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Posts Tagged ‘running’

The streak is alive

April 5, 2010 4 comments

I’m not sure when I ran four days in a row last, but the April streak has started off well, despite the challenge of traveling over Easter weekend and keeping very busy. My mileage hasn’t been what I had hoped, but that’s not the point right now. I wanted to start off slow and not burn myself out.

Day 1 was supposed to happen around 6 a.m. Thursday, but I slept to my normal time and ended up running 2.2 miles that evening. Since I traveled on Friday, I got up the next morning and ran 3.5 miles — perhaps the first time I’ve ever ran twice within 12 hours. At least I don’t recall if I’ve ever done that. Also on Friday, I spent much of the afternoon at the North Carolina Zoo, which is enough exercise for two days in itself. I capped off the day by playing cornhole for about 2 hours.

Saturday morning I got up and ran 2.1 miles in my brother-in-law’s hilly neighborhood. I wanted to do more, but I was flat-out tired from the day before. Then last night I had a decent run of 3.8 miles. Four for four.

Just a reminder that this week I am participating in Relay for Life. Click here for the details. The more you donate, the more I’ll run.

You donate. I run. People get help.

April 1, 2010 2 comments

At the end of next week, I plan to run through two straight days. No, really. I plan to start running before midnight Friday evening and run past midnight on Saturday morning. All for the American Cancer Society.

For the past two years I have raised money to help out the VCU Massey Cancer Center as part of the Monument Avenue 10k — in 2008 my friends, family and many people I didn’t know donated $1,000 for the cause. Last year my fundraising efforts weren’t as impressive, but I honestly didn’t make as big of a push as I should have. This year, since I opted not to do that race, I have felt like something was missing. But this week I got an email from my alma mater — Lynchburg College — that changed it all.

The LC Central Virginia Alumni Club has a team for next week’s Relay for Life, which will be held on the Dell at the college. My initial reaction was that I wanted to help in some way. After 10 minutes of thinking, I knew what I had to do — take my personal goal of running every day in the month of April to another level. Start running on April 9 and finish on April 10. Then I took it to another level — for every set amount of money donated, I will run a mile.

So, here is what I am doing. For every $50 I receive I will run 1 mile between April 9-10, up to 10 miles or $500; for every $100 after that I will run another mile, up to 5 additional miles or $500. That’s 15 miles that I will run to fight cancer if I receive $1,000 in donations by April 9. Please don’t think the $1,000 is a cap though — if the donations go beyond that, just keep giving.

To donate, visit my page here. If you’re in the Lynchburg area and would like to join the team, or just join me for a run that night, please leave a comment below with your email address (which is not displayed when put in the proper box) and I’ll be in touch.

Running just to run

March 27, 2010 1 comment

It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to just go out and run without thinking about a race or talking about it. But today, I did. It was just me and my good running pal Duke … and we just ran for the fun of it. I need a few more runs like that.

Today’s run puts me at 250.2 miles for the year, giving me a great pace for my new 1,000-mile goal. It’s nice to stay above the 1,000-mile pace so I don’t have to play catchup at all. Now, I just have to keep it up …

The numbers game

March 8, 2010 4 comments

Somewhere last year I stopped caring about how many miles I ran. They become unimportant. While I wanted to focus on quality, I got away from realizing how important quantity is. And yes, quantity is important. It’s important for my motivation; it’s important to build a base for marathon training later this year; it’s important because I like running again.

Every runner is different, but I think a lot of people will agree with me that mileage really is just more than a number. With tonight’s 4.1-mile run, I am already at 1/3 of the miles I ran for all of last year. How could 201.3 miles 67 days into the year not give me a crazy confidence boost? That’s a pace of more than 1,000 miles for year … perhaps a goal I’ll soon make official. 😉

Beyond the miles is the fact that many of my runs have been great this year. My pace is better and more consistent; I intentionally run bigger hills again; and, as I’ve already said, I like running again. I like it.

The bigger picture

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Every year I have run the Shamrock Half Marathon, the weather has been perfect at Virginia Beach ... I sure hope it's like this in two weeks.

With two weeks to go to the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, I continue to find myself not obsessed about it. Usually this close to a race I over analyze things, usually because I feel like I haven’t done enough. For the first time in a long time, I truly believe that I’ve done all I can do in the course of two-plus months to get ready for this race. And considering the way this winter has been and how much snow has been on the ground and piled up on sidewalks, I’m really content to just run this race and see what happens.

With this being my fourth Shamrock Half, I can easily say that this has been my second best winter of training so far. The best was in 2007 when I was with a speed and endurance training group once a week. Even then, though, I don’t think I was as consistent as I have been this winter.

My mileage has been great — I’m quickly approaching 200 miles for the year with seven straight weeks of 20-plus miles. That includes seven straight weeks of a long run of 10 miles or more. Previously, I may have run two or three double-digit long runs to get ready for a half marathon. I’ve also gotten consistently faster this winter. I’ve admittedly not done enough speed work as I’d like, but my overall comfortable pace is faster — probably a good 30 seconds a mile faster than at any point last year.

Since I ran the Richmond Marathon in 2007, I have well documented my issues with my feet. Since going to the doctor last year, I’ve gone from managing my problems to just not having any problems anymore. I remember the doctor telling me that the issues may never go away and that I’d have to deal with it in many different ways. I probably should not have run Shamrock in 2008. Last year was fine, but I probably should not have run two races two weekends in a row. Lessons learned.

My No. 1 goal has always been to stay injury free, but I started to become obsessed about it. Now that I haven’t had problems in a while, my focus has shifted to the bigger picture — having a successful year. I want to have a year that I don’t have regrets and that I don’t look back and say I wish I would have done something. Injuries are going to happen, but by starting the year off so great and so focused on getting back to basics, things are just falling into place naturally. I never wanted to force anything with my running, but I did and I became a runner I didn’t want to become.

So with the Shamrock Half, my goal is to do the best I can without holding back. Yes, a PR would be great — that 1:44:23 has been there for a long time now. But staying healthy through the spring months is an even greater feeling. My worst months in recent years have been April and May, which only sets me up to start completely over in the summer. I can’t do that this year.

Streakers

February 16, 2010 2 comments

I wanted to bring attention to a couple of bloggers in the Lynchburg, Va., area who are doing some amazing running — they’re running every day for a year.

  • Project Three Six Five
    Heather, who local residents may know from Riverside Runners, has a simple goal — run at least 1 mile every day for 365 straight days this calendar year.
  • Runningitis
    Margaret, who local residents may know from a local TV station, also has a simple goal of running at least 1 mile for an entire year. Her streak started in November and she plans to cap it off with a marathon.

Check out those blogs, add them to your blogroll or Google Reader or however you keep up with posts. It’s pretty inspirational … which has me thinking, can I put together a streak? At this point in time in my life, I don’t want to run every day for 365 straight days. Only until recently have I actually regularly run three days in a row. But I also know that a lone mile can be a good rest day.

So this being said, I’m making plans now to run at least a mile every day for April. Since I’m in the middle of training for the Shamrock Half, I don’t want to set this goal for March. I want to do it in a month that I usually struggle. Every year for the past three years I do Shamrock and then get lazy. I know I have the Richmond Marathon in November, so focusing on something completely different in April will help me continue to build my base and give me something to look forward to this spring.

If all goes well in April, who knows what kind of streaking I might do …

OK, winter, that’s enough

February 14, 2010 2 comments

I love running in the snow … but prolonged cold temperatures? I’m over it. It’s certainly been one of the most bizarre winters I’ve experienced in Virginia. While snow isn’t uncommon, the fact that it’s been around for so long is. While most of the December snow melted before the second big one a few weeks ago, I’ve seen some kind of snow on the ground — from covering the ground to completely to ugly parking lot snow — since Dec. 18. That’s just too long.

There’s been some pretty good melting in the past few days — I actually saw some grass yesterday — there’s the potential for up to 3 inches of snow tomorrow. All this snow just keeps things cold — the long-range forecast keeps temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s, with a hint of 40 degrees a week from now. So when I run in the evenings, that means it’ll still be in the low 30s, which pretty much means long sleeves and long pants. I haven’t wore shorts much at all.

I know it’s winter and I shouldn’t complain, but it hasn’t bothered me much until this week. Today I was just tired of it. I think I’m just tired in general, but the cold air is not motivating.

On the good news side of things, this week marked my fourth straight week with 20 or more running miles, a very nice streak indeed. This week also marked my third 10 miler three weeks in a row — I’m pretty sure that’s something I haven’t done in nearly three years when I trained for my first (and only so far) marathon. For my half marathons, I have generally tried to get it only two double-digit runs before the race, but my strategy this time around is obviously different.

So far this month I’ve run 45-plus miles, and like January, these have mostly been high quality miles. I’ve gotten in a few runs that are  just for the sake of getting in a couple of miles, but to me those are just as important. To have a mix of great runs, so-so runs and flat-out bad runs is what keeps things interesting for me.