Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just Run

Today, is, of course January 4, 2007. In ten days it will be the second anniversary of this Blog. This is my 430th post. This Blog has lasted longer than most of my relationships and almost as long as my marriage...

The stated purpose of Boston or Bust was for me to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I have done so twice - both times by the skin of my teeth.

If I can do it - just about anybody can do it.

I lowered my previous best marathon time from 3:52:08 (I think...) to 3:29:39, which sent me on my merry way to the Boston Marathon. In Boston, through what amounts to a small miracle, I re-qualified in a time of 3:30:38.

In the intervening two years I have run nearly a dozen marathons and made many wonderful friends. Some of whom I can even tolerate still... And a few of whom can even tolerate me. No small feat.

I have picked up a few things along the way. I hesitate to call it wisdom.

The only reason to run is if you are having fun.

Granted, some days are more enjoyable than others, but if you do not have a great big sloppy grin on your face while running through the woods, do yourself a favour and find a healthy activity that gives you joy and profound sense of being alive.

A healthy lifestyle depends on a healthy diet. You can not eat too many leafy green things. Love them and they will love your body.

I started this journey north of two hundred pounds. I am hovering around one hundred and ninety as I type. And I will head further south as my mileage and training intensity increases over the next few months.

Your percentage of body fat is far more important than what you weigh.

If you are determined to get faster, the easiest way is to get leaner. Talk to a nutritionist.

I could not have qualified for the Boston Marathon without my Polar Heart Rate Monitor. No if, ands or buts about it. If you are not training at least some of the time with a heart rate monitor, you are simply not serious about your training. That is okay if you are just running for fun. But if you have goals, you need a measuring stick.

To quote a dear friend, "Vince, the data does not lie!"

You are not a serious runner if you do not keep a training log.

You are not serious about your diet if you do not keep a food diary.

The marathon is a race that rewards planning and preparation.

If you don't have a marathon plan for success, you have a plan for failure.

The marathon race itself is about the careful management of scarce physical resources. You will pass a lot of stupid people in the last few miles of a race. Don't be one of them.

You will never have enough pairs of shoes. Don't cheap out.

Always carry spare running gear in your vehicle. When you need something the most, you will always leave it on the kitchen counter at home.

Always bring an extra gel for the long run. If you don't eat it, someone else will. They will owe you big time... This is good for your karma account.

There is no such thing as too much personal lubrication on runs more than twenty kilometres.

Stretching to prevent injury is the greatest running myth of all time. Remember, myths die hard.

Always listen to your body. Training is nothing more than stressing the body, recovering, and then stressing the body again. Each time you recover from the stress you impose, you should be faster and stronger. Everyone is different. Every body is different. Sometimes you may need extra recovery days. You are still training when you are recovering. It took me five years and ten marathons to grasp this principle...

See, I told you that marathoning rewards intelligence.

Eighty percent of your training volume is done at low intensity. Most people do it too hard. They are the injured ones...

Without an aerobic base you are not really a marathoner. You are a half-marathoner who has gone too far... And a pretender.

The marathon does not start until twenty miles (32K).

The only way to survive the last ten kilometres of a marathon is to pay your dues.

Never miss a long slow Sunday run.

Never back off on your tempo runs.

Never quit on the hills.

When you think you can't go any further, or harder or faster - you can.

During the last ten K of a marathon, the hills are your friends. If you take care of your hills, your hills will take care of you.

The last ten K of a marathon will reveal more about your character, your heart and your integrity than you may want to know.

The only person you have anything to prove to in a marathon is yourself.

Every marathon finished is a victory.

Have fun when you run.


Post a Comment

<< Home