Posts Tagged ‘half marathon training’

You don't really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Red and I don’t really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Or is it all you need is what you got? Either way. I got it!

Training for a half marathon or any race or even pulling yourself out of bed for a run comes from something deep inside of you. That’s what I love about running. “It gives you exactly what you put into it”, Red said to me yesterday. The best thing about it is that YOU get to take credit for it.  YOU got out of bed. YOU laced up. YOU put one foot in front of the other. YOU did it.


I would be lying if I said I didn’t work hard at having optimal conditions for training and running. (Well, as optimal as a full-time-working-mother-of-two-momma is gonna get) As you know, Red and I are training for the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon which is pretty darn optimal as far as races go. Hundreds of women runners, cool swag and goodies at the end. Uh, yeah, that’s part of the optimal plan for sure!

Here’s some other things you might need…

Who doesn't LOVE a beautiful place to run. I'm lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre's trail.

A beautiful place to run! I’m lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre’s trail.



Shoes! Uh, and some other stuff. Retain therapy goes along with the uplifting mental effects of running.


This is a little known fact about taking up running. You’re gonna need cheese. And lots of it. The good stuff.


And peanut butter, of course. This one is not a secret.


You also have to rest when your body says rest. Training is hard work. Resting is part of training. (And I’m not just saying that because I think this picture of a cat is hysterical)


You will also need the support of good friends. Like those who will sing operettas at the top of mountains you’ve just ran up.


And those who will take a picture of you taking a picture of them as you get ready for a race because we all know the real reason we run is for killer status updates on Facebook.


And, if  those friends aren’t enough, you might have to start your own running group full of friends who will lure you out of bed so you can pretend to surf in front of them at 6:00am. It was 6:00am. Who knows why I was doing that.


Ok, pause the silliness for a REAL training tip. You might need a good tennis ball to sit on when the speedwork gets the best of your bum. Ahhh, hurts so good.


Or, a nice col bag of frozen corn for your tootsies when you’re at work. (Yes, your boss will look at you strangely. Just go with it. You’re an athlete.)


Most of all, it’s great to have the support of people who love you.

I’m sure Red and I will be calling on all of these pieces of our training plan as we get closer to the Eugene Women’s Half. Like today might be peanut butter day! Tell us, what keeps you moving?


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Jill's energy is as contagious as her smile!

Our guest blog post comes from marathon running coach extraordinaire *Jill Mestler. I have had the pleasure of being in Jill’s marathon training group twice and, I have to say, she and Laura Coll of the Eugene Running Company REALLY put on a good training session…and a good show. If you know Jill, you know what I mean. She’s more than a coach, she’s an all out entertainer and serious running motivator. This gal is for real. Every Saturday morning she would not only get us feeling confident about the long miles ahead, but get us so jazzed about running, the miles flew by. Included in the training group are weekly emails from Jill announcing the upcoming workouts along with the most ass-kicking motivation ever. Here is her latest musings on why it’s a great day to be a runner and the transformative experience of training for and running a marathon. Thanks, Jill!

Here we are, a few steps into the marathon of training.  The months of training is, in many ways, analogous to running a race itself; long, difficult, ups and downs, fun, worth it!   With 14 weeks to go until race day, time is still on your side…. You may be new to the marathon or half marathon experience.  You may be well acquainted with your old friend, running.  You may be a seasoned runner who has simply running “not enough!” as one group member described.  Your individual situation, goals and backgrounds are different, yet you will hopefully find a shared kinship amongst other runners that gives you a boost as you arrive, in the dark, really early, with the morning agenda dominated by “RUN.”  Nothing like mileage for breakfast. (That is creative license – I strongly support consuming actual food for breakfast)

Perhaps you have wrestled with the common concerns:  “Can I do this?”  “Should I do this?”  or even “Do I even want to do this?”  “Am I injured? Will I get injured?” “What if I can’t fit in all the training?”  “How do I know what pace I can keep up?”  “Why is Jill so sure it is a great day to be a runner (and perhaps she should switch to decaf!)” Well, fair enough. Question away! Sometimes you just need to consider these things.  Just don’t dwell on all the doubt and question too long.  Be open to positive changes that result from training.  Fear not fellow runners, you have the power to transform your thoughts to “I can do this.”  “I will do this.” ” I DID it!!”

The process of “getting your groove on” for the whole marathon/half training will likely not be an instant process.  Still, I am convinced, there is a magical transformation of sorts that happens over the miles, minutes, days, weeks and months.  Physiologically, we can prove this.  Psychologically you get the joy of experiencing this.  Doubt/fear shall be no match as endorphins will prove to be the prevailing party in a head to heart match up.   I do not promise or predict a running epiphany with the clouds giving way to sunshine and the Chariots of Fire theme blasting for all to hear.  No Rocky theme music miraculously begins either.  No medal awarded, not even a significant PR will serve as the defining moment (Although any or all of that would be pretty cool. Please let me know if that happens because I’d have to interview you on that!)  The “magic” I reference begins sometimes more at whisper level rather than megaphone.  You gradually feel a little bit better as time and training marches on.  Your boiling questions are reduced to a simmer.  You get to experience the joy of getting “lost” in a run much as you can get “lost” in great conversation, a favorite song or an awesome book. Running becomes less work and more play. You KNOW it is a great day to be a runner, everyday. (To the newbies- you are a “runner” everyday, even when you don’t run that day.  Welcome to the wonderful world of being a “runner!”)

Yes, the training can be difficult and tough to fit into your busy life.  Not every run is great or even good by typical standards.  Sometimes you may not even realize how “great” your run actually was until it is over.  Like when you are back home and just a little more patient, easier to smile, content.  Then, you may just realize you snuck in a great run afterall.  Often, the “time” you used up running is returned to you in the form of increased productivity, energy or focus.  Something to consider when juggling your schedule to find the time to run.

Onward, runners, onward.  You can do this.  The people around you can be a huge source of positive support. Lean on them – and us, the group – BUT also know that YOU have the most influence by believing in yourself!   My running cap off to you for choosing this challenge, you are among the elite.

You can do this.

Read this again.  Consider.  Repeat as needed.

It’s a great day to be a runner!

* Jill Mestler  is a busy mother with three beautiful children and still has the time and energy to run a sub-three-hour marathon. As a star high school runner in Enumclaw, Washington, she was a state champion on the track and National Junior Olympic Champion in Cross Country. She enjoyed a successful collegiate career at the University of Oregon where she earned her bachelors degree in Exercise and Movement Science. She also holds a Masters Degree in Human Biology from Pacific University.

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