Saturday, July 26, 2008


The team will be heading out to Venice this morning for some timed miles. We have a warm up/cool down route planned out but I'll admit to being mostly excited about the track. There have been some pretty accomplished athletes on this track. Olympians!! I'm thinking the feeling will be awesome, just to walk out onto the track. Maybe the energy will be felt.

I'm going to finish my bagel and blueberry tea, I'll be back later with an updated post!! Maybe even some pictures!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Endurance Project Week 2

The team met Saturday morning for our second training. Twelve people were there, about 4 were missing for various reasons (life most likely). Bethany had a prior commitment and was away, but she'll be pleased to know we all did those warm ups she showed us! I'll admit, I've never been really good about warming up. I usually just fast walk or slow run the first quarter mile and call it a warm up. Since this project got underway though, I make sure I stretch and take a quick run before I get going and I can see and feel a difference.

We had the 5.1 mile run mapped out, set up a water/gatorade table and had a quick meeting. Everyone was to run/walk their comfy pace and set out to run for 45-50 minutes. This training is not a race. It's for endurance. Not too many people can run their top speed and hold that pace for 5 miles. If they could, we'd have a million people who could run a 20 minute 5K. If you look at some race results, you'll see the "elites" coming in anywhere from 16 to 20 minutes while the average (AVERAGE) runner is at maybe 28-33 minutes a 5k. Then you find a vast majority, maybe even 30% coming in after that time. All these runners are winners for one very, very good reason: they ran the race. Running a race=winning. Yes, receiving a medal/trophy is a thrill I myself am aiming for in every race I run, but for the first half marathon a person is running, speed cannot be the goal. Endurance is key. Without endurance you won't finish. Injuries can occur. Your recovery time will be longer. The joy will be missing. During my marathon training, Jim kept trying to tell me this. I didn't get it until I was in my 2nd mile in that marathon. I could hear him saying "just finish and have a great experience, don't worry about timing your first marathon". He was so right.

All this being said, I ran with the seasoned runners Saturday to see if I could keep up. HA! Nice coaching skills, huh?

We all set out together, Jim turning back a little sooner so he could get back to the water table before anyone else. This way he could tell the runners how much further they had to go before the second turn around, completing a 45/50 minute run. I kept going with the team to the 1.5 mile turn around. When I got back to the water table at mile 3, Jim and I switched places. He ran the last couple miles with the team and I yelled out how much time was left for the turn around as people grabbed some water. Once everyone completed the run, cooled down and rested a bit, we went for some stretches and talked about the run. This is the most exciting part for me. I love the connection to the runners and the thrill of talking about the goal.

Next week we have a track run planned. It's a rubber based track and I'm very curious to run on it. I've never heard of such a thing. We will be timing the runners to give them their base pace. I think this will put speed in perspective for everyone, myself included. Once we get a concrete pace time to work with, setting the proper pace in our minds will take the pressure off being fast. If someone's pace time is 12 minutes, then they'll see that trying to run 9-10 minute paces will burn out their endurance too quickly and they won't be able to run a distance. It's so important for everyone to be working toward endurance vs speed. Which is why we're called "Endurance Project" and not "Speedy Half Marathoners" I do understand the desire to be fast, to be an exceptional athlete. I think it's a natural part of our sport. I was lucky to have Jim for a coach, because he taught me to ENJOY running as we trained for the marathon. By the time I decided I'd like to be fast, the joy part was already embedded in my brain. I'm hoping to be able to bring the enjoyment factor into our team. For me, it was the part of training that got me to the finish line. With enjoyment, came pride in myself. With pride came confidence. If you ask me (and even if you don' it's the most important part.

EVERYONE did so well! We have a great team. I am enjoying being a part of this project.

A Word From Coach Jim:


This is a little bit of "hype" for our scheduled workout this Saturday (Those of you who can't make it, we will do this a couple days after.) We will meet at the North Port YMCA Wellness Center Parking Lot at 7:00. We'll figure out who's able to drive that morning and carpool to the Gene Whipp Center Track in Venice. Travel time is approx 20 min. Our workout will include an easy warm up run, some drills and stretching. Each of us will then run a 4-lap time test. We'll finish with a cool-down run/walk/jog then stretching right there at the track. Total time at the Venice track will be about 60 minutes. We estimate that we'll get back to North Port approx 9:00. If anyone has to leave early, we can plan for that too. If you want to take a look at a picture of the facility ahead of time, I'm including a link that you can click on and take a bird's eye view.

Notice in the text underneath the endorsement of this track by John Cook,
Testimonials:“I highly recommend this facility for visiting colleges and elite athletes and have used the track on multiple occasions with my Nike athletes.” — John Cook, Nike Oregon Project Middle Distance Coach. Former George Mason NCAA Champion Track Coach.

GOOD "Non-Impact" training until Saturday!!!