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Posts from the ‘random’ Category

A Quick Gym Workout

I’m a pretty big cardio fan. Intense, long, cardio efforts are right up my alley. And at the same time, I’m always trying to incorporate more weights into my workout. Tonight, I think I found the best and most efficient way to use the weight machines at the gym. Check it out… ( you’re welcome for the Saturday night entertainment).

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Athletes and Pain

Tonight I was walking home and all I could think was holy cow these shoes are giving me some serious blisters. I knew they were going to hurt before I put them on to go out but I wore them anyway. I can handle a little pain. 🙂

Earlier today I read an article about how athletes can tolerate more pain (hence the reason behind my shoe selection). I think that’s kind of a given, but it was still interesting to read.

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A Running Coach

Tonight I met with my new running coach (a 2:22 marathoner who is quite knowledgeable on the sport). Now clearly I am no elite athlete and have no hopes or dreams of ever reaching the Olympics so you may be asking yourself why in the world would I spend money to hire somebody to tell me how to run. I mean after all, I’ve been running for quite a few years and have quite a few miles on my legs. Shouldn’t I already know what to do? Well the answer to that is not really. Certainly I can run and am pretty decent at it, but I have goals that I can never seem to reach because my name is Tracie “overtrained” Rodriguez. 🙂 I can never find a happy balance and I always seem to run my body straight to the injured list. I’m actually quite good at it.

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Ironman – The Fastest Marathon Times

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to watch the running portion of the Kona Ironman World Championships. What I thought would be just a few minutes, turned into hours of watching the most amazing athletes ever. And what impressed me more than their amazing athletic accomplishment was the fact that they are all so humble and nice to one another. Those athletes are truly a special group of people.

Just how amazing and incredibly fit are these triathletes? I don’t know much about swimming or biking but I do know a thing or two about running. I looked into the times for the marathon portion of the race yesterday. The fastest run time was 2:47:23 by Andreas Raelert (2nd place finisher). That averages out to a 6:23 mile for 26.2 miles. I’m pretty sure I could quit my job, hire the best running coach around, and still not be able to achieve that time. And forget adding a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride. Yes, an Ironman is a lifelong goal of mine. I just can’t get over how fast these people are!

Raelert’s time was an amazing time yesterday but it’s certainly not the fastest. On Ironman’s website, I was able to find the top 10 fastest times for men and women for the World Championship race. Here are the fastest times for the Kona Course (and remember these athletes have already completed 114.4 miles):


Mark Allen, 2:40:04

Dave Scott, 2:41:03

Pete Jacobs, 2:41:06

Luc Van Lierde, 2:41:48

Olivier Bernhard, 2:41:57

Craig Alexander, 2:41:59

Chris McCormack, 2:42:02

Mark Allen, 2:42:09

Mark Allen, 2:42:09

Mark Allen, 2:42:18

(Mark Allen and Dave Scott are the only two from the USA.)


Mirinda Carfrae, 2:52:09

Chrissie Wellington, 2:52:41

Mirinda Carfrae, 2:53:32

Caitlin Snow, 2:56:04

Mirinda Carfrae, 2:56:51

Chrissie Wellington, 2:57:44

Sandra Wallenhorst, 2:5836

Lori Bowden, 2:59:16

Chrissie Wellington, 2:59:58

Samantha McGlone, 3:00:52

Wow, that’s about all I can say. Many many congratulations to all of the athletes in yesterday’s race. Any for a little triathlon humor, PLEASE PLEASE watch this video. It is soooo funny! Thanks Jenny for sharing this!!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,



Know Your Course

Tomorrow is my last long run before my race November 4th. The plan is 23 miles and I’m crossing my fingers, legs, knees, ankles, and toes that I can meet that goal. My leg still feels off so I’m icing it right now and have already taken two Advil. Please running gods, be with me tomorrow.

I had been debating where to run tomorrow morning – the nice flat Tobacco Trail or a significant portion of the actual marathon course, which is anything but flat. One way is the easy way and the other way is the hard way. I realize what an advantage it is that the course runs practically by my front door so I’m taking the harder route. It’s definitely more difficult but it gets me prepared for the reality that I’ll be facing 3 weeks from now – a challenging 26.2 miles.

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Predawn Runner about the benefits of scouting out the course beforehand. If you can drive the course great. But if you can run it – even better. In addition to really learning the course, PDR suggests that a few other advantages are testing the hills, looking for tangents, developing your mental game, and visualization. You can read more about these advantages here.

This marathon season I’ve been all about the mind game and how to get it right for race day. I’ve already divided up the course into three parts. The exciting first part (about 10 miles), the lonely tough miles (15 miles on the greenway), and the last mile from the greenway to NC State’s bell tower. Tomorrow I’m going to work on the lonely 15 miles part of the course. What am I going to think about? What is going to keep me motivated? What world problems am I going to solve? 🙂 I like knowing what to expect so I think it’s  good idea to be as familiar with the course as possible. And of course a little Eminem will keep me motivated but I need to know how I’m going to handle the hard part. Tomorrow we shall see…


Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Raleigh, NC
Photo Source: Ted, Wikimedia Commons

Dear Running…

My scheduled run this morning was a 14 miler with 13.1 miles at half marathon race pace. Yesterday I iced, stretched, foam rolled, and rested but I still wasn’t sure if I would be able to get in the miles today. Instead of my normal pre long run ritual on Friday night, Mario and I went out for a night on the town. Luckily, I still managed to get up at 6am and put on my running clothes. I didn’t have anything to eat beforehand (practicing my carb depleting), only water and coffee. I just wanted to get out the door and see how my leg felt.

Throughout my run, my leg ached but it was nothing that would make me cut my run short. I stopped and stretched it every now and then and I tried not to worry about the 13 miles at race pace. While I was out there running, I realized what an overall appreciation I have for running. Nothing makes me feel more like myself than when I’m outside, just running. (I completely understand how Forrest Gump felt when he said “I just felt like running”.) Whenever I’m not running because of an injury or there aren’t enough hours in the day, I really suffer mentally. Granted, I am very thankful for my cross training, but it just isn’t the same. Running makes me feel like me.

During my run this morning, I decided to write running a letter. Running needs to know how much I appreciate it. Call me cheesy or call me silly, but I think the other runners of the world know where I’m coming from. Here you go – my love letter to running 🙂

Dear Running,

I want to let you know that I think about you all the time. Not just one in a while, but ALL the time. Most of what I do in any given day, is done with you in mind. My meals are planned around you, my Friday nights are planned around you, and at least one day of the weekend, is devoted entirely to you. Today I tried to remember what I did on Saturdays before we met, and I can’t seem to remember. Truth be told, I don’t think I want to remember.

I realize from time to time, our relationship can be rocky. Sometimes I take you for granted, and I push a little too hard.  It’s obvious you don’t like it because you go away for a few weeks. For all the times I have mistreated you, I am sorry. But we are in this relationship together, and I am always learning how to make us work best. And isn’t that how any good relationship works? We stick together through the good and the bad.

Today you reminded me of why I love you so much. After being apart for two weeks, our 14 miler was just like old times. Nothing makes me feel freer, more like myself, or happier than finding our stride and effortlessly running the streets of Raleigh. Because of you, I believe in the power I have to do amazing things. You have given me the strength and the confidence to take on this thing we call life. Thank you.

As the years go by, I know our relationship will change. Things will happen and we might not be able to spend so much time together. That’s okay because I know you’ll always be there. And we may not be able to set the PRs that we did in our younger years, but our relationship will be on a different level. A more mature level. I look forward to growing old with you.

I have only known you for 11 years and they have been the best 11 years of my life. You helped me to realize who I am as a person and taught me a thing or two about life. For that, I am forever grateful. I’m looking forward to our next 50+ years together. Together, we will be amazing,

Much Love,



After 2 1/2 weeks of no running, I was happy with this. I got in a few miles at 7:00 and a few at 6:53. It was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Raleigh!!


Next week is my last 22 miler before race day. Fingers crossed I can stay healthy!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Fun Friday

Happy Friday everyone! It’s a beautiful day here in Raleigh, NC and the humidity has finally dropped to normal October levels. Hooray! On this fabulous day, I wanted to dedicate a short post to the importance of fun and being silly.

If we let it, life can stress us out. Luckily, I’m pretty good at staying stress free, but when things start to feel like they are consuming my life, I freak out. For example, these past few weeks I’ve been SOOO worried about race day and how my leg will be for my last two long runs. I’ve probably given myself a few gray hairs just thinking about it. But the truth is, race day will come no matter what. There are 30 days between now and then and all I can do is be proactive in my recovery and be thankful that running is a part of my life. And instead of stressing these next few weeks, I need to remember to have fun and to be silly from time to time. After all, fun can be a powerful tool for transformation when tapped appropriately. Just check out these Nobel Peace Prize recipients who incorporate fun into their awesomeness.

And now here is the inspiration for post my today. I LOVE how these four people motivated random strangers to be a little silly and incorporate some fun into their day. All with a little help from Rocky of course…

(The little old ladies are my favorite!)

So while my situation may not change today, the least I can do is change my attitude. I’m off to download Eye of the Tiger and then run up and down the 12 flights of stairs to my house. Who cares if my neighbors think I’m a little silly 🙂 Maybe I can get them to join me…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Happy Trails and Happy Running,


City of Oaks Marathon

Today is October 4, 2012 and that means one month from today, November 4, 2012, is the City of Oaks Marathon. As I mentioned a few monts ago, after I ran this race in 2009, I vowed never to do it again. Oh well, never say never.

Raleigh Running Outfitters posted this video on their Facebook page today of the course. It got me excited and luckily, you can’t really tell the hills from the video 🙂

Even though I know  the course is hilly, I went to Marathon Guide to see what others had to say. Here are some of the comments:

Going into the race, I expected a lot of hills. Now that I have finished the race, I got what I expected. This course is very hilly. I have run Boston several times, and I truly believe this course is MUCH tougher but very similar to Boston.

The course is very difficult; there are several very long uphills throughout the race, so make sure you can handle those before signing up

If you’ve read anything about this race, you already know what you’re facing: hills throughout the course. The hills present a nice added challenge to the already challenging goal of running a marathon. This was probably the hilliest course I’ve run that didn’t have ‘Mountain’ in the title.

COURSE: Absolutely fantastic. A great mix of urban and scenic. Some challenging climbs, but I would much rather have a pretty course than something flat and boring. The three miles in Umstead were some of my favorites. The half runners missed some of the best parts.

The route has changed this year and is suppose to be flatter. I ran part of the “flatter” course a few Saturdays ago and in my humble opinion, it’s still pretty darn hilly.

This year will be the sixth year for the City of Oaks Marathon. The course record for the men is 2:29:33 and for the women is 2:55:22. Last year my running idol Kelcey Carlson won second place in 3:05:13. I’m hoping she will be there again this year – she always inspires me 🙂

I’m ready for November 5, 2012. I think I might eat pizza!

My Running Inspiration – Local New Reporter, Kelcey Carlson


Happy Trails and Happy Running,


96 Years Old and Still Running

A few weeks ago after a visit with my grandparents, I wrote that tragic accidents aside, I was going to live to be 100 (and a healthy 100 year old at that). I don’t know if I’ll still be running at that age, but I’d like to think so. Heck, if the running gods permit, I’ll be like this lady – 96 and running.


The Indian woman, who was born before World War 1 ended, is taking part in Aritel Delhi Half Marathon on September 30. According to an article posted on The Asian Age Web site, Kaur decided to give running a shot thanks in part to her 75-year-old son, Gurdev Singh, who lives in Canada, and is also a runner. (She started running when she was 90).

When I first read the article (and the many others reporting about Mann Kaur), it seemed to me that she was running the entire half marathon. I spent quite a while trying to find her finishing time, but instead saw this video which made it a little clearer. She ran 4 kilometers of the half marathon – which is still an amazing accomplishment. And in addition to participating in the half marathon, she also holds the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meter events from the World Masters Championships. Mann Kaur reminds me of a point Chris McDougall made in his video – women become better runners as they get older and the distance increases. Kudos to Mann Kaur!!

Photo Source: Competitor


Happy Trails and Happy Running,


And I would like to leave you with a random quote for the day: “I expect to pass through this world but once, any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now, let me not defer it, nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”   Be nice to a stranger tomorrow 🙂 

Conventional Runner Wisdom

I’ve recently decided that many things we believe to be conventional wisdom, really aren’t such great words of wisdom after all. Maybe that is because I can easily become persuaded and when I find something to get behind, I go all out. Heck, after a few too many PETA videos, I stuck to vegetarianism for years and even went vegan for a few months. However, that was in my younger days, and as I approach the wise old age of 30, I think I’m finally starting to figure things out. And I digress…

Two things recently have got me thinking about what we as runners believe to be conventional wisdom. First, Wheat Belly by William Davis and second, Waterlogged by Tim Noakes. I’m not here to go into a detailed review of either book but let me just say that I’m never looking at bread and water/sports drinks the same.

I decided to do a search tonight for unconventional runner wisdom. I came across an awesome blog post from an Ironman triathlete who trains on less than 12 hours a week. Oh and he can still finish in sub 9 hours. It’s a great post and well worth reading but if I could sum up his approach to training in as few words as possible, I would say the following: have a purpose with each workout, be intense, and quantity for the sake of quantity isn’t worth it. Check out Sami Inkinen’s Secret Sauce here. And in addition to being an awesome triathlete, he’s also the founder of Trulia.

I’m starting a list of the things we often think of as being conventional runner wisdom and if you have anything to add, please share!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,