Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Training: Week 9

Spring Training posts document my training for the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon on March 30 and my "A" race, the Wisconsin Marathon half, on May 4.

The week, in training:

Monday: TurboFire Stretch 40 + 3 miles
Tuesday: Unplanned rest (stomach bug)
Wednesday: 25 minutes TurboFire + 20 minutes strength
Thursday: 1 mile + led circuit class (only did cardio) + taught BODYPUMP
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: BODYPUMP (taught)
Sunday: 9.25 miles, long

◊ ◊ ◊

I am a monster. A green-eyed, jealous monster. 

I will look at other people's training logs and lust over high mileage and intense speedwork sessions. I see how fast other people go and long to be a glimmer of what I used to be. I talk to people who qualify for Boston and silently sulk that the only way I'll ever be able to run the capstone Boston Marathon is to do it wearing a charity bib.

It's terrible. I'm terrible. And I feel terrible that I think I'm terrible. 

But, the other day, I had an epiphany of sorts. Or a cup of coffee with an amazing, radiant woman.

I write a column of sorts for the paper called What's Your Workout? and I profile area residents and - you guessed it - their exercise routines. I started it in an effort to show people that the average Joe (or Jane in this case) can accomplish amazing things with the same demands that we all face. This month's column was about a marathon runner who recently qualified for the Boston Marathon. She didn't wake up one day, decide to run a marathon and lucked out that she "naturally" runs 7-minute miles and qualify in one attempt. Instead, she worked hard, worked her way up in distance, incorporated cross training and ran FOUR marathons before coming in under 3:45.

I was completely awestruck as we talked. It wasn't just her determination but her balance in dedication to training, being a mother (you should see her face light up when she mentions her daughter's name) and raising awareness for a good cause. You see, not only is she a great athlete, she is a cancer survivor and is now campaigning for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Woman of the Year on behalf of a 3-year-old boy with blood cancer. Just as she picked a lofty goal in Boston, she has in the campaign: to raise $100,000 for research. You know I rarely talk about donating money but here's her blog and a link if you are interested in reading more.

Anyway, back to running. While we were talking, I asked her what her motivation was and how she found it in her to get up at 4:15 to work out. Her response? If you want it bad enough, you'll do it.

And that's what I have to ask myself: What do I want and do I want it bad enough to put in the WORK? (Yes, WORK earns an all caps designation here.) I can get up earlier if I want to log higher mileage. I can learn to be more uncomfortable in my runs to push harder in training. I can do more than what will get me across the finish. If I want it.

I don't have the answer to the question, and I'm really trying to think about it this week. To search that heart of mine to decide what it's craving and what it needs.


  1. So good! I know I want marathons themselves bad enough... but I'm not sure the BQ part yet. I'm not sure I'm ready to sacrifice and give at that level yet. But I do think some day!

  2. You know I do think that it you set your mind to it you can achieve great things, but I also think bodies have their limits. My body seems to hate me going above 35 miles/week.

    Would I love to qualify for Boston someday? Absolutely! I may be in my 50's when it happens (like my mother in law) but someday, I hope to cross the starting line and of course the finish line. As of now, I'm not sure 3:35 marathon is going to happen any time soon.

  3. Yes, improving to the point of a BQ is definitely WORK and if you want to put in the time and dedication, then by all means go for it. BQ is something that I know I don't have the motivation (or realistically, the athletic ability) to accomplish. My goal is to eventually not care what my times are and continue to be able to run for many years to come.

  4. What an amazing woman! Wow. Just wow.

    I know quite a few people who have taken many tries to BQ. I see the work they put in... and know that is not what I want right now. I just want to be fit and feel good. I hope you do figure out what you want!

  5. I love her answer. I know that I want to run the half marathon in under 2 hours but I still skip some strength workouts and have missed a few runs lately.. I don't see myself waking up at 4:30 but maybe I need to change my attitude towards running and want it more than I do?

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