I am sitting here watching Run for Your Life, a documentary about how Fred Lebow started the New York City Marathon. (Yes, this is my Friday night entertainment.) I’m about halfway through but I absolutely have to stop and type this… Runners back in the late 60s and early 70s were bad ass. Period. They exhibited the pure essence of running, which I often times feel modern day runners (myself included) miss due to gadgets, training plans, and all of those other “running things.” They ran just to run. It’s actually quite beautiful to watch.
The second thing I have to say is I think I just found my new running hero – Nina Kuscsik. She was the first woman to run in the New York City Marathon, the first female winner of the Boston Marathon and a two time winner of the New York City Marathon. Besides being an awesome runner, she also didn’t start running competitively until she was 30. I’m still 29. She gives me hope.
There is a clip in the documentary where a reporter asks Kuscsik where she finds time to run. After all, she did have three children to care for. Her response was perfect. She said while other women may get a babysitter to go to the parlor or out to lunch, she gets a babysitter to go out for her long run. Obviously that served her well because 80 marathons later, she has been inducted into the Runner’s Hall of Fame. You can read more about that here.
I’m off to finish the movie now. It’s soothing my injured runner’s soul.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Recovery Update: My hip continues to get better. I went to the gym again today and focused on some lower back exercises, in addition to cardio of course. It’s interesting to me how I am so much more aware of the muscles on my right side than I am on my left side. I’m working towards finding that balance between the two.
I had never really heard of Hansons Brooks until I started following Desiree Davila. Her performance at Boston and during the Olympic Trials quickly made her one of my new favorite athletes. Desiree was always a good runner but it seems that her greatness really came out when she started working with Hansons Brooks. Well as luck would have it, Hansons Brooks just released a book detailing their training plans and tossing some of the conventional wisdom about marathon training, right out the window. Read more
Happy Friday evening! Only one more long run to go before race day and I am so ready for it. I see why the taper is so effective. I feel like I have so much energy inside me right now that I could go out and take on those 26.2 miles tomorrow. I must wait though.
Being that it is Friday and I’m in search of motivating things, I wanted to share this recent news article I read about Sara Baxter, a young runner from California. Read more
There are now 15 more days until race day. I have missed more than a few key workouts, but that’s okay. I’m working on my mental game now. In other words, I’m surrounding myself with lots of motivational things – videos, music, quotes, people, movies, etc. I wanted to share with you one of my sources for inspiration. It is a documentary my sister gave me this past year for my birthday called Running to the Limits.
This is why Usain Bolt is as amazing as he is…
A few weeks ago after a visit with my grandparents, I wrote that tragic accidents aside, I was going to live to be 100 (and a healthy 100 year old at that). I don’t know if I’ll still be running at that age, but I’d like to think so. Heck, if the running gods permit, I’ll be like this lady – 96 and running.
The Indian woman, who was born before World War 1 ended, is taking part in Aritel Delhi Half Marathon on September 30. According to an article posted on The Asian Age Web site, Kaur decided to give running a shot thanks in part to her 75-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, who lives in Canada, and is also a runner. (She started running when she was 90).
When I first read the article (and the many others reporting about Mann Kaur), it seemed to me that she was running the entire half marathon. I spent quite a while trying to find her finishing time, but instead saw this video which made it a little clearer. She ran 4 kilometers of the half marathon – which is still an amazing accomplishment. And in addition to participating in the half marathon, she also holds the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meter events from the World Masters Championships. Mann Kaur reminds me of a point Chris McDougall made in his video – women become better runners as they get older and the distance increases. Kudos to Mann Kaur!!
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
And I would like to leave you with a random quote for the day: “I expect to pass through this world but once, any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer it, nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Be nice to a stranger tomorrow :)
This weekend my cousin is running the Hinson Lake 24 hour Ultra Classic. It’s a 1.52 mile loop around a lake for 24 hours. Personally, I think that would get a little repetitive but ultra runners are a different breed of amazing people. They are not like us marathoners and they have a mindset that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Simply put, they are just freakin’ awesome.
One of my Google+ friends is also running her first 50 miler on November 3rd and I’m super excited fo her. I saw this video recently and it made me think of her and of my cousin. I bought into the idea a long time ago that we are born to run. There is absolutely nothing that compares to a run in my Minimus shoes, sans headphones and sans Garmin. There is no pressure and there are no expectations. It’s just me and my thoughts. Those are my favorite runs.
Check out this video and let me know what you think about Chris McDougall’s three mysteries. My favorite part of the video is when he talks about Emily Baer finishing 8th place in the Hardrock 100 miler, all while nursing her child at the aid stations. Yea, women rule.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
This past weekend if I learned anything, it would be that I want to be the Tara Stiles of running. If you don’t know who Tara Stiles is and are remotely interested in yoga as an athlete, you should definitely check out her website. She is a model turned yoga instructor and her stuff is amazing. Basically Tara Stiles makes yoga easily accessible to all of us through awesome videos, podcasts, and her blog. And what is great about her yoga videos is that they are short and easy to follow.
Being that today is Sunday and my day of rest, I wanted to share one of my favorite yoga videos from Mrs. Stiles. It’s simple, doesn’t require a lot of time, and is great for stretching me out after a long run the day before. Granted, I do not look anywhere near as graceful as she does, it is still an awesome stretch and worth my 10 minutes.
My favorite thing about this yoga sequence: it makes my hips feel normal and back in alignment. As someone who has struggled with hip injuries for many years, this is exactly what I need. She has a great website and I highly recommend checking it out. She also has great cooking videos too Check her out and let me know what you think.
Happy trails and happy running,
Have you ever heard of Ricardo Abad? Yea, I hadn’t either until tonight when I somehow got distracted watching videos about running in Spanish. (My two favorite things.) I was brought to this video, which you should watch even if you don’t understand Spanish. I think you’ll be able to understand from the description and the video that this man completed 500 marathons in 500 days. A pretty amazing accomplishment. Here is the video:
I did a quick search on Señor Abad and learned that he is quite the ultrarunner. He currently holds the record for most marathons on consecutive days – 607 to be exact. After he completed 500, he attempted another 500 but once he was unable to get the financial backing, he had to abandon the project. He reached his goal of 500 marathons just recently on February 12, 2012 and ended his 1,000 marathon effort in May. In addition to running like a mad man, he also works 8 hour shifts in a factory. Sometimes he would work in the morning and other times he would work at night. Due to his varying schedule, he would some days run two marathons in less than 12 hours. I really need to learn to be more productive with my time.
In addition to running ultras, Abad has also run just the half and full marathon. His half time is 1:19 and his full time is 2:46. I am super impressed with this guy and he reminds me of Kilian Jornet – who is also from Spain. I knew I always liked that country for a reason – awesome food, culture, and runners. Maybe Mario and I can move there for a year or so
Photo Source: Pierre Thomas, Wikimedia Commons
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running is like life. You start at the same place with your fellow runners. You all finish at the same place. How you do is largely up to you. If you win, you congratulate your team and yourself. If you lose, you evaluate how to improve. You can’t make excuses like “He didn’t pass me the ball” or “The coach didn’t put me in.” It’s on you. That’s the beauty of the sport.
December of 2010 my cousin Dan waited who knows how long, to get me a signed copy of Meb’s book, Run to Overcome. I read it in a day. Meb’s story fascinated me and inspired me. And after his amazing finish on Sunday, I am reminded of why I admire him as a human being and as an athlete. Meb has suffered. He has gone through very difficult times, overcome many hardships, but has continued to have that awesome smile on his face. He is strong, hard working, genuine, and above all, an incredibly positive person. When Meb was 6 years old, his father left Eritrea and walked 225 miles to Sudan’s border in order to provide a better life for his family. Meb possesses that same love and determination.
The book is a reminder to us all that life is what we put into it, love is selfless, and staying positive in the face of adversity will carry us to the next day. Read the book if you get a chance. Meb is a true inspiration.
Then you should watch this Citi commercial. Meb’s WHOO at the end makes me smile every time I see it.
Thanks to Dan for my signed copy!
Happy Trails and Happy Running !