I rarely listen to music during my daily runs. Occasionally, I listen to podcasts during my long run if there’s a particular episode I want to hear or if I am generally bored with my running route (Dear Sugars is my current fave). But that’s the exception, not the rule. I usually like to stay in the moment when I run, be aware of my surroundings and concentrate on what’s going on with my body. Racing is another story. For most races longer than a 5K, I play music. Not only is it motivating to hear words of encouragement blaring […]
Tapering means cutting back both the volume and the intensity of your workouts during the final 2 or 3 weeks before a marathon. This down time gives your body and mind a chance to recover and unwind after 4 months of blood, sweat and tears. All the hard work has been done: you really can’t gain much fitness during these final weeks…
I was slated to run the Boston Marathon this April, but since I was not “feeling the love,” I had decided to skip it and instead concentrate on speed and shorter distances, which I tend to prefer, probably because I’m better at them. (We all prefer to do things that we are better at.) It turned out to be a good move. I enjoyed a sweet spring season, PRing in every distance I raced (5K, 15K, 10-mile) and even winning #1 female in a 5K – something I didn’t expect to do at age 52,
As anyone who has done it will attest, marathon training is hard work and requires a huge time commitment, not only because you have to run higher weekly mileage than to train for shorter races, but also because you need to devote many hours to building up muscular strength in the gym and/or yoga studio. You have to be in the right headspace to do all this or you will have a miserable time.
After the spring racing season was over, the marathon bug started playfully nipping at my heels again.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that even though I registered for Boston this year, I decided not to run it. In terms of specificity, you can’t train to properly race both a marathon and 5-10Ks. That would be like studying French to pass a Spanish exam. My heart beats faster for the shorter, faster races (pun sorta intended), and so far, my season is showing that I made the right decision.
Since Sloan, some of my friends, and several teammates were running, I decided to go to Boston to support them. I wondered how I would feel when I got to Boston. I expected to feel some minor pangs of regret about making the wrong decision? But happily once I arrived, I felt absolutely no desire to have run the race this year. I had already run it last year and had a great time. I was stoked to be on the other side of the running fence for a change – the spectator side!
Last week, I did my long run with my much-speedier, 20-something teammate Kylie (and I survived). As is the case when you’re running with someone, conversation topics morph from food to work to love life to friends to hobbies, but the discussion always circles back to running. As we finished the last miles of our run, we talked about marathons. I am slated to run the Boston Marathon again this April. Kylie has never done a marathon, but is in no particular hurry to do one…
After we parted, I finished my scheduled mileage solo. That’s when the realization hit me like lightning: I am not at all excited about running Boston this year. I felt sad when I realized this, but I also felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders: I was finally able to put a name to the the “blah” frame of mind had been trailing me like dark cloud every time I thought about running Boston. By contrast, I am super stoked about running some of the shorter spring races (5K to half marathon) that I prefer…
I want to be transparent in this blog to help other runners who are facing similar quandaries. I’m also hoping that writing my thoughts will help me come to a decision, which I will need to do soon. Either I will decide not to run Boston, or I will somehow muster up my marathon mojo and get excited about running it.
Many of you will soon be tapering for the NYC Marathon. If you are running this year, congratulations! You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime.
Somehow, I managed to qualify for both the Boston and New York City Marathons during my first marathon attempt, after running the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon – so of course, I had to run both marathons. Life is too short to pass up such growth opportunities.
Here are my top 10 tips for having a fabulous race and a fabulous time.
Since I was just coming off an injury and was not in top shape. I knew Boston was a marathon that I would be running and not racing. But that did not stop me from enjoying every second, despite the unseasonably hot conditions.