The Countdown Begins – What to Expect Over the Next 3 Weeks

A big high five to all of you who came out to do the distance today in the light rain. Felt good, didn’t it? To those of you who couldn’t make it, and/or didn’t do last week’s long run, please talk to Anna or me so we can customize a training plan for you for the rest of the season.

In order to be ready for Marathon Day, you need to be, in the words of renowned running coach Jack Daniels PhD, “peaked and well rested”. If you’ve been training consistently, you’ve peaked. You can all do the distance you’ve been training for. Now it’s time to start cutting back on the distance, maintaining your strength and conditioning, while giving your body time to rest and rebuild. It’s now time to start the “taper phase” of our training season.

Weekly mileage will get shorter. The Sunday run will be shorter next week for the Marathoners – 14 miles on March 5, and 8 miles the Sunday after that. Half Marathoners will hold at 10 miles for next Sunday, and cut back to 6 miles on the Sunday before the Marathon. The midweek runs during that last week will be much shorter, with no more speed/power workouts.

A few recommended action items:
1) If you will be starting from Dodger Stadium, get some warm throwaway clothes or a blanket at the BTS Thrift Store so you can stay warm as you wait for the marathon to begin.
2) Avoid injury. Roll, stretch, and do NOT run/walk through any pain. If you are experiencing any discomfort when you run or walk, please see Anna or make an appointment with Liddy Health & Fitness.
3) Eat extra protein. Your muscles have been working hard. Help them rebuild.

And most importantly, reflect on how far you’ve come in the last 5 months. You worked hard. You achieved a lot. And, you are just a few weeks away from achieving your big goal. It will be an experience that will prove to you that with hard work, self-discipline, and support from the people around you, you can achieve huge goals.

Go Team!!!

A Heartfelt Thank You to Each of You

 

Congratulations to each of our team members who completed our “prove to yourself that you can do this” experience on Sunday. This was our longest run before Marathon Day. I hope this was a meaningful experience for each you. You each have your own reasons, and your own plan; and on Sunday you all got to where you wanted to be.  That’s a lot to be proud of, whether it’s the marathon, your recovery, or your journey through life.  I’d like to take this opportunity to let you, our team, know what your accomplishments and hard work mean to me, and how grateful I am to be part of this experience.

 

At the beginning of each season, I see team members from prior years once again showing up because they believe in the team and what it stands for.  They understand the power of community, that they can inspire others, that they can make a difference.  I also see all the new team members. Most have never done long distances before, or if they have, it was ages ago.  I can sense the feeling of “Can I really do this?”  I see people who don’t know each other, and know that some feel isolated and alone.

 

Over time, I watch people connect with each other and make new friends.  I see people high-fiving their teammates as they pass along the route.  I see supportive comments on our Facebook page.  I see people offer to go on midweek runs with each other.  I see us building our own community.  Those “Can I really do this?” comments start becoming “This is the farthest I’ve ever done.”  “I never thought I would be in a marathon.” “I know I can do this.” People are learning what they can accomplish by committing to a goal, accepting help from our Marathon Team community, and working hard; and they are believing in themselves.  The feelings of doubt and isolation are turning into feelings of community, empowerment, and pride.

 

It is also amazing to me to see how much BTS support we get.  Anna and Nicole don’t get paid extra to support the team.  This is all volunteer work on their part, and they’ve done an amazing job getting everyone and everything where they need to be when they need to be there, and offering encouragement along the way. Amy’s cooldown sessions, and personalized fitness advice have helped many, including myself. They, along with all of the volunteers who are there to cheer us on and staff our “recharge” stops, are absolutely critical to our success. I am also thankful to all of the BTS staff and community who are supporting us behind the scenes and will be there for us at the Block Party on Marathon Day.

 

Watching and listening to all of this happen makes my Sunday mornings the most meaningful part of my week. Your hard work, dedication, and success is my reward.  I am grateful to each of you for all that you’ve done over the last five months, and will continue to do until Marathon Day and beyond.  You’ve created memories that will always stay with me.   Thank you.

 

GO TEAM!!!

This Sunday Will Be Our “Yes I Can Really Do This” Day, and Thank You Volunteers!

If you’re at all nervous about the fact that the schedule says next Sunday’s route is 12 miles for the Half Marathoners and 20 miles for the Full Marathoners, welcome to the club.  That’s a long distance, and when it’s the first time you’ve taken on that challenge, it can be daunting. That’s why approaching it with the right mindset can make a huge difference.

You don’t have to think about it as a 12 or a 20 mile run.  We will be having rest stops roughly every four miles; and you can all do four miles, no problem.  You just need to do it 3 times if you are a half marathoner and 5 times if you are a full marathoner.

All kidding aside, those rest stops are there for a reason.  It’s your opportunity to recharge your body as well as your mind.  When you get to each stop, be sure to hydrate well with both Gatorade and water.  Also, starting at the second stop, have a GU at each stop.  Take a break; walk around a bit; stretch.  Chat with the volunteers and your fellow runners/walkers. Celebrate your success.  You’ve made it this far.

In between the rest stops, listen to your body. Pace yourself.  Slow down or walk if you need to.  It’s not a race.  This is about finding the pace that’s right for you.  Also, if you do start to feel sharp pain anywhere, please get yourself to the nearest rest stop and wait for a ride back.

As you run/walk from stop to stop, I also encourage you to focus your mind on the positive. Look inside to find the strength to keep going; it’s in there.  Visualize yourself achieving your goals.  Think about how far you’ve come.  Think about how hard you’ve worked.  Recognize how much you can accomplish when you dream big and work hard.

You can also look outside yourself for inspiration.  See the crowds along the sides rooting for you. And, as you get close to the rest stops, take your earphones out. Hear the volunteers cheering you on.  They put a smile on my face every time I feel their energy and encouragement.

Thank you volunteers!  We couldn’t do this without you.

GO TEAM!!!

Four Noteworthy “News” that Happened Today

There was a lot of positivity that came out of today’s training, and I’d like to share that with each of you.

 

  • New Highs: With an 11 mile day for the half marathoners and 18 miles for the full marathoners, a lot of people hit new mileage highs. Think how far you’ve come since September when 4-5 miles seemed difficult.  If you can achieve this seemingly impossible goal, what else can you achieve in life when you put in the effort?!

 

  • New Insights: Several people made comments to me about what they were learning about their running and how they had improved. While I can give all sorts of general advice about what to eat, when to drink, how fast to go, etc., only you know what works best for you. And, you can only learn that through trial and error. So many of you are doing that.  I heard several comments about how people were experimenting and realizing that what they had eaten or drank helped, what they thought they needed to do more of, that they had figured out how to carry what they needed, that they were getting better at pacing themselves, and/or that they were willing to take it easy because they were starting to feel pain and contact Liddy Health & Fitness for additional injury prevention guidance .  You’re getting better at listening to your bodies, taking care of them, and figuring out how to do your best.  Awesome!

 

  • New Faces: We had some new volunteers as well as new team members join us today.  Welcome!!!  We’re so glad you joined us and we look forward to your continued participation.  Whether you are handing out drinks and snacks, or running/walking with us, you are adding to the team spirit and a feeling of camaraderie.  It means a lot, especially as our distances get longer. Thanks.

 

  • New Midweek Training Schedule: Joel, one of our newest team members, volunteered to lead mid-week runs every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 pm, and Amy will be part of the Tuesday run as well.  If that’s a time that works for you, please consider joining these group training sessions.  As our distances get longer, midweek training gets more important.  Your cardiovascular system can adjust quickly to increasing distance, but your joints and muscles need more time. Regular midweek training is necessary for pain-free and injury-free long Sunday distances.  We want to see each of you make it to Marathon Day and finish strong.

 

Thanks to each of you for your hard work and support for each other.

 

GO TEAM!!!