Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cheer squad

I was up at 5:00 again this morning. A Saturday morning, nothing going on today--you'd think I'd be able to sleep in. I just read in bed for a couple of hours before getting up. If it wasn't dark outside, I would have loved to have gone for my run before the rest of the family even woke up. I've been considering getting a headlamp for that purpose, but I'm not sure that I'd use it very often. We don't have street lights here, though, so it would be necessary if I wanted to run in the dark.

Today I had another six-mile easy run on the schedule. I ran the same route as yesterday, and it was pretty much identical. The weather was colder, and my legs felt a little fresher, so it was harder to keep my pace at a slower range. I didn't want to push it at all today, because I have to run 16 miles tomorrow.


(A few people have asked me if I am going to sell my Garmin when I get my new one; sorry, but I'm not. Garmin actually gave it to me, so I wouldn't feel right making any money from it. Also, Jerry wants to start training so he can do a Ragnar next year, so he's already called dibs on it!)

I feel like everyone on Instagram and Twitter is running a 20-miler this weekend. We're three weeks out from the Chicago Marathon, so this is the weekend that all the runners get in their final long run before tapering. I'm running 16, and I can't help but start to second-guess my training.

I was thinking today that maybe I should just run 20 tomorrow to prove that I'm fine with where I am in my training (I won't, but the thought crossed my mind). I followed the Hansons' training to the letter, and I know I just need to trust that I'll do fine during the race. I truly am very curious to see how I feel during the marathon after having only run 16 miles in training. I guess I feel like people think I'm just taking it easy because I'm "only" running 16 miles; but this is the hardest I've ever trained for anything! I ran 200 miles in August, and I'm on track for 200 more in September. So I'll just follow the schedule, and hope for the best :)

Speaking of marathons, my sister, Jeanie (who swore she'd never become a runner), is going to be running her first marathon in April! She and her husband, Shawn, only started running in late 2012 in order to run my virtual 5K for my birthday. They had no plans of continuing to run after that. But as soon as the 5K was over, Jeanie started looking for a longer distance, and we ran the Glass City Marathon as part of a 5-person relay team.

In May, I surprised her by flying to Illinois and running her first half-marathon with her. When she'd said she was going to do a half-marathon, I was pretty giddy with excitement that she "caught the running bug". After that half, she wanted to improve her speed, so I wrote up a half-marathon training schedule for her and Shawn to do.

Her speed has drastically improved, and I know she's going to PR her next half. She also made the decision to make the ultimate leap to a full marathon. She and Shawn are registered for the Glass City Marathon in Toledo in April 2013!

She posted this on my Facebook wall yesterday, and I was kind of speechless:


Over the past year or so, Jeanie's pace went from 13+ minutes/mi to sub-10's! And Shawn really blows my mind... he just ran a sub-20:00 5K. That's SUPER fast. His first mile was 5:20! He said kids always used to tease him because of his "chicken legs", and he's still very self-conscious of them--well, those chicken legs are pretty damn fast ;)

Anyway, while I would love to run alongside Jeanie for her first marathon, I just can't even imagine doing another. After Chicago, I want to be done, at least for a very long time. I've learned not to say "never", so I won't; but I already told Jeanie that I will cheer super loudly for her, but I can't run it with her.

She had a pretty awesome idea, though. She got five friends (including me) to form a relay team ("Jeanie's Cheer Squad") for Glass City. Rather than running at our own paces, one of us will be running alongside her the WHOLE way! The exchanges are about every five miles, so we'll each get to run a short distance of Jeanie's first marathon with her. It will be our job to keep her motivated. I think it will be so fun!

21 comments:

  1. Fantastic idea to spread the wealth and create a cheer squad!

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  2. I love the idea of a cheer squad! I think it is a great way to support someone during a marathon without actually having to train for one.

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  3. Does everyone who starts to run end up doing lots of races in time? We don't even have 1 race here in my little town? The nearest place is a almost 2 hour drive, and they only do several a year. To be a serious runner do you have to do races?

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    1. You don't have to race to be a serious runner. My sister ran for YEARS - nearly every day - and never entered a race until I started running and made her do one with me! Races can be a lot of fun, though, and also motivational - if I pay to run a race, I'm A LOT more likely to run/train harder than if I was just planning to run around my neighborhood!

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    2. You certainly don't have to do lots of races (or even any races) to be a serious runner! I think a "serious" runner is defined differently by everyone, but I think it's someone who is always focusing on improving--either their time or their distance, regardless of races.

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  4. I am strongly considering Glass City as my first marathon too. A cheer squad sounds fabulous!

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    1. Glass City was really nice, from what we saw of it when we did the marathon relay this year. If I were to ever do another (and that's a HUGE "if"), I would probably pick that one.

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  5. That is such a great idea to have a relay team to run with your sister!
    It's funny you should mention that you "only" have to run 16 miles! This morning when I was running my 20 miler, when I passed 16 miles, I actually thought about you and the fact that 16 was all you had to run! I was getting tired and sore! I am sure you will do fine; I know they have quite a following.
    This is also my last marathon for at least a few years. Next year I want to do a bunch of half marathons. I would have loved to do the new Women's Half in Detroit tomorrow but there is just no way with this being my 20 mile week. I also want to do a half marathon in Chicago. I just want to do enough to stay fit and keep up a good base.

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  6. Be careful if you decide to start running in the dark. I did this many times last winter with a headlamp and actually liked it (I am a morning person). Just last week a runner in my neighborhood was attacked and raped while running at 8:00pm. Treadmill it will be for me from now on, isn't that awful?

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    1. Wow, that's so terrible! Maybe I'll hold off on the headlamp :/

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    2. That is awful!! Did she have pepperspray? I wonder if that is/can be a deterrent or not. I run at night a lot, but I bring my dog with me (even though I hate taking him) if it's a shorter run, and my phone has an app that has "live tracking", so my boyfriend can keep an eye on me.

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  7. That's a great idea, to have someone run with you the whole way without having some"one" run the whole way! Brilliant! Can't wait to hear how it goes and what kind of cheering you do!

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  8. That cheer squad sounds awesome! And from what you've said, the method you're using to train for this marathon sounds like it'll really help you for the second half of your marathon next month. Good luck!

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  9. What a great idea! That would definitely keep me motivated!

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  10. You should get a headlamp. Running in the dark is very relaxing once you are used to it.

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    1. It's weird, I used to run in the dark when I first started running, and was never scared. But now I am terrified! Running my second leg of Ragnar Florida Keys was one of the scariest times of my life.

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  11. I am so jealous of your relationship with your sister. I never had a sister, and always wished I did. Obviously I still do! What a great idea to have a support team to run with Jeanie during her first marathon.

    I walk down our long country driveway in the morning darkness to get our newspaper, and I hate walking in the dark. I think running in the dark would take some getting used to, but maybe it's possible. I just always imagine the "things that go bump in the night," and it scares me.

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  12. What an excellent idea about the cheer squad! And congrats to Jeanie also!

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  13. Would you mind sharing the training recommendations you gave your sister? I'm really wanting to improve my speed but I am frustrated.

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  14. I live in the country and run in the dark often. So I bought 2 energizer headlamps (I found them at Walmart for under $20 each). I actually carry them in my hands, because when I wore one on my head it caused me to run with a really stiff neck.

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  15. That is awesome to see how many people you have inspired. Way to go!

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