Monday, March 23, 2009

Listening To Your Body Is a Waste of Time...

People are always saying "listen to your body"....I'm just wondering when my body is going to listen to me. It seems unreasonable for me to always listen to its demands and for it to never fall in line with my wishes. For instance I would like to have just one week that I can run and not feel some kind of nagging pain or injury. That wish has gone unfulfilled since I began running thirteen years ago.

One quote that I always think about when my body starts complaining to me goes something like this: "Listen to my body! If I listened to my body I would be on the couch eating bon bons." How true. In fact most of the population listens to their bodies a little too well I think. Besides I think fighting against my body's wishes is the single thing that I love most about running. It separates the quick from the ordinary. Even when you are feeling healthy your body tries to get you to ease up during a tough effort. The mind control that it takes to push your body beyond that comfort zone is what turns an okay time into a new personal best.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in the end....your body is not your friend. In fact it might be the biggest enemy of your running. Therefore you must treat it as such. You have to mislead it the best you can by giving it what it needs to operate but then trick it into giving you back much more. It won't give you control'll have to work at it. Another favorite quote of mine that I heard at my store's running camp a few years ago says, "pain has to be practised." That is probably the best training advice that I've ever heard.

Forgive my sinister view of a runner's body, but I haven't been getting along with mine this training season. I've had two pretty bad foot pains that have come, gone, come and kind of gone. It's hard to hit 20 mile plus runs when you can barely walk. I tend to run through more injuries than your average person and usually it turns out okay. I have never had any stress fractures that I know of and no major surgeries.

Obviously I am exagerating a little to get my point across. I still miss the occasional training session. I still stretch, ice and get massages and what not. So you still need to "listen to your body" I guess. I just think most runners are tuned in too much to the whims of the flesh. We should consider our bodies' opinions, but in the end make the choice for ourselves. We also always need to keep in mind....our body can be our worst enemy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Runs on the Runs!!!

The past four months or so I have been training exclusively for the Boston Marathon with this group pictured above. Not all of them are running the Boston, some will be doing the Nashville Marathon that takes place the following week. We're all in pretty solid shape and should see a bunch of us go at least 2 hours and 50 minutes or so. My bother and I have high hopes of a low, possibly even sub 2:30. Only time will tell.

We've already knocked out some solid long runs ranging from 17-23 miles with some tempo pace worked in there. This morning, however was a different story. We did a 18 miler and felt like crap....literally. I think I stopped at least 4 times to relieve myself during the run. Of course all serious runners have encountered this problem, but it still doesn't mean it's enjoyable. I don't so much mind doing my business in public, but it really throws your pace off when you have to squat in the bushes. I guess it's better now than at Boston.

Sorry for the crude topic of this post, but hey....that's the reality of the runs!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Starting Gun!

Every runner knows the gut-wrenching feeling you get right before the gun goes off during a race. I sort of feel that right now as I launch my first blog post. Several people I know have encouraged me to "toe the line" in the blog here we go.

Hopefully this blog will be a brutally honest look at the life of a serious, lifestyle runner. I'll do my best to mention everything that I encounter throughout my miles....embarrassing or not. It is also my hope that people will enjoy my posts and maybe even take some inspiration from them.

I guess today's helpful tip for you "fair weather" runners is get goin'. With the weather improving there are no excuses....or at least less excuses. Even my wife, that has a strict no-sweat policy went out for a fitness walk last night. So get out there and get some mileage in...1 mile, 2 miles, 10 miles...doesn't really matter, just get started.

See you out on the roads...