Big Changes. More Running.

Some things have changed:

1. In April of 2007 I ran my first marathon in a time of 4:05. It was a good, respectable time for a recreational runner. I had hoped to break four hours, but at mile 16 I revised my goal and decided I’d be completely satisfied if I lived to see the finish line. At the time there were no thoughts of becoming a repeat marathoner.

2. In only two years I have whacked 58 minutes off that  time.  If you would have told me back then that I would become a RUNNER, that I would log 75 mpw and running avg. 7:30 miles on long runs, I’d tell you were crazy. Just plain crazy.

3.  Running used to be just running. I would say, “OK, I need to run today” It all felt pretty much the same. But now running has nuance.  Trail running, hill workouts, track workouts, slow runs, fast runs, flat runs and hard runs all have a distinct character and distinct goals. I think  more along the lines of, “Today I want to run trails because I’d like to work on my overall fitness and plus, I have run around the bridges three times this week and if I do it once more I’ll scream.”

4. Running shoes are now part of my monthly budget.

Somethings remain the same:

1. I still fail to follow any kind of concrete training plan (perhaps I should?). I form a loose plan of what I’d like to accomplish in a week and I keep track of my miles.  I’ve read Daniel’s Running Formula, Pfitz Program, Higdon’s Plan, and I think they all have great ideas, I just can’t seem to find the fun in sticking to a specific program.

2. I still feel like a newbie! In a town full talented fast runners  – Kara Goucher lives in my zipcode, yo! –   I feel pretty average and unfit in comparision. But hey, I don’t mind!  I eat dinner regularly with a man who ran a 2:39 at Boston and my running club is chock full of very speedy ladies and gentlemen. It’s a source of never ending inspiration.

3. And I still have cravings, fat days, PMS and days where I only want to wear PJs. I somehow thought that being such a serious runner would exempt me from all of that. Oh, how wrong I was. In fact, I think being more in tune with my body has made me more sensitive to my off days and the added mileage can send my body into an uncontrollable tail-spin of sugar cravings. Does anyone have a good remedy for that last one? I could sure use some help on that!

4. I still have trouble with my shoe laces coming untied in races. It seems that no matter how often I race, sometimes I just forget to double knot.

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About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in marathon, running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Big Changes. More Running.

  1. aron says:

    you are amazing girl… those are some serious accomplishments. watching how much you have improved really is exciting, especially for someone like me still pretty new into the game. i always think well heather did maybe i will be able to run that fast someday 🙂

    its nice to know you dont follow a strict plan, i have been all about the plan but am kind of considering making my own out of a couple… we’ll see.

    my husband and i have running shoes in the budget now too!

  2. Ana-Maria says:

    Wow, that is serious improvement. You work so hard and it shows. It’s also impressive that you never get injured yet you don’t follow a plan (or maybe “bc” you don’t follow a plan). You must be intune with your body and running what feels right at the time. That’s a great skill to have. As far as the sugar cravings, moodiness, etc that come with the increase/decrease in mileage, I think those are all normal and once you accept them, plan for them, and know they , too, will pass, you’ll be OK. I was shocked that I had a few really low days after the marathon, where all I wanted to do was hide in bed, but those passed and I am back to my baseline self. I am learning that is part of marathon training and I am fine with that. Good luck with your training and can’t wait to hear more! Ana-Maria

  3. Wow! You seriously belong to running’s hall of fame. You have come a long, long way in such a short time. Good luck for many more PRs!

  4. Irish Cream says:

    Heather, I just have to reiterate what Aron said . . . you seriously give so many of us out here hope that we, too, will be able to improve immensely and accomplish incredible things. Granted, I think it takes the average human a bit longer to make those improvements than you–you are an amazingly dedicated and extraordinary runner. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

    And as for the sugar? I wish I had a solution! The best I’ve come up with is to let my thin as a rail boyfriend have a nice big helping of something, and to allow myself a bite or two of it–but then to stop there. It usually helps satisfy the craving without too much damage being done!

  5. Aileen says:

    Way to take stock of all that you’ve accomplished. It’s pretty inspirational to me!

    I wish I could help with the sugar. I’m addicted to cookies.

  6. JimR says:

    Part of the fun is taking the ingredients and making your own recipe, then seeing how it turns out. We don’t need no stinking plan. Plans are cookie cutter and only meant to be one of an infinite number of ways to get to a specific goal. Youve outgrown ‘plans’ anyway, you’re exploring your potential and there are no plans that accomplish that. I think your best bets are inclusion of group workouts that push you and offer support and motivation for long runs, and then everything else is to your taste alone…which I think is basically what you’re doing now if I read your blog right.

    It’s sugar, you’ll burn it off next run. Don’t worry about it.

    Shoelaces, can’t help ya there.

    Shoes, I wear ’em ’till they fall apart. I think of them as new at 1000 miles. OTOH, it may not be the wisest of things I do.

    I managed to hold your MP for exactly half the distance last Sunday. I can’t imagine myself trying to sustain that for another 13.1. And you’ve got much more improvement in ya yet.

  7. michelle says:

    Heather,
    Love this post. Actually LOVE your whole blog and how real you are. So glad to have found it. Such inspiration!!! Can’t wait to see what you do next. Hope your recovery is going well 🙂
    Michelle

  8. modhealth says:

    I used to have insane sugar craving. Now, I eat a lot of fruit and don’t think twice about sugar. A lot meaning like 2 bananas, 2 oranges, 10 large strawberries, a carton of blackberries, and a bowl of pineapple. It might seem like a lot, but it takes the physical craving for sugar away!

  9. Teresa says:

    You know, that is really encouraging reading this. I don’t follow a training plan either and I’m still new at this. We’ll see how I do with my first marathon. I hope 2 years from now I will still be posting and hooked on running like you.

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