*Ready for more random?*

As the week comes to a close, I am compelled to share another round of randomness. Things I’ve been thinking about, obsessing over, craving, etc., this past week. Some running related, some not.

Let’s go!

:: Just a couple of days ago, I shared this image of the Boston Marathon race route:

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The Boston Marathon Course Map

When I plan my routes, I obviously take hills into consideration, but having this constant reminder the past few days made me wonder how my routes compare to that of the route I’ll be running in Boston. A quick Google search later and I discovered a cool site that allows you to create a running route that also shows you its elevation profile. It’s kind of cool if you geek out on stuff like that like I do! You can find that website here: www.us.maypometer.com

:: Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a couple of times about my recent realization that running specialty stores, among other retailers that offer free classes and such, are a goldmine for free training opportunities. What I discovered a few days later when I ventured into such a store to purchase a new pair of running shoes, is that the staff are also a goldmine of experience and free knowledge!

Casual conversation, starting with “what are you training for”, turned into a lengthy discussion about what I’m currently doing for training. For the most part, he seemed to think I’m on the right track. However, he made a comment to me that stuck with me for days and made me reconsider maxing out with a 20-mile training run. He told me that what people don’t realize, is that when you only train up to 20 miles, you still have more than a quarter of the marathon left to run on race day.

WHOA, good point! I hadn’t thought of it that way.

However, there is a lot of research suggesting that anything over 20 miles puts you at greater risk of injury, requires too much recovery time, it doesn’t seem to have any additional aerobic benefit in the long run… I could go on.

Here are a couple of articles on the subject if you’re curious:

Are you putting too much emphasis on the long run as part of your marathon training?

How long should your long runs be during marathon training?

While most of my research into the matter concluded that most experts do not recommend running more than 20 miles, this is what is driving me to consider it: from the wise Hal Higdon,

“Every runner should be free to train to the limit of his or her ability. Good luck covering the extra miles if that is your choice.”

I’ve decided that if I can continue to be mindful in my training, I have nothing to fear from adding two or three more miles to my training cycle. I’m compelled to find out just what the limit of my ability is and will be updating my training schedule accordingly.

:: I may have been a little excited about an excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate on Valentine’s Day…

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Can’t get enough!

Dark chocolate, and chocolate in its original state, cacao, are high in antioxidants, serotonin, which is a compound that promotes the feeling of pleasure, and can act as an anti-inflammatory. Who needs excuses to indulge a little? Well, just in case, this article on the health benefits of chocolate gives the go-ahead so enjoy!

:: This comes as a public service announcement to occasionally step outside of your comfort zone…

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Pick me, pick me!

Long story short. I did not get picked. BUT, I did go. And while I didn’t impress the casting agents with a professionally produced head-shot, modeling portfolio, or stunning good looks, they were impressed with my mileage and Boston qualifying time. (Note to self: perhaps lay off the chocolate!) Stepping outside of your comfort zone is not an easy feat but I would have rather not got picked over not have gone at all. Seek that space that resides just beyond your comfort zone. Don’t wonder what if?!

:: Okay, I’m well aware of the controversy surrounding the release of the film 50 Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but I’ve become completely obsessed with the Ellie Goulding song, Love Me Like You Do, from the soundtrack. Amazing!

With that, a new week soon begins! Make it great!

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2 thoughts on “*Ready for more random?*

  1. That 20 mile + or – is an interesting one. I think both arguments are valid but just don’t let another runner or experienced runner make you question your training. I personally prefer a 20 AND 22 mile in my training and think that for both you and I our mileage and experience can warrant it and be done safely. However, for beginner/intermediate runners I always max them out at 20 miles and it is perfect for them. They ask how they will that last 6 and I always tell them the science of the plan is proven to work 😉 Since you qualified and rocked with your last marathon at 20, you know it works too! I always remind people that the Hansons max out at 18 and they have awesome marathoners. So at 18 you are technically ready too 🙂

    • Agreed!!! I think that as long as an experienced runner is mindful about adding in those few extra miles, there isn’t too much to worry about. It is very individual and very much dependent on trial and error so you just won’t know until you give it a try, right?!

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