Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remember Lorena Bobbitt?

I admit it. I read Women’s Running magazine. To me, it is a cross between Runner’s World and Cosmo. You get articles on the “Summer’s Hottest Swimwear” and “The Jerusalem Half Marathon” (which would be amazing, by the way) all wedged into the same periodical. There is variety. There is fluff. And there is also some good reading.

In the July/August edition, you can find a really inspiring article about Shalane Flanagan, U.S. record holder in  the 3K, 5K and 10K and Olympic bronze medalist.  Having only run middle distances, she decided to train for first half, then full marathon. She ran the 2010 Houston Half Marathon and set a course record of 1:09:41 (I could so do that if I wanted. Except that 1:09 was about my first 10K time).

Shalane (we’re on a first name basis) then started marathon training. Of course she doesn’t just want to run a marathon. That would be too easy and too human-like. She wants to win the whole race. Still contemplating which race to run, she’s thinking about London in 2012.

shalaneflanagan 

Certainly her sustained 5:15 and 5:30 minute miles throughout the half marathon were impressive. What really caught my attention, however, is what she had to say about marathon training. Her words resonate with all of us non-elites:

“Flanagan was surprised by the total commitment the marathon demanded. ‘It’s a lifestyle,’ she says. After her first 20-miler she spent the rest of the day on the couch.

But she loved it. She loved that she was transforming her bodying into something new, strengthening areas that had played supporting roles for so long (slow twitch muscle fibers), and going places she’d never been before (21 miles?). The process fascinated her, the idea that you can train the body to do more, take more, and it would hurt and you’d curse it, but then a miracle could happen: what felt hard a month ago felt good now.

‘My coach constantly reminds me that marathoners are not born, they are made,’ Flanagan says.  ‘And every time he asked me to go longer it became a bit easier.’”

So, if you are struggling in your training, hurting, cursing, nursing tired legs and psyches - remember her words: you can train the body to do more, take more but then what felt hard a month ago might feel good soon. Hang in there. Enjoy watching and feeling your body and mind get stronger. Because it will happen.

Quote of the day:

My son is taking a photography class. It meets at a local senior center (which he thought would smell like urine but it doesn’t). Yesterday, as part of the class, he had to take a portrait of someone. He chose the old lady at the front desk. She refused to smile for the picture saying that “she doesn’t smile because her husband told her her smile was ugly.”

 Who is this husband and why has no one done a Lorena Bobbitt on him yet?

PS: Win a Champion running shirt. Check out my giveaway HERE.

30 comments:

  1. Your blog is kind-of like Women's Running, too - a little Shalene mixed in with some Lorena Bobbitt :) Or poop. Thankfully, I like Shalene and poop jokes! Hahahaha!

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  2. Course records were falling all over the place at the Houston Marathon. I saw her run - simply awesome.

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  3. i love how you two are on a first name basis ;)

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  4. Great post - I was wondering how you were going to work Lorena Bobbitt in ;)

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  5. that is just too sad that that woman wont smile.

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  6. Great advice from an elite that we can all apply to our everyday training. Oh Lorena Bobbitt--where is she these days?

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  7. I love what she had to say about running a marathon. I also love that, even though she is elite and could run circles around me, she sees the challenge of a marathon in the same way I do.

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  8. Love this article, thank you! Good to know it is tough for the pros too!

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  9. Love reading your blog! Great words of wisdom from Shalane! And about the old lady at the senior center... how sad! I want beat her husband up!

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  10. This post is such perfect timing for me! I'm going through one those struggling-to-get-back-in-shape phases, and I'm just WAITING for the day it doesn't feel as hard anymore.

    Go Shalane!

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  11. there is a rhyme that goes with lorena bobbitt.... im sure you know it..... i'm saying it aloud and chuckling to myself!!! :)

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  12. Wow, she is fast. I agree that the human body is amazing!

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  13. I was a mile runner in high school and college and transformed, over time, to the marathon. People tell me that I can still run with the heel, just shorten the distance and I'm ok. Well, it's not ok, I love the marathon and the challeges it brings. Yes, I could run the mile again and probably be pretty good at it, but that's not who I am anymore. And btw, that's so cool you and Shalane are on a first-name basis! :)

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  14. I'm with your son. I'm as surprised as he is that it didn't smell like pee.

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  15. This quote could not possibly have come at a better time in my training plan. Thanks!

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  16. Thank you for posting Shalane's words! I'll have to save that and come back and read it again in a couple of months.

    That woman's bastard husband needs to have a few of his teeth kicked out so he'll have an ugly smile too.

    $100 says he's fat, bald, and hairy.

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  17. I can't sustain a 5:30 pace for 800m, I can't even imagine carrying on for a half like that!

    Poor woman with a prick for a husband.

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  18. Great post, thanks for sharing.

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  19. Read this article and I loved it. I am feeling a litte hero worship for Shalene just about now. New to your blog but quite delighted so far.

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  20. The Jerusalem half is amazing! It was my first race this March and is gorgeous, if very hilly. Come run it with me someday.

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  21. That's some good advice. If there's one thing I have learned in marathoning, it's that the seemingly impossible usually turns out to be quite possible.

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  22. I just heard about that magazine last night. Runner's World and Cosmo? I'll definitely pick it up now.

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  23. Love those words - she's a wise woman/runner! I'm hitting 16 tonight and will be repeating this to myself "it Will feel easier"...patience is key ;)

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  24. Thank you for that! I was looking into reading womans running. You may have just talked me into it!

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  25. Love shalane! I may have to check out Women's Running, I'm actually very surprised I haven't yet.

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  26. Very interesting. I didn't know about Shalane - can't imagine running 400 meters at her half marathon pace. Sounds like the early days of Radcliffe. Oh! Maybe her record will be broken after all!

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  27. Shalane is from Massachusetts (where I live) and I remember watching her at State Track meets every year setting records in the two mile. Its amazing all she's accomplished!

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  28. That husband is evil. People need to realize the power of their words.

    Have a good weekend --

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