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The Novice Marathoner

35 Posts tagged with the training tag

champaign mini-tri!

Posted by pavni Aug 1, 2009

today s., j. and i did our very first mini-triathlon.


but first, a little bit of history.




1- i didn't even know how to spell triathlon correctly before starting training. i typed in triathalon. which i thought was correct and then the little red squiggly line corrected me.




2- i had no idea what distance these events would be or how long this sort of event would take. j and i are used to being outside for around 4 hours or so... apparently, this was supposed to take less than 2!




3- i didn't own a bike or really have any experience swimming. my bathing suits no longer fit me and i really needed goggles if i was going to keep my hard contact lenses in my eyes and not have them swimming off down the length of the pool as well.




so. after acquiring a bike (my beautiful trek from indiana!), taking watercise with j. (no, we did not wear frilly suits and do synchronized swimming... but we did do water weights and rope-climbers and even some "marios!"- requires a motion to explain...), and a visit to (yay swim sale!) i was set! this summer has been a great new adventure in training for something that would previously be completely unheard of for me, and it was a great step outside of the running-only comfort zone.




we all had a great time today (yay!) and it was really rewarding! maybe this is the start of a whole new type of event... or series of events... for us! thanks to j., we tried something totally new! 



1,293 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, swimming, triathlon, first, biking, completed, new_adventure

training for the champaign-half

Posted by pavni Mar 14, 2009

training has been going well and it has finally started to stay in the positive digits (weather wise!) so that has made training in the morning much more enjoyable! i think we're only a few weeks away now...

832 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, marathon, half

recent running

Posted by pavni Jan 25, 2009

training for the illinois 1/2 has begun! i ran through x'mas break... and yesterday did my first sat. run w/j! how exciting it is. i can't wait to get back into the routine and it will truly be a fun time to run something so close (if not directly down the street) from home!

914 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, update

yes, i am nervous. but it's okay. it's a good nervous. a makes-you-want-to-get-up and outside kind of nervous. it starts off like a think-i-am-going-to-vomit nervousness but that dissolves into a jittery blustery mess that once i put one foot into my running shoe- poof! it's gone. and in that hole fills excitement and a deep desire to just feel breeze on my cheeks. sigh. i am excited and scared. and it's just a week away. marathon number two this year. 2008- my first and (fingers-crossed) second marathon. i am a year older this time, so maybe it will be different. it's in a new place, so that will be fun. and, i am running with one of my best friends, thus- it will be wonderful. i can't wait. i just have to stay hydrated, rested, and stretch... and the rest is up to that day, the weather, and how my body does will be in part due to all of the training runs that have gone into this june/july started process... and partly due to my mental state. this is going to be so much fun! just need to make it to that finish line in one piece and i will have been successful. hooray!

902 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, update, nerves, thoughts


Posted by pavni Oct 5, 2008

j and i are in the tapering phase of our marathon training and have crossed over the 20 mile peak of last week and are in the double digit decline... it is interesting to have to work through little aches and pains during our runs and i think that my body (overall) is appreciative of the rest. i am working to stay strong so that we can finish strong in exactly two weeks! let the countdown begin!

902 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, update, tapering


waking up this morning to run when it was dark outside was a bit of a challenge. the weather has changed (it's colder), it gets dark and stays dark, and i am sore from all of this running. maybe it was just about hitting the twenty mile mark and now i need to heal awhile before the ohio marathon. i guess it's because i am on my feet at work/school more? i am unsure. anyhow, after getting over the mental hurdle of going outside (i wore pants for the first time), running itself was a beautiful thing.



it's always soul-warming... and i think that just getting that beautiful crisp cold air into my lungs, feeling my fingers warm up, being able to see my breath steam in front of me as the sun came up-- all of that is why i run. sigh. even after the little mental war that i had, i truly decided that running this morning was what i wanted to do and holy moly- once you're out there- you'd be hard-pressed to get me to stop moving my feet. and "let me tell you" (as sarah palin would say), now that i am done with this morning's run, i am satisfied. everything hurts, but i am satisfied. 



631 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, weather, tired

sixteen with ike

Posted by pavni Sep 14, 2008


due to the rain/storm that we are currently experiencing, j. and i decided to change our outside running plan to an indoor one. although she had masterfully mapped us a beautiful sixteen mile loop, a true "country adventure", we decided that we'd spare our shoes from squeaking forever and pounded out 16 on the treadmill(s). it was a long haul and i think that we were both happy when we were done. recent purchases for running include:



1. the stick: essentially pipe with little rounded beads on it- you massage your muscles with it to help with recovery



2. raspberry creme and raspberry original gels- delicious.



i haven't yet decided if i need to update my running wardrobe, although s. suggested checking on steep&cheap for wonderful deals on beautiful sugoi running stuff. anyhow, i am happy and tired and i believe my knees are done for the day. what a wonderful way to spend a rainy sunday morning- running, watching the entire disc 1 of "sex in the city" and then coming home to cinnamon rolls. wonderful. 



519 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, marathon, sixteen

this week in running

Posted by pavni Aug 18, 2008

i started off my 24th year of life with a few miles in the galena hills! it was really fun to have some entertaining ups-and-downs in the terrain. when we got back i did my 12 miler (although i think that it was actually around 11 since it got dark really fast on my way home). yay for running into a new year!

591 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, hills

training for the next one

Posted by pavni May 30, 2008

nashville country music was an amazing race, and although i did make mistakes, i think that i am going to try again soon.


what i will do differently for and during my second marathon:




1. more core training




2. more ice! (chill baths, letting my body heal after being tired)




3. more iron! apparently you lose a lot of iron while running and i am a vegetarian, so that makes it worse.




4. more massage! deep tissue massage is supposed to be great for injury prevention.




we'll see how this goes!  



603 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, marathon, second

6 days til the marathon!

Posted by pavni Apr 20, 2008


yesterday we did our final saturday workout and i can't believe that we're so close to the actual marathon! i am so excited. 3 more runs and one more day of x-training and then off we go! my flight is on friday morning, so i am really really excited.



tapering has been a bit depressing but everyone has been so supportive and i hope that i am strong enough to cross that finish line. i keep visualizing it, like they've told us to... so hopefully it'll work out!



we also had our race-clinic last week, so i have a few photos from that (below) and i recieved my race singlet! woo! so cute. also, mom got me these awesome running shorts... which i broke in yesterday for the first time. it was weird to be running in shorts outside since we haven't had weather like this in a long time and i realized i just had to suck it up and realize that i'd be running in shorts- not pants- and i should get used to it asap. i just checked the weather for nashville and they're expecting it to be a high of 69 and cloudy. that's perfectly fine by me! i think that by now, j. and i could run in the rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind... it wouldn't matter!



also (below) is a pic of our nashville team plus coach D after our last run together (besides wednesday's practice, that is).



okie dokie... let the countdown continue! 






617 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, update

12 Tips to a Terrific Taper


Your actions during the final two weeks before the race are crucial to your

performance. From that point on, it’s all about the taper.


Tapering is a period of “active rest” when your body recovers from all those

weeks of hard training. It’s a delicate balance between running and resting

that brings you to the starting line fresh and ready to go.


The process is tricky. If you run too much, you’ll be overly tired on the

starting line. If you rest too much, you won’t feel sharp on race day, and may

not run as effectively as possible.


In other words, there are lots of ways to screw things up. So here’s a list

of suggestions that have worked for me, to help you maximize your chance of

race day success.


No more long runs: Your final long run should be no less than 14 days

before the marathon. If you’ve missed some of your scheduled long runs, it’s

too late to make up for it now. Anything above 15 miles now will most likely

hurt your performance on race day.


Cut back the mileage: Decrease your total weekly mileage by about 40

percent starting two weeks out. During race week, reduce your overall mileage

by at least 60 percent. For example, a runner whose weekly training mileage

peaked at 60 miles should run 36 miles the week before race week, and no more

than 25 in race week. During the last four days before the marathon, don’t do

any runs of more than three miles. If you’d rather take the last two days

completely off, that’s OK too. Don’t worry about mileage during race

week—you’ll get your fill on Sunday morning.


Maintain the intensity: Even though you are cutting back on your mileage, it’s

important to maintain the intensity of these workouts. Run at close to marathon

pace, so your body is accustomed to the effort level you will demand during the



Avoid the hills: Don’t run any hills during race week—it helps your legs

recover more quickly. It’s just like with the mileage: you’ll get plenty of

hills on race day.


Choose your weapons: Decide what clothes you will wear on race day. Pick

comfortable shoes, socks, and running clothes that you’ve already worn on a

long training run. DON’T wear anything new on marathon day, unless you want to

have a graphic chafing story to tell your family about afterwards.


Gain a few—but not a lot: Since you are running less, pay close attention

to your diet. It’s normal to gain a few pounds as your muscles stockpile the

glycogen they will need during the race. But gaining more than five pounds will

make you feel heavy and sluggish. Eat a bit less than usual, with well-balanced

meals, and don’t start any fad diets.


Remember, carbo loading doesn’t mean overloading. The night before the race, just eat a regular sized

meal with a higher percentage of carbohydrates than usual. On race morning, eat

a small portion of a bagel, banana, or oatmeal to top off your tank—but don’t

load your stomach to the brim. Twenty-six miles is a long way to run with a

stomach cramp.


Wake up early: If you’re not accustomed to running in the morning, try a

couple of morning runs, so your body gets a taste of exercising at that time of

day. Marathon start times are frequently at 7

a.m.—and if you’ve never run at that hour, it can be a bit of a shock. You

might as well get it over with prior to race morning.


Eliminate extra activities: If you do any cross training activities, don’t do

them during race week. Don’t do any unusual activities that might cause muscle

soreness afterwards. This isn’t the time to catch up on housework or repair

projects. If you have extra time on your hands, just get more rest or take a

nap instead.


(I know this rule isn’t popular with spouses, but I’ll take the heat on this one. Tell your spouse I

said so, and he or she can write me an angry e-mail instead of venting at you.

After the race, however, you’re on your own.)


Cut your toe nails: Do it five or six days before the race. Trust me on

this one.


Be paranoid: It’s fairly common for runners to get minor illnesses while

tapering, so stay away from sick people. Wash your hands after touching

anybody. Just make like Howard Hughes for a couple of weeks, and you’ll be

assured of staying healthy.


Visualize success: The mental side of marathon running is extremely important.

Beginning today, picture yourself running relaxed and strong, and having a

great race. Repeat this scenario each day. Be confident in your ability to



Enjoy yourself: Yes, you should take the precautions above, but don’t get so

overwhelmed with worry that you forget to enjoy the experience. Think of how

far you’ve come in your training, and resolve to have a great time on race day.


And then all that’s left is to go out and do it!

580 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, tapering

what a day!

Posted by pavni Apr 9, 2008


today was a pretty crazy (but wonderful) day and i am so excited about how everything went. thank you to everyone involved!



first off, today was the day of our official "save a life with a slice" fundraiser at village inn pizza ( village inn is one of my favorite places to get pizza from in town and they have an incredible owner who was so easy to work with when planning a fundraiser. they are really generous with their time and make you feel like family... which is why i think everyone who attended the fundraiser today had a great time!



secondly, our wednesday training run was outside for the first time (yay!) and at the urbana high track which (i believe) is made out of recycled tires and is incredibly squishy. our team did a great tempo workout and afterwards almost everyone was able to attend the pizza night! it was great to eat with them, and i hope that on friday (at our team dinner) i get to talk to them more and know them better! we talk while we're running, but i think that it'll be more fun when we're all dressed up!



today's been a streaming conversation about running starting from the first thing this morning, to our seminar speaker being an 11-time marathoner, and extending into dinner. everytime i get to talking about how j and i started running together i realize how blessed i am to have found her as a running partner and friend, as well as the team in training program... and my very first wonderful visit to body and sole. this has been an amazing journey and what a great day to sum it up. now, we have tapering til the start of the race and i hope to get stronger and more prepared as the days keep rolling by.



thanks to everyone who made today wonderful and that made our fundraiser a success. it was a truly great day. 



501 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, fundraising


today we did our longest run to date (and i believe our longest run ever)... 20 miles! WOOHOO. It was great. Having J'me there to talk to was a blessing and the weather was perfect... 58-60F and sunny! sigh. we couldn't have asked for better conditions. also, our amazing mentors came and supported us through the mileage (even driving alongside us for a mile-mile and a half)! (thanks j&r!)



i did feel like i ate a whole bunch during the run - from bananas to many cups of gatorade, i was definitely well fueled. well, i guess if we've come this far... what's another 6.2 miles, right?  



i am so proud... i would have never guessed that i was capable of this. thank you team in training and all of you who have been such a wonderful support through this!   today's the 5th so that makes 21 days 'til we'll be saying "yeehaw!" in nashville!






j, j, r and me! post run... smelly, salty, tired and very happy!





j,  and me flashing our "2-0"  miles done!   



562 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, miles, twenty

this week was our cut-back from last week's 18 miles to a measly 12... haha. just kidding! 12 miles is a whole lot, but it did make me realize how far we have come from our 30 minute runs being something that caused stress. ty asked me last night what the hardest part about running was and i came to the conclusion that the most difficult part of this training process is not the physical changes (which i truly appreciate), but rather the mental decision to finish a run. once you start everything's easy-peasy... it's just continuing on (especially when your body is tired and your mind is bored). making that decision to finish whether at mile 16 for the 18 miler... or at mile 24 for the upcoming marathon will be something that i will always fight with. it's so much easier to be lazy than it is to put one foot in front of the other, pump your arms a little more, and move your booty up the hill.



the 12 mile run was beautiful in our slightly-warmer than normal 45 degree weather (35 with windchill). after the run samit met me at LOTW and we walked the dogs along a part-trail part-paved path. i think that they truly enjoyed it! 



the only downside of our run this morning was that i got my very first owie which is a diamond shaped chafed spot on my chest! the culprit: the inner seam of my singlet. i have a band-aid on it now, but it definitely burned in the shower! it was totally my fault for not realizing that it wasn't a flat seam and for not adding enough body glide to prevent that from happening. regardless, i should heal up fine and it's not serious!



this upcoming week we are preparation for our 20 mile run on saturday and then the following wednesday, april 9th, we'll be having a fundraiser at Village Inn Pizza (corner of Mattis and Springfield) to raise money for the LLS. go team! 






samit and nala                                                                        and herschel and me






my neck owie and the culprit seam!

538 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, miles, 12, owie

March 27, 2008


Dear Friends, Family, Mentors and Colleagues,


Hello! I wanted to update you on my progress towards the Nashville Country Music Marathon on April 26, 2008.


First off, it’s less than a month away! Hooray! I am registered and ready to go! 


Secondly, it’s been an amazing experience so far. Training with Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is truly a wonderful addition in my life. Last night at our Wednesday group run at the Armory, Diana, our team in training patient honoree came to watch and visit. She has survived two runs of Leukemia and two bone marrow transplants and is an incredibly strong woman. From mentoring patients with the LLS who are fighting the same type of cancer she had to working with elementary school kids with childhood leukemia and taking them to the zoo, she’s giving back to the community that she believes has given her the power to fight for her life. It was truly inspirational and her saying “thank you” to us as a team and as individuals was so rewarding. I thanked her for sharing her story and for being so open with her life with a group of strangers! 


After our workout, I felt that we had been able to get to know her better as well as show her that this is a two-way street. Her commitment to the LLS as well as her service to the patient population pushed us towards fundraising and running towards a goal as well. So, I am proud to say that with your help and generosity I am 87% of the way towards my goal of $3,400. I have until April 7th to fundraise and no donation is too small. Many of you who have donated have helped countless individuals and families get access to care, find a physician that can help them, pay for travel costs, or even help an entire family for a year… I am so thankful for your contributions.



If you’d like to read about my running adventures (this past Saturday was 18 miles!) I am keeping a blog at: Also, if you would like to donate online you can do so at: If you prefer to write a check, if you make it out to: “The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” and mail it to me at: 3724 Thornhill Drive, Champaign, IL 61822, I can mail that in for you as well. I thank you in advance for your generosity and to all of those who have helped me get closer to reaching my goal!


Thank you and I hope to hear from you all soon!


I appreciate you all… keep reading as I keep running!










Subject: Team in Training Marathon Update #3




February 18, 2008




Dear Friends, Family, Mentors and Colleagues,




I hope that everything is going really well for you all!




I wanted to update you on my progress towards the Country Music Marathon on April 26th in Nashville!




This past weekend we did 12 miles! I would have never imagined that I could be capable of running that distance, however it gave me a lot of time to think about life, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and why I am doing this marathon. So far, I have been running, cross-training, hill training, and pretty much every other kind of training I can think of, trying to get myself physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming 26 miles. Our first team speed workout is this Wednesday night and I am so excited!




It's been incredibly gratifying so far and everyone has been incredibly generous. My personal goal is to raise $3,400 before the race in April. So far, with the help of my generous family, friends, mentors and colleagues, I am a little over 50% of the way there! I am going to be meeting with local businesses in the upcoming week to plan fundraisers- Village Inn Pizza, Marble Slab Creamery and other local businesses in Champaign have agreed to help us!




Anyhow, if you have any questions, suggestions, comments or encouraging words, I would love to hear from you (since I am sure I will need all of the support)!  I will keep you updated on my progress in terms of training as well as my personal well-being. I hope to hear from all of you and wish you the very best in everything that you're doing. Your support in this will keep me running, and I truly appreciate your help.




Thank you and take care.










  P.S. My Illinois Team website is at: and I am keeping a blog of the training at: Keep reading as I keep on running!








  From Jan, 2008




  Dear Friends,


  I’d like to tell you about a new adventure that I am embarking upon


  and would like to ask for your help in achieving my goal. I, Pavni


  Mehrotra, will be running the Country Music Marathon in Nashville,


  Tennessee, on April 26th, 2008. Yes, you read that correctly… I’m


  running a marathon!




  I know… I’m not very fast (Herschel, my dog, trots faster than I run),


  and I’m no athlete (although I have always wanted to be!). However,


  with the help of Team in Training, my local coaches, a lot of hard


  work and a positive attitude, I believe that this is going to be an


  amazing experience.




  Team in Training (TNT) is one of the largest sports training programs


  in the nation and supports The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For the


  past twenty years TNT has trained beginners like me, helped us with


  our personal goals, and used our fundraising to support cancer


  research and improve the lives of those affected. Our coaches are


  local students and athletes who have been devoted to the cause and are


  incredible resources.




  Lymphoma is a cancer that has directly affected my family. In 1996, my


  grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma and I spent that summer with


  her while she went through chemotherapy for the first time. She is an


  incredible woman and role model, who not only persevered through the


  cancer (three times), but also volunteered to be part of the original


  research study on combination therapy (solely because she thought that


  it would help others afflicted by cancer). Now after having been in


  remission for many years, she is as vibrant as ever. She has kindly


  agreed for me to run my very first marathon in her name which is an


  incredible motivation. For her to have fought the disease and


  triumphed is amazing day-to-day motivation.  I cannot wait to cross


  that finish line, raise funds for our Illinois Team, and support an


  organization that has been vital in helping many others grow up with


  their grandmothers around.




  So, that’s where I need your help. My personal goal is to raise $3,400


  before the race in April. Although that is a daunting number, what you


  donate goes towards research and patient and community service from


  the Society, and I truly believe that is a worthwhile cause. If I can


  raise enough to help someone’s family member or friend… then perhaps I


  can make a small 26.2-mile step to return the blessing that my family






  If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or encouraging words,


  I would love to hear from you (since I am sure I will need all of the


  support)!  I will keep you updated on my progress in terms of training


  as well as my personal well-being and I hope to hear from all of you.


  Your support in this will keep me running, and I truly appreciate your






  Thank you,






  P.S. My Illinois Team website is at: and I am keeping a blog of


  the training at: Keep reading


  as I keep on running!

925 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, update, team, in, patient, honoree
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