This morning was met with cloudy skies, the first reprieve from the rain that we’ve seen this entire week! I’m looking forward to the hovering English weather to make way for normal New England spring weather next week. If only marathon Monday could have had cooler temperatures as this week!
Photo credit: @alalehc
I have felt a little out of sync with my running and goal-oriented nature after Boston. Over the past five years, I have lined up the marathons and half marathons in a continuous training cycle. I didn’t train hard for most of them, but always had my next goal lined up. This time, I am purposefully taking a break, which I know is mentally and physically ideal for me—but has left me with a strong urge to get back into my next phase of goal-setting.
Here are some of my fitness goals for the next few months:
- Get outside as much as possible, head up north to NH, VT, and ME and get in some early summer hikes. This is a great guide: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/hikes/
Photo credit: @imnotquitejack
- Yoga once a week! Last night’s sweaty yoga session reminded me again how much the practice complements running. There are so many benefits to yoga, and I particularly like how it relaxes me, increases flexibility, coordination, and strength as well.
- Get through my first trail run this July, and then move on to training for another goal marathon this fall. Fall races that I have on the calendar include Wineglass Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon, and think I will aim for Wineglass as the goal and MCM as the fun, follow-up race! They’re only three weeks, apart, so we will see how this will pan out.
Speaking of trail running and ultras, I had the opportunity to chat with Nike-sponsored trail runner, 50k National Road Champion & Masters American Record holder Caroline Boller. Caroline is also gifted at the marathon distance, and ran the Olympic marathon trials this past February. She also placed 9th masters at the 2015 Boston Marathon and 2nd masters at the 2016 Houston marathon, running a 2:44.
Caroline started running at age 38, not having run in high school or college. In her blog, she describes her background:
“Starting in my twenties, running consisted a very on-again, off-again relationship with the treadmill (mostly off). I lived in London and worked a time-intensive job in the investment banking industry, never running outside due to traffic and pollution. These sporadic attempts at running continued in fits and starts throughout the years, running just a couple of miles here or there. In my late thirties, following issues with elevated blood pressure, my husband watched me banging cluelessly away in the only way I knew how — the treadmill — while he hit the local trails. Finally, with his encouragement, curiosity got the better of me and I ventured onto dirt for the first time. It was nothing short of an awakening and I’ve never looked back.”
As I started to prepare for my first trail run, I reached out to Caroline for some tips on trail running and ultra-marathons. Here are Caroline’s tips for a first-timer. I think these can be applied to any long-distance races like half marathons and marathons!
- Understand that EVERYONE hurts and wants to quit at some point. Don’t do it!! The finish line is ALWAYS worth it (unless you have a serious injury, of course).
- Practice your fueling with each long run and fuel often during your race. Take in at least two gels an hour with water. Some people take three!
- Don’t overdo it leading up to the race. I ran three 20 mile+ runs in the week that was two weeks before my first 50k, which was totally ridiculous and completely unnecessary. Even for a 50 miler, one 28 mile run 3 weeks before race day on similar terrain will do the trick.
- Respect your body’s healing by eating plentiful amounts of very healthy foods.
- Believe you can do it. You can!
Caroline is such an inspiration!
When did YOU get in to running? Did you start in High School/College/later in life? I love hearing about how people start running!
Have a HAPPY FRIDAY!! What are your plans for the weekend? No long runs planned for me! I’ll be spending some time with friends and my mom on Mother’s day! :)
What are you training for? What distance do you have this weekend?