Tag Archives: marathon

Boston Fearless!

As most of you know, I am a (very) proud 261 Fearless Ambassador.  Kathrine Switzer is the ultimate running role model.  I urge everyone to read the story of how she became the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon.  (Her book Marathon Woman is a must read!)  She was able to finish even after one of the race directors tried to (very) physically remove her from the race.  Fifty years later she is being honored at the 2017 Boston Marathon, and she is going to run the marathon too!  As a relative newbie runner who happens to be in excess of 50 years old, I am in awe of this woman.  On top of being a fantastic runner and fierce advocate for women’s running, she also is one of the kindest people I ever have met.

Kathrine is sharing her honor at Boston with the women’s running community.  Women can apply for a charity bib to run the Boston Marathon without a time qualification.  AND you get to start the race WITH Kathrine!  If you want to run Boston and be part of the celebration of one of the most significant events in women’s running history, I urge you to look into applying for a bib!  The charity  is Kathrine’s own 261 Fearless, self-described as:

Pronounced TWO-SIX-ONE Fearless, we are a global supportive community which empowers women to connect and take control of their lives through the freedom gained by running. Through a series of non-competitive running clubs and private communication channels, we provide networking, healthy running support and education, and a sisterhood to women all over the world.

It is the mission of 261® Fearless to bring active women together through a global supportive community – allowing fearless women to pass strength gained from running and walking onto women who are facing challenges and hence sparking a revolution of empowerment.  261® is the symbol that unites us as empowered runners and walkers.

Run Boston with Kathrine Switzer!

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Coming to terms with my first DNF

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I belong to several running communities, and follow them all on Facebook. It is amazing to me how many of us are going down with injuries this summer. From minor issues to major issues, we are being forced to modify our running to adapt to our medical issues.

Personally, this year I have had several DNS races due to continuing problems from a car accident last September, and new issues that have emerged as I have modified to try to accommodate those injuries. The most humbling incident for me was at the Sehgahunda trail marathon, in Letchworth Park, New York, self-described:

“Sehgahunda is the REAL DEAL. It may just be one of the hardest trail marathons in the east. It’s 26.3 miles of single track trails, over 3000 feet of climbing, with more than 100 gullies that need to be traversed”

I was ill-prepared for this marathon, as I live in a very flat area of New York, and was not running regularly due to neck and back pain. On race day I was very excited to give it a whirl; unfortunately, the weather was excruciatingly hot, and there was no air flow on the trail. Getting to and from the checkpoints was so difficult – grass up to my waist and higher, and shoe-sucking mud beneath. I was not prepared for the severe declines and inclines, and each leap over a gully made me wince from pain. I made it to checkpoint 3 before it was decided that I (and many, many others) should not continue. Of the 300 entrants, there were only 206 finishers.

I was out there for 4:19:13 for 16 miles. Should I have pushed through the last 10+ miles? That question haunted me for a while. The way things were deteriorating, I probably would have been on the trail another 2 ½ to 3 hours at least. I may not have even made the 8 hour cut off. When I brought this up with my chiropractor, he affirmed that I made absolutely the correct decision. I was dehydrated, tired and in pain. I know I set myself back medically by doing 16 miles; now, I also have an issue with my hip. Doing the extra 10+ may have been satisfying at the moment I crossed the finish line, but I am sure I would have regretted it in the long run.

Hopefully I am learning from these experiences. Instead of being disappointed in myself, I should be proud that I completed 16 miles of the toughest race I have ever attempted, and while injured. I also learned that I do enjoy trail running, but maybe not to the extreme of this particular race. I became very nervous on the steep downhills when someone would come barreling up behind me. Sometimes there was nowhere to go to allow people to pass (the women start earlier than the men, but then some of the men end up catching up pretty quickly and passing some of the women). This just was not my race.

It has taken me six weeks to write about this. I am such a stubborn person and not finishing something I start is very frustrating for me. Reading all the stories my fellow runners have been posting on Facebook about their setbacks and comebacks has really helped me accept that my DNF is just another part of my growth as a runner. So thanks to all of you!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Maybe I’m a little late, but I feel like this is an appropriate greeting. A lot has changed for me since my last post – both my physical self and my perspective.

 

I’m continuing to work on my back issues since the September car accident. I have added medical massage to the chiropractic and I think I am continuing to improve. While Dr. Steve works at keeping me aligned, the massage is getting at some muscle points that still have not eased up; as she says, “hard as rocks”. I have added a stand up desk at my job and also purchased a stand up table for home. It took a while for my legs to get used to standing so much, but I definitely think it is better. I finished off a few races to the end of the year (I will review them separately), but otherwise really took it easy as far as running is concerned.

 

As the holidays approached, I was feeling overwhelmed with the traveling for races and holiday preparations. Then our beloved dog Samwise died unexpectedly over Thanksgiving weekend, and everything just felt “off”.

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After Christmas, I still wasn’t feeling myself. That’s when I sat down to re-think what I could do to feel better, do better. I wanted to be excited about the future, not just plan it and do it. I decided to get running again, but take it easy. No worries about speed, just get it done. I signed up for the 2,016 miles in 2016 challenge. I am on a three person team for running miles, but I personally am trying to achieve 2,016 all-purpose miles. I signed up for 1,000 running miles in 2016 challenge. I signed up for some virtual runs to benefit some good charities. I signed up for some trail runs – including a marathon that is said to be one of the toughest in the northeast. I signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon and some other local races. I started a marathon training plan, and I’m trying to stick to it.
What am I not doing? I’m not going crazy scheduling races in states to complete the 50 state challenge. I’m really enjoying the 100 Half Marathon Club – I could do 100 half marathons in my home state and complete the challenge. No travel worries and much less expensive. The club has a gazillion discounts not only for races but for running products, the dues are not high, and the club organizers are wonderful. There is no competition with other clubs. I highly recommend anyone who runs half marathons to join this club – just say I referred you!
Life is changing in other ways too. There is a high likelihood my husband will be retiring. My own job is winding down as well. We want to move. I will have to start over with a new job (in my 50’s!). I want to get some health and fitness certifications.
So this is my NEW year. Reevaluating myself and my goals at 52. Trying to stay happy and healthy for another 52.
Happy New Year indeed.

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The Waiting Game

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This quote is so true, yet so annoying at the same time.  Who wants to wait?  In my “real” life, I can tolerate waiting in traffic, waiting in line for my morning coffee, waiting on hold to speak to a real person … these are all things I have done so many times that I am immune to being aggravated.  Recently my husband had surgery, and we waited for three hours before he was taken to surgery; I waited for three hours before I heard how the surgery went; we waited, and waited, and waited, when we called the nurse’s desk and asked for assistance.  This kind of waiting really tests my patience, probably due to stress and fatigue and worry.

In my “running” life, I just can’t get used to the wait in corrals for the race to start.  I have learned that pre-gun, I am supposed to do “dynamic”, not “static” stretches.  Usually in the corral I’m shoulder-to-shoulder with the next person, so there is no room to be jumping around “dynamically”.  If I warm up before being herded into the corral, by the time the race starts I’m ice cold.

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A perfect example (but not the only example) of this is runDisney (insert any runDisney race name here).  Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney, have run two events, and hope to do many more.  It’s not Disney’s fault that a gazillion people sign up for their races.

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Let me put it this way – I basically couldn’t see the start line from my WDW Marathon corral.  And there were plenty of people behind me too.  We were up at 3 a.m. to catch the shuttle to the race start, where we sat around, shivered, and waited to line up in the corrals, where we waited for a half gazillion people to start before us.  For the Wine and Dine, a night race, I sat on the ground for hours before moving to the corrals (when it started pouring rain), where I waited again for the speedier Mouseketeers to start before me. Disney staggers the corral start times to avoid congestion, but that just means more waiting! And don’t even ask me about the lines of people waiting to take pictures with the characters during the races 🙂 !

Honestly, I know this is a good system and it’s what I signed up (and paid mightily) for.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it!  I also know that to avoid this, I should run in smaller races, and I do try to look for smaller races.  But let’s face it, the fanfare and bling can really sway a girl!

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Moral of the story – Get over it, be patient, enjoy the journey because you never know if you will be lucky enough to experience it again.

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How did I get into this?

How did I get into this?

I’m pretty sure this is what my race partners (victims?) are thinking after I convince them how much fun we will have doing that half marathon/marathon!