Saturday, May 26, 2012

Its Marathon Training time....

A few years ago, the idea of running 26.2 miles was appealing to me. I figured why not give it a shot, cross it off the old bucket list. I thought I would only want to run 26.2 miles once...after all only crazy people would put themselves through that kind of torture more than once. Well...Once just wasn't enough for me! After successfully finishing 16 half marathons,I decided to take my running to the next level and complete my second full marathon.

 I found this on a blog today and felt that this would be the perfect opener to my new challenge. 26.2 reason why running is so amazing...

1. You have something to look forward to. When you register for the marathon and have it on your calendar, you have something exciting to look forward to. As the marathon gets closer and closer, excitement and anticipation build. You'll probably be a bit anxious, as well, but the anxiety is part of the excitement.

2. Emotional release. Angry? Frustrated? Stressed? Go for a 5-mile run and I guarantee you that those problems will just melt away. You'll feel so wonderful when you're done that you will temporarily forget what you were so upset or stressed about.

3. It's a good conversation topic. When someone asks you how you spent your weekend, you can say "I did an 18-mile training run". It's likely that the person will be in awe of you and you'll have something interesting to share rather than "oh I just relaxed and watched TV".

4. Runner's high. After about 4-5 miles (perhaps a bit more depending on the person) endorphins are released into your system giving you a pleasant "high" feeling. When you have runner's high, none of your daily stresses or problems seem to matter. You're on top of the world.

5. Toned legs. Running is great exercise for your legs. When you train for a marathon, everyone at the beach will be admiring how toned and muscular your legs are.

6. Your neighbor isn't doing it. Distinguish yourself! Fewer than 1 percent of Americans have ever finished a marathon, and you can be in that elite group.

7. You learn to love and respect your body. If you have a poor body image and often find yourself complaining about your body, training a marathon will give you a new respect for your body and what it can accomplish. When I started running, I could only run one mile, and it took me 11 minutes. I was exhausted by the end of it. I was truly amazed at how my body was able to run 26.2 miles when I put the effort into training it.

8. Weight loss or weight maintenance. With all the calories you burn from running so much, you are bound to lose weight. If you are already at your ideal weight, then running will help you keep the pounds off.

9. Mental freedom. Running can be your time to zone out and give your racing thoughts a rest. Or it can be a time where you are free to reflect on your feelings and gain perspective on your life. When you are out running, there are no distractions or demands being put on you by others. Your mind can wander freely without consequence. Just be sure to watch where you're going!

10. Physical health. Training for a marathon requires that you exercise 5-6 times per week. You will greatly improve your cardiovascular health and increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

11. Greater music appreciation. If you like music (which most people do), running gives you an opportunity to let the music flow through your body. I strategically choose my running songs so that they motivate me and keep me energized. Music is often something we play in the background of whatever we are doing. By running, the music will take center stage, and you'll have a greater appreciation of it.

12. Carbs become your friend, not your enemy. Are you sick of hearing about how carbs are so bad for you? When you run long distances, carbs become your best friends. They give you the energy you need to keep running for an hours at a time. Enjoy that pasta dinner while everyone else is ordering burgers without the bun!

13. You can race against Oprah Winfrey. Oprah ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:29. Even if you don't beat her time, you can have fun trying!

14. Demonstrate that you are a highly motivated and committed individual. Prove to yourself and others that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you're on a job interview, casually mention that you ran a marathon (or are training for one) to demonstrate your motivation and passion.

15. Bond with other runners. Once you've run a marathon, you'll feel an instant connection with other marathon runners. It's a unique experience, so you'll enjoy sharing experiences.

16. Improve your math skills. Marathon training requires quite a few numbers: your mileage, your pace and your overall time. Some runners even measure their heart rate with a heart rate monitor. You'll learn to pace yourself across a specific number of miles and you might find yourself doing math in your head.

17. Add structure to your life. Adhering to a training schedule gives your life structure and organization. For many people, this structure can stave off depression and give them a greater sense of purpose.

18. Boost your confidence and self-esteem. Running a marathon is such a fantastic accomplishment on so many levels. It takes athleticism, commitment, and mental stamina. Once you've finished your marathon, you'll feel wonderful about what you've achieved. It will give you the confidence to tackle other challenges in your life.

19. Enjoy the outdoors and the scenery. Spending time outdoors and having exposure sunlight is proven to stave off depression. When you run outside, you have a greater appreciation for your surroundings-- whether they are natural or industrial. If your marathon is not in your hometown, you'll have exposure to a new area.

20. The medal and the T-shirt. You'll have some great souvenirs from your race, including a medal that you can display in your home, and a shirt that you can wear that tells the world you ran a marathon. Most marathons also have photographers stationed throughout the course, and you can purchase running photos of yourself as additional souvenirs.

21. The carb-loading and celebratory meal. Before your long runs and a few days before the marathon, carb-loading (eating foods with a high carbohydrate content) is necessary to give you sustained energy. And when you finish the marathon, it's customary to enjoy an indulgent meal. Go ahead, you've earned it!

22. You'll be able to say that you "did it". For the rest of your life, you will always be able to say that you ran a marathon. This could mean a number of different things to you and others. But whatever it means, you know that you "did it".

23. You know someone who ran a half marathon. The half marathon is quickly rising in popularity. In fact, within the last decade many marathons have added a half marathon option to the race so that more people can participate. Typically, the half marathon has more runners than the marathon itself. Why? Because a half marathon is half the distance, requiring half the training, dedication and commitment. It's much more accessible. Running a half marathon is certainly an achievement, and I don't mean to minimize that. But having run both half marathons and full marathons, I can say that running twice the distance is twice as rewarding.

24. Making more time for yourself. Even if you train with other people, running is your "you" time. Throughout the rest of the day, you probably have people making demands on your time and attention. Running is one thing that you can do for yourself-- an escape from the stresses of everyday life.

25. You become more in tune with your body. When you train for a marathon, you become more aware of how your body behaves and how it reacts in different situations. As you walk around throughout the day, you might be more aware of your stride, or how your legs feel, or how your shoes fit. In the weeks immediately preceding the marathon, you will be especially in tune with your body, as you will naturally have anxiety about how your body will hold up during the race.

26. Crossing the finish line is a feeling like no other. When I saw the finish line in front of me at the end of my first marathon, I felt like gold. I had such a wide range of emotions all at once: pride, relief, excitement and amazement. I couldn't believe that I had actually run an entire marathon. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I would no doubt be a millionaire.

0.2. Experience the power of adrenaline. When you pass the 26 mile marker and you realize that you only have a fifth of a mile left, you get a burst of adrenaline. You may have hit the so-called "wall: during the race, and you may have had times during the race where you thought you simply couldn't run any more. But all of a sudden, you realize you are almost there! The adrenaline rush hits you like a wave and pushes you to the finish line.

So follow me on my journey.   I am sure I will have ups and downs but I will do it.  I will accomplish this goal! It is go time people!!!!

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