Mind Dump

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It’s been a while since I have done a true “rambling” post and this blog is called runner’s rambles after all isn’t it?  I have had a lot on my mind lately looking back on Boston training and completing the Boston 2 Big Sur challenge and I don’t really know of a better way to get it out of my head then to just start typing.

So here I go…

2011 Oakland Marathon 028 

I think the 6 20+ mile runs I did during training really helped me succeed in both Boston and Big Sur.  I think they gave me a lot of endurance to be able to recover fast and run long again.  I also think they helped me a lot mentally since the mile markers weren’t so daunting in either race.

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I consider Boston and Big Sur to be my “happiest” races.  They weren’t my fastest (and not my slowest either!) but I never once had the feeling of “I am never doing this again” during the marathon.  In so many of my tough races, where I bonked or had a tough race, I questioned why I do this.  That never happened in either of these, I loved every single second.  Sure I got tired and wanted to be done running, but it was a good tired, a tired that you should feel after running 26+ miles, not a I hate this tired.

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I bounced back really quick after Boston but am definitely having a harder time bouncing back after Big Sur.  I think the second marathon definitely was harder on my body, as it should be!  I am sure that week of pigging out and being lazy recovery didn’t have anything to do with it either {sarcasm}.  Completely worth it!!!

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I wrote my Afraid to Race post during Boston training and it was definitely true then, I was so afraid at what those races would “mean”.  When I train for marathons I put a lot of significance of tune up races and what they mean to my upcoming marathon, which I know I need to stop.  Sure they are helpful, but they are not the end all of what you will be able to accomplish in a marathon.  For some reason training for Boston I put extra pressure on myself since I felt I had to be up to a certain standard to be there.  This was all completely mental and not true, but since finishing Boston I feel like it took that pressure off and I now want to race again!  I feel like I am starting fresh again if that makes sense. 

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A friend told me the other day “You’re inspiring me to learn when to take running seriously and when to just seriously enjoy running.”  I loved that.  Sometimes I think I am too good at running just for fun, but in the end if you aren’t having fun then what’s the point.  I do like to run “seriously” and I definitely want to continue working hard, want to get faster and really want to see some PR’s this year, but if not, I just want to do my best on the days I go out there to do my best.  On the other days when I go out there to have fun, I will definitely be having fun.

What’s on your mind today?

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13 Responses to Mind Dump

  1. Amanda May 11, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I’ve been doing the whole serious run/ seriously fun contrast for each race I come up on. Now that my speed and strength are starting to show up as my weight keeps falling, I feel like I have more of a choice there. In the end I just think about how I want to feel when I cross the finish and that’s what helps me decide. Great random post :)

  2. Marlene May 11, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Great “rambles”. :)

    I ran a lot of 20+ runs this cycle too (haven’t counted yet – better get on that for my training recap post on Friday!) and I have already felt the difference in my endurance. Hopefully it will really make a difference on Sunday.

    {SUNDAY! EEEK}

    I’m looking forward to reading all about your serious AND fun running this year. Sounds like you have plenty of both lined up.

  3. Corey @ the runners cookie May 11, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I love this post and need to get better about not treating every race like a “PR or bust” race. Having other goals (including simply having fun) is something I’m working on!

  4. Denise May 11, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    i think there’s a good balance out there between running for fun and racing. you’ll find the balance and then have the best of both worlds.

  5. Michelle May 11, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I love your rambles :)

    For some reason this post made me REALLY excited about my marathon training! I’m hoping to get at least 2 20+ mile runs in, but maybe more if I can swing it!

    I tend to be a perfectionist and it really makes running interesting sometimes. I LOVE that it’s ALWAYS a challenge, but I can get really frustrated in myself because I’m not making HUGE improvements or PRing every race. I think this whole marathon thing is going to make it even more interesting. I do really need to learn the difference between racing for competition (with myself) and racing for fun.

  6. B.o.B. May 11, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Great post! I am with you on being a fun runner. Sometimes when you see others who are such solid “hard work” runners you wonder if you need to step up your game. I certainly think that in your case you have managed to do both. BTW, the photo of the beer and pretzels looks devine! Kudos on both of your races. You rock!

  7. Trish May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    What’s on my mind today?

    a) love how your blog has become my go-to read when I need to look at something other than spreadsheets and presentations during the workday;
    b) I want to be as fast as you one day and *eventually* get to Boston;
    c) it will certainly not happen overnight and I have a long journey ahead;
    d) I need to be easier on myself and have a nice balance of serious + fun *especially* during my early stages of running bug resurgence + injury recovery + base re-building;
    e) you are awesome and truly an inspiration, so thanks for that!

    How’s that for a mind dump?? Have a great rest of the day and congrats on Boston + Big Sur :)

  8. Kelly May 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    wowza – 6 20+ mile runs? That’s awesome. I heart the last two sentences of this post – they sum up what I want my running to be so nicely, and what I think you are so great at doing :)

  9. Bethany May 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    That’s awesome Aron, there are so many other ways to judge how you did in a marathon that have nothing to do with time! People get way too hung up on the whole time thing. I remember my first marathon where i felt super happy the whole way, it’s a GREAT feeling! yay! You really did do such a great job with those 2 races. Again, congrats!!

  10. stoppingfordaisies May 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I think that’s great those runs made you so happy!! I think that’s definitely important, and I hope one day I’ll feel happy about running that far lol.

  11. Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner May 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I hear ya. I’ve only raced two 10Ks in my life and I took over 5 minutes off of my time when I raced the 2nd one in March (44:38) after taking off almost 5 months after a stress fracture in my pelvis.

    So I feel some internal pressure to either be that fast again or even faster. I know that sounds nutty, but I need to remind myself that it’s cool to just go out there and have fun!

  12. Amanda - RunToTheFinish May 12, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    i definitely spent a really long time just doing it for fun and so i never really got faster or met new goals…then I got too in to goals, so i’m learning that middle ground too :)

  13. RoadBunner May 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    I like to think I have a good balance of serious and fun running. I know I get bored or burned out if I do either too much. Balance is definitely good :)

    Mmmm.. salty pretzels…

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