When Life Hits You with the Unexpected, or a Rainy Sunday

Saturday evening’s forecast for Sunday wasn’t looking like running weather, unless you have really good rain gear or just aren’t bothered by being wet and cold.  So, we cancelled Sunday’s training.  This late in the season, it’s not a good idea to miss a long run; but just like the rest of life, things don’t always go the way you hope.


Does that stop us?  No!!!  We can tackle the challenge immediately in front of us; or we can find an alternate way to achieve our goals.  Both are great options.  Which one are you choosing?


For those of you who ran on your own in the rain anyway today, good for you.  I hope you were dressed well enough for the experience to be comfortable and pleasant.  I put on a warm hat, wore rain gear over my shorts and team shirt, and headed out the door.  Because the jacket has zippers along the sides to allow ventilation, I wasn’t too sweaty under my jacket.  Unfortunately, my rain pants don’t have those zippers, so my legs did feel wet.  However, not a drop of cold rain got through, and I was comfortably warm as long as I was moving.  It was actually quite invigorating and I enjoyed seeing other runners out there in the rain.  I’m glad to know that if the forecast is for rain on Marathon Day, I’ll be ready for it, and that I can give you some tips that are based on real world experience.


For those of you who didn’t venture out in the storm, I recommend some changes to the midweek training plan.  If you have the time on Monday to do the full distance (10 for half marathoners, 15 for full marathoners), go for it.  Make Tuesday a rest day; and scale back the distance on the threshold run for Wednesday.  If you don’t have the time on Monday for the full distance, try to do a run that is a challenge in the time you do have available.  Include a few miles at a faster pace and/or add some short fast sprints.  Then, see above for Tuesday and Wednesday. Keep up the midweek training; challenge yourself; and you’ll stay strong.


I missed you all this morning, and I look forward to seeing you all at next Sunday’s training.



Time for Reflection, and a Helpful Checklist

Think back to where you were with your training back in September.  If I had told you then that by early January, you half marathoners would think 9 miles was easy and you full marathoners would consider 12 to be a break after last week’s 16; would you have believed me?  I believed in each of you back then, I believe in each you now, and I hope you all believe in yourself now as well.  You can all do this!  Next Sunday, we’ll be setting new mileage goals for each group – 10 miles for the half marathoners and 15 for the full as prep for 18 the following Sunday.  So, here is a checklist to help you prepare and finish strong. 


This week

  • Please do some mid-week training. A recommended schedule is on the website as well as in the newsletter; but even if you can’t do all that, please get out there a few times and at least do something.


Saturday Night

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Put a protein bar, Muscle Milk, or some other protein/carb snack in your car/sweatshirt pocket/running belt or wherever you can get to it as soon as you finish the workout on Sunday


Sunday Morning

  • Eat a “good carbs” breakfast and have a drink of water


During the Run/Walk

  • Stay well hydrated. Eat and drink at each of the stops.
  • Do the first mile slowly, and finish with a cool-down mile



  • Stretch
  • Refuel and rehydrate
  • Congratulate yourself for a job well done!




Life Lessons and a Shout-Out to Daniel

Training for a marathon is a metaphor for taking on life’s challenges; and that’s what Daniel’s run this Sunday looked like to me.  Having taken some time off to recover from a back injury (good idea) but not having done any cross training during this time (not such a good idea, but we all learn some lessons the hard way), he showed up determined to complete his longest run ever, 16 miles for the full marathoners.  We started off at his usual pace, but by about mile 10, the break in his training started to take its toll.


What also worked against him was that he was at the beginning of his learning curve as to how much and how often he needed to eat and drink in order to maintain his pace.   I can make some general recommendations, but everyone is different. Some people have a faster metabolism than others; some people sweat more than others.  That’s why it’s really important to do a lot of the long runs.  It’s your opportunity to see how you feel as the miles build, and fine tune your hydration/nutrition plan until you figure out what’s best for you.


It was a struggle, and Daniel could have easily quit and accepted a ride back; but he wouldn’t do it.  He looked inward to find the strength to continue. He looked outward for help and accepted it, i.e., he was running with a Jewish mother who was encouraging (nagging?) him to eat more and drink more, and he took my advice.  He also slowed down, and took some walking breaks.  In other words, realizing that his first plan (run his normal pace) wasn’t going to work, he didn’t use that as an excuse to stop trying.  Instead, he stayed focused on his goal and adjusted the way he was going to get there – just like we all need to do from time to time in other parts of our lives.  He was determined to achieve his goal no matter what; and he did it.  Excellent!!!



14 Miles Under the Stars

The holiday season is behind us, so if your training schedule has been a bit chaotic lately, the time has come for you to get back to your routine.  We’re offering something new to make that transition even more fun, another opportunity to enjoy the mental, spiritual, and physical benefits of being active and working toward a challenging goal.

We are bringing back a much enjoyed tradition of Marathon Teams past, The Night Walk.  Led by David Wiss, our team nutritionist and Beit T’Shuvah alumnus,  our first of two night walks will be this Saturday evening.  We’ll meet at the Hermosa Beach Pier and do a one way team walk to the Santa Monica Pier.  Yes, there will still be a training run on Sunday morning, 16 miles for full marathoners and 9 for the half marathoners, all on the course.  Feel free to do one or the other, or both.   I will be out there for both, and hope to see you all twice this weekend.

The Marathon is less than 11 weeks away! Let’s all start the year off strong.