Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Counting minutes, not miles...

It's been a few weeks- I thought I should check in and let everyone know that I haven't stopped running for the cause. Thanks to my possibly over-enthusiastic promise not to run a mile this summer until I find a summer training sponsor-- I've been keeping true to my word and not running any miles. But I have been running for minutes-- up to 30 at a time actually.

----the pre-run breathing treatment----
This summer I have the awesome experience of being a pace leader for the DRC Couch to 5k program. This is a group for beginning runners and walkers who want to work up to participating in a 5k by July 4th. I love being a part of this program! It doesn't seem like that long ago I was in the same position as many of the participants in this group, so it is very exciting to see their progress and share their enthusiasm.
The workouts for this group are all based on time rather than miles. We are working up to running a continuous 30 minutes, so currently the workouts involve a mix of walking/jogging. Last week we ran for 5 minutes straight, and tonight we ran for 10. I was wondering how a lot of these newer runners would handle doubling their running time in just a week, but they all looked GREAT out there tonight!
Another benefit of this program for me is that I can take my own training much slower for the summer and find out how my body will adapt to running in the Dallas heat and humidity. My running abilities have changed DRAMATICALLY with the change in climate. Heat has been physically been a big struggle for me for several years now, so I'm trying to be patient and take it slow. I'm also learning a lot of technical running tips by doing this program that I missed out on when I started running. I can't wait to see how far this group will come by July 4th!
--- the post-run stretch---
So I am keeping my promise-- all my workouts are being logged in minutes rather than miles. But as soon as I find a summer training sponsor I will gladly make the switch. Like I said before, I won't be logging NEARLY the same number of miles per week as I was in the spring.... likely not more than 20 miles per week in case you're working out the math. If any potential sponsors are concerned about the unknown donation amount-- just let me know your limit. I'll do my best to earn all the dollars I can for Susan's Foundation this summer-- but don't want to drain out all my generous sponsors before the Texas marathon in December! :)
---group stretch---

(Thanks to Debbie for the pictures!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Races without running

I still have yet to run a mile this summer. Aside from patiently waiting for that volunteer Summer Training Sponsor (see post below)- this little time off actually coincides well with me needing some health related time off. Although I'm hoping to start putting in some low mileage runs before the month is please consider being the first Summer Training Sponsor. Don't forget you also get first choice of a free mile for the next marathon (Texas in December).

So while I'm semi-patiently not running, I've been trying to stay involved with DRC by volunteering at races. This is a picture of me and my friend Genevieve (also the top DRC mile sponsor recruiter for the Oklahoma marathon), working a water stop at a local 5k last weekend. This was my first time working a water stop and it was great! All of the times I've run through a water stop as a runner- I never realized there was a particular way to offer a water cup to a runner. Genevieve kindly pointed out my technique flaw after my first attempt sent a Gatorade shower all over me, the runner, and anyone within 20 feet of us. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Seeking summer running employment

You may have noticed since my next marathon is not until December, I've posted some additional opportunities (above) of how you can get involved or stay involved raising money for cancer patients through Susan's Foundation during the summer months.

One of these opportunities is becoming a Summer Training Sponsor by donating $1 for each mile I run (in either races or training) from May-August. You can let me know you'd like to sign up anytime during those months, and donations will not be collected until September. You can track my summer miles logged on the blog from week to week. Wondering just how much this commits you to? It's hard to say for sure, but I can tell you that between January and April of this year I ran around 300 miles. This summer I won't be logging NEARLY as many as there is no marathon planned for this season- and I'll be cutting back on miles quite a bit to manage some health issues as well. So....this may be the ideal season to get your feet wet as a training sponsor for a great price. :) Included with their summer training donation, summer training sponsors also get the added benefit of automatically getting first choice of a free sponsor mile for the Texas marathon in December.

Now that May has arrived and I am mostly recovered from Oklahoma- I've decided that I won't start my summer training until someone hires me. Meaning-- until I get at least one summer training sponsor, I'm not running! Big pressure because I'm expected to participate in a 5k next weekend. :)

Oklahoma Reflections

Tonight was our official pace group celebration get together at Max and Denise's house. They threw an awesome party, and I'm just sad that again I forgot to take any pictures. :( But it was great having time to sit and talk about all of our marathon experiences from last weekend, and brought up a few memories I'd forgotten...

1) Water stops-- there were some very entertaining ones in OKC... at one point I remember running through a circus- complete with man walking on stilts, a Big Top, clowns, and who knows what else. Another time I ran through a scene straight out of Alice and Wonderland. It all actually seems like a dream looking back on it-- but it was actually there-- much like the priest I wasn't sure if I was actually seeing or not during mile 23 of Arizona.

2) When I just got back to my hotel and got on the elevator, it was crowded with a group of people (not runners) just checking in. One woman looked at me and, noting my exhausted look and finisher's medal I suppose, asked, "Oh, was there a race today?" My response- "yes, I just ran a marathon". She asks, "Oh, how far was this one?" Still being under time stress, exhausted and angry at the wind, I prayed she was asking about how long it took me-- so I told her. But no-- she wanted to know how many miles this particular marathon was. For some reason at that moment there could not have been a single question I wanted to hear less than that. I honestly considered trying to come up with some sarcastic response, but maybe I was too tired. "26.2 miles" I said.
Now- for you non-runners out there-- let me explain this right now so you can save yourself the embarrassment next time you strike up a conversation with a runner. ALL marathons are 26.2 miles, regardless of location, date, weather, color of your shorts, etc.-- unless you drop out early (in which case, it wouldn't count), they are all the same distance.

The next marathon finisher you meet (especially if they just finished within the last 20 minutes), will be so grateful not to have to explain this to you. After running that far through those conditions-- there's nothing you want more than to be around people who appreciate what you've been through and understand-- or at least can intelligently appear to understand. :)

In case you're wondering how my pace group turned out...they all did cross the finish line not long after I did and were still alive. Max and Denise also successfully completed the Big Sur Marathon in California the same day, and now have 2 new medals to add to their collection of.... never mind, I can't count that high.

Future plans for my group-
Me- maintance training as much as I'm able through the summer, and then working toward the Texas marathon in December.
Danielle- after finishing her first marathon (pain and all), officially seems to be addicted to the process and is registered to run the Chicago Marathon in October.
Becky- proud first time finisher who looked great wearing her medal to the party tonight- is not planning on another marathon, but is thinking about training for a triathalon instead.
James- also a succesful first time marathon finisher-- also running the Chicago Marathon in October.

Way to go team!!!