How An Average Runner Qualified for the Boston Marathon Part 4: Speed

Speed Speed Speed.

Track had been noticeably absent from my marathon training plans for a few years. It seemed to be a main cause for my injuries, so speed training had been relegated to a minor portion of my schedule and was done in the form of tempo runs during the sharpening phase — about 6-8 weeks. Other than that, I stayed off the track and followed the common strategy that increasing mileage would build up my speed. Well, as mentioned in the previous post, I significantly decreased my mileage…so where was the speed going to come from? Yup, it was back to the track. And hills. And speed and agility work. More stuff I had either never done or neglected to do for several years.

Continue reading “How An Average Runner Qualified for the Boston Marathon Part 4: Speed”

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Listening to podcasts has been an effective way to get through a pool running session. If you’ve never pool run, imagine the lack of scenery and fresh air of treadmill running combined with the absence of a runner’s high, and you get the idea of the unique mental challenge that agua jogging presents. One podcast I’ve enjoyed listening to is “High Performance Mindset” hosted by Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, especially one recent episode in which she interviewed Dr. Mustafa Sarkar about his concept of resilience. Dr. Sarkar has done extensive research in this field and worked with many elite athletes, and it’s his position that resilience is not the ability to bounce back from a setback; rather, it is a proactive — rather than reactive — skill. More specifically, Dr. Sarkar’s work posits that resilience is the ability to use personal qualities to withstand stress and to maintain functioning under pressure, thus, there is no setback to come back from. This definition of resilience resonated strongly with me as tomorrow I finally return to running after being sidelined almost five weeks due to a freak injury. Continue reading “Don’t Call It A Comeback”

Training Week Jan. 18-24, 2016: My First DNF!

What an odd training week. Nothing could be categorized as “normal” or “standard.” From the get-go, my Monday workout was not the usual upper body/core day with Trainer. Not only was it track day, but it was also at a new location, Cal. State University Northridge. I survived, but I usually try to get some evening junk miles in during the early part of the week, and for the first time Trainer asked me not to run that night and just let the track workout sink in. Then, even stranger, for again the first time I got a text from him the next morning saying he thought we should take the day off. Odd. The track workout was difficult, but it’s always difficult. I couldn’t really tell that it was any harder than the others…but I found out later when I tried to run seven easy miles. Yikes. My legs – no, my entire body – were done. Even my sides hurt. Continue reading “Training Week Jan. 18-24, 2016: My First DNF!”

I’m Not That Kind of Runner!

Ugh. So for almost three weeks now I’ve known that I was going to be running in a track meet this Saturday. Trainer sprung it on me on Jan. 1 (Happy 2016!). I was so shocked that when he sent the flyer to me I asked him if he had meant to send it to one of his track clients…Nope, it was for me. Continue reading “I’m Not That Kind of Runner!”

Ventura Marathon Training Week 11: Taper Goes Left

Weekly Summary: 8/31/15 to 9/6/15

I wish I could say this week was boring, and that my main problem was going stir crazy and having heavy legs (i.e., typical taper issues), but as my last post detailed, this week was spent dealing with a most bizarre injury for a runner – an upper body issue. Continue reading “Ventura Marathon Training Week 11: Taper Goes Left”