This is my first time to hit these “middle miles” and so far they are being good to me. It was the early part of the training when I wasn’t using PowerGels correctly and drinking enough water during the runs when it was hard for me. But I still get a little a lot weak in the knees thinking about me, me!, running more than 13 miles. I ran 17 two weekends ago, and on Sunday, I’m running my first 20 miler ever. And Runner’s Lounge wants to know how I am managing?
I read all the running blogs I can the day before and the day of my long run. Heading about other runners’ struggles and how they are coping, reading about amazing successes inspires me and makes me want to run. So today, in honor of Take It and Run Thursday and the running bloggers who probably don’t know they’re helping me, I’m going to share their sites with you.
Kevin in Texas posts regularly about running, his adorable son, and occasionally, writing. Kevin and I both started training for our upcoming marathons at about the same time (he’s running the White Rock Lake Marathon in December), so we’ve been encouraging each other during the training. Kevin in a lot faster than me, and it is inspiring to read about his efforts to continue improving his speed while training for his marathon. (I’ve promised myself that I’ll do some speed training once I’ve completed The Big One.)
Run, Zuzana, Run
I’ve mentioned Zuzana Tomas, Olympic marathoner, several times in the past few weeks, but she deserve mention again on this list. Tomas shared her pre-race jitters so honestly on her blog, and coming from a frickin’ Olympian! they helped me to realize that even really awesome runners have the same butterflies that I do. Her marathon wasn’t easy, thanks to a hamstring cramp, but I still found strength from her account of pushing through that pain to cross the finish line after 26.2 miles in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Now when I’m experiencing pain, I draw from Tomas’s example of mental and physical strength and push through.
FrayedLaces in Hawaii has done some pretty amazing things, like finishing a marathon after bringing her fractured pelvis to a full-on broken one during the marathon, like planning on running a 10-mile race and instead running a marathon on a volcano (and taking 3rd place out of the women!). She’s fast and has determination. Just like with Tomas, when I’m hurting (and don’t think it isn’t anything broken or seriously strained), I think exotic Hawaiian thoughts, leis, running on volcanoes and find strength. Plus, I’ve hopefully learned an important lesson from FrayedLaces: take serious pain seriously and have it checked out or spend some serious time on crutches.
I’ll Run for Donuts
Topher in the Kansas City area (where I grew up!) likes running and donuts! One of the main reasons I started running and doing for longer distances is the food: When you run 10 miles, you can afford a few extra calories without seeing it on the hips. Topher is also training for his first marathon, the Kansas City Marathon in October. Since he hasn’t run a marathon before, Topher is hitting the same type of milestones I am, plus, his blog is funny. (And since I keep forgetting to show you this, Toper, check out this picture I took for you while in Berlin!)
Even though Vanilla hasn’t actually run a marathon yet, Vanilla inspires me more through his humor. Vanilla makes me laugh with every blog post. Even the witty repartee between Vanilla, Nitmos, and Viper makes me giggle at my computer screen. Here are a few of my favorite Vanilla posts.
The 9 Types of Runs: Runs to shoot for and runs to avoid
Pick-up Lines for Runners: Need a date and looking for a fit man or woman? This post is sure to help.
The Dual Runner Family: Marriage advice and playing the race card from Vanilla? Who woulda thunk it?
Set Bowels to Liquefy I love a good poop joke, and Vanilla certainly delivers. Plus, lately, running has been giving me the runs, so this is hitting extra close to home.
Morgan Gets Thin
For some reason, running with the goal of losing weight has never been a big motivator for me. I always ran with a race goal or a clothing-size goal. But when we moved to Germany, I lost 10 pounds before I even realized they were gone. It wasn’t running related, just a change in lifestyle. And that’s what Morgan in Kansas City has done. She used to be “the big girl” but one day decided she didn’t want that title anymore. Since May 1, 2007, she “started eating less, eating better, and moving more” and lost 100 pounds! In her blog, she charts her struggles with food, struggles which I also share, allbeit on a lesser degree. I have always known that I don’t eat like I should for reasons other than being hungry, control most often being the main item missing from my plate, so it is reassuring to read of someone else with that struggle.
More than I am reassured by my shared struggle with food (although hers is much more difficult), I am inspired by her resolve. She shares the dark, unsuccessful days, but also continues to report the successes.
Sarah Jo Austin
Sarah is my running partner. Well, she was my running partner when we lived on the same continent. And on Saturday, she will compete in her first triathlon. Sarah’s dedication and passion for running has always rubbed off on me and it continues to do so over the miles through her blog, the comments she leaves on mine, and emails. I couldn’t do it without her.
I can’t end this post without mentioning that there are so many other friends and family who continually encourage me through emails, Facebook, and Twitter; it’s not only these bloggers who keep me going when the going itself is rough. It amazes and moves me that people all over the world, most of whom I’ve never met, touch my life and keep me running when the going gets tough, steep, or painful.