If you’re just joining me on my journey, you probably missed the story of the excruciating muscle cramps I experienced in last year’s Disney Princess Half-Marathon. During the Disney Princess Half-Marathon 2014, I visited the KT tape booth. KT Tape is short for Kinesiology Tape used for common sports injuries. They offered a complimentary taping so I had them tape my foot for plantar fasciitis (long time sufferer, but a story for another time). That year, I also bought a lovely pink roll of KT tape that pretty much sat on my dresser for 12 months. My foot was fine during the race, but my legs were devastated (or were my legs sore and I devastated?) To make a long story short, I wanted to cry starting at mile 8. I did, however, manage to finish the race.
Fast forward to Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015…about two months before the half, I started to feel those familiar muscle cramp surges in my legs – not quite a full blown cramp, but it felt as if there was the possibility that it might cramp with the slightest movement. Was it real or imaginary? I knew it was probably all in my head, but hey with only one half-marathon under my belt, experience tends to speak for itself. I brought my roll to Florida with me, but also stopped at the KT tape booth this year for another complimentary taping. That’s when I thought, “hey, I’m reasonably smart, I should be able to do this myself.”
Armed with my Smartphone and my tablet, I watched as many KT Tape videos on YouTube as possible. I was determined not to have a repeat of last year, even if it meant making a KT Tape leg cast. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a hypochondriac and no where near a KT Tape application expert, but I managed to tape my other calf, the top of my foot (I had a hairline fracture shortly after the last half when I dropped a dresser on it…again a story for another time), my small toe (did you know the KT tape video for a jammed finger works well here?), my knee from that old athletic injury…by the time I finished, I was practically covered from knee to toe in pretty pink tape.
Success! Laugh at me if you will, but it worked. I didn’t experience a single cramp or pain in any of those areas. In fact, the ONLY place that did hurt was the one place I didn’t tape… my ankle! Go figure… As always, it’s important for me to learn a lesson. Lesson number one, don’t engage in two Disney park heavy walking days before a half marathon. We managed to cover almost 13 miles a day just walking. Lesson number two, YouTube is your friend. Lesson number three, don’t be afraid to experiment – do what you need to do in order to be successful.
I’m so excited! I, along with a few other bloggers, have been selected to be part of the Jeff Galloway Blogger program! So what does this mean? It means that once a week I will be providing you with running tips and inspiration from the great runner himself, Jeff Galloway. I’m so excited about this opportunity and I hope you will also benefit from the information he will provide.
Training and Motivation Tips
by Olympian Jeff Galloway www.runinjuryfree.com
Looking to run a half marathon or marathon that goes beyond the ordinary? RUN ITALY Tours offers more than others do and travel with “Coach Jeff”. March 22, 2015 – Rome Marathon 26.2, 13.1 and 5K distances Book NOW at www.RunITALY.com!
|The training journey for a marathon or half marathon raises your body’s physical performance capability and your sense of what you can do in life.
Running helps to bring body, mind and spirit together in a unique and wonderful way.
In researching my book MENTAL TRAINING I discovered that running turns on brain circuits for a better attitude more vitality and empowerment better than other activities studied.
In researching my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100 I found numerous studies showing that runners have healthier orthopedic units than non runners even after decades of running.
When a runner takes walk breaks early and often enough for the individual the muscles are strong to the end. See RUN WALK RUN at http://www.jeffgalloway.com for recommendations by pace per mile.
The “exhaustion wall” can be avoided by running longer long runs up to or beyond race distance-using the appropriate run-walk-run strategy.
Marathoners tend to improve time by an average of more than 15 minutes when they increase their longest run from 20 miles to 26 miles.
To recover fast, run the long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than you could currently run in a marathon.
The right run-walk-run strategy from the beginning of each run, gives any runner control over fatigue, injury-elimination, and recovery.
In numerous surveys, runners improved over 13 minutes when they shifted from running continuously to use of the right run-walk-run strategy.
|Jeff Galloway 4651 Roswell Road, I-802 Atlanta, Georgia 30342
|LAST CHANCE! 2014 Virtual 13.1 Half Marathon and 5K (Inaugural) Last chance to become a “Legacy” participant! Closes March 1, 2015.
** Register at https://jeffgalloway131.com/registration/ **
|Offer Expires: 3/1/15
I can’t believe it has taken me almost a week to blog about my experiences this year at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. I had such a good time and there has been so much going on. Needless to say I’m most excited about setting a new PR…this of course from the woman who said she didn’t care about setting PR’s and I “just wanted to finish.” Well I did finish, even if it was only a few steps ahead of the balloon ladies. My highlights from the race?
I FINISHED! This is probably the most important highlight of them all. After a year of injury and slacking (I know I did. My slacking resulted in my being in corral O, a downgrade from last year’s corral N). I managed to finish with a time of 3:40. Sounds slow doesn’t it? Well it’s definitely faster than when I was sitting on the couch doing nothing AND it’s faster than my “inaugural” Princess Half Marathon last year (by 6 minutes and this is even with stopping this time).
I stopped at least twice on the course this year. While one stop was unintentional due to the runner back up at Cinderella’s castle that cost me at least 5 minutes. The second stop was when I actually left the course to go to a restroom when I got to Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. I figured I could finish faster if my mind wasn’t on the need to stop at a porta-potty. It’s so hard to concentrate when you gotta go.
In the days following the race, I wasn’t nearly as sore as I was last year. Last year, I nearly cried every time I stood up or sat down. I was sore this year, but not the pain of a thousand knives dicing through my joints. I guess that is proof that I did do a bit of training this year.
Needless to say this year was amazing and I do have a lot more to share over the next few days and weeks, up to half marathon number 3 in February 2016. This is a highlight in itself. Last year, I vowed never to “do this again.” Guess what? I’m already planning half-marathon number three!
The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.” ~ Jeff Galloway
I have a feeling that the Disney Princess Half is going to be the longest run I will attempt in the next three weeks. It makes me nervous and excited all at the same time! Funny thing though, I’m already planning for next year!
I have to agree with the experts, running isn’t just a physical sport. Of course, if you’ve been happily ensconced on your couch like I was for many years, the physical part is going to be a bit of struggle to begin with. The mentality that invades your brain definitely, however, is a huge factor.
I remember the feeling I had when I “ran” my first half marathon. As soon as I crossed the start line, I practically set myself up for failure. I looked down the road and it seemed like there was no end in sight. I felt the walls of air (is that even possible) feeling like they were compressing me from all sides and keeping me at a standstill. I tried using the trees as a measure. If I could just get from this tree line to that tree line, but it felt like no matter how fast I went it took forever to move an inch. I psyched myself into being tired; I psyched myself into figuring out which mile marker to quit. I was concentrating so hard on the negative that I didn’t enjoy the on-course entertainment, let alone the cheering crowds as we raced through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
Fortunately my body, at some point, decided to stop listening to my mind and kept going, mile 6, mile 8, and mile 10… I made a vow that this year would be different. This year, I am actually preparing myself mentally. I fear it might be like getting on the Tower of Terror, I’m big talk until it comes time to buckle in; then my stomach drops and “what did I just get myself in to” sets in. I’m working on it though. I’m working on not giving in to that initial panic that I’ll be picked up along the course. I want to smile at the cheering crowds. Most importantly, take pride in the fact that I set to toe-to-line in the first place.
Sometimes I have to ask myself, “How bad do I want it?” More, importantly “What would I do to get it?” The answer, in reality, is that it really all depends. In this case, the “it” is that I want to go to Disney World, my happy place. I also want to complete the rapidly approaching half-marathon in better shape than I did last year. If you were with me last February, you may remember the excruciating pain from the leg cramps (I went into great detail while the pain was still fresh); the days of not being able to walk or even bend my legs. Last year, I was in my happy place and too sore to enjoy it. So here I am less than 30 days out from the race I swore up and down I would never enter again and asking myself, “how bad do I want it?”
This, in fact, was the question I was asking myself all day, I don’t want to go for a run. I want to go home and take a nap. I want to eat a big dinner and do absolutely nothing all evening. Then I got to thinking, just how bad I would feel if I were picked up by the balloon ladies this year. Thinking about all of the money we put into this special week and it hit me. Even I, tired as I am, can go to the gym for at least 15 minutes. The thing is, once you get started, the feeling gets so good that you stick it out. While I was tempted to jump off at a mile, the next thing I knew I had logged another quarter mile, then another and another. Before I knew it, I finished two miles. May not seem like much, but compared to how the evening could have turned out… Quite proud of myself, I took it a step further and worked out on some of the equipment. Suddenly the “I’ll do it tomorrow Tuesday”, became a Treadmill Tuesday and I must say, it feels good.
I’ve been home sick over the past week which gave me plenty of opportunity to look through my unread Runner’s World magazines and scroll through the hundreds of running emails I’ve received from Active.com and even more from Runner’s World. Flipping through the pages, both online and in print, I see tons of stories, pictures and advertisements for the young and fit. Don’t get me wrong, they do include stories about older runners, but even those runners are the slimmest and most toned people I’ve ever seen. They usually have been running for years!
I’m not a hater (at least I like to think not); I think it’s fantastic to see so many people of my generation, and older, running and maintaining such a healthy lifestyle. What I find though, is that most of the content has ceased to motivate me. This is not to knock the younger generation (or those awesome mature runners), but what motivation am I going to get reading about the 20 and 30 something’s or a 70 year old that can lap me around a track, in a magazine that is designed to really push the products? Truth be told, that’s not my goal.
I often find that blogs are different, however. I love to read about the journey of many of the runners I follow; it doesn’t matter if they run a five minute mile or are just starting out; if they are 20 or 70. Their stories are so much more genuine to me. Their aches, pains and struggles are real.
I get it though, what magazine is going to sell with a bunch of stories about the average folks? Or ads showing someone with a little “age” around the middle? You know them, those that are just starting out running or aren’t running the ten minute pace. Magazines have shoes and clothing to sell. I get it. I realize that part of this “sudden” reflection is because I just received my yearly postcard from Runner’s World that if I don’t contact them by a certain day, they will automatically bill my credit card. I usually find an interesting tidbit or two, but is it time to cancel my subscription?
I guess I have to find my motivation inward and from the many blogs I subscribe to. I know the magazines will never be about me or “my peeps”. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to applaud all runners because I know they work hard at their personal records and they are well deserving of everything they’ve worked for. I just know somewhere there is a “rag-tag fugitive fleet” of, not only grandma’s, but others who have decided to take a turn to the healthy side and are out there running, jogging, walking. Here’s to us!