Tag Archives: accomplish

an open letter to my friends & family

Dear Friends & Family:

For those of you who have been keeping up with my journey to 26.2 thus far, you are already well aware of the fact that I have decided to make running a priority in 2010. For those of you who have not been keeping up with my journey thus far, now you are aware.

This coming week is the first week of my strictly scheduled training plan, and by June 30 I will be officially registered for the Detroit Marathon. That means this upcoming week is also the first week of moving running up yet another notch on my priority list.

I wanted to take the time sit down and write to you because there a few important things I think you should know about my goal to make running a priority in 2010. This does not mean I do not value you or the time we spend together; and, further it does not mean that I do not want to spend time with you. It does, however, mean that there may be times when I have to say no to certain things or may have to be the oddball when making plans because I need to be sure to fit my runs in. It means that my reason for not being able to do something at a certain time will sometimes be because I will be running during that time. Please understand that I will still make every effort to see you as often as possible and will do my absolute best to not let running interfere more than necessary.

But, also understand that running and training for this marathon is extremely important to me.

For a few years now, I have been wanting to run a marathon — particularly, I have been itching to run and finish the Detroit Marathon. Halted twice by foot surgeries, I now have nothing to stop me and I am going to run all 26.2 of those miles. In exactly four months from today, on Sunday, October 17, 2010, I will run and finish the Detroit Marathon.

I hope that you can join me downtown for this fantastic event and greet me at the start, finish, or one of the mile markers in between. In the mean time, all I ask for is your support, encouragement, and understanding.

Look out, Detroit…I’m going to finish!

Love,
Sara

P.S. I would love to have any of you join me for any of my training runs, or for the marathon itself, so don’t hesitate to give me a call!

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final pre-training goal: learning to take your time

Today’s run was a fantastic one. I took my iPod with me, my chosen playlist didn’t let me down, and my breathing was better than average. Today’s mission was to get in a good run that lasted more than 30 minutes. Mission accomplished. Not only was the mission accomplished, but it was one of my better runs, and I am happy to say that lately I feel like I have been writing more and more about runs that have been good rather than bad.

I usually start thinking about this blog while I’m running and about what my next post will be about. During this past week I have had a few thoughts, and it was today’s that I decided was most relevant and important for me. Today I realized that my best runs are the ones when I take time.

Sure, the concept seems simple enough. Take your time doing anything and your results are sure to be better than trying to rush through anything.

When there are a million and one other things going on during the day this is actually a difficult thing to accomplish. I noticed that the majority of my runs that are bad runs are the result of trying to cram too much distance into too little time, or setting unrealistic goals for the day’s run…and if it’s not one of those things, it’s something right along the same line.

I decided that there is an easy solution to that: I will take my time to run.

Remember just a few weeks ago when I wrote about making running a priority? Well, if it is a priority that means I will allow enough time in the day to meet that day’s running goal. So, there is no reason I should not be able to take my time and meet my running goals. Now, this is not to say that every day is going to be a great running day because I am well aware that there are, and will continue to be, various other factors that affect my runs. However, this is to say that I know that there is at least this one thing I can do to work toward making each one of my runs that much better; and, because I know this, I have a powerful tool that will help me be a better runner.

This week is my last week of pre-training. Next week begins my strictly scheduled workouts and the countdown to Oct. 17, which just four months away. So, pre-training’s final goal: learning to take your time.

I’m looking forward to ending pre-training and getting into the thick of things with all of you. Who else is running Detroit on Oct. 17? Are you ready to kick it into high gear?

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Why Do You Run?

We all run for different reasons. But in the end, we all do it for ourselves. There’s something inside of us that pushes out that door every day and into the streets…just us, the wide open road, the strength of our body, and the will of our minds…

I passed by a few other runners on a couple runs this past week and it got me thinking…

We all looked so different. And, runners do look different from each other…they run different, they wear different apparel, have different strides…so on and so forth. What’s more is that regardless of all the physical things that differentiate each runner from one another is that we all are out there fighting our own battle, for reasons at least a little bit different from the next runner.

I know this idea has been brought up briefly in past posts, but it never ceases to amaze me.

For me, ultimately I run because it is a challenge for me and I will complete the Detroit marathon this coming October so I need to train. But, while that ultimate goal is always in the back of my mind I would be lying if I said that is absolutely what keeps me going on each and every run. Some days I run to relieve stress, some days it is to clear my head, some days it is to get a fun workout in with a friend, some days it is simply because I know I have to do it.

No matter the reason though, I tie my laces day after day and I hit the road. On a perfect running day, the air will be just breezy enough, the sounds of nature will act as a beautiful soundtrack, my breaths will come easy, my aches will be few (if any at all), and I’ll pass by just enough other runners to keep my motivation high.

And, this my friends is just one of the many reasons why I love running. It can bring people together to do one common thing with each other–run. The thing about people running together is that you don’t necessarily have to be out there with another person. Just passing by another runner, or even recapping with your running buddy who lives across the country about your day’s run is often enough. Merely knowing that there is someone out there working hard at it with you is what matters.

And while this is happening…while you are running together, each doing it for your own reasons, goals are being met. Different goals for everyone, and all are being met by way of the same activity–running.

This is why runners are connected, in a way that even they can hardly understand. We all are crazy enough to find the joy in fighting on our own two feet while gliding across the wide open road. And it is because we are crazy enough to find this joy that we are able to accomplish our goals.

So, tell me…why do YOU run?

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So Long Sauconys

Goal: 5 miles. Accomplishment: 5 miles (ok, maybe just slightly more…but for all practical purposes it was 5 miles). Feeling: tired and a bit sore. Temperature: cool and breezy. Terrain: paved path along the beach. Apparel: Nike tank and Under Armour shorts. Shoes: Sauconys.

I ran in my trusty Sauconys for quite some time, that is until I switched to a pair of Reeboks. Now, I admit the reason I bought Reeboks was because of an employee discount. I used to swear up and down that Brooks were the best running shoe, then I wanted to try something new and that is when I bought the aforementioned Sauconys. My opinion: stick with the Brooks. However, since I was compelled to buy and try out a pair of Reeboks I must admit that I was quite impressed with the weight and comfort of the shoe. My Reeboks are honest to goodness the most comfortable shoe I have worn to run for quite some time, and not just because I got a discount. I’m not one to buy a running shoe based on price or brand, especially after having two foot surgeries. Comfort, fit and durability are most important to me, and that is how a running shoe purchase decision should be made anyway!

Anyway, I decided I would give my Sauconys one more chance today. I laced them up and took them with me for a 5-mile adventure. To be honest, after less than a mile I was ready to turn around go change shoes. I kept going and wore them for the whole 5 miles though, and during that time I decided this would be the last run with these shoes that had treated my fairly well in the past. Time to donate.

I finished my run and stretched out, and headed home a better person for having finished that run. I wanted to quit almost every step of the run, taking one heavy step after another. My scratchy throat only added to my desire to quite, and water wasn’t helping all that much. My muscles were sore, I was done with my shoes, and my throat was another story. It was one of the less favorable runs I have had this year, but it happens to the best of us and all you can do is finish those runs one heavy step at a time and remember that better runs are ahead.

Here’s to hoping I can remedy my throat in time for Sunday’s 10K race; to a well-deserved and relaxing hot tub session tonight; and, to sending off my Sauconys to a new home, may they enjoy their new adventures, and be worn and enjoyed by someone who does not have shoes but will very soon.

Five-mile run…success.

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goal: 5 miles on the treadmill…accomplishment: 6.5 miles on the treadmill…get it!

I chose to do a treadmill workout tonight because I wanted to work on some pacing and posture. As much as I hate the treadmill, I love using it as tool for working on my pace. After dinner (I made some delicious fatayers), I relaxed a bit and hydrated so I’d be ready to go for a late night treadmill run. Finally, when 9pm hit I knew I had to go workout or else I wouldn’t do it, and not working out was not an option for me today. Remember what I said when I started this blog? No excuses!

Like I mentioned yesterday, I registered for a 10K this coming Sunday so this week is crucial in making sure that I can finish the race strong. I set the treadmill and off I went. I hit 5K right around 29 minutes, which was a bit slower than I would have liked, but it was sub-30 so I’m okay with it. My goal when I got on the treadmill was 5 miles, but as I kept going I knew if I could hit 6.5 miles tonight then I could surely finish 10K (6.2 miles) on Sunday. I worked on my pacing and gradually increased my speed, and I finished 6.5 miles in 59 minutes. Look at that! I set a goal, I pushed the limit, and boom…accomplishment! What a good feeling.

I cooled down and did a lot of stretching. Here am I now after a cold shower, icing. The more I run, the more I remember how truly important post-run stretching and ice is on a regular basis. I am certainly going to keep it up, because I certainly do not want tight muscles, or any injury for that matter. I need to take care of my feet too…starting to get a few blisters. Hate ’em, but they’re an inevitable part of running so I suppose I will have to live with them and just take care of my feet for the next nine months. You can bet I’m already planning a pedicure at the end of October!

Also, since I’ve been doing my best to eat foods that give me fuel and energy, and replenish the vitamins and nutrients my body needs and uses in workouts, I’ve been feeling much better. Everything I ate yesterday was not the best food, and I could tell quite a difference. The more I work on my eating habits and more I learn about what different foods provide, the more enjoyable healthy eating actually is for me, and the better I feel!

Four days left until the 10K. Tomorrow, I hope to get an interval workout in. Thursday will be a 5-mile run. Friday will be repeats. Saturday will be a rest day, prior to the Super Bowl Sunday morning race.

Keep up the good work everyone…let’s do this!

Tuesday treadmill workout…success.

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i hit 60 minutes…then i passed it…

Lately, I have been watching The Today show…and it is true, I have become a fan. Just yesterday they were talking fact/myth about different health type ideas. One of them was that if you drink a cup of coffee about an hour before you run, you will have more energy. Apparently, this is true. Interesting thought…and I cannot lie, it inspired me today to get running as soon as I could after my cup of coffee. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish first, and I actually had some water and a half can of Red Bull…so my energy level was pretty high.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside, and the sun was shining was unbelievably bright. I knew I could get a good hour run in along the ocean, and when I was finished I was going to walk down in the sand, by the water.

I walked from my apartment, down to the paved path along the ocean. Today’s gear: sunscreen, orange moisture-wicking run tank, favorite navy blue running shorts, favorite polka-dot sports bra, Reebok running shoes, and my fully charged iPod Shuffle with a newly added playlist! Once I hit the path, I took off at a pace that would allow me to ease into the run and last the full 60 minutes.

The sky was so clear I wished that I had brought my camera with me…but alas, I did not bring it along for my workout! The view into the mountains was beautiful…and the ships…and the blue sky with just a few lingering marshmallow-looking clouds…and the crashing waves, still rather large.

I was on my way and had settled into a great pace…at 30 minutes I was feeling really good and figured that I would continue on my way until I hit 45 minutes, then I would turn around and after I got to 60 minutes, I’d take my shoes and socks off and head down to the water and wade through the tide the rest of the way back home.

I hit the end of the path (about 4 miles) and was still feeling fabulous…not to mention that if I continued on I knew the view would get better since at that point the path is right against huge rocks that meet up with the ocean. “Why stop now?” I thought. I was feeling good, I was not in a rush, and it was a gorgeous day.

So, I continued…

Eventually, I decided that I would turn around at the lifeguard stand that was up ahead. I reached the lifeguard stand and I did turn around. After all, I was at about 5 miles out by this point and I still had to make it all the way back home. Instead of heading up the walking path that I had come along when I reached the fork where the walking path and bike path meet, I decided to take the bike path since it edges up with the sand, and I was going to head down to the sand by the water when I hit 60 minutes to continue running for another 15 minutes.

I hit 60 minutes, and soon after I found a good spot to make way to the water. I ran through the loose sand (not a terribly easy feat) and made it to the more packed down sand closer to the water. I took my headphones out to listen to the water and enjoy the cooler breeze down here–what a difference in just the small location change!

I was at about 1 hour and 10 minutes when I saw a beautiful seashell that had washed up. I decided I needed it so I picked it up and carried it with me. I could make a necklace (my DIY mind just never turns off)! Around 1 hour and 15 minutes, I saw an even prettier shell and I also decided that I wanted my headphones back in, so I took them out of the handy dandy “secret pocket” in my running shorts (for those of you have ever owned a pair of running shorts, I know you know what I’m talking about), put the tunes back on, and I kept seashell #2 in the “secret pocket” (haha).

So, if I was at 1 hour and 15 minutes you are probably wondering why I had not stopped by that time. Well, the truth is I knew I had it in me to go the rest of the way home…but I knew that would not be smart. I could see the pier though, and I knew I could make it there by the time my stopwatch was at 1 hour and 30 minutes so I figured I’d go for it.

If that pier was the finish line of a race, I would have crossed it at precisely 1 hour and 30 minutes! I suppose a girl can judge her pace pretty well 🙂 I slowed down, and stopped as soon as I passed underneath the pier. I took off my shoes and socks, stuck the two seashells in one of my socks and walked the rest of the way (which took me about 20 minutes). I found a few more seashells and enjoyed the tide coming in, splashing cold water up on my feet and legs…delightful!

Finally I was nearing the end of my cooldown at this point, so I headed back up through the loose sand of the volleyball courts and when I reached the paved path, I dusted off my feet and put my shoes back on loosely–I went sans socks since I had just a short way back to my apartment.

I made it back, and felt pretty good overall. My left knee needed a bit of love today but that’s ok…nothing major. I replenished my body with some water, gatorade, banana and peanut butter. Then, I hopped in the shower, cleaned myself up, and relaxed in the bath for awhile.

What a successful workout today! I traveled about 9.75 miles, just one track lap less than 10 miles; and, I ran most of it. My cooldown was only about three-quarters of a mile. I got a great run in, found a few seashells, enjoyed the ocean, and still felt great all day!

Oh, and just in case you’re curious…I made myself a good dinner and dessert too. Broccoli, cheese, rice and chicken casserole for dinner. For dessert, strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar (before you question or try to hate on the dessert choice, try it…even if you don’t like sour cream…don’t dog it if you haven’t tried it)! Still drinking up lots of water too.

Did you have a good workout today?!

Run on the beach…unexpected great success.

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a lesson in patience

I was ready to go for a run outside today, but then after getting ready and grabbing my iPod Shuffle (new playlist just added) I realized my Shuffle was not charged. Oh well…I could go without music. Then, I stepped outside and it had just started to rain again. With the rain has been, I knew if I decided to go for a run in the rain it would probably be my luck that it would just downpour. I decided I would just head to the cardio center and workout on the treadmill instead. At that point, I had certainly wished my Shuffle was charged, but whatever…I decided I could get through it with the sound of the treadmill and the TV that is on the wall in the cardio center.

My goal today was a solid hour workout on the treadmill that allowed me to push myself. I knew this was going to be somewhat difficult because running on the treadmill for a long period of time is a challenge anyway, but without music I knew it would be that much more difficult.

I hopped on and started with a walking warm-up. After I was feeling good and warmed up, I figured I should get my run on. I knew I needed to push myself today, too. So, I ended up wooooorrrrkiiiing out!! I stayed on the treadmill for one hour, doing a walk/run combo workout and in the back of mind kept the thought that I wanted to workout for longer than an hour today.

As I approached that 60-minute mark, which you know I have been working with lately and that you have been reading about, I was certainly tired and ready to end the workout for the day. I knew I had to push through though–plus, what was my rush? It wasn’t like I had a million things to do the rest of the day.

That was when I was reminded that with running must come patience. For those of you who know me, you know very well that I am always moving, always ready to go, go, go. Patience has never really been my cup o’ tea…even though I have tried tirelessly to become more patient. Well, today on the treadmill, I reminded myself I need to work on my patience, especially if I am going to be increasing my mileage, and finishing the Detroit marathon.

Along with patience, I believe that my breathing will also get better. I will learn to be in the moment; to leave myself enough time to stretch, warm up, get a full and proper work out in, cool down, and stretch again; and, finally leave enough time for a post-workout shower and replenishment of vitamins and liquids. Setting time aside to work out is, after all, about more than just the meat of the workout itself. As I get better at this, I will surely be more at ease, my workouts will be more effective, and my endurance will build.

Another way to look at this is if I am going to continue updating this blog to capture my journey to Sunday, October 17th, I need time to think about what I will write and how I want to write that day. A good workout is the perfect time to get that all figured out!

So, as I finished my hour walk/run combo, I set the treadmill for 15 more minutes. I wanted to push myself a bit more, and put my patience to the test. I increased the incline and got a great speedwalk in for 15 minutes, followed by a cooldown.

My accomplishment today was a solid 1 hour and 15 minute workout on the treadmill, which landed me at just more than 6.5 miles!

Walk/run workout + lesson in patience + breathing…success!

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