Thursday, January 29, 2009

Your Story--Don M.--55 yrs

A great story about how it is never to late to start running, to have a goal and do speedwork!

I started to think fitness after a boating accident @ Pineview. I had to do daily rehab. and started going to the Stewart Rehab Center for help. Then I was nominated to run with the Olympic Torch Relay in 2002. I thought, "I have to run, holding a torch, I better train!" That was the beginning. I decided to run the Ogden Marathon, at age 49, that same year (with no real training and a 3 mile long run). The result was a 5:27:00 finish time. But I did it!

My goal for 2003 was under 4 hours. I started regular running, found a running group and finished with a 3:54:59 that year. Now I was hooked! I started road biking as well as running. I finished the LOTOJA in 2004 (before dark). All my marathons were just under 4 hours, 3:59, 3:55, 3:54, etc.... I know I wanted to qualify for Boston but I seemed to be stuck in a rut. I couldn't seem to improve. Year after year Boston was my goal but seemed so far away. Guy and Debbie Perry referred me to Paul Pilkington, a friend and distance coach at WSU. I learned new and different types of training like intervals, tempo, strides, ladders, etc....I learned the importance of the warm-up and the cool-down. I started an associaton with great runners, with lofty goals.

Well, I qualified for Boston at both Ogden and St. George in 2007. Boston for me was just a dream and a goal that seemed impossible to acheive. However, with lots of dedication, hard work, time, coaching, sweat, blood, and good friends, it finally happened. After qualifying, I couldn't wait to go. Finally the time came and I was on cloud 9. It was an amazing "World Class" event! The Women's Maration Olympic Trials were held the day before the Marathon. Wow, what an opportunity to watch the best we have, right up close. I took my whole family (8) and had an awesome week, Boston is my favorite city. It was well worth the time, effort and $$$. Until our next "Adventure!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can I Run Both the Salt Lake and Ogden Marathons?

Can I run both the Salt Lake and Ogden Marathons?
Tia from facebook

In 2009, the Salt Lake Marathon (April18th) and Ogden Marathon (May16th) are 4 weeks apart. Tempting isn’t it? Why not run both! Well here are a couple questions to answer and ideas to mull over while making your decision.

Do you care about your finish time?

If you DON’T care about your time and you are doing these marathons solely to be a part of a really cool event, then the answer is pretty simple, run both. There are still some cautions here though. First, run both races at a very comfortable and conversational pace. Second, fuel really well throughout the marathon with gels/water or carb drinks every aid station. You will also need to walk through each aid station so you are getting enough food and water. If you do the above two, then Salt Lake Marathon won’t take as much out of you. And then third, rest plenty following the first race. The first week should be off, the second with some light 30-45 minute running, the third week can have an hour run thrown in to make sure you feel okay and then the 4th week is 30 minute running again to rest for Ogden. If you feel like your body is ready to go, then have a great time running Ogden!

*If you are a first time marathoner, then I recommend choosing only one marathon. If you would like to do another in 2009, then wait for a fall marathon.

Do you care about your finish time?

If you DO care about your finish time, then pick one marathon or the other. If you want to participate in some way in both events, then you can always run the half marathon at one or the other. If you run the half marathon at the Salt Lake Marathon, then be disciplined enough to run it at the pace you are trying to run your full marathon at and not any faster. This will be a great workout for race prep and give you an indicator of if your planned marathon pace is realistic. Then, you follow up the half with your last long run the following week and you’re set!

If you decide that Salt Lake Marathon is the place to attempt to run a fast marathon, then you can always come back and run the half at Ogden according to how you feel. I do NOT recommend running another marathon no matter how you think you feel. The reality is that marathons are very tough on the body at a deep cellular level. You are far more beat up and broken down than you realize, especially if you are trying to run a fast time. So pick one marathon or the other, be kind to your body and it will rise up to the occasion much better than if you overuse it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A blow to the head sharpens the view

WARNING: You may want to wear a helmet while reading the following:

“This is not a bad as it sounds, but after looking at the CT scans, they want to Life Flight Cade to Primary Children’s Hospital. He has a fracture to his skull and a brain contusion.” All I could do was nod my head over the phone and keep saying “Okay.” I was lucky enough to have already seen Cade (13 years old) before he was transported over to the ER. I had already seen the blood coming from his ear, the immovable shoulder and the tears and was somewhat prepared for the outcome. As I waited at home for that phone call from Guy, I sat by the fireplace, watched the mountains turn blue with the fading light and turned off my mind. I rested my heart momentarily and let every unimportant thought in my head slip away.

It is so easy to forget that life can turn on a dime. But, there is freedom, depth and comfort to be found in difficult moments. My selfish training plans for an Ironman 70.3 had to be put aside and I was happy, almost overjoyed, to let the long ride and long run that was forthcoming fall by the wayside. Not because I didn’t want to do them, but rather that I cherished being able to be with Cade as the course of events unfolded. It felt so good to let go and remind myself that while I may be passionate about my training, I am glad I am not obsessed. I train to live rather than live to train.

I have found, through sad experience that it is possible to hyper focus on a goal and then miss all the important emotions and events going on daily that really mean something. Some may admiringly call that passion, but it is really obsession. Passion is a healthy, committed and deeply routed pursuit of a personal interest or goal. It is clean, unencumbered, feels right and is good. Yep, passion is the fire that puts light into our days. Obsession, however, is the wildfire that burns the whole field. So, while hanging out at the hospital with Cade, I thought about this and relished just being able to chill out.

Well, Cade got very lucky. After spending a sleepless night in ICU surrounded by babies and toddlers that were heart wrenchingly sick, his follow up CT scan showed no further trauma development. We all counted our blessings and got to go home the following evening. Yeah, six weeks of nothing but walking for exercise and no more skiing for the year, but Cade lost no brain function. As a mom, I am thankful and relieved. Cade is still free to do the one thing I hope he will choose to do for himself and that is to find something in his life that he is passionate about and be healthy enough to pursue it.

Note to self: If you unknowingly meet up with a metal power box at high speeds while sledding behind a 4 wheeler, be rest assured that it will most certainly leave a mark!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Base Mile Blitzkrieg

It might be O'dark thirty in the morning, cold and a bit snowy, but are you getting them in? Goin' the right pace? Grab some warm EmergnC and cuttle up with this tidbit of base mile info.

What are they really? Base miles are done at a low intensity that allows you to talk comfortably with a friend. No matter what event you are training for or your experience level, this kind of run should be an arrow in the quiver of every endurance athlete. It doesn’t have to be long every time you go, but it does have to be slow enough to give your body the memo, “Hey, make some more of those oxygen carrying mitochondria and enzymes so I can run even longer and eventually faster at this easy pace.”

Base miles have many names like:
Zone 2 (according to heart rate training,)
65-70% of Max Heart rate (again a heart rate monitor reference)
RPE (Borg rating of Perceived Exertion) of 9, 10 or 11—This is based on a scale up to 20
Long Slow Distance (LSD-not a drug reference although it can be euphoric)
50-60% max effort

Whatever you call it, it still means the same thing. Run slow enough to talk to your friend at an effort that feels like about 50-60% of your maximum effort (even though your pulse will be higher as mentioned above). Most new runners, and many experienced runners too, make the mistake of going too fast. So make sure to check your effort more carefully. You should actually enjoy this run! There has been more than one person who has said that they DON’T like running or can’t go very far until I take them out and teach them what this pace REALLY is. What do I do with them? Let them run a pace that allows us to chat for about 30 minutes straight. Talk about renewed hope! They all actually confess that they had no idea about how to do this and come back later to say they are happily running an hour or more using this new approach.

For a more experienced runner and/or a triathlete, this type of run is still very important. Way too many athletes are stuck running just a bit too fast on easy days. And when they finally do slow down into the right zone, they feel like running with a paper bag over their head because it is "SOO SLOW!" But, If you don’t slow down on easy days or your weekly long runs of 75-90 minutes (or more if you are doing a marathon,) then you will lose that aerobic capacity you are trying to cultivate and you will also not ever get fully recovered from faster and harder runs. By this point in your progression as a runner, you should have spent at least some time with a heart rate monitor, know your training zone numbers and then make extra sure to run your easy days under the Zone 2 or 70% ceiling. If you do this, you will feel a whole lot better come those harder days. If you still have not nailed down these numbers, then now is probably a good time to find out. Until then, "easy conversation pace" is the order of the day.

The next line of questions most runners ask is, “What kind of run then should I do for a hard day this time of year? Should I be doing anything fast at all? or Am I too new to try any type of hard run?” We will talk more about that next week!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

There is no finish line

By: Debbie

I am totally excited to be posting regularly on this blog. I will talk about training, technical stuff, nutrition, racing and any other tidbits that have to do with helping you accomplish whatever you are setting out to do. But, I have been asked to first and foremost to post "MY STORY." (See previous post)

A good place to start I guess mostly because most of you don't know the full circle that my athletic life has traveled. That journey is a big part of why I now passionately pursue the study of health, fitness and human performance on all levels. I really like how this all ties together in body, mind and spirit. So I hope that no matter what age or ability you are, that you will come to understand that "I have so been there."

So, this blog will be an eclectic mix of topics suited for all types of people pursing different types of goals. And even though we are all trying to get to that said "finish line" of our chosen event, I have come to realize that the Nike motto of not so long ago is completely correct..."There is no finish line."