Showing posts with label accomplishment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accomplishment. Show all posts

Thursday, April 18, 2013

City trek dwarfs morning workout

And the day ain't over...
Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes + 7 miles city walk

I figured I'd be covering some ground today, but I had no idea that I'd travel over seven miles in the city on foot. My meeting locations varied between east 53rd Street and Spring Street, with a couple of other spots in between. I could have used the subway, but I didn't see the point of that when I could just as easily walk.

Before I left for the city, I did an elliptical session. I wasn't thinking about the fact that I'd be getting a second workout later. The Fitbit recorded a couple of miles from the elliptical and, fortunately, I remembered to bring it with me when I left the house. I'd forgotten to take the Fitbit on Monday when I covered significant territory around Manhattan. The Fitbit recorded none of that, causing me to look like a slacker on the Fitbit dashboard. But today was a different story.

Should have that distance number over 10 miles tonight

Monday, April 15, 2013

The price of self esteem is apparently $7.99

Divide it by two and we'll talk
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 1,500th Emerging Runner post. It all started here.

Happy Boston Marathon Day. I grew up in the greater Boston area and have always felt tied to this event. The Boston Marathon used to be held on April 19th (Patriot's Day), which happens to be my birthday. That was, until Massachusetts began observing the holiday and running the race on Mondays. It was great that the Boston Marathon route went right though my hometown, and we could watch the runners go by from a hill behind our house.

I never thought about actually running the Boston Marathon (or any marathon for that matter) because it seemed like an impossible thing to do. Even now, the thought of running a full marathon seems abstract and unlikely. Having crossed the line on a couple of half marathons, I cannot conceive of running that distance twice, all at once. It's no longer impossible for me to imagine it, but I'm not willing to commit the time and effort that would be required. I fully admire those who do run marathons, but I'm sticking with halfs.

The Jan/Feb issue of Running Times featured a product that runners can use to brag about their marathon accomplishments. I'm not talking about the ubiquitous 26.2 decal. Apparently anyone can buy one of those, no questions asked. ProvenSport (I'm not including a link because I think this is a stupid idea) will only sell their $7.99 decals to people after they, "...validate every achievement and certify [your] legitimate bragging rights." This, for only $5 more than that unverified 26.2 decal!

I'm also offended by the poorly designed product
I know that every runner's motivation is personal and racing supports our self esteem. Those oval race decals are fun, and they don't bother me when I see them on cars. I never question the veracity of the statement, and have never thought once about the owner's possible finish times. Those who need to push the point of broadcasting to the world that they ran a marathon really, really fast probably need more than a decal to address their own self esteem issues.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Holiday stalking run

I do celebrate these

Today's run (street): 3.75 miles

Today is Easter Sunday, a religious holiday observed by a majority of the population. Happy Easter, if you celebrate. I don't, so I tend to look at the day a little differently. I had considered a morning run at Bethpage State Park, but I was concerned that the main gates might be locked due to the holiday. It occurred to me that the neighborhood might be quieter than usual this morning so I opted to stay local.
Though sunny, it was a chilly 32°, so I added an extra layer and hoped I wouldn't regret it later. I was doing some pre-run stretching when I noticed a runner going by my house. A moment later, the GPS signaled "ready", so I set out behind the runner. I'd planned to run slightly faster than yesterday and thought this fit-looking guy could pace me. After a few minutes, I realized that I was gaining on him. When he looked back, I think I spooked him. I should mention that I was dressed in bright yellow and black, and he may have thought I was a really large bee.

I ran straight when the other runner turned right, and noticed a couple of runners coming from the other direction. As I made my way further through my neighborhood streets, I saw four more runners. Lots of runners and very few cars. I liked that ratio. I did have one car related incident, though incident is probably too strong a word. There was a Lexus RX 350 driving along the route I was following at approximately the same speed that I was going. It may have been a mother teaching her daughter to drive, but I couldn't be sure. I felt like I was being stalked. Perhaps they were curious beekeepers.

I accomplished my goal of a faster run and I'm feeling ready to start introducing more speed to my training. With all this stalking, I had completely forgotten about my sore hip. That's because it was no longer sore. It was an Easter day miracle! Okay, maybe not, but I celebrated just the same.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ends today but the Hangover starts tomorrow

Almost done
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

The year is nearly over and, for that matter, so is my vacation. In past years I've taken time to reflect on the previous twelve months and set my goals for the coming year. 2012 had its ups and downs and I won't be too upset to see it go. I will say that it's been fine year for running although I can't point to any particular moment that stands above all. If I had to pick, I'd say it was my experience running the half marathon in May, when I hit my stretch goal in terms of performance.

Counting a two day business trip that I took prior to the break, I have been away from the office for eleven days. Tomorrow will be my last day off before returning to work on Wednesday. I'll cap the vacation and celebrate the start of 2013 by running the Hangover 5-miler in Eisenhower Park. The Fun Run starts at 9:30 AM and I'm going to try to time my arrival so that I minimize the time I'll need to wait in the 25 degree weather.

Although I usually take Monday as a rest day, I decided to trade it for Wednesday when I return to the office. I'll be back to rising before 4:00 AM and I'll appreciate being able to skip my workout without feeling any guilt.

Today's run was a good rehearsal for tomorrow's event and I paid attention to how long it took to go from comfortably warm to hot and sweating this morning. Tomorrow I'll be covering almost two more miles than today, so I may opt for one less layer up top. I'm not thrilled that my vacation comes to an end on Wednesday, but at least I'll have this event to send me on my way.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The post-race question I'm always asked

Enjoy it while you can
The exhilaration that comes after a race has about the same shelf-life as a loaf of freshly baked bread. Right after a race, once I've re-hydrated, re-fueled and rested, the world looks perfect. Endorphins are still plentiful and I feel proud and satisfied. The day after a race has its charms, especially for me, because it's usually a Monday and I get to re-live the experience with work friends.

By the third day, the pride is still there, but the bread isn't quite as fresh. I begin to ask myself questions like "Should I have taken two rest days as planned, or powered through and done an easy run today?" and "What's next to do after all that base training to prepare for my half marathon?" By Tuesday, not too many people are asking about my weekend.

I was asked (four times) yesterday, if I was now going to do a marathon (or in one case, a real marathon). My answer remained the same: No. If all things were equal, but I were 20 years younger, I would probably consider running a full marathon some day. But for me, the ability to run a 26.2 mile race isn't something that I feel I need to do. If I can break 2:00 for 13.1 miles, that would mean more to me. An accomplishment like that would keep me excited, long past Tuesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Every child gets a trophy

Proud to be a participant
There's a lot of talk these days about how parents reinforce mediocrity by rewarding children for doing nothing more than participating in a sporting event. The argument I hear is that children will develop unrealistic expectations about the level of effort required to achieve a real accomplishment. Personally, I have no problem giving a child a trophy for participation, especially in sports, where having an active kid is the real reward. I'm guessing that parents who reward simple participation in sports are likely more focused on practical things, like academics.

I say this because, in every race I've run, only three people get to the podium and the rest (age group winners excluded) get (at best) finisher medals. Actually, most of the time your finisher medal is your race bib and that's why every race number that I've worn is tacked up on a bulletin board in my office. Saturday's Cow Harbor number makes it an even 20 and I'm inspired by each of them every day. With the exception of one race where I came in second in my division, I've been nothing more than a "finisher."

Does it it bother me that this collection represents mere participation? Not at all. In racing, to participate is to accomplish. Just like 19 times before, I earned that trophy on Saturday.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The day after 13.1

Okay, another new race distance has been crossed off the list and I look forward to returning to my normal training schedule. I'm not surprised that my legs feel a bit stiff and sore this morning. It's a nice reminder of yesterday's effort.

The winner of yesterday's half marathon probably crossed the line just a few minutes after I'd reached the 10K point at around the 60 minute mark. It struck me that while 13.1 miles is a long distance to cover, my bigger accomplishment was pounding the pavement for over 140 minutes. That's 2+ hours running at more than double my resting heart rate. Daily Mile calculated that I burned about 2,000 calories during the race. That's like going a day without eating!

I need to get my knee back in shape but soon after that I will resume my long distance training. Even if I don't run another half marathon this year, base building will certainly help me be more competitive during my 10K races. The pain of yesterday's last few miles is already fading. I'm starting to think about the next half that I might run.

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