And I'm ready to take on a marathon baby!
It's been 2 1/2 years since I ran 26.2 and I finally think I'm ready to revisit that monster again.
There are 18 weeks until the DC Marathon and if everything goes my way I'll be there toeing the starting line : )
It's been awhile since I posted but good things have been happening over here that have made me feel up for this challenge.
1) I finally made it back to my pre-baby weight and reached my lifetime weight watchers goal! It's amazing how much easier it is to run without all the extra poundage.
2) I spent a week in Turks and Caicos for our 10 year anniversary and came back pumped and excited again about running!
You wouldn't think a week of sleeping in and relaxing would make me a better runner, but when Taber bought me a book to read on the beach called, "Born to Run," everything changed. He's been trying to get me to read it for 2 years and it took a week without the kids to get me to settle down and do it.
Half way through I thought, "WHY HAVEN'T I READ THIS SOONER?!!!" It was AWESOME!!! It made me look at running through new eyes. It talks about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who run like super humans and yet they aren't slaves to some training schedule, they don't worry about time or pace, they don't even wear running shoes, just sandals! The biggest thing that impressed me though was that they run for the joy of running. Towards the end of a 100 mile race (that they won) they were still smiling as they burned up the trail.
That whole concept of running for the joy of it really hit me. We were born to run. (If you don't believe me, read the book.) And when we take away all the artificial things that we've added to our diets and training regimens, amazing things can happen. I'm telling you, after reading that book I'm seriously ready to ditch my running shoes, strap on some sandals, chug down some chia seeds and run as far as legs will take me! I know that's extreme and I'll have to ease myself into this new style of running but here are some things that I've already started to change:
1) The way I eat. The less ingredients the better. Simple, pure, whole foods. If it came from the ground or a tree, put it in my fuel tank. I've majorly scaled back on sugar and processed foods and am cutting back significantly on meat. (Not ready to go full on vegetarian like the runners in the book but definitely eating meat sparingly)
2) The way I train. My game plan for this marathon is to "Run Less, Run Faster." That's another book and another blog post but basically I'll only be running 3-4 times a week but with a purpose to every run. (Speed work, hill training, or long run)
3) The way I think about running. Instead of being a chore, I'm trying to look at every run as a way for my body to express itself joyfully. (I know that sounds kind of cheesy but seriously, this is what my body was made to do so why not enjoy it!)
4) My running form. Tarahumara runners land on the balls of their feet, they keep their hips dead under their shoulders and engage their core while they relax their legs and let them spin from pivot points in the hips. They stay smooth and level, not a lot of bouncing, and whip their heels up towards their butt. I haven't even come close to mastering this but I've tried in my last few runs and when I do I go faster a lot easier.
I'd also like to start easing myself into some simpler running shoes like Nike Frees or maybe even Vibrams. Right now my shoes are super structured and I run with arch supporting inserts so I'm definitely going to have to ease into this transition gradually, but I'm onboard with the barefoot running revolution after reading this book!
So that's the update! Marathon training started on Monday and I'm a born again runner! ; )