Monday, May 23, 2011

Fargo Marathon 2011

Another Fargo Marathon has come and gone. It's hard to believe that it has been 6 years since I watched the first ever Fargo Marathon and then the following Monday took my first steps as a runner. Though the physical changes have been significant, the mental and spiritual part of it has been much more. It is my hope that all could experience the joy of completing a marathon.

It was fun to watch my running friends participate and complete their first marathon. All of them did very well. As time goes by and the pain of enduring their first marathon fades, they will be able to look back at all of the effort it took to train and then conquer the marathon and truly realize their accomplishment had little to do with running. Running is just the vehicle they used to achieve it. We don't battle with the marathon. We battle with ourselves and the voice inside that tell us, "This is too difficult" and "You can't do this." Overcoming those obstacles is, to me, what running is all about. Well done my friends.

Birthing a Marathon

My wife, Kristy, ran her first ever marathon this past weekend. She emailed her brothers to let them know of her accomplishment. She told them she had good news and bad news about her marathon experience. The good news is she finished. The bad new is that it took her longer than it did from the time when her water broke, went into labor, and to gave birth to twins.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Arrowhead Finishers Trophy

My Arrowhead journey is finally official and complete. I got the engraving in the mail the other day. Kind of makes me wish for snow again. Not.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Recovery Time

It never ceases to amaze me how difficult a 12 mile run can be. Not any 12 mile run but one that is done 2 weeks before a marathon. I think it surprises a lot of people and I have learned not to take it lightly and prepare for this easy, short run just like any other important run.

The group I run with on Saturday picked the pace up quite a bit today compared to our leisurely stroll around town. Some struggled. Some breezed through it. Last week was our last 20 mile run and being just a week after, some have not yet fully recovered. Take heart. You have two whole weeks of recovery to do now and in that time your body will be rebuilding the damage you did these past 16 weeks of torture you've put it through. Although you may not feel it, you'll show up on marathon day the fittest you've ever been holding your head high knowing that you've done all the hard work that goes in to training for the 26.2 miles ahead and have earned your spot on the starting line. Congratulations in getting this far. The battle is almost won.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Taper

Seems to me that when the marathon training cycle called the "Taper" comes around is when I really begin focusing on my marathon goals and start taking things a bit more seriously. Too late some would say though if you have done a few marathons, have a good endurance base and you've kept up on your weekly mileage you should be alright.

I think a lot of runners kind of let their guard down and don't realize the importance of a proper taper and all that it involves. In a nutshell, tapering means backing down on the miles to give your body time to fully recover before marathon day but keeping the mileage up enough that you don't loose any fitness. At this point most are walking a fine line between peak fitness and injury so it is a time to really pay attention to what is going on with your body.

Tapering to me means: Less weekly mileage, better diet, more rest, easier easy runs and harder hard runs. The long runs are shorter but should be done with the same focus and intensity as you did your 15-20 mile runs. If you've included speed work in your training and you've been tapering for a week or so it wouldn't be a bad idea to up the intensity a bit. Again, being very aware of any possible signs of injury.

Keeping your weekly mileage up at this point is foolish if you want peak performance come marathon day just 2 weeks away. Your body needs rest to give it time to repair and rebuild for the 26.2 mile task you have ahead. Your recovery from a 20 mile long run capping a 40 mile week takes much longer than a 3-5 mile tempo run or some intervals so keep them up during the taper and even within a couple days of the event and you'll go into the event knowing you've done all you can to perform your best.