wishing I could have finished the whole thing.

After this experience, I took months off of running which was incredibly hard for me to do, but necessary if I wanted to have another shot.  That was about a year ago and here I am, ready to try again.

So many things are different about this time around including my attitude, dedication, training schedule and availability.  I know I can do this.

I made several rookie mistakes the first time, here are some things I am doing differently this time around:

  • Rigorous training schedule w/more time commitment. The last time we trained, I did quite a bit of rearranging to fit running better into my social life.  I also neglected sufficient cross-training and strength/flexibility because I didn’t think it was as important as my runs.
  • More stretching & foam rolling.  This is something I just hadn’t learned.  I never knew the importance of these two things until it was simply too late, but I won’t make the mistake of neglecting them again.
  • Ice, ice, ice.  I also never knew of the benefits of an ice bath until after the race.  Something I will experiment with after long runs!
  • Healthier eating.  I consider myself a healthy eater, but I think this can get “distorted” while training for an endurance event.  It’s easy to indulge in ice cream, beer, and greasy food when you’re burning mega calories with exercise.  But, I think it’s more important than ever to eat good quality food when training and this time I will stick closer to this.
  • Dedication. I want to eat and breathe this marathon for four straight months until race day and this time I’m really going to show that.  Working at a gym is a great advantage because I’m there almost every day and there really isn’t an excuse to miss workouts.

What other tips do you guys have?  Any personal racing experiences to share?

It’s been a long-road coming, but I’m finally ready to jump on the marathon train.  Six months, one week from today I will be accomplishing a dream. Bring it on Colfax!

 

 

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