Last week, I went to an AWESOME event that really made me appreciate running.
In conjunction with National Running Day, Scott Jurek, one of the world’s best ultramarathoners, launched his book Eat and Run (buy it. It's really good). The event promised book reads by Scott himself, and the chance to talk with Chris McDougall (author of Born to Run...also buy this. It's also really good) and Peter Sarsgaard. I just had to check it out.
I went with one of my previous bosses, Kali, who is also a big runner. Neither one of us could make it to the “fun run” that started before the event, so we got pad thai and wine instead. We were really going for the gold medal of health for the night.
The event kicked off with Scott reading aloud an excerpt from the book, followed by a Q&A session that was led by Chris McDougall. Chris ended up being absolutely hysterical – full of quick-witted punch lines and interesting questions, it’s no wonder his book has done so well. Scott was honest and open about his often-criticized vegan diet, and how he manages to run 100 miles at a time… through places like the Mojave Desert.
Peter Sarsgaard was disappointingly douchey (sorry Mom and Dad for the vulgar term… there’s no way around it). He sat back the entire time looking bored and tired, and when he did actually talk, he was incredibly pompous in a crowd of modest runners. He lost me when he started going on and on about how he recently ran through the streets of Mumbai. Congrats. You are so awesome.
At the end of the event, I grabbed my copy of the book, and used my Wyman genes to edge to the front of the line where Chris and Scott were signing the book. Scott was just as sweet one-on-one, and when I got to Chris, I was bursting with excitement. As I walked up to introduce myself and have him sign my book, he said, “Wait, don’t we know each other?” I said “No…. but we CAN be friends if you want.” And he agreed. It’s cool. Chris McDougall and I are BFF.
|This is my new friend.|
I was planning on taking the day off from running, but after being on a runners’ high from the event, I couldn’t NOT run on National Running Day. So I did.
I left my iPod at home and ran my favorite route. I had already started reading Scott’s book (have you bought it yet?) and he talks about the reasons why he got into running. He is someone who runs for the pure joy of it (anyone who trains 2-3 hours per day has to freaking love it), and it inspired me to reset and remember why I started to run.
|Note the fast splits in miles 5 and 6.|
The skies opened up and there were The Day After Tomorrow-style
clouds following me, so I sped up.
While running races and working towards a goal is great, I realized I really want to take time before I begin training for the Philly Marathon to just enjoy running for what it is. I truly believe that running has made me a less stressed, happier person. There’s almost no problem that you can’t forget about or begin to fix after going for a run – and there are so many great people you can meet and connect with about running.
So after taking my last several runs (both good and bad), to leave my iPod at home and focus on my form and my mental running techniques, I feel really excited to start training for the Philly Marathon in just one month.
Which is why I already started my Marathon Training Plan for Philadelphia 2012!!!! Who else is excited?
I’m loosely following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 program, and I’m going to add in some components of a plan I found in Runners’ World this month. It’s much higher mileage than when I trained last year, but I’m actually going for a time goal this year.
Oh, you’re curious what time I want to get? No? Well I’ll tell you anyway.
I would love to beat the 4 hour mark. This means running at around a 9:00 pace, which is scary, but I think doable.
I ran at around a 10:32 pace last year, and felt great. But, I also stopped at virtually every porta-potty (I didn’t know when I would see one again…), chatted with Keith when he amazingly showered me with Gatorade and ibuprofen, and hardly glanced at my watch at all. I think with higher mileage, some speedwork, and my trusty Garmin, I can beat the 4 hour mark.