Run happy

With only 8 days to go until …NASHVILLE, i thought i would spend some time posting inspirational videos. i’ll try to post daily so check back often!

If this video doesn’t make you want to run a race, i don’t know what will. I love the looks of pure joy, shock, pain, exhaustion, and elation as these people cross the finish line.

enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqmAvmwS2dE

Slowly but surely

I never, in a million years, thought i would have to miss so many months of running. In January, i thought, i’ll take a few weeks off and join up with the Nashville group for the last 2 months. Little did i know, i would not be able to run one single run with the group.

Thank goodness, i’m slowly but surely headed back to the land of running. This is the first time i have ever had to sit out an entire race season…and certainly the first time i’ve never been able to step foot on a run with my group. This has proved to be harder emotionally than it has been physically. There is a small part of me that still cannot believe that i am not running Nashville. I can’t seem to wrap my head around that fact. I have such mixed emotions- i’m devastated that i can’t run the race but i’m truly thrilled for everyone else. Keith and i have talked about this umpteen times- it’s going to be emotional for me BUT i’m also so excited for each and every person. I love this race and i love seeing people accomplish such a great feat. I’m so grateful for my entire group and so proud of everyone running.

As crazy as it sounds, i’m jealous of the rainy runs, envious of the bridge runs, interested in the shelby forest runs, and craving the long runs. Although it can be emotional for me watching my group head out, my group is also what has kept me going. My passion is not only for my runs but also for my group. I’m impressed by all that each and every runner has accomplished.

It’s shocking to me when i hear someone in the group say something about not feeling strong or not feeling like a good runner. As i’ve sat back on the sidelines and watched, i’ve been so impressed. I feel certain that 6 months ago, a run at Shelby Forest would have been nearly impossible for many people in the group and now everyone in the group is tackling these types of runs with a new found strength and skill. I think when you’re in it, it’s hard to make yourself take a step back and see where you are and how far you’ve come.

An injury will certainly force you to self reflect and will remind you to appreciate your runs and your ability. I always say, it takes bad runs to appreciate the good ones. Well, it also takes not being able to run to truly appreciate running in general. I think this is why i’m even tougher on the group. Sometimes i just want to shake people and say, “what do you mean you don’t feel like running?! think about all those people that can’t run.” I know though that even i am going to have some days that i don’t want to run. I know it’s not realistic to always look forward to and enjoy every single run. I’m going to try super hard though.

My PT visits are lessening and he is giving me a little more rope with my runs. I am going to try 25 minutes straight sometime in the next couple of days. Woohoo! Fingers crossed that my leg and foot feel ok after that run. I’ll be out there with my group sometime soon. Slowly but surely.

in awe…

Today marked the 115th running of one the most elite, historic, and coveted marathons….Boston! This is the marathons of all marathons. They host 25,000 runners and report over 500,000 spectators! What?! That’s just nuts.

What’s even more nuts is that you have to qualify to even run this race AND they fill up all their spots. I’m sure many of you have heard the drama by now about the future qualification standards. Due to the increasing number of marathoners and the increasing number of qualifiers, not only are you going to have to qualify but then you still aren’t even guaranteed a spot.

I know a couple of people who are guaranteed a spot though- Kara Goucher, Desi Davila, and Ryan Hall- all Americans who had an amazing showing today. Go USA! Unfortunately the damn race isn’t televised in Memphis so Keith and I were glued to our computers for the last 30 minutes or so- checking twitter and facebook every few seconds so we were able to keep up with the play by plays. Amazing!

At the 20k (12.4 miles) split, Ryan Hall was pushing the pace and leading the group of elites by 1 second. Seconds are everything when you’re this fast. Mile 18, Ryan continues to hold the lead. Ryan crosses the 30k split at 1:28:22. This is a 4:44 pace, people!! It was infectious. The buzz was that Ryan Hall was looking good and potentially looking at taking the win. This is a huge deal for anyone, but especially an American. By mile 20, Ryan started to fall behind. Mutai, Kenyay, exploded to a commanding lead. Ryan fell back about 6 places at this point but don’t think it’s over here. Mutai was getting closed in on by Mosop, another Kenyan. This was a true foot race. At mile 22, it was reported that Mosop was only 5 strides behind Mutai. What I would give to see this coverage!! Mosop takes the lead and starts to pull away. At this point we’re hearing that Ryan is just under a minute behind. That’s too much time to make up when you’re basically being shot out of a cannon. At mile 24, Mosop and Mutai are sprinting to the finish and running a 4:25 split. No, you’re not reading this wrong- 4 minutes and 25 seconds to run a mile. Mutai pulled ahead and won with a 2:03:02 – 4:41 pace!! He also smoked the course record of 2:05:52. Mosep came in only 4 seconds later for the 2nd place finish and Ryan Hall broke the American record and came in 4th with a 2:04:58. Unbelievable!

The women’s race was just as exciting. Kara Goucher was certainly not expected to win but she definitely wanted to have a good showing. She had a baby only 7 months ago and this was her post baby marathon debut. She was definitely my favorite and the one I was rooting for the most but I’ll go with any US win. Kara was dropped by the leaderboard around mile 16 but still had them in her sights. Kim Smith, New Zealand was leading the group at mile 17 by 30 seconds but Rotich and Kilel, both Kenyan’s, had separated from the pack and were gaining on her. The pack overtook Smith just under mile 19, as she had stopped and shaken out some issues going on with her right leg but she continued to run. USA still had a contender at this point, Desiree Davila, but there hadn’t really been much mention of her at this point and Kara had fallen back to 8th place. At the 30k split, Kilel and Rotich blaze by at 1:41:49. Cherop, Smith, Tune, Timbilili on their heels at 1:41:50. Again, 1 second!! Davila surged and took the lead after mile 20. She and Kalil took turns (not because they’re nice 😉 ) leading the pack. Davila was leading at mile 23 with 2:05:21 but Kilel and Timbilili, another Kenyay, were taking over. Davila made her move over the final stretch but it was close. She and Kalil continued to alternate lead and in the final 100 meters or so, Kalil overtook her and surged to the finish. Kalil won with a 2:22:36 (5:26 pace!!) and Davila (USA) came in 2nd with a 2:22:38. Heartbroken with a 2 second loss but thrilled with her overall time. Kara Goucher regained some space and finished in 5th with a 2:24:52.

With all the PR’s out there on the course today and even broken records, the 1 record that is not going to hold up is the world record. Technically, Mutai’s finish of 2:03:02 is the fastest marathon EVER run…i mean ever, as in ever in the whole world…it doesn’t actually count as the record breaker because Boston is not a world record qualifying course. Seems crazy doesn’t it. It has something to do with the elevation at the start and finish of a race and Boston’s is too skewed apparently. Oh well, he still knows he one fast bad ass! As for Ryan Hall, this was too a PR for him and technically the American record- i’m guessing this won’t hold up either but i’m not sure. Today was also a PR for Davila and Goucher. Fun stuff going on out there on that course today.

Seems like a good day for PR’s. Guessing i should’ve run it too 😉

You’re tougher than you think you are…

Mantra: a word or sound that serves as a focal point for certain types of meditation.

There doesn’t have to be anything hokey about a mantra. A mantra can be anything…one word or a phrase.

Running goals aren’t only met by having strong legs and lungs. You must also have a strong head. If you’re doubting yourself or focusing on the negative, you are certain to have a bad run. Sometimes something as simple as a few choice words can keep you focused and on target. Why does this work? Because you’re taking the focus off of the negative and placing it on the positive.

Mantra’s are used all over the world for all types of situations. You may have one and not even realize it. You can borrow one from someone and make it yours. You can make one up. It can be a simple word. Whatever works to keep you positive and focused is your mantra.

After reading “Born to Run” last year, i found my favorite one. The motto for the Leadville 100 trail race is “you’re tougher than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can.” I don’t know why but this really spoke to me. When i was running in Nashville last year, i specifically remember repeating this over and over as i was nearing the end of the race. It’s impossible to run an entire race without a single distraction or negative feeling. That’s just an unrealistic expectation so the best thing is to be prepared for what you can do to overcome this. This is where a mantra is perfect. I spent the last 9 miles in my marathon talking myself off the ledge. When i started to really doubt myself, i repeated certain mantra’s over and over. I swear it worked. Somehow i actually crossed that finish line and it wasn’t because my legs wanted to do it. It was all my mind. My body would have given up miles before the finish line.

Last year i had the Nashville group share with me their mantras. Here are some i pulled out to share with you as well as some i use:
“you’re tougher than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can.”
“you’ve done it; now do it better!”
“look around you and enjoy the experience”
“make friends with pain and you’ll never be alone”
“you’ve got this!”
“the faster you run, the quicker it’s over”
“stand up tall, shoulders down, breathe”

When you find that you’re thinking “i can’t do this. my legs hurt. i can’t breathe. i have so much further”, you need to repeat “you’ve got this. you’ve got this….” or whatever it is that works for you. You might not think you need anything but if you have something to pull from, it can only help. I’m not going to get into all the psychobabble i could about mantra’s and the psyche but, trust me, it works.

Even Nike has a “mantra”; Just Do It! Anyone want to share anything that works for you?