If you want to know anything about the local running scene, ask Heather Cass. A member of the Erie Runners Club for 10-plus years, she is immersed in the local fitness culture, and she's taking your questions. Read more about this blog.
When you feel like stopping, how do you keep pushing yourself beyond that point?
I just apply the guilt that feel from missing a scheduled run to an incomplete workout . If I quit during an especially hard workout, that guilt eats at me until my next training day ; and I don’t like to feel that way , so that becomes a good motivator. I also have a specific mantra that I use , “finish strong ” which usually helps. — Ramon Patrone Jr.
I walk for a minute or less, to catch my breath and refocus. I used to hate doing that, but it seems to really minimize injuries. Giving myself permission to slow down for a minute has really helped me finish out a run when I’m tiring, too. — Mary Ann Daniels
If I am alone I chide myself for thinking like a quitter. If negative thoughts overtake my focus in a race, I look around and tell myself everybody here is in the same boat. And we are all nuts )) — Barb Armour
I give myself “permission” to slow down or stop once I reach the next chosen mark, i.e. the next tree, the next tenth, etc. Ironically what happens is that when I get to that next mark I’m still feeling OK and go for the next mark. Rarely ever do I end up slowing or stopping. Just giving myself permission to stop seems to have the opposite effect…like the pressure is off somehow. — Kim
I thank God for giving me the legs that keep me moving, the lungs that keep me breathing and the will to keep pushing on. —Sunupmiles (via email)
Picture the finish line!! And remind yourself that race day will suck if you don’t train right!! — Mary Kay Snider-Migdal
I tend to resort to mantras or “100 Bottles of Beer On the Wall” — anything to drown out the negative voice in my head. My mantras: “Settle…settle,” “Harder, faster, stronger…harder, faster, stronger,” and “I can stand this.” Need a mantra? Some good ones here
6: 25 a.m. Sunday morning Dan and I are walking toward the marathon start line in front of the Cleveland Browns stadium, though it reads “Cleveland Browns Sta” because the “dium” metal letters are missing. No matter, this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve run this race for years now. We know where were going.
The runners and spectators become a streaming mass, clogging the sidewalks and stretching onto the now-closed road. There are something like 20,000 runners, I think.
We pass a group of law enforcement officers dressed in Army green pants and shirts, standing around dark van. They’re wearing combat boots, baseball hats, black sunglasses and bullet proof vests. They have automatic weapons slung over their shoulder and bullets wrapped around their waist.
“Great, we’ve become Mexico with machine-gun wielding Federales everywhere,” I mutter to Dan as we walk by.
There are dozens of law enforcement officers inside and outside the stadium — bomb squad, Sheriff’s office, stadium security, Cleveland police officers, K-9. Some are gathered together, others are standing and watching the crowd from above, K-9 officers are weaving dogs through the crowd and the bushes around the stadium.
I know they are all there for us. To protect us. To reassure us. To watch over us. They are a very visible sign that the race directors are taking Boston seriously, but it’s frightening and it kinda depresses me.
Sons of a bitches ruined our marathons. Bastards.
I don’t know their names, and I don’t care. I’m not going to look it them up either because they are not worth it. To me, they’re nameless cowards.
Spectators, three and four deep, line the road filled with runners. Hundreds more ring the outside platform of the stadium, looking down, pointing cameras, video cameras, and cell phones in our direction.
When we finally start, I look up at them as we jog toward the start mat. I get a little choked up because I start thinking about the Jezebel post “The People Who Watch Marathons“.
I don’t know one of those people up there and they are absolutely not there to cheer me on, but…oh, my God do I appreciate their presence — this year, more than any other previous.
I appreciate their mass. Their cheers. Their pom-poms and home made signs. Their cowbells and thunder sticks. Their DIY beer stops. Their garden hoses set to mist. Their willingness to drag their butt out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and fight traffic and pay $10 to park…just to watch us run by.
For 13 miles, every time I see a group of spectators ahead, I rally. I run stronger and straighter, and I forget how crappy I feel. I turn my camera on and scan the sidewalk for funny signs. I look for kids offering high-fives with outstretched hands and move over so I can gently slap every one of those little hands.
I’m eternally grateful for every person standing along that route who distracts me from the task at hand.
The miles fly by because of them. These strangers. These noisy, boisterous, excited, awesome strangers who meant everything to me on Sunday morning.
Thank you. You make it all worth it:
(See :16 and 1:03).
____________________________ About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”
* 12 most annoying types you encounter at the gym. Snicker. These 12 types of people are why I QUIT the gym and bought a whole crapload of weights and DVDs and workout in my own basement where I don’t have to deal with The Abdominator, The Fishermen, or those Herculass bitches.
Q.Now that I’ve run a half, and covered that distance in training runs with other people, or just when the mood strikes me, I know I can do it, which puts me into some sort of lazy disadvantage. I have no “training plan” printed. I keep thinking I’m good because I consistently run because it is part of my life now.
Could I plan on running 3 days (either solo or with a group)–one 3-4 miler, one 5-6 miler, and one 7-9 miler? As the race gets closer I will add in the 10-12 distances more regularly on that long day. I will still have those, plus three group workouts a week where we do strength and intervals. Sometimes I stack a run and an interval workout together so I can have an extra day off. I always take Sundays off, and have found I needed another rest day mid week. My legs and feet get tired and I am tired of running through soreness.
I could care less about time or pace. I just want the t-shirt. Finishing is my prize.
A. Yep, I think you can easily do that if you’re chasing a lofty P.R. Your plan is about what I do year-round. I run three to four days a week — a 3-4-mile on Mondays, a 5 to 6-miler on Wedneday nights with a group and a group long run on Saturdays (8 to 12). Sometimes I throw in another 3-miler on Fridays, if I feel like it. Plus, I weight train three days a week. Training this way means I’m ready to do a 1/2 marathon on any given weekend. All you really need (if your goal is simply to finish) is a long run at least twice a month.
Now I am following the 3-run-a-week marathon plan, but I’m not going to be strict about because I have a lot of other things (bay swim, quad events, etc.) and races I want to do. I don’t care if I miss a long run or a speed workout or two. I realize now that it just doesn’t matter all that much.
There’s being committed and there’s being obsessive. It’s a fine line and few runners know it when they’ve crossed it. It usually take a chronic, recurring injury to help them see the light.
I need at least two days off a week — sometimes 3. I don’t feel bad about that. I lead a generally active life. Even my “rest days” would be exhausting for some people and I know you’re the same (with a house and bunch of kiddos to take care of).
Forget those who insist piling on mileage is the “best” way to train. You know what’s best for you and your mind & body.