Journey to Philly – 9 weeks to go

I’m now in real marathon training mode. Not that I wasn’t before because I registered back in April and I’ve been running and competing all spring and summer and it all counts for something. At least that what I’ve been telling myself but now its fall and it’s time to get serious.

Training for a marathon is very different from training for any other competition. Now, every step toward your goal – whether it’s to run a 5K or a half marathon or any other fitness accomplishment – takes committment, time, patience, and guts. But what I’ve found is that the marathon takes all those but to the next level. I never imagined in my entire life I would be able to say that I ran a marathon. Yes, I ran 26.2 miles and it took me 4 hours and 45 minutes to do it. And in a little less than 9 weeks I’m going to do it again.

Preparation is the take home point for training for a marathon. You need to be prepared to run that far and for that long. But each competition requires some preparation and it depends on your experience and personal choices as to what you will need.

The two most importing things you need for competition and for general fitness:
– You need to be properly hydrated. It really hurts when you haven’t taken in enough fluids and you start to cramp. the key is to drink before you are thirsty and then keep drinking. water is best prior to running…save the low cal sports drink until you’re done.
– Proper footwear that is supportive. you’re sneaks from last spring probably don’t have the support you really need if you’re running. My knees will tell me if I need new shoes!

After you’re satisfied those two items the rest is easy! Comfy clothes and a good playlist (if you’re a music person) will keep you going for whatever distance you set out for.

Happy Training!

Preparing for Broad Street 2012

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run of 2012 is this Sunday in Philadelphia and I am a first-timer for this 10 mile run from one end of the city to the other. While I’m excited and I feel mostly prepared for this race I think I might be taking it lighter than I should be. I’m thinking that if I can conquer a full marathon I should be OK, right?

Actually they are very different races and I’m not going to compare them with each other. I think what makes this one interesting is that it’s not your weekend warrior 5K but it’s not a half marathon either so you have to apply a different strategy. Mine is to finish!

In all seriousness, I have trained for this race. I’ve put in my intended mileage, my speed workouts at the track after the kid’s practice, and my strength training at the gym. I’ve run this distance before, although never in a race. I know that an area I need to work on is my flexibility and that is an ongoing challenge for me. Note to self – stretch after posting. Another task that I need to get better at is drinking enough water.

What I’m really worried about is the weather. There have been close to record-breaking temperatures the last two years that I’m aware of. I don’t mind running in the heat but it’s the humidity that gets me. And it’s not something you can really train for. You can acclimatize yourself if the weather is consistent, but early May is anything but consistent.

So, I will run this fast and flat course as best I can on Sunday morning. I will finish. I will PR (Personal Record) because that’s what you can say when you do a race for the first time :-). I will add another awesome race to my running resume. I will also update my playlist so that I can strategically place songs when I know I’ll hit the wall.

How about you? Are you running Broad Street on Sunday? http://www.broadstreetrun.com/
Happy Training!

Race Review – Philadelphia Earth Day 5K 2012

The 31st annual Philadelphia 5K Run for Clean Air (Saturday April 21st) – Directed by the Clean Air Council.

Overall I would give this race 4 stars out of 5.

The race was for a great cause and scheduled very timely – Earth Day weekend. One of the things I love about this race was that they stayed true to their theme with all things related to race day. It was considered a ‘green race’ which I had to look up to understand what it meant. In order to be certified you have to take a Pledge of Sustainability and fulfill certain criteria like not taking more than 5% paper registrations and listing ways to reduce your race day carbon footprint.

The sponsors of the race were companies committed to green initiatives such as PECO, SEPTA, KIND Healthy Snacks, and many others. But the parts that I think were more noticeable were the swag bags that we got for being registered. They were made from recycled material and in it was your bib # (race #)…which you can plant because it was made from recycled materials and infused with seed. So I will have a nice little 7×6 inch patch of wildflowers in my yard in a few weeks. I wonder if they’ll grow in the shape of my bib number?

The race itself was along the scenic Martin Luther King Drive that offered views of Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia Art Museum. We went 1.5 miles out on a nice, flat open road and then back again…heading back in hurt a little more as it was pretty hot for 9:00 in the morning and the sun was already blazing. Of course the drinking cups used during and after the run were made from recycled plastic. The only part that I thought could have been a little better organized was the start of the race. We were crammed in a funny weird area when the race kicked off and I’m more used to starting on an open road. I also think the post-race refreshments, while plentiful, could have been easier to access. I had to go around guys with carts full of pretzels for sale practically on top of the finish line to get to the line for water. But that’s just Philly 🙂 There were also some kids activities and it was very family oriented. I believe they had around 1 thousand runners overall, including those that participated in the 3K walk.

Great race to run and a nice warm up for Broad Street in 2 weeks! I will do this one again!

Additional info – http://www.5krunforcleanair.org/green-run-certification