Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Run Easy is an Oxymoron"

That's what she typed in her last email. She doesn't even read Runner's World, but the fact that she hi-jacked one of their advertisements/quotes made me laugh (no, running isn't easy :)

Week 3 of training is in the histroy books for her and she once again hit another milestone by completing her newest long run of 4 miles. That fear of trying something new and sucking at it or not being able to finish struck again. I told her the same thing this week that I had last week. What were you going to do, stand out there until someone gave you a ride? No, of course not. One way or another you were going to complete the run. She chose to finish the last mile with a negative split.

Her confidence has been boosted now as she realizes she has the endurance to complete here leg of the relay. The question now is how hungry is she and what kind of time goal will she set?

She still doesn't feel like a runner, but she exhibits many of the characteristics already. She refers to this as "training" not practice. She never goes for a "jog" as she knows it is a run. She is now fast enough that she can vary her pace with fast days and slow days. She even refers to her easy days as "only 2 miles" when she once struggled to WALK 1.5.

There is of course the downside of running. The cold weather and increase in training volume I believe are causing some stiffness. She has also metioned an ache in her knee. We have decided she should keep training if the pain recedes, but if it should bother her on future runs to take some additional rest days. She does a warm-up and cool-down as instructed with some easy stretching, but nothing is fool-proof.

This week she has a long run of 5 miles on tap for Saturday or Sunday (she hasn't decided yet). She is a tad bit nervous as the weeks continue to build her long runs in her training program and looking ahead makes her feel discouraged. I think deep down though she is pumped about adding many more milestone to her running resume. That little voice in her head telling her "You can do this!" is getting louder with every mile she runs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Mom Is A Runner!

Starting with the obvious, it has been a few days since my last entry. Things have certainly changed and although I have so much to tell. I shall only reveal the gold medal of changes in my life and the new direction for my blog this year.

My grandfather, on my mother's side was diagnosed with late stage lymphoma in the fall of 2007. Heartbroken we all made trips home to Wisconsin to see him and encourage him to continue fighting the cancer. Miraculously he did it! That's when it came to me. As my mother and I sat hanging out in her living room late in the spring of 2008 I broached my idea.

Everyone in the family (my grandfather's 5 daughters, their husbands, their kids and their kid's kids) should all return to Wisconsin for the Pine Line Marathon in April and run 3-5 relay teams wearing shirts that honor my grandfather and his perseverance over the years. Surprisingly, my mother jumped at the idea. I was a tad shocked and figured the idea would stay just that, an idea, but she contacted her sister, my AD and she too loved the idea. Needless to say we now have recruited 4 teams of 6 relay members from our family to return home to run for my grandfather on April 25, 2009.

AD and I have taken to dividing up the teams and providing long distance motivation and answering any training questions participants may have. We even devised a training plan for my mom, who is running a leg of 4.3 miles.

Now here is the kicker. My mom only ran track her senior year in high school and the farthest she raced was 1 mile. She has also been a smoker for 30 years!! We had been encouraging her to quit for many years, but were unsuccessful. However, she made the decision that if she was to run this relay she would not only have to increase her fitness, but she would have to quit smoking.

My mom had been walking on and off with "The Bails" a few mornings each week starting with a mile in December, but when New Year's Day hit she took the plunge. She asked us for a training plan and committed herself to this. She has cut down to smoking half as much as she was and has gone from walking at an easy pace to run/walking. This past Sunday a milestone was reached. She covered the farthest distance run/walking EVER in her life of 3 miles. She also completed every run on her schedule for the week. I am undoubtedly the proudest daughter on the planet.

WE INTERUPT THIS BLOG...Just got a message that she completed another run this morning right on pace. YAY MOM!!!

Anyway, it is so amazing to see her evolving as a runner. Yep, that's right, MY MOM IS A RUNNER!!! Just like me. She doesn't like running in the cold, but she hates it less than the dreadmill. She worries she might go out too fast and not make it back on a long run, but she does. She struggles to overcome her addiction with smoking, but she is doing it and not giving up.

Her first race is St. Malachi in March. She will be doing the 2 mile with my dad. She has watched me do the "big" races (Akron Marathon, Akron 2-person relay, Cleveland Marathon and Philadelphia Marathon) and been a part of the excitement from a spectators view and now she is going to get to feel the excitement as a "racer."

I can't tell you what it means to me to see my mom out there pushing herself to a better life. She says she thinks about me and how watching me cross the finish at Philly inspires her, but I then remind her that it was my family and their strength that helped inspire me!!)

So if you haven't guessed it I am going to update my blog with her story. She does check my blog so please feel free to leave comments for her or training tips (it would be greatly appreciated).