Saturday, October 14, 2006

Marathon Month

October is a busy time for marathoners. You can find a marathon every week of the month, anywhere in the world. The long summer days allow for a perfect training season and the cool fall mornings set the stage for perfect marathon weather.

Today is the last long run for the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon group I coach in Chicago (Chicago Endurance Sports). Their bodies are fit and their minds anxious. It has been rewarding watching them progress and grow stronger through the season. They are ready to rumble...

The week before a marathon is a special time in a runners life. Pre-race week is a time when nerves set in no matter how many you've run and when you begin to question what to wear, what to eat and whether you've trained hard enough. I always have nightmares the week before a marathon. I get lost on the course, end up on the fifth floor of Macy's and have to cab it back to the marathon course.

Nerves, nightmares and anxious thoughts are all part of the journey folks. Especially for first timers because you are about to set sail on a journey you've never known. Like many firsts, it is the fear of the unknown that really fuels the energy. Whenever I get nervous pre-race, I think of time when I was really nervous and how it turned out in the end. Like racing Eco-Challenge, Borneo. It was my first expedition length adventure race (8-10 days) and it was being held in the jungles of Malaysia where "leeches" and "snakes" vacation. I heard so many stories about leeches I was a basket-case pre-race. But in the end, the fear of the leech was much worse than the reality.

You know you can run a long way because you did it in training. You know you are prepared because you witnessed your body adapt to the training week to week. And you know you are going to look good in that finish line photo!

It helps to take a look at the marathon course and break the distance up into smaller, more digestible pieces. Get familiar with where you will run. Go with what you know this week. Stick to similar meals, hydration and race day habits.

Race day is about celebration. Whether you are going for a better finish time or reaching for your first marathon medal, enjoy the journey because it will be over before you know it.

Run strong...

Coach Jenny

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Garmin Forerunner GPS Watch

Holy cow I love my life. I was recently asked to test drive the new Garmin Forerunner GPS watch. It is the coolest running toy and a great motivator. Especially if you are into numbers.

The Garmin Forerunner links to the satellites and measures your speed and distance from above. No more driving in the car and measuring how far you went. No more pacing problems. The Forerunner gives you your pace while you run so there is no way to run too fast. Well, unless you just run too fast!

There is also a feature that is allows you to train against a "buddy". You set the pace for the buddy and keep up to it while you run. A great way to motivate yourself on those grueling gray days.

It is very easy to use and even downloads your data to your computer. For those that are into mapping features, you can even see your course on a satellite map!

It is on the top of my favorite things list and a great present for a runner or walker.

Happy Trails,

Coach Jenny