On October 27, I will run my seventh marathon since running my first in January 2010. At first, I wanted to see if I could do it. Then I wanted to see if I could qualify for Boston. Then I wanted to run in New York and take the family on a fun vacation. Then I wanted to see family. Then I wanted to get back to Boston again.
Me, me, me, me, me…
There is a natural self-centeredness to being a runner, especially a distance runner. There has to be. We are required to constantly evaluate ourselves to make sure we feel okay, the we are eating right, that we are paying a penance for when we don’t take care of ourselves. The behavior is a survival technique.
Unfortunately, it isn’t much of a life skill outside of the running world. Other people tend to be less interested in us than us when we think the world revolves around….us! It is a hard transition to make, and I suspect the elite and super competitive endurance athletes often struggle to degrees I cannot even imagine. While acknowledging that I have sometimes been guilty of this even before I started running, I would like to think that I am more aware of it and better about it because of running. The “judge and jury” that I live with will have to be the ones to report whether I am pulling that off.
By the way – runners supporting runners in blogs or on Twitter, etc. is important – but it is not the same as selflessness. We all know that behavior is about supporting others to do well and run strong. We want to hear about how they are doing and encourage them because we are hoping they will do the same for us.
To try to combat the “me factor” over the next several months, I decided a while back to do something that a small portion of runners do but that is important to many others out there. While I will have the goal of breaking 3:10, I decided to run for someone else – to turn my effort into something that benefits someone other that me. I chose to register with the Wounded Warrior Project and ask my friends and family to support the organization by donating through a special page set up for my Marine Corps Marathon run.
The Wounded Warrior Project has long been one of the charities that I admire the most. Our Nation’s Wounded Warriors should never have to go a day without knowing their country they served and fought for will be there for them. It seemed fitting to run for WWP at the Marine Corps Marathon, and I hope people will consider going to
and kick in a couple bucks.
Aside from all of that, the beginning of the Runners Edge summer session is the official kickoff to summer training, and I am starting this year almost exactly where I wanted to be. I remained uninjured after Chicago last October and maintained a reasonable level of fitness through the winter and spring. I have a much better base going into this summer than I did last summer, and that turned out alright.
I also have two more weeks this summer/fall than I did last year. Chicago was at the beginning of October, and the Marine Corps Marathon is at the end of the month. Hopefully, there won’t be any fall hurricanes this year!
Yesterday was the first group run of the session, and it was a perfect morning. I ran 14 miles to cap off a good 24 mile week that also saw me getting back into my morning running groove again, as well. That will be immediately challenged by being out of town the next two weeks – one for work and one for vacation – but I will get my miles in somehow.
I am also going to step up to a slightly more aggressive training plan this summer. Last year, I followed the “Level 3″ (out of 5) plan, since I was coming into the summer off an injury and a with a pretty weak base. This summer, I don’t have either of those factors so Level 4 it is. Like last year, I will have a half marathon in August to gauge where I am at in my training.
I am excited about this summer, and I am looking forward to my August and October races. Of course, it’s not all about me…