You Know You Have A Problem When…

Do you ever get the feeling your running is becoming less of a hobby and more of an obsession?

I’m starting to have that feeling.

Registration for the Army Ten Miler opened at 12:01 Wednesday morning.  Yes, that’s right, just after midnight.  No, no, no, I didn’t stay up to register.  I get up for work at 5:30. Staying up past midnight is just not in the cards.

What I did was even more ridiculous.

I set an alarm for midnight.

That’s right.  I went to bed around 10, then woke up 2 hours later to register for a race.  Because of the crush of people trying to register, it took almost half an hour, which sounds like one of the shorter times.  There was plenty of frustration, but I was patient and ultimately got in.

Of course, when I woke up at 5:30 the next morning, there were still about 10,000 spots open.

But I’m the sort who would rather be safe than sorry.  So I will be there.  Will you?

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More Newbie Tips

Last year, I did a post about tips for new racers.  You can go read that if you want, but here’s a summary:

  1. Nothing new on race day
  2. Line up where you belong
  3. Don’t start out too fast
  4. Be aware of the runners around you
  5. Have fun!

And all of those rules still stand, especially rule number 5.  But I’ve met a lot of new runners, so I wanted to share what I learned when I started running.

#1. You will be slow. But you will get faster.

Sure, we all have that slightly annoying friend who decides they want to be a runner and BAM there they are pulling out 8 minute miles.  But that isn’t the norm.  For the average person, even if you start out reasonably fit, running long distances isn’t easy.  Maybe you’ll be able to pull out a mile on your first outing.  Maybe you’ll struggle with the first day of Couch to 5K (like I did).  But it gets easier.  And you will get faster.

#2.  You may never be fast.  And that’s okay.

I joke that I like being a slow runner because it means I get my money’s worth out of the course.  But my body isn’t made for fast running.  I’ve discovered that I am built for endurance though.  I’m not fast, but I just keep running.  And that’s pretty cool too.  It doesn’t matter that it takes me twice as long as some friends to finish a marathon.  I’m out there and I’m doing it and I love it.  Speed isn’t everything.

#3.  Never worry that you don’t belong.

Runners are an incredibly welcoming group.  Sure, you will find the occasional person who will snark on the new runner or the fat runner or the slow runner.  But 95% of the time, runners are just excited to see other people join their sport.  Because it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are – one day you will feel the rush that comes with running.  You will get that runner’s high.  And you will get the sense of empowerment that comes along with accomplishing something that you set out to do, be it to run (or run/walk) a mile, a 5k, a 10k, or an even longer race.  If you run, you are a runner.  And you belong.

#4.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There are lots of running communities online, filled with newbies and experienced runners and racers. Ask questions.  The only dumb question is the question you don’t ask.

#5.  Don’t forget to have fun.

Yes, this was on the other list.  But it’s that important.  Don’t forget to have fun.  Does that mean that every training run has to be fun?  No.  It won’t be.  And if it is, I am very impressed by you.  We all have runs that don’t go as planned and leave us frustrated.  But in general, remember that running should be enjoyed, not forced.

A little off plan

I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’ve fallen a little off plan this past week.  What did I expect, with rehearsals three nights this week?  Of course, I didn’t plan for Thursday’s swim to get cancelled due to lightning, but what are you going to do?

I don’t think this hurts my training plan all that much.  But I still need to recommit and make sure that I’m sticking to my plan as much as I possibly can.  My triathlon is in less than 30 days.  It’s “just” a super sprint, but for me, that’s still a lot.

I need to get more comfortable on my bike.  I need to continue to cover 10+ miles every single time I take my bike out.

I need to practice transitions.  This will be key in making sure I have a good race.

I need to keep up with my running.  After all, the weekend before the tri, I’m doing a back-to-back 8K and half.  No, this is not the smartest thing I’ve done, but it’s a race I refuse to miss, and I just plan to cover the distance at whatever pace feels good.  If I find myself with a 4 hour half on the books, so be it.

So those are the next steps.  It won’t be too bad.  But man, this tri has sure crept up on me!

Motivation Monday, Video Style

Half Full 2013 Promotional from Half Full Triathlon on Vimeo.

The above video brings me to tears every time I watch.  It’s not the triathlon I’m doing this year, though many of my fellow Team Fighters are featured in the video and I’m sure I will be out there volunteering this year.

This is why we Fight.

Thank you again for all your support, be it through donations or purchasing from my Stella & Dot trunk show or providing emotional support during my training.  I appreciate each and every one of you.

Did You Read These? You Should.

Today, I’m going to do a bit of a blog roundup, just some things that have caught my eye this week.  But instead of just giving links, I’d like to talk about these things.

First off, if you aren’t reading The Bloggess, you should be.  She’s hilarious but also brutally honest and I wish I were more like her.  I love so many of her posts (Beyonce, anyone?  But one that really rings true is her recent post called “Rules for Life.”  It’s funny and touching and I think we could all make a huge improvement on life in general if we just try to follow these rules.

Next, if you aren’t a geek like me, you may not know that Jen from Cake Wrecks also has a blog called Epbot.  The photos she takes of steampunk costumes are phenomenal and I want her penny desk.  But recently, she posted about bras and bra fitting and ladies, you really need to check this out.  Even if your bra fits well – the information she has hunted down is awesome.

Finally, Alicia at In Healthy Habits we trust wrote a post titled “Breaking Through the Vanilla” that really resonated with me.  She’s right – we’re starting to see a lot of homogenous posts in the running and fitness blogging world.  Some of that is bound to happen – running bloggers will have race recaps.  When something like the Boston bombing happens (though let’s hope it never does again), we’re going to all write about it.  But sometimes… sometimes it just starts to get old.  Especially from the bloggers who participate in all of the trends – Motivation Mondays and What I Ate Wednesdays and…  I mean, if you love those things (I enjoy my Motivation Monday posts, but even those may go away soon), do it, but think about the content you’re producing.

As a blogger, it’s tough.  You want to make a name for yourself because you’re out there writing and you want someone to read.  But maybe jumping on the train along with the popular bloggers isn’t the way to do it.  Make a name for yourself with your voice.  Be who you want to be.  Besides, I’d rather have ten readers who truly enjoy what I write than 100 who just scroll past my posts.

So there you have it.  Some links for Friday.