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A (Very) Young Marathoner

In case you haven’t seen this article, you should check it out. A young girl, only 14 years old, is trying to run a marathon on every continent before the age of 15. Why tackle this crazy task you may ask? She is doing it for her father who died of prostate cancer. Winter Vinecki is seeking to match every pink ribbon with a blue ribbon and so far she has raised over $400,000. That’s quite an accomplishment for young girl from rural Michigan.

Winter Vinecki:

Many have told me I’m too young to run these distances, to wait until I’m older. My dad waited until he was 40 years old to do the things he wanted to do and never got to do them. I’m more than capable now to do the things I do, so why put them off until tomorrow?

What amazing things are you going to do today?

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

(Photo Source: www.girlslife.com)

If

I’m currently reading two books, Chrissie Wellington’s A life Without Limits and Dick Beardsley’s book, Staying the Course. They are both amazing and I definitely recommend them.

Currently, in Chrissie’s book, I’m reading about her first Ironman triathlon. She mentions that before her race she did her normal pre-race ritual which included 3 English muffins and reading the poem If, by Rudyard Kipling. Many years ago I had a friend who had this poem taped to his wall. As I have become every so slightly wiser, the poem has taken on a deeper meaning. In case you do not know the poem, here it is:

 

 

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

I think maybe I’ll tape it to my wall. Right next to my Dick Beardsley poster he autographed. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Marathon Motivation

For anyone who is has an upcoming marathon and in need of a little motivation, the Marine Corp Marathon just put out this video and it is definitely worth your seven minutes. But before you start watching it, grab a few tissues.

 

I’ve never run this race but I have a few friends who have. They all say it is by far one of the most inspiring races they’ve ever ran. Now I see why.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Kara on Boston

The infamous Boston Marathon is about two weeks away. It’s hard to believe it has almost been a year since my very disappointing DNF, but I am thankful for all the lessons I have learned since then. I’ll finish that dang course in another year, Boston 2014. No matter what.

One thing I am sad about missing this year is seeing the many elites who will be running… Kara Goucher , Shalane Flanagan, Ryan Hall. Kara recently did a Google+ chat and shared a lot of her thoughts about the upcoming race. It’s so cool to hear what she has to say and hear her race strategy. Check out her thoughts on Boston:

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery/Running Update: Yup, I ran again today. I’m running in my Minimus shoes so I’m trying to focus on going much slower. I did 4 miles in about 34 minutes. My hip continues to feel better. Tomorrow we are headed to Oregon to visit the vineyards for a few days. I am SO excited and look forward to some beautiful scenery.

Discipline

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
Jim Rohn

The best runners are the most disciplined. They go easy when they should go easy, hard when they need to go hard, have a mental toughness like no other, and realize their main competitor resides within themselves.

Yesterday, I was finally able to wrap my head around the fact that the best runners not only know how to run fast, but they know how to run slow. For so long my speed has been fast and then faster. I was competitive against my own times and I was competitive against other runners. In the end, that really serves no purpose because I lose a month or so of running due to injury.

The best runners have more than one speed and understand the value of going slower. It only makes them faster in the long run 😉 .

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Dick Beardsley

If ever there were a person who was followed by bad luck, it would be Dick Beardsley. Yes, there is the famous Boston Marathon of 1982, when he came in 2nd place by less than 2 seconds. But it’s everything that came after he retired from competitive running that really portrays the fighter that is Dick Beardsley.

When I went to Fleet Feet last night to hear Mr. Beardsley speak, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Maybe some awesome training advice? His thoughts about what happened 31 years ago in Boston? I knew about the famous Dual in the Sun and his arrest for forging drug prescriptions, but nothing could have prepared me for how moved and inspired I felt when I left Fleet Feet over 2 hours later.

The talk started off with a video showing those last few minutes of the 1982 Boston Marathon. The video stopped right before Salazar and Beardsley crossed the finish line,  but I think we all knew what happened. As Mr. Beardsley started talking, I could tell this was going to be an entertaining event. He is funny, charismatic, and sincere. From his stories of how he started running to his stories of drug addiction, everyone there laughed and I’m pretty sure most people cried, including the runner himself. Like I said, it was sincere.

1982 Boston Marathon

1982 Boston Marathon

His running stories reminded me of why I love the early marathon runners from the 70s and 80s. Marathoners now have gadgets, gels, and detailed training plans. The early marathon runners had a passion for the sport, and the determination to win. They ran with their hearts. I’d like to share a few of his stories…

For Beardsley’s second marathon, he decided 5 days earlier to run the race. After searching through running magazines for a 5 day training plan and coming up short, he found an article from an ultra runner. The ultra runner, who said he felt like a butterfly when he ran, said he fasted for one week before an event. So what did Beardsley do? Fasted for the remaining 5 days. Yes, I’m serious. When he arrived at the start line, he decided he needed to warm up. Eight miles later, he was ready to start the race. And to add to that, he decided he needed to run with those people who looked like they knew what they were doing. To the front line he went and his first mile was run in 5:05, 15 seconds from his fastest mile time. However, somehow Beardsley found the mental fortitude to continue and ended up finishing 7th overall. And we worry about carbo loading? 😉

Another story he shared was about the 1982 Boston Marathon. It was an 80 degree day and the race started at noon. Gatorade, Accelerade. or any other electrolyte drink didn’t exist so he downed water… all morning long. 40  minutes before the race, he downed another 2 quarts. Hyponatremia what? He talked a lot about the mental battles he fought during that race. However, the thing I remember most about his recount of the race was this: the one thing that you have, that is better than any gel, any drink, or any food, is something you’ve always had. It’s your mind and it can truly get you through anything. As he told the rest of his story, that very much proved to be true.

I think I would be doing an injustice to Mr. Beardsley if I tried to retell his many near death experiences. I can’t deliver the emotion or the words, but I can tell you this. For someone who has been mangeled in a tractor, T-boned in a car accident, hit by a truck while running, fallen off a cliff, nearly suffocated, had a tree branch stab him in the eye, and suffered a severe drug addiction, Dick Beardsley has defied the odds and he is a survivor.  He told us that you could mix every bad thing that has ever happened to him and nothing would come close to the pain of his drug addiction. At one point he was taking 80-90 pills a day and forging prescriptions. Once he was arrested, he was forced to get off the pills… with the help of methadone, another addictive drug. As he tried to get off methadone, he described the absolutely awful withdraw symptoms – not sleeping for 7 days straight, pain in his bones so bad he probably would have sawed his own arm if he had access to the saw, waking up in his own vomit… It was a very hard story to hear. But then he said, one night I slept a little. Then I slept a little more the next. And a little more the next. I knew I was going to be okay. 

Through it all, Dick Beardsley has been a fighter. As he ended last night, he said he tried to wake up every morning with four things. (Right now, I can only remember two but I have tweeted him and asked about the others. I’ll update as soon as I hear back.) He tries to wake up with a smile on his face, joy in his heart and… When I woke up at 4:30am this morning, I did my best to put a smile on my face, regardless of how early it was. Thank you Mr. Beardsley for inspiring me to be a fighter. (Update: the four things are a smile on my face, enthusiasm in my voice, joy in my heart and faith in my soul.)

Me with Mr. Beardsley

Me with Mr. Beardsley

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery/RUNNING update: Guess what I did today? RAN! I had to. After last night, I honestly felt like I had to. It was an easy 3 mile run and I have no idea the pace. I left the Garmin at home. It was quite glorious and it made my week. Being outdoors, on the pavement really does warm my heart. I feel slightly normal again. My hip feels about 95% better, which is very encouraging. Perhaps it’s all that yoga at 4:30 in the morning. Tomorrow I will not run but I will go out again on Thursday. Yay for running!

Dick Beardsley: Part I

This morning I saw on Twitter that Dick Beardsley would be in Raleigh tonight, giving a talk at a local running store. OMG!?!? Dick Beardsley in Raleigh? I would be there, no matter what.

I just got home not too long ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about everything Dick Beardsley had to say. I cried, I laughed, and I left more motivated and inspired than ever before. If for one second, I ever thought I had real problems in my life, that completely changed tonight. I do not have time right now to write everything I want to say about Dick’s talk. I will save that for tomorrow. But for those who do not know who Dick Beardsley is, I want to share with you perhaps the race he is most famous for – the 1982 Boston Marathon:

 

 

 

1.2 seconds is what separated Beardsley and Salazar. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who was fairly novice to the sport. Not to mention it was an 80 degree day in Boston, the race started at 12:00 pm, and as Beardsley shared with us tonight, he spent the entire morning drinking lots and lots of water. Apparently hyponatremia wasn’t yet a condition runners knew they could have.

I look forward to writing my post tomorrow. There are so many amazing things to say.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Progression

In an effort to keep my fitness levels up as I slowly return back to running, I’ve been doing a few workouts from the Nike Training Club. Last Sunday at 4:15 am (I had to workout before Mario’s race), I attempted Cardio Killer for the first time. The workout is 15 minutes of jumping, core strength, and upper body strength. It’s a constant workout with only 3-30 second recovery periods. I’m pretty sure I hit the pause button a few times.

This morning I persuaded Mario to join me in Cardio Killer. It was during that second recovery period when I wanted to hit pause for the first time just so I could have another minute of rest. I said out loud to myself, you can hurt now or be sorry later. I kept going and never hit pause once. I was proud and it was a definite improvement from a week ago.

Cardio Killer Workout

Cardio Killer Workout

My point is progression happens. It may be hard to keep that in mind during a workout, but you’ll realize it a week, a month, or even a year from now. Two months ago, my toe stand was horrible. Now, I am so impressed with how much better my right side is than before. The body learns and the body adapts. You just have to keep teaching it.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery Update: I could have run this weekend, but I decided not to. My hip doesn’t really hurt, it’s only a little sore. Perhaps if it had not been pouring down rain and cold this morning, I would have headed out for a few easy miles. However, I did several hip flexor strengthening exercises, abs, and my Cardio Killer workout. I also started my morning with yoga.

Toe Stand

In Bikram, there has always been one pose that I really wanted to master, but just really sucked at doing it. My left side was always better than my right, but I needed a lot of practice. That pose is toe stand.

Whenever I would do toe stand on my right side, my right hip wasn’t strong enough to hold me in place and my left back muscles were too weak to keep me upright. I have made it my personal goal to master this dang pose in one month (my ambitious goal). I practice first thing in the morning, middle of the day, and before I go to bed. It’s hard for sure, but I’m hoping that I’m building the muscle memory and will eventually be able to hold it for longer than 5 seconds. And how cool will it be to hang out in the air by just balancing on my toes?

According to this Bikram site, toe stand increases balance, strengthens stomach muscles, helps with arthritis, gout, and knee pain, and strengthens weak joints. I’ll be sure to post another pic when I’ve mastered it. 🙂

I don’t look nearly as cool as the girl in the pic above…

 

I love the look of terror on my face.

I love the look of terror on my face.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Simplicity

I’m currently reading Chrissie Wellington’s book, A Life Without Limits. According to my Kindle, I’m 26% completed. So far I’d say, it’s a compelling book. Before I even really knew who Chrissie Wellington was, I already liked her. Who can not love that smile? It’s quite contagious.

As I was reading today, I felt very grounded by the following paragraph:

We would arrive back exhausted, sweaty and hungry, but with spirits soaring. We had no idea how far we had been, how many calories we’d burned, what heart rate we’d maxed out at. There was no data to download or logbook to tick. This was raw and elemental, the way sport and adventure has always been. I’m sure it was the making of me.

Raw and elemental. Sometimes I feel we overcomplicate things. Gadgets have their place and so does pure, simple, adventurous running. When I get back to running, I plan to have a weekly running “project” of something adventurous.

Happy  Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie