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Wonderful Weather

February 01, 2012 by Susan

The weather this week has been fabulous. I've actually been able to run in capris for both Monday's and Tuesday's run. Nebraska's changeable weather is one of the things that makes marathon training such a challenge sometimes. There have been years in the past, when we've had snow and ice or the wind has been fierce. But this year, so far, the weather has been great, which makes me nervous for May 6th. What will we be facing on marathon morning? Well, no matter what the weather I'll be there. But in the meantime, the unseasonably warm weather has made this week's training much more enjoyable.  



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How did I get to mile 2.5?

January 26, 2012 by Susan

This morning's run was not my finest nor my worst run but one of the things I love about running happened. Some runs everything falls into place and it seems effortless; this morning's run wasn't exactly one of those runs but it had some of those elements. It did involve effort but it seemed like I was at the two and a half mile turn around before I knew it and then it seemed like I was crossing the 27th Street Bridge back home before I knew it. I love it when it seems like I get to point C but don't remember going past points A and B, obviously I passed them but I was so in the "zone" that I didn't notice them.  And now that I have my five miles out of the way, I am ready for yoga tonight.



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Morning Runs vs. Afternoon Runs

January 24, 2012 by Susan

Yesterday my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., I took one look outside at all the snow and reset my alarm and went back to bed. When I got up the second time, I realized that the snow was not that deep and chastised myself for not doing my run. But when I went out to scoop the walk and found the layer of ice under the snow, I was glad that I hadn't run that morning. It did leave me with a dilemma, though, I had three miles scheduled for yesterday and now I was going to have to run them in the afternoon, after work.

I am a morning runner. I love the fact that there aren't too many people awake at 5:00 a.m. in the morning and I have the world to myself. At 5:00 a.m. in the morning, I have seen possums, foxes and this fall, a deer, in my neighborhood. This time of year, typically, I am running in the dark but I don't mind. I have a flashing light for my dog and when I'm on MoPac, I wear a headlight because the trail is dark from 42nd Street to 56th Street. Occasionally I will run in the afternoon and when I must, I will run after work. But personally, I find it all too easy to talk myself out a run if it is later in the day.

But since I am challenging students to follow my schedule, I felt duty-bound to honor my commitment. I got my three miles in and it was a bit of a slog, but I checked it off my schedule. What a difference a day (or time of day) makes; this morning, the five miles that I did seemed like nothing.



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Chilly morning

January 19, 2012 by Susan

     Week three of training has begun! Monday's run was good but Tuesday's was a train wreck. It happens. As Ann says, the thing to do is forget the bad one and remember the good ones - and even after a bad run, I still feel good because at least I got it done.

     This morning when I got up to run it was nine degrees Fahrenheit with some wind which made the temperature seem colder. Mary and I decided to run the MoPac where the wind would occasionally blast us but at least we wouldn't be running into it. My only issue on this run was my glasses. With the cold weather, my glasses tend to fog up; I've tried different products to keep them "fog free" but none of them have worked. So when it got to the point that I could no longer see, I took my glasses off, folded them up and put them in my pocket, transforming the world into a chiaroscuro landscape. Luckily the MoPac does not have a lot of street crossings so I didn't have to worry about traffic. Once I got back to city streets, I put my glasses back on so I could watch for headlights!

   Overall, with the time of day and the weather, the MoPac was pretty deserted; I did see a gentleman walking, but that was it.  Mary seemed unphased by the weather but I did check her pads when we got home. Overall, in spite of my horrible run Tuesday, this morning's run was good, definitely one to remember!



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Training officially begins!

January 09, 2012 by Susan

     This morning was the first day of official training (for me) for the Lincoln 2012 Marathon. Since I was out of town and missed the first marathon class and my Saturday morning run, I ran a little extra this morning - Mary and I did five miles and it was good. For those of you who are wondering who Mary is she is my dog; I have a five year old Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix that runs with me.  Overall, everything felt good and my playlist was excellent! I think that this year's training is off to a good start.

     My reading is off to a good start too! So far this year I have read six books. Last night I finished an excellent nonfiction book called How They Croaked: the awful ends of the awfully famous by Georgia Bragg. I definitely think it will make the 2012 Teen Read Week list and it made me really appreciate antibiotics.



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Marathon registration is full!

December 29, 2011 by Susan

     You got to love this weather!  It was a balmy 41 degrees this morning when I went to run and I was glad to get out. My schedule has been somewhat disrupted with the holidays and I hadn't ran since last Thursday. I've had no trouble getting out and walking the dog, part of the problem is I'm listening to a good book on my MP3 player which I only do when I walk the dog so it's been easy to talk myself into walking rather than running.

     This morning, though, when I ran I listened to music and the playlist took me back to the '80's with some Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and a great finish with Big Audio Dynamite.  I also thought about my marathon class which begins Thursday January 5th; it will be good to see my classmates and start training. I'm sure that Ann will be fielding questions from people in the class who may not have registered in time. It took less than a month for the Lincoln Marathon to fill up and now some people will be in a panic, but there are other marathons in other cities to run this spring.  Some of the people in the YMCA class are actually training for the Boston Marathon.

    My goal this year is to try to do more of the extra things necessary to train for the marathon like strength training, stretching and maybe even speed work (let's not get crazy!) And of course, read.



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Slippery run

December 22, 2011 by Susan

     Okay got up this morning to run - checked the temperature and saw that it was a balmy 32 degrees so elected to wear a short sleeve technical shirt with my wind jacket. Then I got outside and discovered two things; one, it was windy which drives the temperature down and two, it was slippery, really slippery once I hit the trail. But I got the run done and I wasn't the only one out there. I saw a gentleman walking, a bicyclist and one other runner which is pretty busy for Mopac at 5:30 a.m.

    On my way to work, I stopped for a bagel downtown and saw that according to Ann's display in the window of her store; I was on the naughty list because I didn't stretch after my run.  It is always easier to get my miles in but difficult to do everything else I need to do to be a good runner. This marathon season I will try to be better about stretching, speed work and cross training. Speed work will definitely be a new one for me, but I would like to get faster because one of my personal goals is to field a team for the Market to Market Relay in the fall of 2013 and you have to be able to run a mile under 10 minutes.

    On the reading front, I finally finished a book this week! December is my worst month for reading; life gets so busy with family, friends, baking, wrapping etc. that I don't get as many opportunities to read. I finished The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead by Paul Elwork which was a historical story about a young woman who had similar abilities to the Fox Sisters who were part of the Spiritualist movement; it was okay, not great but interesting. There are several young adult novels that involve the Spiritualist movement and even a couple that take place in Lily Dale, a community of mediums in upstate New York. Although I'm a skeptic, I do enjoy reading about such things.



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Preseason training

December 20, 2011 by Susan

     Okay, my marathon class doesn't start until January 5, 2012 but people are expected to have a base of 10-20 miles when they start. So I've been running regardless the temperature or sidewalk condition. In the event of really icy conditions, I do have some cleats that I can wear over my running shoes so I don't slip but I haven't had to wear them yet. What I have found out this year, after the snow we had, is that my dog Mary and I are competing for the same patch of clear sidewalk which doesn't seem entirely fair since she has four on the floor to my two feet.

     This week I've had a difficult time of gauging the weather - yesterday it was 33 degrees when I ran and this morning it was 27 degrees, both mornings I have elected to wear a long sleeve technical shirt in addition to my wind jacket and both mornings I've ended up pushing up the sleeves of my wind jacket. Still I would prefer to do this, than go without my jacket and be too cold, especially when there are days when you go out and you get too warm but when you turn around to come back you find yourself facing the wind.

   Overall, we've had great weather this fall which has made it easier to get out and run. Winter is just moments away and will probably bring some challenges to my training schedule - but should I find myself snowed in, I can always curl up with a book (after I go to the Y and hit the treadmill.)



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Reading/Running Challenge

December 09, 2011 by Susan

     It's December in Nebraska and most people's fitness routines migrate indoors. But not if you're a runner - marathon registration began Dec. 1st and according to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star Monday December 5, more than 3,000 people have already registered and I was one of them.

     I love to run but I don't think anyone would ever call me a natural athlete. When I was a kid, my mom signed my younger sister and me up to play softball. My softball career lasted all of two years, I am ball shy - my natural inclination when a ball came flying towards me was to duck and cover. I can't hit, catch nor run very fast which did not make me a favorite on the team. My sister, who is half my size, loved softball and continues to play even today.  I started to run because it fit my schedule and I could do it by myself - no one is depending on me to save the game and if my pace is off, then I'm just out longer.

     This year, not only am I running my eighth half marathon, but I am also challenging people to match me in my training. I am going to post my half marathon training schedule online and I am challenging everyone to read the number of minutes equal to the number of miles that I have to run. So if I have a three mile run Monday January 8th, you only have to read for three minutes. Obviously for some people three minutes of reading will not be nearly enough, but sometimes when I visit a school for Teen Read Week, I'll talk to a reading class and for these students, reading is difficult and three minutes might seem like forever. But reading like running gets better with practice. So while I practice my running, I would like you to practice your reading.

    Over the weeks leading up to the marathon, I will post how my training is going and perhaps some of the thoughts that pass through my head as I'm running. And I'll probably mention a few books that I'm reading, just in case you are looking for something to read while you practice along with me.    

 



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