Let Track Season Bring Out the Gamer in the Runner: Each event, different variables to master

Lately it feels like my brain is running way faster than my legs could ever keep pace. That’s a darn shame, because one would certainly opt for running a new PR rather than mentally shouting, “SHUT UP!” to your brain at 2am and imploring it to go to bed. ;)

Speaking of PR’s, track racing season is getting to be in full swing. Some people have a bit of a phobia when it comes to the track, others find the monotony of double-digit laps, well, monotonous. The thing with track though, is it BLEEDS speed…as a runner, how can you not love that?
runner yelling track
Each distance is unique, duh, the number of laps to the race you’ll be running presents its own challenges. The ratio of speed to endurance, the contrast between utter lactic ONSLAUGHT from the gun versus the more gradual building of the pain in the 10k. Both grueling, just in a different way.

Each race has a ‘volatile’ factor. This would be the crucial moments and laps that can make or break your race. The margins of time where if you’re not ON IT you may have very well lost the race even if you’re still got laps and laps to go.

There’s not just ONE moment in time of course, but for the sake of brevity let’s highlight a few of the volatile factors for the events:

* 1500/Mile: That dang third lap. Here is where the pain of the pace has already set in, the ‘taste’ of the finish isn’t quite close enough to kick in. Your mind starts to dauntingly anticipate that grueling last lap. COMBAT: Know that third lap is going to suck, know that it will make your race if you can pass the people letting their brain wander.
running in bunhuggers
* 3200: Right around laps 4-6 it is easy to let your brain check-out. It’s prime time to make a move, surge and establish a gap on those who either went out too fast for that first mile or the poor souls who are just letting their mind wander. COMBAT: Go out on pace the first mile and throw down a move…remember the beauty of negative splits.

* 5k: It’s funny how running that first mile can feel so easy, a breeze, too easy. The middle mile is where you need to wrangle your brain and keep it FOCUSED. Much like the 3rd lap of the mile, the middle of your 5k can lapse into a fog if you’re not careful. COMBAT: Don’t let yourself get pulled out too fast the first mile, stay mentally engaged the middle mile, and anticipate the cold slap of pain somewhere after the second mile. It’s funny how it can suddenly sneak up on you, but be prepared for it and stay strong through to the finish.

Each race has its own set of ‘volatile’ factors…that’s what makes each and every track distance so fun. It’s a test, as is everything with running, testing mostly yourself. The competition is there as an opportunity to propel your performances forward…feed off of their presence.

Track is awesome, just don’t let the distance of the race pull a fast one on you. Be prepared and then enjoy the unique challenges of each event.

1) What is your favorite track distance to race?

2) Pick a distance I didn’t highlight and share one of their ‘volatile’ factors.

3) Share a ‘volatile’ factor that I didn’t address for one of the above races.
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The Distance Runner’s Warm-up: Get your body and your mind prepared to run FAST

The runner’s warm-up is a unique time. Before a hard workout, and even more-so for a race, there’s a lot that needs to happen both physically AND mentally.

A warm-up tells your legs to ‘wake up’ because they’re about to start running fast. Gradually notching down the pace, starting with the relaxed running, prepares the legs, rather than a complete SLAP in the face…the shock of a hard 400 off the bat. Got a bit of the lazy bug or backwards thinking towards the warm-up? (ie: Thinking that you’re ‘saving energy’ for the workout/race is backwards logic…hehe)
turn left on the track
* Physiologically: Those super expensive cars can brag about going 0-60 in seconds, but your body doesn’t work that way. Sort of like you wouldn’t want to get ripped out of bed and chucked into the middle of a tempo run, your legs need time to adjust to, “Okay, time to run,” then “Okay, time to run FAST!” The science behind it can get wordy, but basically muscle function and glycogen burning (sourcing energy) works most efficiently when done through negative splits. Start slow (ie: running a warm-up) and work into those faster paces.

* Feels ‘easier’: Thanks to that science, your muscles, once introduced/eased into that pace, will make the same times feel relatively easier. You will be able to then run faster off of a proper warm-up. I think all runners are down for that.

* Mentally prepare: The warm-up is also a time for runners to get their heads on straight. Visualize what you want to accomplish during the workout, quell those nerves and keep them in check. Remember that you will stay relaxed and controlled when the pain is setting in.

What is a ‘real’ warm-up?

Studies are proving there should be more elements to your warm-up routine than just some easy running. Runners want all of those muscles alert and engaged before the hard running starts.

* Easy running: Aim for at least 15 minutes, I like at least 2 miles under my legs.
* Dynamic stretching: Do some good stretching, here is where the more dynamic ones like leg swings are perfect.
* Drills: Skips, fast feet, etc. A series of drills will wake up the nervous system and get your legs firing faster. [I did an article on that HERE]
* Strides: Here is where you start to bring the pace down with a series of strides. Stay controlled and make each one progressively faster.

By the time you hit the line for that first interval or race you want to feel loose and ready to go. You don’t want to ‘waste’ the first interval, or mile of your race, because you’re still warming-up.

girl on track

Get your head on right. ;)


A bit more on the mental piece of a warm-up.

A runner’s warm-up is a process; over time you want to have the series of elements (stretches/drills/etc.) down so well you could do it on auto-pilot. This routine establishes continuity for your muscles but it also gives your MIND something concrete to focus on.

Focusing on the routine of your warm-up is an effective way to stay calm beforehand, rather than get overly worked-up with nerves. Especially on race day, by the time you start your warm-up you should feel ‘safety’ with it…it’s something that is the SAME, that you’ve done over and over again. Proof that you’ve made it through plenty of hard workouts, managed to fight through the pain, and you’re capable of doing that again.

A runner’s warm-up is the little cup ‘o joe the body needs to perk the heck up and get ready to run fast…it’s also a time to get your head on right and ready to tackle that workout or race! :)

———-
The Boston Marathon tragedy is still haunting our thoughts and flooding runners with emotions. I am continually reminded of the good in humanity, in stark contrast to the horrifically dark side. While we will never be able to understand why or how a person or persons may be driven to lash out in this manner, hold tight to the reality that for every ‘bad seed’ there are many more with good intentions and of a benevolent manner.

Keep running united, keep running for Boston, and keep supporting all effected as best you can!
———-

1) What’s your warm-up routine look like?

2) How do you use your warm-up to get your head screwed on right and ready to roll that workout/race?

3) How has your warm-up evolved over the years?
For most it’s gotten longer…haha.

4) What is something you’ve seen/heard/read that help shed some light over this recent tragedy…or given you some hope for humanity?
The immediate coming together of runners all over, and not just runners either.
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Boston Marathon 2013: Runners United Through Tragedy

It’s been over 24 hours since yesterday’s horrific incident clouding the Boston Marathon, yet I’m still unable to put the right words down. I was not there, so anything I can add is merely an abstract opinion; though I do believe everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings.

In the build-up to Boston, just like all other running fans I was excited. The Boston Marathon is one of the biggest, in name, numbers, and history. I wrote about it, shared one of it’s most legendary runners’ perspectives on it, and held hope that an American Woman would finally bring a win back to the States.

I was charged with anticipation; that’s one of the great things about the running community, I, thousands of miles away from the starting line, was able to ‘taste’ just a smidgen of the electric energy swirling around Boston.
boston marathon 2013
While an American Woman didn’t bring home a win, in the first wave of finishers the closeness of the running community and shared kinship, especially between training partners, was displayed poignantly by Kara Goucher’s and Shalane Flanagan’s finishes. They wanted to know how the other did.

Runners are able to understand each other in a unique way. Even if they are strangers, even competitors on the same course, they are able to sense things about the other…words unsaid, with a glance. There is something to be said for shared agony, suffering, whatever in the heck you want to call the ‘pain’ of racing.

And then it happened. I am thankful that no one that I immediately ‘know’ was harmed. But I feel that as a part of the running community, that isn’t quite correct. A runner knows a runner.

A runner also knows just how crucial a support network is. So a runner knows the supporters, spectators, cheerers, and any spirit moved to absorb the electric atmosphere of the Boston Marathon.

I was not there. I can’t even begin to understand the ‘whys’ behind this and I can only imagine what it was like to be there.

Though, I try my best to find what positives there can ever be. There isn’t a positive in this case, but rather just a glimmer of something redeeming. I will say this, here is this legendary event holding wonder and lore and now it is stained with this awful cloud.

Rather than let the smoke and ashes suffocate the event and the running spirit, we are able to come together, mourn the tragedy but not let it erode our kinship and sense of community. The 2013 Boston Marathon will no doubt be one of those things forever tinged with loss, sadness, and no doubt anger.

Though it will not stop us from running. It will not revoke the meaning behind the marathon. Don’t let the anger swallow you, don’t entirely lose hope for humanity yet, be thankful for what you have, those precious moments of life and the ability to run for another day. Not that running is the end-all by any means…it wasn’t running that was the target, but I’ve always found running a loyal companion to take me through life’s hardships.

Hold your loved ones dearly, let them know. Hold you ability to use your able body quite dearly too. Runners are instilled with an indomitable spirit, a fortitude like none other, but a closeness to each other quite unique.

Runners will do what runners do…run through the hardships to get to brighter times.
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Runners With Sights on the Boston Marathon

Runners have a love affair with the Boston Marathon. Rightfully so, even if you’re not a marathoner, heck, even if you’re not a runner you’ve heard of the famed race. The hills have names, the stories of races past are epic.
tough runner
I recently wrote a piece for Competitor.com: Four Boston Marathon Tips From Dick Beardsley. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this one for a few reasons, 1) the 1982 Boston Marathon, coined the Duel in the Sun, between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley defines mental toughness 2) Dick Beardsley was one of the most supportive and inspiring people to me after my car accident. He had multiple accidents that left his legs mangled, yet he is a runner today. He’s one of the sweetest, most positive people and his encouragement through my recovery meant the world to me.

In the article Beardsley noted how his parents, both non-runners, had gifted him with ‘to Boston Marathon’ funds upon his graduation from high school. When he finally did get to the starting line he recounts, “I’ve never been to a race where when you step off the plane you can feel the excitement in the air! I’ve spoke with Olympians that have told me they would rather win Boston then a Olympic medal!”

Racing brings out that electricity, the nervous excitement of hopes, aspirations, goals every runner has. The goals they’ve staked so much of themselves in, sweat out the miles, the grueling hard workouts, this brings anticipation. The anticipation is mixed with a bit of pressure (you need a little self-inflicted pressure, just enough, not too much though) because the day is finally here. Be it Boston or any race, a runner needs thrives off of that energy, the nerves, it ups the ante, and can fuel your performance.

The Boston Marathon has its hills named, but what aren’t named are the downhills. Ahhh, those tricky descents are deceptive because one would ‘think’ rolling downhill, letting gravity do a bit of work is ‘easier’. But as Beardsley stressed when asked of a crucial training tip for runners aiming for Boston, “TRAIN YOUR BODY ON THE DOWNHILLS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!” Hill climbs work the quads but so do downhills; ironically the pounding force of the downhill can beat you up just as much, maybe more.

It’s also easy to carried away and blitz out too fast with those steep downgrades. In the article Beardsley cautioned runners how NOT going out too fast is infinitely more important on the Boston course.

Runners should train for their race course. I wrote all about that in THIS post, because there aren’t races on a treadmill, you want to be prepared for the conditions you’ll be racing your competitors on.
kara goucher and shalane flanagan
This year’s Boston Marathon, I won’t be shy, I’m not going to even try to hide the fact that I’m rooting for Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. Hopefully this year one of these amazing women will bring Boston back ‘home’ in that an American will take the title.

For all those racing, be it the Boston Marathon or otherwise, have confidence. You’ve done all the work you can do by the point you reach the days and moments before hitting the starting line. Rather than look back with any doubts or ‘I should have dones’, push that from your mind. You can’t change the past. Only look forward, recount the tenacity for which you DID do the work, be realistic with your goals for the race, but don’t be afraid to reach high enough to make yourself feel a little uncomfortable…nervous maybe.

When the gun goes off, feed off of the energy around you, thrive off of your competition, let them pull you along, and RACE!

1) Have you run the Boston Marathon? Are you running this year?

2) How do you use the atmosphere of race day to fuel your performance?

3) Share a mental affirmation, or something you tell yourself, to make you feel confident when you hit the starting line.
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Running Mentally Engaged: Keeping your brain in check when the pain sets in

Running is tough. Racing is tougher…downright painful. The brain has a funny little way of dealing with that pain, it gets sneaky and tries to coax us into slowing down.

Runner Brain: “I want to run a PR, dang this hurts, but I’m going to put the work in and stick this out.”
Annoying Tired Brain: “Well, fine, if you’re not going to listen to my complaints and willingly slow down I’ll just find other ways to trick you into it!”
your brain on running
Oh the brain, you slippery little eel, you.

* Self-Defeatist Thoughts: This would be when you’re running and your mind starts screaming in your ear, “You seriously can’t keep this pace up for any longer.”
* Dwelling on the Future: This is when your mind has on repeat, “Umm, and HOW much further do you think you’re going to be forcing me to do this? Think again buster, you CAN’T last that many miles more!”
* Bargaining: When your runner brain and your sane tired brain get into a war, your lame-o brain argues, “C’mon, just ease up a little, trust me you’re not going to feel guilty or regretful about it, just ease up.” This is also known as a lie, because your runner brain knows you’ll feel regretful.
* Wandering: This is when your brain full-on goes on vacation, if you catch yourself mid-race thinking, “Wow, I really like the zebra print on that lady’s shirt, you see her, the one sitting on the 20th row of in the stands.”

A Wandering Mind = A Slowing Body

See, when the mind decides to check-out and wander like that what inevitably ends up happening is the pace starts to lag. Running through pain takes a special kind of focus, focus on forcing yourself to relax, to keep pushing, to stay ENGAGED in the race.

When your mind wanders it is sneakily distracting you from the battle race at hand. My latest article at Competitor.com is all about staying focused during a race so you then, race your best: “Got a Wandering Mind? Here’s How to Stop It”

Read the article, but I’d like to add that a wandering mind is much different from zoning out during a race.

tired runner

Aww, c’mon, I’m only joking…kinda. ;)


I’ve talked about how zoning out is a mental trick to pushing through the pain. Zoning out:
* Locked Eyes Ahead:
Find a runner ahead of you, stare at a single spot on their back and refuse to let any distance open up between you and the spot.
* Breathing and Form: When you zone out you think only of the tangibles you can control and NOT the pain from lactic acid. Thinking about standing tall, keeping your form in check, and breathing controlled are all tangibles to think of.
* Think Relaxed: When you zone out you want to let go of any tension; don’t have your fists and jaw clenched, don’t have your shoulders in your ears.

Finally, zoning out is the epitome of being ENGAGED in the race, you’re single-mindedly in it.

A wandering mind is where you’re brain is anywhere but in the race. It is, in reality, just a backwards trick that your tiring brain is using to get you to slow down.

Don’t fall for it. Running often comes down to mentally ‘beating’ your own brain. Push past the pain, get through those intervals, drive for the finish line, and stay present in your race…because THAT is how you improve as a runner. THAT is how you set those wonderful PR’s. ;)

1) What is an example of a trick your brain has tried on you to get you to slow down?

2) How do you one-up that slippery little eel of a complaining tired brain?

3) What is an aspect of zoning out? How do you stay zoned during a race and stay ENGAGED throughout?

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Rule Your Running Terrain: Because races aren’t done on a treadmill

Unless you’re racing on a track, there’s SOME kind of terrain you’ll need to be prepared for come gun-time. Even during track season athletes have much to gain from varying the terrain on their workouts.

  • Power and Speed: Hills build strength and when taken to flats that translates to speed. That same kind of logic applies to doing repeats on grass, the times may be ‘slower’ but you’re working harder and building strength.
  • Injury Prevention: Running on softer, more forgiving surfaces helps reduce impact and thus lowers your chances for injuries in the long-term.
  • Diversity: Running is a very repetitive action and mostly only working in a single, horizontal plane. At least by varying things slightly you’re able to give your body a bit of diversity; if you fail to do this, smaller muscles get weak and imbalances become injuries in waiting.

Those are all general reasons why mixing up your running terrain is a good idea, but if you know your actual race course will have key elements you’ll need to be prepared for, it’s even more important to introduce those same obstacles in training.
turn left on the track
Hilly Courses

  • Uphill Repeats: It take power to get up those hills; including uphill repeats into your routine may seem like an obvious but not all runners actually DO hill work, or they don’t mix-up the kind of work that they do. Think of hills in a three-pronged approach, similar to your regular running workouts. 1) Do 100-200 meter hill bursts, allow for full recovery between each repeat; this is your speed session for the week. 2) Longer, 600-1600 meter hill repeats for your endurance-focused interval sessions. You could also do tempo runs uphill (on a treadmill set on a grade if you don’t have an actual course). 3) Including rolling hills into your easy days ‘sneaks’ hill work in.
  • Downhill Repeats: Many can overlook just how taxing a lot of downhill on your race course can be. If your race has a significant amount of downhills (Hello, Boston Marathon!), be sure to get used to running on the decline; your quads will be working even if you don’t ‘feel it’ right away. You can include some downhill repeats in your training; just be careful in terms of injury because downhill running does increase the forceful pounding of running.
  • Form: Running hills makes it even more important to have good form; when running uphill maintain the same effort that you would but decrease your stride length. When running downhill, make sure that you’re not tensing up and causing yourself to ‘brake;’ rather, relax and let the momentum of the decline help do some of the work for you.

trail runner
Trail running

  • Ankles and lower legs: Trail running is about as diverse as running can get, twists, turns, awkward foot-plants aplenty. Here is where you need to be sure your ankles and feet are used to landing in various positions. The way to do that is, well, running trails, taking turns, and including mobility work outside of running.
  • Core and Mobility: To reduce your risk for injury when running, you want to have a strong core, be flexible, and have as much range of motion as possible. Schedule time for strength training, dynamic stretching, and drills; not only will it help safeguard you against injuries it will improve your running performance.

Tracks, Roads and the Elements

  • Tangents: Some math logic here, but running longer adds more time to your race results. Road races are measured off of the shortest possible marked distance, so look for those tangents and don’t run wider around turns than you have to. On the track, unless you’re going to be boxed in, do your best to not needlessly wander into outer lanes.
  • Drafting: Even on the calmest of days drafting makes a difference, mentally it’s much ‘easier’ to sit behind someone else and let them do the work. If it’s especially windy, find a body and tuck in behind them!
  • Weather Conditions: The conditions of race day can make a HUGE difference in your performance; not only should you take these into consideration for your race-day pacing goals but train in the same kind of conditions. For cold races be extra certain you do a full warm-up to make sure your muscles are properly warm and ready to hit those faster paces.

Until the day that all races are held on treadmills, runners should be mixing up the terrain of their workouts and runs. By tailoring your training to your specific race course you’ll be setting yourself up for even better results. And hey, who doesn’t want to run that much faster and have a bit of an edge over their competition? ;)

1) How do you train for your course? If it’s for the track, how do you add diversity to your workouts?

2) Do you prefer road races, track races, cross-country, or trail races?

3) How do you plan, adapt, or prepare for various weather conditions?

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Runners, Racing, and Kicking Butt

For runners the weekends usually mean two things: races and long runs. In honor of the first I’ve brought you a little running cartoon.
runner girl
Okay, okay, I’m not suggesting we all become snarky, “I just kicked your butt” runners…or, well maybe I am. How about I want you all to go out there and kick@$$ but let’s keep the majority of the snarky comments in our heads??

Oh, even better, you can bring all your runner snark here and let it out! ;)

Go, run, kick some butt! :)

———-
Racing ultimately comes down to an inward battle, it’s a matter of MENTALLY pushing further than what your body is ‘telling’ you it is capable of. HERE, HERE, and HERE are all posts relating to improving your mental toughness.

More cartoons and my Runner’s Strip comic HERE! :)
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1) Pick a race distance, and where does the real pain start to set in?
I’ll pick a 5k…that first mile really is deceptively ‘easy’…second mile you start to feel it, then BAM if you were ‘stupid’ that first mile, you REALLY feel it that third. The last .12 then is lost in a fog of, “Where is that darn finish line?!” ;)

2) If you have a race on Saturday, do you come back with a long run on Sunday? Or how do you work a long run in, if you do?
I suggest, depending on how hard the race was, you either do a longer cool-down and make Saturday the double-duty race/long run day. Or if it’s early in the season long run on Sunday after race.

3) What does your running weekend look like?
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Running and Bunhuggers: All part of sensing it’s GO time

Runners, when the bunhuggers come out it’s GO time.

People not in the sport of track and field, or non-runners, have asked, “Why in the world would you want to run in those?!” I’ve heard little kids giggle and balk, “She’s running in her underwear!” Even body conscious women have sneered, “Oh, look at her, who does she think she is?”
running in bunhuggers
Let me explain…bunhuggers are not

* worn in an attempt to steal your boyfriend.
* meant as some kind of ‘in your face, runners are HOT and we know it!’ statement.
* stupid.

Think of running in bunhuggers like running in your spikes.

You know the second you slip your feet into those spikes, lace them up, and head to the line it’s RACE TIME.

I’m sure there is the element of wind resistance, and yes, bunhuggers are comfortable. Trust me, there is nothing worse than racing with a wedgie…or running with shorts that bunch up in the front. My friend used to have a term for ‘those’ kinds of shorts, “My thighs eat them.”

A large part of racing is mental. Part of distinguishing a RACE from any other run is making it FEEL different. The energy, the electric buzz of the spectators, the nerves, the excitement, the competition, all of the feed into the race atmosphere.

Running your warm-up is just as much physically preparing your body as it is MENTALLY prepping you, getting into the zone.

When you kick off those bulky training shoes and slip on the spikes, you FEEL the race coming. As you strip off those sweats to the bunhuggers underneath you SENSE it…it’s almost here.

Run that final stride, poised and set at the line, it’s ON!

“Look good, feel good.”

1) Female runners, what do you prefer to race in? Do you run in bunhuggers, or have you?

2) On the other side, have you made fun of the bunhuggers? Do you find them silly, and not understand why people would run in them?

3) Guys, men get teased for the shorty running shorts in general. What style shorts do you prefer? What do you say to the dorks who make fun of running shorts?

4) What is a part of your ‘process’ in amping up for a race? What is something that makes you FEEL like it’s race time?

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Runners Saying it Like it Is: “PR’s are fun”

After running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in New Orleans Shalane Flanagan Tweeted something all runners can relate to, “Running PR’s are fun!” Succinct. To. The. Point.
kara goucher and shalane flanagan
Flanagan followed it up in THIS Competitor recap with, “I think anytime you can run a personal best, that’s something special. You can’t take those for granted.” So true. The thing with PR’s is they become quite rare. Elusive like that unicorn that poops out gold bricks. ;)

They are especially rare as you improve and get faster. Sure, you start running and the improvement curve is such that you could lop minutes off of successive 5k’s like it’s nothing. That incentive to keep stepping up your game becomes more enticing, you cross the line fresh off of your last PR and think, “Okay, bring on the NEXT!”

From there the PR’s probably still come, but they are in shorter intervals, no longer full minutes. They become more hard fought, you must start reaching into new levels of mental toughness. You get more calloused as a runner both physically and mentally.
peacock runner
It then gets to the point where those PR’s stick for awhile. Weeks, months, years maybe. Funny how much HARDER you must FIGHT and PUSH for single seconds. Tenths of a second. Hundredths even. Regardless of level, elite or mortals of the world, everyone is fighting for those dang seconds.

Time hangs in the balance, the irony is that as you watch the clock tick down as you barrel for the home stretch on the cusp of what could be a new PR, the seconds FEEL excruciatingly long but they seem to TICK OFF much too quickly. Will you make it to the line in time?

Then there are the days when you know you are a much better runner than the ‘old’ you. It’s been awhile since you dusted off that PR and it’s high time you smash the crap out of it. THOSE races are da## exciting. Running for the finish line you don’t even have to plead or bargain with the clock. You just know.

Those days are what make all that hard stuff worth it. Though the rewards can be tauntingly bittersweet as they don’t come often enough for the distance runner. But it’s okay, you can’t feel too bad for us, because if you STICK IT OUT and then greet that next PR the feeling makes it totally worth it.

Because like Flanagan summed up in a mere four words is quite true and need no further elaboration, “Running PR’s is fun!”

1) Finish the sentence: Running PR’s is…

2) Try to quantify the level of exertion one second of a PR takes to a long-standing PR compared to the minutes you can lop off when you first start.
Hmmm, because I’m the famous mathematician that I am I will say it’s five times the cubed rate of seven factorial.

3) Is there a distance you haven’t raced yet and looking forward to setting a newbie PR streak?
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The Running Super Bowl and Some Lost Manhood

As a runner I will officially say, “Forget the Super Bowl, all the action went down today!” There, I said it, and I’ll stand firm too…bring on the football, body-painted masses! ;)
mary cain 2 mile record
Track nerds will already know that there is a new USA High School Record for the girls’ 2-mile…wait for it…9:38.68 Insane? Yes. Mary Cain just busted that record…all ye men and boys hold your manhood tight, because it’s quite possible a high school (junior) girl could kick your butt.

That was hardly the only action; the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix was promising a big showing in the men’s 3k and mile, and there was USA Cross-Country Championships too. Awesome coverage for you is to be found over at Paul Merca’s Blog for XC and FloTrack’s got tons of Boston related news.

Though, because it’s just too hard to resist, the question remains. Which men are left standing? Do your PR’s best Miss Mary’s Cain’s? Now THAT’S some serious chicking. ;)
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I like cartoons…HERE are more!

HERE are some tips to make sure your own races don’t suck.
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1) Who raced this weekend?

2) Who was a total track and XC nerd and gobbled up the coverage?

3) Do the math…how far could you run 9:38 2-mile pace for?
I don’t like math. :P

4) Share one of your own tips on racing.
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