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Posts tagged ‘sports’

Want

Yesterday I ran like I haven’t run in almost two months. I ran one of the hilliest courses I know and I ran it at a pace that was kind of fast for the hills and easy pace I had originally planned. As I ran up one of the steepest hills, as I wanted to stop and walk, as I questioned why I wanted to hurt when I was suppose to be going easy, I told myself no 3 hour marathoner got there without a little hurt, no Ironman crossed the finish line without a little suffering, and my running hero, Ariana Hilborn, didn’t go from a 4:30 marathoner to Olympic Trials qualifier by walking the hills. Pain is just a part of it. Embrace it.

Love Yourself

Happy Trails & Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: No running today. Tomorrow will be my longest run since February. I can’t wait!

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The Necessary Steps

Currently I’m on vacation with Mario in Oregon Wine Country. Therefore, my last few posts were written pre-awesome trip. I haven’t had a chance to write about how my running world has been going since we left way too early Friday morning.

Yesterday I finished Chrissie Wellington’s book, A Life Without Limits. Chrissie has been an inspiration to me for probably about 5 years. Partially because of her amazing Ironman record and partially because of her very contagious smile. She is truly inspirational. There were many notes and bookmarks I made while reading her book and many lessons I took away. As my running is starting to progress in the right direction, this one lesson in particular stands out to me: We have our goals but we have to take the necessary steps in order to reach our goals.

Last week I started running again. It has been a very exciting and happy time for me. I knew I wouldn’t overdo it because we were going on vacation and I wouldn’t have the chance. (Oh but I can always find a way.) Saturday morning Mario and I went out for a 5 mile run. I had already done a 3 and 4 miler so 5 easy miles along the beautiful Oregon countryside seemed very doable. We ended up getting lost and did a little over 6. No biggie. Hip felt fine, weather was beautiful, and there were llamas, deer, horses, and cows for scenery. No complaints.

Lot of happy cows in Oregon

Lot of happy cows in Oregon

 

After a cross training day yesterday, another run today seemed completely reasonable. Maybe I shouldn’t have set out along the same 6 mile route but I did. As I found myself checking my Garmin, I had to make myself reign it in. Several things went through my mind: take the necessary steps, build that massive aerobic base (thanks Predawn Runner), enjoy the scenery, and Chicago is over 6 months away! Chillax! I can’t go from nearly 6 weeks off to dishing out 7:30 miles. I have to take the necessary steps. I need my base building. Once I was able to wrap my head around this, I slowed down and really enjoyed my run. I have nothing to prove right now. I only need to find consistency with my running. It’s actually a very nice change of pace.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Here are some pics from our trip so far… I’ve eaten way too much food!!

Dinner at Jory in Oregon

Dinner at Jory in Oregon

 

Oregon, Day 1 of our Trip (AMAZING weather!!)

Oregon, Day 1 of our Trip (AMAZING weather!!)

 

Day 3 in Oregon

Day 3 in Oregon

 

 

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

My First Race as a Spectator

As cliché as it sounds, I honestly believe everything happens for a reason. Although it isn’t always easy to see or understand, there is a reason for our ups and downs. A little over one year ago, I ran my last 20 miler before Boston and had big hopes for my upcoming marathon. There was no way to know it then, but I’ve since had my first DNF, my best marathon, a half marathon PR that resulted in pretty bad injury, and my first experience as a race spectator.

Sunday morning was suppose to be the marathon where I proved to myself who I am as a runner. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I had the opportunity to be a part of everyone else’s excitement. It was a bittersweet moment that I believe was meant for me to experience. I learned a lot of things sitting along the sidelines and I found a new appreciation for what exactly a race represents.

As Mario and the many other runners headed off for their race, I decided to walk around and observe all of the other things going on. After seeing the beer garden being set up, one really big truck being unloaded with water, a band setting up their equipment, and cutest toddler ever walking around with her mom, I decided to sit and meditate.  It was a beautiful morning and I needed to find it within myself to be happy with where I was – a spectator cheering on my husband, my friends, and a lot of strangers.

Having my quiet time

Having my quiet time

After my much needed quiet time, I headed back to the finish line to watch the runners as they started to cross the finish line. I wanted to be right there from the time the first runner crossed the finish line to the time all of our friends crossed the finish line. I’m not exactly sure why, but it was actually an emotional experience for me. Words can’t even express how excited I was when that first runner crossed the finish line in 1:08:49. Can you imagine all of the hard work, miles, obstacles, workouts, ice baths, and foam rolling that man did? And then to win a race? What an amazing feeling!

Check out the winner!

Then as more and more runners crossed the finish line, I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster with every single person, mainly because I could relate to what they were going through. Some people puked, one guy fell to the ground, and one lady, who looked like she may have been 60 years old, crossed the finish line in less than 1:30:00 and looked like she had hardly broken a sweat. Some were first time racers and others were achieving new goals.

Runners congratulating one another

Runners congratulating one another

But perhaps the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that the race director was there congratulating every single runner as he or she crossed the finish line. And in addition, all of the other runners were congratulating each other. It didn’t matter the time on the clock and it didn’t matter who beat who. What mattered was that everyone had shared an experience, whether good or bad, and they had all survived.

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

This, I know, was something I was meant to witness.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery Update: I am feeling so much stronger than I have in the past few weeks. The yoga, strength training, and interval workouts are amazing and are helping me to keep my sanity. My hip is in less pain than it was yesterday and I know tomorrow will be even better.

And for your amusement, here is a pic of us riding home in a car seat. It was too much effort to take them out. Thanks Jessica and Charlie for the lift!!

Riding with Bill in the car seats

Riding with Bill in the car seats

Competitiveness

There is something about competitive sports that I really enjoy. Yesterday, while watching the beginning of the ACC championship game, I actually got emotional. (Someone is making a few amazing commercials.) The drive, the determination, the hard work, the absolute strength that those athletes show is absolutely amazing. I still remember a few years ago watching the Boston Celtics play the Miami Heat when Rondo dislocated his elbow. He kept playing and continued to put forth his absolute best, 100%. There is something indescribable about watching an athlete (or anyone else for that matter)  give it their all. It warms my heart.

Today during hot yoga, I had a revelation. I finally realized that what I thought was the genuine quality of competitiveness, is actually the flaw of comparison. I made a point to place my mat in the front corner right next to the heat vents. I didn’t want to  be distracted by looking at how much better someone else was than me, or how much better I was than someone else. However, when I found myself looking to see if anyone else had a better dancer pose than me, I finally started to see my problem. Then when the instructor said we could come out of camel pose whenever we were ready and my initial thought was I want to be the last one coming out of camel pose, I came to understand that this is a serious problem.  Really Tracie? Why are you competing/comparing yourself with the sweaty stranger across the room who you don’t even know? Why are you getting your value from how much better (or worse) you are than someone else? Shouldn’t it be more like you held camel pose for as long as you could today and that’s all that matters?

Over our delicious paleo dinner tonight, I shared my thoughts with Mario. I then came to realize a few more things… I have a fabulous older sister who I love dearly. She is one of my best friends and she is one of the most giving people I know. Growing up, however, I always followed in her footsteps and did all of the same things she did. I took a lot of the same AP/Honors classes, took the same dance classes, was a member of the same dance team, etc. I was pretty decent at all of those things, but I was never as good my sister. I’m 99.9% sure I spent my childhood years comparing myself to her accomplishments. On the flip side, I loved to play basketball, rollerblade, play tennis (or at least act like I could), go hiking, ride my bike, or anything else that required being outdoors. (I have no doubt in my mind that my poor neighbor hated when I called her every single day to come out and play.) I never followed through (as a younger Tracie)  with the things that excited me the most and therefore, I don’t think I’ve ever really understood what I do well, other than by comparing myself to others.

I know I’m a good runner but I compare my times with the other local 29 year olds. I know I’m good at yoga (thanks to all those years of dance), but I’m often times too busy comparing myself to someone else to appreciate the fact I’m trying my hardest in that 100 degree room. Whenever I get beside anybody on any cardio machine at the gym, my goal is always to go faster and harder. I get my value by comparison. Not good.

My point is that perhaps I have done well with my running because I want to be near the local fast runners. But if I can just let go of comparing myself to them, maybe I’ll be able to find my best and not my best in comparison to… I need to give it my all and not just enough to be better than someone else. As Mario reminded me tonight – coaches always tell their athletes to give it 100%. It doesn’t matter the outcome. It matters that they give it 100%. Recognize your flaws and improve upon them. I mean isn’t that what Michael Jordan did?

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

 

Recovery Update: I’m reading Chrissie Wellington’s book and it’s keeping me happy and focused. Hot yoga is helping with that too. 🙂

Run for Your Life

I am sitting here watching Run for Your Life, a documentary about how Fred Lebow started the New York City Marathon. (Yes, this is my Friday night entertainment.) I’m about halfway through but I absolutely  have to stop and type this… Runners back in the late 60s and early 70s were bad ass. Period. They exhibited the pure essence of running, which I often times feel modern day runners (myself included) miss due to gadgets, training plans, and all of those other “running things.” They ran just to run. It’s actually quite beautiful to watch.

The second thing I have to say is I think I just found my new running hero – Nina Kuscsik. She was the first woman to run in the New York City Marathon, the first female winner of the Boston Marathon and a two time winner of the New York City Marathon. Besides being an awesome runner, she also didn’t start running competitively until she was 30. I’m still 29. She gives me hope.

There is a clip in the documentary where a reporter asks Kuscsik where she finds time to run. After all, she did have three children to care for. Her response was perfect. She said while other women may get a babysitter to go to the parlor or out to lunch, she gets a babysitter to go out for her long run. Obviously that served her well because 80 marathons later, she has been inducted into the Runner’s Hall of Fame. You can read more about that here.

I’m off to finish the movie now. It’s soothing my injured runner’s soul. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery Update: My hip continues to get better. I went to the gym again today and focused on some lower back exercises, in addition to cardio of course. It’s interesting to me how I am so much more aware of the muscles on my right side than I am on my left side. I’m working towards finding that balance between the two.

Brominated Vegetable Oil

For all of you who drink Gatorade, y ou might be interested to know that PepsiCo is removing the controversial ingredient brominted vegetable oil from some of their Gatorade drinks. Why you may ask? Well because the ingredient is patented as a flame retardant. Yummy. The ingredient is said to be linked to neurological disorders and is actually banned in the EU and Japan.

Stephanie Storm, The New York Times:

Brominated vegetable oil is banned as a food ingredient in Japan and the European Union. About 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain it, including Mountain Dew, which is also made by PepsiCo; some flavors of Powerade and Fresca from Coca-Cola; and Squirt and Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. PepsiCo said it had no plans to remove the ingredient from Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew, both of which generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.

I spent some time looking through the ingredients labels of the many different flavors of Gatorade. I only saw B.V.O. in the Orange flavor. I haven’t bought Gatorade in a long time but kudos to them for taking out the ingredient. However, my next question is when are they going to remove red 40 and yellow 5? I think beet juice and turmeric would be a good replacement. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Since I ran 21 miles yesterday and I woke up feeling pretty run down this morning, I only did weights and a little cardio at the gym this afternoon. Originally, I wasn’t going to do any cardio but then I saw there is now a stair climber beside the treadmills. I absolutely love the stair climber for some reason. Not one of those little crappy ones but the big ones with the rotating steps. I couldn’t resist and had to jump on. Then when somebody got on the one beside me, I had to up the level x10. I couldn’t help it 😉  It really is one of my favorite cardio machines.

 

In the Long Run

Seth Godin certainly doesn’t write about running. However, I love reading his blogs. They are short, insightful, and well written. His blog post today, The Long Run Keeps Getting Shorter, was particularly interesting to me. Here it is:

Seth Godin:

In the long run, we’re all dead, sure that’s still true.

But the other long run effects–in the long run, you get caught, in the long run, kindness wins out, in the long run, we learn about who you really are–all of those are happening faster than they used to.

The short run has always been short (and it’s getting shorter still). The real change, though, is how short the long run is getting.

My favorite part, “…in the long run, we learn about who you really are…”. Whether talking about life or 20 miles on the trails, I find this line to be very true. I always finish a long run feeling slightly wiser than when I started.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Today I did something that I haven’t done in in forever – I slept in until 7:30am! The roads were super icy so I knew I was going to have to run tomorrow. However, the sun came out this afternoon and melted everything away. I got in an easy 3 miles. My splits were 8:01, 7:49, and 7:13. (Stats are here.) I’m definitely feeling more aerobically fit and hope I can stay this way for race day. Tomorrow will be my 20 miler. As always, I’m looking forward to it!

Thursday Motivation

Ray Lewis is motivating. Period. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his speeches make you believe you can do just about anything. His speeches, his quotes, and his actions on the football field make me think I could run a sub 3 hour marathon first thing tomorrow morning and be back at the gym later that night. One Ray Lewis speech and I’m the next Shalane Flanagan.

When we were watching the football game Sunday night I told Mario before the game started,  The Ravens will win. Ray Lewis will win. He wants it bad enough. (Please keep in mind that I don’t follow football that much. I just know what a motivator he can be.)

Every morning when that alarm clock goes off at 4:45am, I ask myself how bad do you want it? We always have choices and if you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen. Motivation and inspiration are a powerful thing…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Today was a short tempo run. A half mile warmup followed by 4 miles at 6:50 – 7:00 pace and then a half mile cool down. Stats are here.  It was a great run minus the people I literally ran into (they really refused to move and when going fast, it’s not so easy to slow down). I made one girl scream bloody murder, even though I said excuse me three times. And two guys, who I know saw me coming, stepped right out in front of me and I ran into one of them. I am one of those laid back people who never gets mad but there is something about people who flat out refuse to move when I’m running down the street, that make me say bad words and throw my hands up in frustration. I guess I’m glad I wear headphones because they probably say a thing or two about me as I go by. 🙂

Haile Gebrselassie

Many of us are familiar with Haile Gebreslassie and his world record performance in Berlin back in 2008. A 2:03:59 marathon is nothing short of amazing. However, I did not know much about Haile outside of his superb running performances until a few days ago. CNN did a special on Gebreselassie – Haile Revealed. Although done before his 2008 WR performance, it still highlights Haile’s incredible character. Simple, happy, giving, inspiring, motivating, hard working, funny… those are just a few words I would use to describe him.

Each video is about 7 minutes long, but they all make you want to work a little harder and be a little better. Check it out…

Part I

Part II

Part III

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Well today was no fun. I ran to the greenway to complete my 8 miles and it was closed!! Why the heck it was closed, I have no idea. But it left me running circles around downtown Raleigh just to get in the 8 miles. My legs are starting to feel like they could use a good massage. I wonder if I can convince Mario?? Stats are here.