Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Funnies

 To all my friends (real and internet alike!) with marathons coming up, this is for you:

Finder's credit to Irina for this gem!
And that funny ecard reminded me of a funny bumper sticker (I think Irina might have found this one too!) that I shared on facebook a few months back.  I was tempted to give up running just so I could buy it and put it on my car, because I think it is HILARIOUS.
 One of my non-running friends actually bought it, and thanked me for showing her the first-ever bumper sticker she found worthy enough to place on her car.  You're welcome!  I read some RW forums about this bumper sticker and some runners were really angry about it.  But these are the same people that criticize the runners who put the 13.1 stickers on their cars (they apparently think only a full marathon is bumper-sticker worthy???), or that say you aren't a runner if you don't run at least x number of miles per week or at faster than x pace.  Get off your high horse people.  Run because you want to, not because you want to feel superior to everybody else.  I guess they took offense that the "fat, lazy, couch potatoes" (their words, not mine) were "making fun" of their accomplishments, or at least of the fact that put their accomplishments on the back of their car.  I guess they wouldn't like Irina's 3.1 sticker, either :)  (In case you were wondering, no,  I don't have any distance stickers on my car.)

It's actually kind of funny, I would never say someone else is "not a runner" based on their pace or mileage or anything.  BUT, I often find myself holding myself to a different standard.  My life kind of revolves around running.  I schedule everything (work, sleep, food, vacations, social outings) around my running schedule.  I talk, tweet, blog, think, and read about running.  I'm frequently embarrassed because I feel like for someone who cares SO MUCH about running, that I should be a "real runner" (read: fast, high mileage, competitive, etc).  Like I somehow don't have the right to care so much about it because I'm not very "good" at it (which is of course all relative, I am very good compared to where I "started" two years ago).  It actually keeps me from talking about running sometimes, and is part of the reason I am hesitant to just "run for fun" and not care about PRs and paces all that jazz.  Strange, that.

Speaking of mileage, I'm on track to have my highest mileage week ever this week, assuming I do a 12 miler as planned tomorrow.  That'll be about 38 miles this week.  I'm not even really following a plan.  Just running with my groups.  It was the 8miler from this past Sunday that pushed the weekly mileage up.  I did the 5K last Saturday so had to do my long-ish run Sunday, instead, so I guess the mileage doesn't *really* count as this week's.  I even took the day off Monday and today.    (Other mileage updates: 46 so far for May, and 504 for 2012, building up a nice buffer for my goal of 1200 in 2012)

I just dropped my Garmin in the mail for warranty exchange.  Nothing beats sending your electronics back for replacement a week before the warranty expires! :D  (this also happened with my iPod shuffle, which died just before the warranty ended) I'm excited to have a Garmin that isn't permanently backlit!  I hope they don't void the warranty because of the dog teeth marks on the strap.  It didn't have anything to do with it, I swear! So I'll be without a Garmin for 7-10 business days :(

Marathon Dread (long and rambling, feel free to skip)
I registered quite awhile ago for the Detroit full marathon (October 2012).  I registered because I feel like I *have* to do one in 2012, since my other marathons were in 2006 and 2009 (I like patterns).  I'm already dreading it and I haven't started training yet.  I feel like your first marathon is your easiest, because you're so excited every time you cross a new long run (ie your first 14 mile run, etc), and it's SUCH a huge accomplishment to say you ran a marathon for the first time.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think my previous 2 marathons are what ended my running streaks.  I know the 2009 one was the end of that bout of running, because I was injured a week before the race, and spent the last 13 miles of the marathon in or near tears.  I don't remember why I stopped running in 2006, (or maybe I didn't), but I do know I don't have any races recorded after the Cleveland Marathon in 2006, until 2008 when I started training with TNT for the 2009 Phoenix marathon. 

So, on the one hand, I'm dreading it, because my main focuses right now are 1)staying uninjured and enjoying running, 2)improving my speed (ie getting 5K and HM PRs).  I feel like marathon training is like the opposite of both of those.  16-20 mile long runs suck.  And they hurt.  I haven't any real knee pain in ages, and I am afraid I am going to get it back with those super long runs.  And I'm afraid I'm going to dread my runs, rather than enjoy them.

On the other hand, I kind of consider this my first "real" marathon.  Cleveland 2006 was great, but I also didn't train for it.  I had never run further than 14 miles before that in my life, and I registered on whim the weekend of the race.  I held way back during the race, walked through every water stop, and had no idea if I'd be able to finish.  It was super fun, I ended up running the whole thing (except water stops), no "hitting the wall", no pain, super happy with my time of 4:35:25 (especially considering I didn't even know if I could do it at all.  I actually think the uncertainty is part of what made it so good. )  While I wasn't training for a marathon specifically, I was running quite a lot prior to it (my current HM PR is from 1 month prior to that marathon), so I won't be at all surprised if I actually don't do that well this time around. 

I think all of my dread is coming from Phoenix 2009.  I had a 2+ year hiatus from running, and then had just started picking it back up in Fall 2008.  (36:40 for a 5K race, doing short jogs around the neighborhood a few times a week).  I decided training for a marathon would be a great way to get back into it.  (Mistake #1....since I now think a good base is the most important thing for a marathon, even more so than race specific training).  Mistake #2: I ran stupid.  I did 3 milers through the week and long runs on weekends.  I followed the long run schedule, but that's it.  My 3 milers were the same pace as my long runs.  I can't recall if I did 3, 3, long, or 3, 3, 3, long, but I know it wasn't much.  It's no wonder I ended up injured less than 1 week before the race.  I remember those long training runs as being very...long.  And painful.  And slow.  And boring.

Well, after typing all that out, now I'm excited about this marathon again.  Yay blogging!.  (Or journaling, since clearly this blog is just a brain dump/journal more for my benefit than yours!)  I'll just be smart.  I know from 2006 that the long run isn't the end-all of marathon training.  If I have to miss one due to knee pain, that is better than ending up in pain on race day or "benched" for months after.  I will NOT do any distance longer than 20 miles.  I will also not do more one 20-miler.  (Okay, MAYBE if I feel like a million bucks I'll be up for two, but I'm only planning on one right now).  Doing my long runs with 501 should also make them way more enjoyable than they were in the past, I'll just have to be careful not to go too fast. 

I know other people (ie Scott) who have had frequent PRs at shorter distances (5K, 10K, or HM) occur DURING marathon training, thanks to the increased mileage, so that focus doesn't have to fall by the wayside. 

It will  also be nice to do a race distance where I don't care about my time.  I used to run half-marathons just for the experience, but since I've done so many, they've become time-focused, like a 5K always was for me.  I absolutely do not care how fast I finish the marathon.  The thought of that is very relaxing.  (In a perfect world, I would do better than 2006's 10:35 pace, and in a super-perfect world, I would do sub 10:00 pace, but I swear, I don't care).    I'll try to push myself during training to improve my speed, but race day I am not going any faster than a pure easy pace. 

Okay that's all.   Time for fire and s'mores.  And maybe studying for my EKG test and other work stuff.

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