Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trail Running 101

While I was running this morning and working on my form, my heel to toe stepping I realized that everything I had recently learned with regards to trail running techniques hadn't been from a book or even a running group. I owe my recent success to hard work, diet, consistency and YouTube. Yes, I said it... YouTube. It has been a phenomenal tool for me to take my trail running to a new level - the level I need to be at to walk after my first 50K. Watching greats like Karl Melzer and Scott Mason discuss proper techniques to watching the Leadville 100 winner of 2006 & 2007, Anton Krupicka talk about his unique approach to training. YouTube is definitely fun for the occasional kid giggles, puppy antics and Ted Talks; but, what I never realized before was that it is a bountiful source of information for how to, inspirational videos. I am inspired while learning. I started laughing around mile 5 today of my 10 mile training run - thinking about taking smaller steps with my knees coming higher and raising my chest. The visual training on YouTube is a powerful tool. It is my new secret weapon and I encourage anyone who is or isn't hitting your targets to jump on and search the site for all kinds of wonderful nuggets. I think you will find yourself in a new land of hope and maybe a desire to hit the road or gym... have you seen Apolo Ohno's team workout? That is a kick in the pants for sure. Check out Lance Armstrong in training. I mean this guy works hard. I'm sorry, but I definitely push harder after watching it. It has definitely helped me, who trains by myself, for myself and I know it can help you. Thanks for reading! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chasing the dollar

Today while having a coffee meet up I was reminded about how back in the day I felt as if I had to chase the dollar vs. the dollar chasing me. For as long as I can remember making money was always really important to me. Sure it helped me pay my bills - so that I could drive a car, use a phone, watch cable... but what it really gave me was choices. That's when the light went off! After starting my own company in 2007, I came to a quick understanding that if you found a niche within an industry you were already emerged in, people would pay you money to help them grow. It was easy to understand. The question that I asked myself was, "Could I really get paid what I'm worth?" That was not as easy to to comprehend. My brain and possibly my self esteem were telling me otherwise. It wasn't until other professionals listed out all the points of differences that I had to offer did it start to seep in.

In racing you can get money to win. It's called Prize Money and there are lots of Professional Athletes who make a great living at doing what they love and what they are talented at. God bless them! I admire each of them and a few I call friends. Can you imagine as an amateur runner if I were to actually be chasing the prize money? What a laugh! 1. It's totally out of my realm due to my novice running career so far and 2. I would be setting myself up to fail.

That is why I say "keep it simple." Do what you know and play to your strengths. You'll be so much more successful in life if you follow that rule. Also, combining what you love and your work will also be profitable beyond your wildest dreams when you stop thinking about that next paycheck and think about your mission and what your purpose is. Trust me - everything will follow after that. The dollar will begin to chase you...and believe me, that is way more fun!

As for running - chasing a finish is more my speed. Thanks for reading! Make it a great week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Running is like life...

"It's funny, running a race is a lot like life... you are going to hit hiccups, your going to hit rough periods but it's all in how you handle those and how you get through them," Quote from the Spirit of the Marathon.

I've ran 13.1 miles before in training - but running those miles with a number on the front of you highlights all of the training; weaknesses and strengths. Considering where I came from - an occasional 5K for some type of cause to running in my first official 1/2 marathon and 7 weeks and counting before the 50K - I can say... wow, it is starting to pay off!

My time and overall pace for this race was: 3:11:43 14:37

For my first 8 miles I was running a 13:26 pace - but then the mind games of the last part of the route started messing with me. Every time I thought we were heading back towards the water, we would literally go the opposite direction. Last mile though I got a third wind and felt good coming in. Today I feel a tad sore (a good sore) : I'm looking forward to hitting the gym today and heading out for a trail run tomorrow! So - I'm happy with bringing my overall pace down from 15:00 especially when I was only doing the occasional 5k.

I definitely don't look like your typical runner - but, I'll guarantee that my spirit rivals any professional. When the run gets tougher I'm loving the aspect of digging deeper. Thank goodness for adrenaline. It really does make a difference, unless it's the Gatorade mix or the Sport Jelly Belly's that I ingest through out the race... maybe it's a special mixture of both. Whatever it is - I love when my thoughts take me to my breath, take me to thinking global, work; it is almost like a mini-vacation. I feel more alive in those moments, then any other time of the day. In fact, as I write this I am thinking how excited I am about hitting the trails tomorrow.

In going back and re-reading that quote - running really is like life - professionally or personally; the journey, the trials and tribulations that work may throw at you or a disagreement with your family. It's all in there. It's all in every step towards the finish line. I like running in the pack. I love teaming up with my manufacturers and standing in a trade show booth. Trade shows and racing have the same sense of kinship. When you are out there on your training runs and you pass someone or see a runner on the other side of the street - you wave. Just like when you are at a trade show, throw on the badge - those same people give you the nod.

Running teaches you to keep going... That's what I'm going to continue to do. I hope you'll do the same. Thanks again for reading and being a part of this wonderful journey I call "my" life!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bring On The Challenges....

So, I did the Wildwood trail on Saturday - which is the same trail that I'm running the 50k on in May. I had only done a few hikes and a short run in the past few weeks up there. I decided to take my longer run to the trails. Miles 1 - 8 were awesome. I mean sure the up hills were tough, but not quite what I expected coming back down. I think the 16 miles in a trail environment (felt like a paved Marathon), especially muddy, unstable and it being really cold was tougher on my body then expected. My left foot is sore on the outside area and I think the repeated pounding of the slippery downhills was rough on my knees. Sunday was fine, just a bit sore (but a good sore) and my foot seems to be feeling better. The trail was gorgeous and I'm looking forwarded to conquering it, in the meantime Advil is my friend. What it showed me, was that I have to now do all my runs up there with one flat run during the week for endurance. If my foot continues to hurt, I may need to buy a new pair of trail runners that have more cushioning - as I've never run on terrain as unsteady as that before. Smooth fire roads in Arizona or desert trails are completely different. Also, I have no ego when it comes to taking a step back, adding in some additional P90X yoga / core synergistics (like today) and taking on Wildwood Trail 6 miles at a time while building up to the 22 miler in the coming weeks. I guess that is why pushing myself this week was a positive experience. I wouldn't have know otherwise. I know then, that adding on 2 miles will be fine a week - while increasing the weekly mileage total until day of race. I have definitely gotten better at listening to my body. After reading in the new issue of Running Magazine, an article about Zen Running - I tried to apply a few of the principles. Listening to one's breath, the sound of foot steps, focusing in on the trail and not external thoughts. In fact, I ran this 16-miler without any music! Huge for me! Since it was a complete 360' from what I'm used too. I absolutely loved listening to the sounds of birds and the wind whip by. I felt as if I was running through a jungle. It was pretty cool.

I definitely don't have as much weight coming off for all that I am doing. So, I'm back on my daily plate ( to start calculating everything again. I would love to strip away 10-12 lbs in coming month and I know I can do that with a few extra gym workouts - core - running - and watching my intake for sure.

Now all I can say is I'm eating lean to be lean, lifting light to feel light, and running up hills to get stronger. Bring on the challenges that lie a head - I will conquer them one mile at a time! Thanks for reading!