Today mental preparation was needed before my run. After all, I was going out to surpass my comfort zone of years past weekly runs. I had made it past the every other day runs of 3-3.5 miles and was planned to run 4.5 miles today, Wednesday and Friday this week. With the way training has progressed so far, I was prepared to complete the 4.5 and had the route mapped out already. Slipped on my running attire, shoes and new dual layer running socks from that trip to the running store and out the door I went.
Yesterday, I had remembered a training tool that I used to use and wondered if it was still out there. I used to listed to Steve Runner's Podcasts on iTunes and sure enough he is still created them. I eagerly downloaded the last five or so episodes of the podcasts and looked forward to listening to them on my next set of runs. I remembered that they are usually around an hour in length and were made of of Steve telling stories about training, his running of races and marathons, everyday life and basically a mixture of things including some music intertwined. The majority of the podcasts are completed while he is actually running. You can hear his pace and his breathing as well as his voice change during the parts where he is running.
The episode that I listened to today was randomly picked and what was it? It was on him preparing himself for the Boston Marathon in only 5 weeks. He talked about the standard safety training plans of a gradual increase in mileage of around 10% per week, but something was drawing him to run this marathon that was only 5 weeks away. He was quick to point out that he had been running through the Winter doing maintenance runs of approximately 20 miles per week. So he cautioned that even though this 5 week training was an accelerated program, he did have a base to work off of. This would not be recommended for someone who just decided 5 weeks out to run a marathon with no prior running experience or base to fall back on. Even the trainer, who he invited to talk on the podcast warned to "do not try this at home" and that because Steve Runner had run 19 other marathons and this would be his 20th, plus he had a solid base of mileage that they would be basically ramping up his mileage over the next three weeks and today was a 16 mile run for him while he was creating this podcast.
I find his podcasts motivating since not only does he run while talking and thinking intellectually, he is very entertaining and he holds your interest. He keeps your brain on its own journey as the miles go by. On todays run, I found that I was able to be completely absorbed into the podcast between miles 3-4 and really felt my stride smooth out. I was almost on cruise control and letting my body control its own pace while my brain was involved deeply in this training program that steve was working on. This could once again be my answer to completing my training. I felt really good during my run today. Yes I still took a couple short walk breaks, but I can see how I can shorten my walk breaks and slowly turn my whole run into a run and not a run/walk.
If you have an ipod or use iTunes, I highly suggest downloading the podcasts by Steve Runner and giving them a shot. Not only can you learn while you run, but be entertained at the same time. Great to listen to and a change from the constant beats of music. I recommend the podcasts and will be listening to them for my next several runs. Thank you Steve for your inspiration, your thoughts, training tips and the ability to grasp my mind and just let me run! Good luck at Boston by the way!!!
Getting off to a start this morning took 2 cups of coffee, a little News on the local network, time to sit and talk with the family and a few postings on facebook. After hearing from Krissie, Matt's wife that he had just left on his run for the day, I had enough energy to get ready to run. After quickly downloading a couple new tracks for my iPod I took off for my long run today that was scheduled for 3 miles on my training program. (updated this, more later)
I felt really good, starting off slow and knowing that I hadn't eaten made me feel light and not worrying about getting a side stitch. I had my first mile and checked on the nike + and I was just under a 10 minute pace. After about 1.75 miles I took my first of three short walk breaks lasting about 30 seconds and took off again. Overall, it felt good to be running in the morning hours and also before this afternoons rain and bad weather rolled in. I came home after completing 3.5 miles to a busy house with everyone working on cleaning and various tasks. I walked in the garage stretched for a moment and then walked up to the step to enter the house when just at the same moment my wife was opening the door taking out a bag of trash. Her eyes were on the trash bag and when she opened the door I was right there with a black stocking hat, black addidas jogging pants, black running gloves, Grey sweatshirt and most likely a sweaty red face from running. All I know is that even with my headphones from my iPod still playing a track, I heard a very, very loud startling scream. I guess she wasn't expecting me to be there nor was I expecting her to open the door at that moment. Fortunately, my heart rate was still up slightly so it wasn't that big of a shock on my system as it was for hers. Funny how things happen at just the same time or when you are least expecting it.
Anyway, I was happy to complete my run, and another day of training. Oh, regarding the training. I have adjusted my training schedule to a 9 week 10K plan instead of the marathon training plan at this point. On the marathon plan that I was on, I would have been prepared for the marathon in the month of September and my race isn't until January. Since I have a 5K in May and possibly at the end of April, I took some advice and am focusing on a little lower mileage and then will start a marathon training program in June to be completed in December just a week or so before the race. If your reading this, I would like to hear your thoughts about this plan.
Ok, now for the title of this blog, Running Store Visit. This afternoon, I took a trip to a new running store in our area in nearby Naperville, IL. Road Runner Sports has opened a store there and I wanted to take a look. The plan was to take a tour of the store and just see what they had. Well, they had some really good clearance running clothes and very knowledgeable staff that I ended up talking to for some time. I will definitely be back to this store as my training progresses. I was so impressed and excited about the store that I applied for a position there. Work should be something you love, I love running and a few other things so I figured hey, why not. I would be able to share customers stories about running, gear, training, and also utilize my retail management background. Hey, this could be a perfect fit. Besides, just being there gave me a good feeling and I found myself talking to a couple customers while waiting for the cashier to look something up about the Nike plus system. Great store, at least from my experience so far.
Tonight we ended the day with a movie, just the wife and I. A date night you could call it I suppose. We went to see the movie, Knowing and well, the popcorn was good. The movie, well,,,,if you remove the last 20 minutes, it might receive 3 out of 5 for me. Just a strange ending that didn't take you there with it so to speak. Personally, I was thinking about running toward the end of the movie and what was going to be on my plate for tomorrow, my day off from training.
Any running stores that you like or enjoy? I know that there are online stores a plenty, but what about at your local strip mall or in your local town or city? What makes a good running store? Customer Service? Good selection? Knowledgeable staff? Bare bones pricing? Why do you keep going back? Lets here it.......
This blog is to track my daily thoughts about running. I will list my personal private feelings for the day, maybe talk about the weather and local events and simply the motivational factors on my way to training for the Marathon at Walt Disney.