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Archive for the category “Motivation”

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

Chicago Marathon 2016

I got in the Chicago Marathon. 7th time overall and first since they went to a lottery system. What a great feeling. Now it’s time to ramp up the miles and the blog entries. Talk to you all soon.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

Central Park Then Boston

I am finding it difficult to sleep with a bucket list type run just a few hours away. Central Park in NYC has to be up there. If my walk down 7th Ave some 50 plus blocks tells me anything is the people will be the scenery on this run. I was wondering if everyone in NYC is an actor or if people just seem more interesting here. They do seem in pretty good shape. I suppose walking those long city blocks everyday would help keep the people of this city in shape.

More of a report on the actual run itself later,

Also looking forward to taking in a run for the first time as a spectator. It is kind of a big deal maybe you have heard of it? Last name Marathon, first name Boston. The prospect of the chance to view the race I have dreamed of running and have qualified for twice is pretty darn awesome. I am sure there will be mixed emotions with the joy of being there filled with the wonderment of what could have been. Hey, it is what it is. I planned this trip to show my deep respects to a marathon and a city that took a sharp blow last year and more than recovered to get an even bigger event (if that’s possible) out there this year.

I probably should get some sleep before these 2 runner’s high events, but I am not sure that will happen, More words later,

 

Run 4 What? The Hard

In less than 3 years this old runner will turn 50. Does the name of the blog need to change names then? Run 450 plus doesn’t quite cut it for me. Some have never caught on that the name of the blog was intended to indicate that the primary audience is the 40 plus runner, but then again it wasn’t supposed to be so obvious that it scared off younger runners. Oh well, a lot of things shouldn’t be so obvious that just anyone can do it. Like Tom Hanks character in A League of Their Own speaking of the sport of baseball, “The hard is what makes it great.”

Running marathons whether you are a 40 or 30 or 20 year-old are not easy endeavors. It’s almost impossible to complete one without feeling it during and long afterward. Whether you are slow or very fast, the distance will take its toll and you will know you have done something great by completing one.

This blog as long as it continues to be thrown out there by this old runner, will always be dedicated to being dedicated to running far. Slower than ever, yet still about the hard as always.

Sweet Home Chicago Marathon

Some things are just made for each other. Peanut butter and jelly. Front doors and welcome mats. Nights and moonlight. Long strolls along the river with a loved one. Chicago and the marathon.

I probably biased on this subject. I have only run 7 marathons and 6 of them were Chicago Marathons, but like all great fits, we tend to stick with what works for us. Those jeans that have been broken in just right are hard to get rid of.

If you have run the same marathon more than once, you know what I am talking about. Large city marathons have their challenges and knowing what to expect from traffic to the expo, to the aid stations, to finding your friends/support team after the race, all factor in on the overall enjoyment of the event.

I have discussed some of the tricks of the Chicago Marathon in past blog entries, so I won’t rehash those here. The point of this post is to find what works for you and run with it. Chicago is my fit. I plan to run it again next year and the following year. This was a down/off year for me, but I have that bug in my brain to get back to Chicago and finish a few things.

I hope you find your Chicago whether it’s called Napa Valley, Olympic, Nashville, Rock and Roll or Peanut Butter and Jelly Marathon…. now there’s an idea.

Chicago Marathon Prep

It’s an exciting time as the fall marathon season begins and the marathon training programs wind down. Usually by late August/early September the weather in the Midwest mellows from the exasperating heat to a comfortable range to allow for those final 20 milers to be completed before the big race. This year has been a reverse of that pattern. Early August the temps cooled off, but the heat came back the last two weeks and look to continue for another week at least.

The best plan to beat the heat and still get those long runs in is to get up really early, as in before the sun comes up. 2011 was an especially hot summer and if I didn’t get up at 4:30 and hit the road by 5:00 the temps were in the high 80’s/low 90s by 9:00 and close to the 100’s by Noon. Avoiding the midday sun is always a wise choice, but that year it was an absolute necessity.

Though I hate to drive/waste gasoline to get a run in, the wise thing is to put out water/energy drink on your long run course. My usual course provides a few hiding places for the drinks, so as not to be disturbed by ill-doers. If your course is not so well equipped, the next best plan is to carry your beverage of choice. Personally I don’t like to carry water for several reasons, but the placement of beverages that are the same as the ones that will be provided at your marathon is optimal. As an example: The Chicago Marathon provides Gatorade Endurance formula and water. The Fargo Marathon provided PowerAde the year I ran it, so that year I started my marathon training using PowerAde (which I don’t like) up to Fargo and then switched to Gatorade after and then all the way up to Chicago. You always want to condition your body for all the variables you will be hit with at your respective marathon. The same can be said for energy gels.

Studying your marathon of choice’s website is key to any successful marathon pursuit. Limiting surprises is always a good idea. The more that you know going in, the less opportunity to have the unexpected trip you up on race day.

Fall Marathon Post 2013, Chicago Marathon 2013

Dog Run Too Far

My favorite long run trick is what I call a Dog Run. Run on an out and back course and run beyond your comfort zone like a dog running away from home without much concern of making it back. Sometimes everything works out and other times even if I had 4 legs I’d still be in trouble. The point of the dog run is to leave yourself without an out. Worst case, you have to stop and walk and still cover the prescribed overall mileage set by the distance traveled to the turnaround.

The most important thing is to gauge how you feel on the way out. If it is just not your day, don’t push it. You have to make it back alive. Well duh. Sunday, I planned on doing 12 miles as I had done 11 the week before in an 1 hour 41 minutes. It was much hotter this week than last so I started off  a bunch slower than normal. The heat was taking its toll on the way out, so I decided to cut it short and turned around at 5.5 miles to at least cover the mileage of the week before.  To help ensure I didn’t die, I told my wife to come out to get me at the 2 hour mark.

I started walking at the 9.4 mark as I didn’t feel terrible, but I did feel like it was the wise thing to do. I checked the time and I had been out 1:48 at that point. I really need a drink, so I really hoped to see my wife soon. I got to the drinking fountain in town  before my wife made it to me at roughly the 2:04 point.  She brought cold water that tasted a lot better than fountain water. She asked if I wanted a ride, but I wanted to get my mileage and felt like there was no risk to walk the rest of the way home, so I did.

Try a dog run sometime, if  you haven’t already, but be smart about it. It is a great way to push your limits.

Song suggestion of the day: Rocky Mountain High – John Denver. This song takes the listener away from the time and place unless of course you are running in the Rocky Mountains.  Not every run can be in/at such a beautiful place, so music can take over for a peace of the mental side of running.

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

An End Each or One Double Ender

My Wife makes my lunch that I take to work each day.  When she is left with 2 ends of the loaf and 2 regular slices, she always uses one end per sandwich, so I am left with 2 sandwiches that are less than perfect. Yesterday was one of those days and I thought to myself is it better to have one awesome sandwich made with 2 regular slices and one double ender that leaves that sandwich bland and not so desirable.

How does this relate to running, you ask? Well, I will tell you. Given the opportunity to have 2 weekend runs that are better than average or one awesome run one day and one less than average run the next day, which would you choose?

The last few weekends have provided me with samples of both scenarios.  I ran a 7 mile on a Saturday and another 7 miles the next day.  Both runs were fine, but really didn’t tell me much about my overall conditioning and each just kind of lasted with that just get them done feel. Flash forward to this last weekend and I purposely ran a shorter distance of 5 miles on Saturday with the intent on running 11 miles on Sunday. My only worry on Saturday was if the weather didn’t work out on Sunday, my weekend goal would be shot. The weather did cooperate and I pushed myself to that 11 mile finish and my farthest run of 2013. The satisfaction level of that 11 miler far exceeded the 5 miler, but they each had their respective purpose toward the weekend goal of pushing my limits.

This takes me back to a marathon training program that I used in 2011 for the Fargo Marathon. The planned called for weeks where the weekend runs were either twins (same distance both Saturday and Sunday) or cousins (different distances with the longer distance on Sunday).

It’s nice to have that one spectacular run, but those average or blah runs do have their purpose. Variety in training is always a good thing and not every run (like a sandwich) will be perfect.

 

 

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