Tag Archives: marathon

Just Keep Running

23 Sep

So you registered for a race several months ago.  You found a training plan, plotted your strategy, and got to work.  Before you knew it, the training consumed you.  You found yourself talking about last weekend’s long run to all your friends, reading running blogs during your lunch break, and laying in bed thinking about tomorrow’s tempo.  Week in, week out, you train harder, get stronger, and come closer to your goal.  Then it hits you, and you get a little bored.

All of a sudden, the routes become a bit monotonous, you would really love a Saturday morning to sleep in, and the thought of a 20 mile run sounds a lot less exciting than going out with your friends.  But unfortunately for you, just when things get a little tough, you really need to be stepping it up.  So how do you keep going?  What keeps you motivated?

With both my first marathon and the one I’m currently working towards, I’ve done nearly all the training on my own.  While I’ve had family, friends, and a GF to lean on through the good times and the bad, it has been up to me to get out of bed and onto the road.  Some of you might be on you own like me, or maybe you have a running team, but either way, training can be very tough.  Keeping up that high energy and motivation is crucial.

Here are a few good ways I’ve discovered to help keep myself motivated.

Read: When you’re not actually running, why not be reading about running?  Usually books and magazines don’t talk about how horrible something is (and if they do…put it down), they build it up!  Which is exactly what you need.  I subscribe to Runners World and the Washington Running Report.  Both give great racing tips, interesting stories, and new techniques to help out with your running.  A few great novels, if you haven’t read them already, are Born to Run and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

Watch: Nothing better than a good motivational running movie.  I recently watched Spirit of the Marathon with KFB.  It followed around 8 runners as they trained for the Chicago Marathon.  The runners ranged from elite to first timers, each with a unique story that brought them to the marathon.  It was a great reminder about why I love to run.  Another good running movie is Prefontaine, the amazing story about Steve Prefontaine, a record holding track runner.  I also try to watch all Ironman and Marathon coverage on NBC Sports.  Nothing makes you want to get off the couch and onto the trail more than a movie or show that makes you feel lazy.

Talk: This one is a no brainer, but I often find myself embarrassed to bring it up.  Don’t forget to keep talking about your training!  Share your excitement with your friends and family and they will get just as excited.  It always feels great when someone asks you about how many miles you did that week, or how many weeks left before the big race.  You have nothing to be embarrassed about, you are training for a race!

Ultimately, all training lies solely in your hands, which can be very scary.  Once you lose that motivation, your miles will start to fall flat.  Keep up the motivation, and keep running.

So how do you stay motivated to keep up your training?  Any other books or movies you would recommend?


Here goes nothing!

9 Oct

Well, tomorrow is the big day!  20 weeks of work comes to a climax starting around 8:00 am. I think I’m as ready as I can be.  My head is right, my body is right, as long as my knee stays strong, my legs will be right.

I have two major goals for the day.

1) Finish.  Preferably around 4:00, but I’ll take any finish.

2) Not get on YouTube for a finish like this:

Wish me luck!
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10 Days.

30 Sep
Marathon Route

2009 Baltimore Marathon Course

Baltimore Marathon

131 Days, over 500 miles, and a pair of shoes have led me to this point.  I’m finally just 10 days away from running the Baltimore Marathon.  Just 19 weeks ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

This has been one of the most painful, challenging, and time consuming journeys I’ve ever been on.  I have given up soda, avoided junk food, and in these last weeks even put down the bottle.  Icing has become a regular part of my evening, and blisters no longer seem to gross me out.   But it has been so worth it.

A few days ago I was talking to an old college buddy who ran a marathon last year.  He told me, “Congratulations.  You have done it!”  And I think he is right.  10 days from now I’ll run the race.  God willing, I’ll finish without any worse than usual issues, and it will be awesome.  But that will be just about 4 hours of this trip.  The countless hours, the self motivation, early mornings, painful knees, and maybe even a few tears, is really what this was all about.  I set out to do something.  A kind of commitment I have rarely had in my life, and now I’ve completed the worst of it.  It might not be over until I cross the finish line, but the works is done.

Last night I went out for a quick 6 miler.  I was thinking about how many times I’ve run down that hill, and past those apartment buildings.  All of a sudden a biker on the sidewalk comes flying by.  I mumble my usual response to bikers, “It’s called ‘Share the Road’, not ‘Share the sidewalk,'” he turns to look, and we both keep going.  That got me thinking, “wow, I can’t believe nothing serious has happened to me.  I really hope I don’t get hurt by something dumb in the last few days of training.”  Seriously, not 15 seconds after that thought passes, I find myself laying face first right smack dab in the middle of 11th and U st.  I look up to see people jumping from their seats  in the outside seating area of Solly’s and a man running from the sidewalk to help me.

I got up with nothing more than a few scratches, my “10 days” bubble burst, and a red face, but left thinking that it could have been a lot worse and at least 20 or so people had something to laugh about!

10 days until race day.  The work is over, but the stories have just begun.

Weather looks perfect

Weather looks perfect

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Running Northwest

24 Jul

Running Northwest

Roommate and I have decided to take on a new blog dedicated solely to marathoning and running in the district.  We are calling it “Running Northwest” as it will chronicle the pains and triumphs of training through Northwest, DC.

Don’t worry, I’m in no way giving up The Hay Say, but I wanted to keep this site from becoming my running blog.  Running Northwest will be a completely joint effort between Roommate and Myself.

I hope that you will check it out and follow along as we approach 26.2.


Rockville Twilight

21 Jul
Rockville Twilight 8k

Rockville Twilight 8k Course Map

I don’t get out to organized races very often.  In fact this is the first one I’ve run in several years.  But as part of the marathon training, Roommate and I are trying to get out to as many as we can.  Race #1 came last Saturday at the Rockville Twilight 8k Runfest.  We had heard of horrible humidity and tough racing conditions, but this year couldn’t have been better.  With clear skies and about 75 degrees, it was a perfect evening to lace up our Asics and hit the road.

I was really impressed with the organization of the race, and all the excitement surrounding it.  About 2000 people showed up in ready to run.  There were people cheering at nearly every corner, families out in their front yards, a guy dressed up in a banana suit, and even a jazz band that popped up a few times.  The course itself showed us a few hills, keeping the runners challenged and reminding them to push themselves.  I was lucky enough to have a pretty large crowd armed with cowbells, making it impossible to miss them even in the dark.

The post race festivities were just as good as the race itself.  With registration came 4 free beers and band.  My group closed down the party, sticking around until after the stage was torn down and the lights off.  It was a great night, making me excited about the many races to come.

This weekend brings the Crystal City Twilight 5k.  They have big Twilight shoes to fill, let’s see how it goes.

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