Friday, November 12, 2010

Capabilities + We have a scorpion winner!

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would
astound ourselves"
- Thomas Edison

I found this little quote sometime ago, not sure how I came across it, but I loved it - it reminded me of when I first really attempted to qualify for Boston a couple years ago and started doing a lot reading on the brain, in particularly, it's affects on racing performance.  I was always a girl ridden with self-doubt about my abilities, especially in races where it "mattered" and though I knew I had endurance and speed on my side, I didn't know how to mesh the two into believing I could fight my way thought the pain of 26.2 hard. tiring miles.  My motto was: start out comfortable and just get slower as the fatigue increased.  I believed "negative splitting" or maintaining a consistent pace in a marathon was for the elite, or those very well-trained and educated on the subject, and therefore I'd just set out in a marathon running - and slow down when it got tiring so I could finish.

Which is fine, for awhile.  But you can only run so many races this way until you realize that something needs to change if you want to see different results.  It took me awhile to understand the physiology behind my running (everyone's running, essentially) and how our bodies work - Geeky science girl here needed to learn what was going on, how my body reacted to the signals my brain sent that I was tired and thus slowed down - what I learned was that I was capable of a lot more than my mental cramping brain told me I was. 

I needed to learn to train my brain to fight through the fatigue of the marathon if I were to improve as a runner.  The way I learned to do this was to kick up my training - to train my body to run at race pace as much as possible so it adapted to the pace it was going to do in the marathon.  I needed to get stronger to achieve this.
All forms of running fatigue entail signals of impending harm sent from your body to the brain.  You can delay running fatigue by training your body to resist various types of harm and by raising your brain's threshold of response to the body's danger signals.  How, you ask?  There are no guarantees, as I've mentioned so many times.  A vast array of factors can take our race down in a heartbeat - but if you do the work needed, your chances of succeeding have more power.  Train your body to run at race pace for an extended period of time through stressing it with increasing race-pace running, and you will see results. 

And it worked.  I stood on the start line of St. George, the race I was trying to BQ, with normal pre-race jitters - as the race so deserves - but confident I could pull it off if the Running Gods didn't throw some obstacle in my path.  I finally trusted my training because I finally trained at a level where my mind knew what it was capable of producing.  It was a feeling unlike I've ever experienced...I believe it was that race which transformed me into becoming a running coach: I knew what it took ME to train at the level at which to see improved results.  Anyone can read a training plan online and adjust it according to their lifestyle, but I knew how much I struggled with stale training times and inadequate race performances, how my mind would get all tangled in the few weeks leading to a major race, and how emotional that journey truly is - those are the things I want to share with you in the upcoming posts (race-pace runs, strength training, etc) - and hopefully you will find that you, too, are capable of so much more than you thought - and will break through some sort of barrier you may possess and truly astound yourself.  I look forward to it :)!!!

So anyway.....yowzie, my first ever giveaway was a huge success!  Thanks to all 131 of you who entered and commented - I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on bug consumption.  I think it's safe to say that we in the U.S. are pretty pampered and the vast majority of us all would not eat these creepy crawlers -- unless absolutely starving -- and even then it may be difficult.  I guess I watched one too many episodes of "Fear Factor"when that show aired - my boys were obsessed and I can't tell you how many times I almost lost my dinner watching someone consume a living cockroach - bleh!  Aside from the occasional gnat I've unwittingly swallowed while running or biking at the state park near my house, I'm not signing up to be a guinea pig with the FAO anytime soon.  Ok, never.

But it was fun and I thank everyone who participated.  If nothing else, at least you now know some bugs carry a lot of protein - in case you're stranded on a desert island one day and need some fuel!!

So the lucky scorpion sucker and CSN winner, using random.org is:  # 17
Jesse - Run to the Border (http://runtotheborder.blogspot.com/
email me, Jesse, we need to chat!
(I so need to learn how to have my comments individually numbered - it's not easy to scroll and count, people!!)

Other totally boring random stuff....
- No go on the new job.  I had a gut feeling before I even interviewed something was just "off" with the position and I have found out a few interesting facts since I learned on Monday I didn't get the job, that being I'm not sure I would have gotten it no matter how well I performed as someone was pretty much pegged for it beforehand.  A little bummed - but I learned a lot about myself in that whole process and it just made me that much stronger for the next.  Right?  Right!! 

- This whole insurance fiasco is becoming even more ridiculous.  When I found out I didn't get the new job (which provided benefits), I started working with HR so I could purchase it through the school district - as I was told I could.  Well, unbeknownst to me, I was suppose to sign up for it during "open enrollment" which was back in May - and it may be too late to do so now...or they may make me backpay for the coverage starting from May (um...hell NO!).  Ok, back in May, I was suppose to be picked up by another source, and we all know how that turned out, so now I have to find the rejection letter from the July insurance company (look for me digging through the local dump for the next 4 years) and send it, along with a whole lot of begging and pleading, to the district.  I can already foresee this is not going to go smoothly, if at all.  I hate to be a negative Nelly here, but I have totally lost all faith, and respect, for the U.S. healthcare system.

- The Heel: I've been reading a lot and learning to read the signs of my pain - not that I know what exactly it is - but I think I am learning how to process the signs better when it flares up, and therefore what running I am able to do, is a little more than I was able to do.  All runs this week, though not high in mileage, went well with no pain or twinge of pain ... though I did have a bit after I was finished yesterday's run.  Once I got off my foot though and stretched it, it was better and I could walk fine.  Just taking this baby one day at a time and seeing how to abate the pain as much as possible so I can hopefully just build my mileage up.  No need for speed (though I will admit it is demoralizing sometimes to see how pathetic the pace has become) right now, just build for awhile - the 50 is still on the forefront of race thoughts...and if I can managed to get it cranked up, would love to do this puppy in July, maybe: http://www.grandmesa100.com/Race_Registration.html

- The Arctic weather has returned to Colorado.  Monday it was 75 degrees and Tuesday it was a high of 30.  I completely understand now why old people flood Arizona and Florida in winter.  I honest to God wore my down-filled winter North Face coat for the first two miles I ran on my basement treadmill last night.  It's gonna be a long winter....

- I think I NEED a new pair of boots (need is a necessity in life to live, want is just a desire...this boot thing is a NEED).  While online browsing the internet for the daughter's upcoming birthday next week, I ran across these sweet things:

 








Hum....decisions, decisions!!  Both are much-needed, but funds are only allowing one.... thoughts?

Happy miles!!

47 comments:

Emz said...

YAY Jesse!!

I say the ones [boots] on the right -- love those!!

Happy Friday!!

Jenn said...

SUCH a great post Jill. REALLY, so many awesome points. I'm practically giddy about your upcoming posts. I'm a strong believer in race pace running. For me, with the marathon, this is definitely where I get my confidence. You have so much to offer with both your knowledge and writing ability!! I'm so glad you're putting it to good use!

Don't even get me started on the boots girl!!! My name is Jenn, I have a problem.....

Marlene said...

Awesome post... thanks for sharing some insights. I am learning that the marathon is such a mental game... as much as it is physical, if not more.

Karen R said...

Great post! You do a good job finding your inner strength.

I love the tan boots - they scream STYLE. The black ones are ok, but the tan ones are more versatile. Trust me. I may be a slow runner, but I am definately a shoe expert :)

C2Iowa said...

Confidence. Now there is a subject that I really need to work on. I am really loking forward to your up-coming posts. As Karen stated, your ability to find inner strength is outstanding.

Sorry about the job and insurance mess. Things are bound to turn your way very soon. Fingers are crossed.

I cannot wait for the doctors to fix me so I can run again. You mentioned pace - I will be providing some comic relief (in the form of paces)when I turn-in my weekly reports to you. Once I can run again.

Where's the pic of you running in your coat in the basement????

ERG said...

Congrats Jesse!

Sorry about the job and the insurance too. Haven't had insurance here since I held my teaching job in .....2001(?) Anyhow..we've just been blessed not to have any health catastrophes I guess. But having babies is not cheap- even with short-stay!

Hope your injury miraculously gets better without the doctors and I am SURE there is a better job waiting for you.
Also, thanks for the tip on the stick. Johnwayne had mentioned that too. Eventually I might get around to trying it =D.

Christi said...

I love the boots on the left!!!!

The insurance things sucks! I am sorry that you are still dealing with that!

I am so with you on the cold weather! I do not want winter to be here at all!

Tom (aka CLT Runner) said...

No comment from me regarding the boots...my standard response to my wife is "don't you already have a pair of black/brown boots?" haha...now running shoes - get them all!!

Great quote!! Looking forward to hearing more about race-pace running...I too, seem to shut down my (already slow) engines when the going gets tough instead of pushing through. More - more!!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities. -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Clearly you should get both pairs of boots, but if only one is allowed, perhaps the black ones will look better after a season of slush and ice?

marathonmaiden said...

excellent quote! and booooooooooooo cold weather. i need to migrate south. like yesterday

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

fantastic discussion of how the brain body connection is so important! I am going to try to remember that this weekend, I really have done the work so I need to just let my body run

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You are a wealth of knowledge! It is majority mental!

I saw your weather widget...30. Brrrrr. I'm not ready for that!

I like the right ones but I'm an "old" lady. ;-)

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

I think you NEED those boots!!
Thank you for such an amazing post! I loved the quote at the beginning and what you said about how you ran your marathons really got me thinking and wanting to reconsider mine! Awesome...I love posts that make me truly reflect!
I really want to get into the St. George marathon! How many times have you done it?

Teamarcia said...

OK where the hell have I been that I missed your last post and giveaway?? Sleeping probably.
Oooh it's a boot kind of season. Love them both. I think the brown has the edge though in a CO sort of way. Glad the heel isn't causing you too much trouble!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Yes the cold has returned!! BOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Just get both the boots!

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
I like the brown boots best! Congrats to Jess:)

I am sorry to hear about the job but it is like you said...it was a good experience:) Also, it just might mean that something better will come along! You have a great attitude and I love that!

It is cold here too! We had some really nice almost 70 degree weather and we are supposed to get five inches of snow tonight! I am not ready just yet:)

Have a fantastic weekend Jill!!! Hugs:)

Mark said...

Sounds like the heel is making progress...I'm pulling for you and know you will come back!

chris mcpeake said...

cool post. love the quote

Kate said...

I love that quote. I definitely saw the benefit of following a training plan...beyond what I imagined it would accomplish.

I can't wait to hear more of your tips on training. There's so much I have to learn!

Job thing sucks. Hate having my time wasted with an interview for a position that's only open in name only. Insurance thing sucks worse. I can't imagine how frustrated you must be.

Black boots, though I like them both.

lindsay said...

wait. that giveaway was for real?! haha. i guess i had to skip over the bug pictures so much i missed that part that it was real. it's ok, i didn't want to win it anyway. bugs*shudder*. :)

i vote boots on the left.

Running and living said...

You know I am all about specific, pace training. if I get a 20 miler at MP, I am good to go. usually:)
The boots on the R, totally! And yes, you deserve them!

ajh said...

I hate it when someone is pegged for a job and everyone is still put through the process, hope up for no reason and all that. Yes, get the boots! Sorry about the heel. You are running though. I could not believe how much it hurt last week to WALK in DC but it didn't last like the pain from running used to. Monday is my big day. I will let you know how it goes.

Char said...

It's so true about the brain and its potential. It has such a big part to play in our running and improving performances.

Jennifer said...

The job thing sounds so crazy- I wish you peace of mind with it all, I would be going crazy! Thanks for your musings on training I enjoy reading your stories, you are a great inspiration. And thanks too for the kind words for Frida, she is getting better every minute. Hugs! P.s. The black ones...

Heather said...

Sorry about the job and your insurance hassles, what a huge pain. Retain therapy with those boots is definitely in order. :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the heel is getting better! Love the quote and the train the brain bit.

My vote. Get the boots on the right.

Hope the whole insurance deal gets resolved!! You can always do like me and stay in a Bubble!

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

WooHoo! I love giveaways! I'll send you an email.

Sorry you're having so many problems with the health insurance. Having lived under a government program before moving here, I can definitely say that there are positives and negatives to both. However, if you have not-so-great or no insurance, the negatives down here seem to far outweigh the positives. I'm all for insurance reform in this country.

Tara said...

Congrats to Jesse! But he's vegan and the scorpian qualifies as meat (I make these rules up as I go along), so I think he should just forfeit to me. I wouldn't eat it either (no meat), but I sure would stare at it. JK-congrats Jesse.
And I'm just rambling as usual. I think the Grand Mesa race would be gorgeous, that's a pretty area down there. You should just go ahead and do the 100 instead of the 50 miler.

Gillie said...

Hi Jill,
When you trained for the marathon, what was the number of miles you would do at race pace? I look back at my training schedule, and the most I would do at one run was 6! I thought that was so lame, and I think the reason that I have never run a good marathon. I put in my long runs, but how many miles is really needed to run at race pace?
Dave

Meg said...

Brown boots have that Colorado look, very cute!

I appreciated your thoughts on the brain training. This last race was definitely run with about 80% of my brain and 20% of my body. Fitness was there but when it gets really, really tough, your brain needs to do the majority of the work. I'm learning...

Sorry about the job but it sounds like insurance might be on it's way for you...I hope so! Big hugs!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I can relate, like most runners can, to getting slower at the end of a marathon. My most enjoyable marathons were always the ones where I could finish strong at the end even if I wasn't close to PRing.

Anne said...

Those boots - both styles - are so cute. And I hear ya on the health system. Our insurance company decided to just take the fine instead of follow the law and put our 23-year-old grad student back on our policy.

Jamie said...

Great quote. I'm writing it down now :) Go with the camel colored boots.

Chris K said...

Um, are you rolling your Plantar young lady?

Irene said...

Just buy both pairs of boots! You'll NEED them, right?

I love that quote. I may have to borrow it.

Molly said...

My vote is for the black ones, the buckle is very cool.

your insurance saga is getting out of control!

I liked reading about training the mind, that is one area I'm always working on....

Katie A. said...

You have such a gift with writing and laying it all out there for us. This was a great post.
Sorry about the job, better things are on the horizon, I promise.
And I'm glad running is becoming more managable, we need you in tip-top shape for NYC!
LOVE YOU and MISS YOU!
xoxoxoxo

Adam said...

A HIGH of 30!?!?!? HIGH!?!?! Crazy

I didn't have a very good race in San Antonio (it was 'one of those days' from the start), but your comments at the begining of this REALLY ring true to me. Need to buckle down next spring and get where I need to go.

The Green Girl said...

I'm glad your first giveaway was such a success. ::smiles:: Thanks to you, I had my first giveaway.

The boots are cute - I'd say get the pair that will go with more outfits.

LMC said...

I am grateful that you have so much running knowledge and experience and are willing to share it with us. I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts! Sorry to hear about the job and the continuing insurance issues. I really still hope that works out somehow! It does sound like there is some improvement in the heel. That's good! About the all important and necessary boots :), I'd go with the ones on the right. They seem more CO to me.
BTW, thanks for your encouraging and kind comments on my blog! They are definitely appreciated!!

HappyTrails said...

Great quote! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us - we'll be looking forward to more! Where is the pic of you running with the down jacket???
So you are doing the Grand Mesa race, hmmmmmm??? Awesome!
Hooray for no (or few) twinges - I am with you on that! Have a great week!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Grand Mesa looks like fun. I know you can do a 50.

Looking forward to your training posts. ;)

Black Knight said...

Great quote and interesting post. Sorry about the job and the insurance.
I prefer the boots on the left. If you like the warm weather come here: sun and sea, the perfect place to run.
But now you are Lady Jill, welcome to the Black Knight Army!

zamgirl5 said...

I like the ones on the right! Your post really hit home with me. I struggle WAY more mentally than physically I think. I know I am capable of more, but I just can't seem to convince my brain of it. In my mind, I am still the fat, slow runner who started running 3 years ago. I need to get over that before it drives me nuts.

I'm planning on adding in more MP miles for my spring marathon and I look forward to some more info on the whole mental aspect of training. Perhaps reading material suggestions???

ShutUpandRun said...

I'm late to the party. I say the black boots.

Sorry about the job and the insurance. UGH. It's always something.

I agree that we can train our brains. In fact, it's totally necessary in the endurance world. I always think we are destined to do great things if we just let and allow oursevles to beleive it!

Andrew Opala said...

"Train your body to run at race pace for an extended period of time through stressing it with increasing race-pace running, and you will see results."

do you train to always surpass, or do you train to consistently elevated targets?

some weeks it's harder than others ...

Petraruns said...

Love this post. LOVE IT! I agree on the mind and it's not something I have spent enough time on and I think I have missed a trick there.

Re your insurances I am SO sorry because that is just plain CRAP!

And I owe you a BIG email. It's coming!