Fall in Love with Running too!

Photo: Baltimore Running Festival (source: dailyburn.com )

Each year, around this time (marathon season), I go into the virtues of running, the where and why the heck not. Aside from the fact that many consider the Fall season to be perfect for running, because of the cool down in temperatures, there are admittedly some of the best runs and races happening during this time in these parts. Thus, inspiration is all around you. And, whether you’re a runner or not, chances are you’re likely to suffer some serious runners’ exposure; that, to my way of thinking, is good enough reason to be a part of the crowd rather than be found standing off the sidelines.

Last weekend the world watched Eluid Kipchoge ran away with a record-breaking time of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon. I mean, gosh, you couldn’t help but feel immensely satisfied, proud, hopeful, and a host of other things about his crazy-fast, amazing run. Who doesn’t want to run like that! LOL..or, at the very least, feel inspired to lace up and get out there and at least try, albeit for something on a slightly smaller scale.

In just about 2 weeks time, the Chicago Marathon is up. It’ll be awesome I bet. There are so many runners I know heading out there that I’m slightly miffed that I opted to sit this one out. And then of course the New York City Marathon is 2 weeks after that, which by the way, I’m running! Is it any wonder that we go a tad crazy for running around this time. Mind you, I’ve only mentioned three of the biggest and most popular ones. There are a host of other runs, marathons included, and other exciting adventures awaiting you this Fall.

Here’s a look at some up and coming, must-do, races this Fall for the adventurer in you. Sprint to a BQ, get your paddle on, get into character and enjoy a night run, or just run, whichever you choose, you can be sure you’ll have a blast and a bunch of memories from these destination, fun, and scenic courses.

  • St George Marathon, UT – Oct 6
  • Powisett Farm Trail Run, Dover MA – Oct 28.
  • Another Dam Race, Parker Dam CA – Nov 3
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll St Louis Half Marathon, St Louis – Oct 27
  • Xterra Harvest Half Marathon & 10K, Kenmore WA – Oct 12
  • Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, Minneapolis MN – Oct 7
  • Steamtown Marathon, Scranton PA – Oct 7
  • Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon, Lowell MA – Oct 21
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon – Nov 11
  • Chucktown Showdown, Charleston SC – Oct 6

And that my friends are just a few happening in these parts, by which I mean in the US of course. Internationally, there’s a ton more going on including the Dublin Marathon on October 28. I met a fellow runner last evening who was excited to run Dublin as a first marathon! I mean WOW! Go big or go home right? Well, that’s the thing with running, you just never know where it’ll take you or what great feat you will accomplish while there. Hats off to those who are willing to step up and find out, and who knows, maybe fall in love while you’re at it.🤗

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10 Reasons to Run a Marathon this Fall


Source: smileswithmoms.com

Source: smileswithmoms.com

You never know what life is gonna throw at you. One day you could be trading stocks on Wall Street, the next serving a humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. While that may be an extreme there exists many others; from health to sickness and every and anything in between, a person’s goals and life could change in an instant. And so we plan, our God-given right we believe, in the hopes of a million dreams coming through while ironically we have no control whatsoever over any of it.

So what does that mean for you the runner? For my part it says that while planning is necessary to maintain an illusion of order and control in our lives, it is far more important to live in the moment – making use of the days and seasons as they come and fulfilling our dreams as far as we can now. Dreams of running, loving, living, adventure, missions, service..whatever they may be, more often than not, we only get one shot at.

With that in mind, I propose a running dream come true this Fall. How about a marathon? The ultimate running experience for every person who considers him/herself a runner awaits you.  There will never be a better time, a more perfect season or better reasons to challenge yourself. Here’s why:

  1. Fall weather rocks a marathon with near perfect running conditions and is the most scenic and awe-inspiring to runners who are closet nature lovers. Think trails, mountains, foliage etc.
  2. It’s great for destination marathoners. That would be me! I love to pick a beautiful city right off the map just because it promises a beauty of a course.
  3. This is the best time to run (for first time marathoners), complete and even record a PR as it follows Summer where you would have had ample opportunity for executing a great training plan.
  4. Generally, travel rates are lower since it’s post summer so deals are on to make it a few days vacation with a marathon added for good measure.
  5. It presents the perfect opportunity to cross off that bucket list event or new year resolution. I’m guessing a marathon was high up on there.
  6. If you’re anything like me, you love a challenge. Well maybe I’m a bit much, but hey.. how about a Fall challenge to take it to the next level. For steadfast half-marathon folks or those who enjoy still shorter runs, how about pushing those limits while increasing your mileage and building endurance and ability. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
  7. Lots of charity runs happening this Fall as we head to October and Cancer Awareness month. Your marathon miles can do a lot of good to so many.
  8. Training for a marathon could just be what you need to put you in tip-top shape for the upcoming holiday season and all the irresistible food and treats that will surely tempt you then. The hard work you would have put into training to get you looking so svelte will help temper your palette as you will want to stay fit and healthy.
  9. A marathon is an inspiration to so many people, those who can’t run, those who do, and others who want so much to. Why not earn bragging rights as a marathoner while inspiring others to do the same.
  10. Lastly, if you didn’t know it, Fall is unofficially marathon season with two really big marathons taking center stage, the New York City Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. You could have a place in either one of these and run the opportunity of a lifetime. Now which runner out there can say no to that?

I guess if after all that you’re not thinking in terms of 26.2 then there’s really no hope for you. Tick-tock, tick-tock, the clock’s a’ticking – to marathon or not to marathon.

Running a Fall Marathon (Part 2)


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If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that running long distances in the heat is not for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and I’ll take 100 degrees over -10 any day, but the heat and I do not make good running buddies. So during summer, I run 10 miles and under races and train either at the gym, late evenings or early mornings.  By the time Fall comes around, I’m filled with anticipation and bursting with energy..all revved up and ready to go.

Establishing your base & building mileage

These days I’m running 5x a week and truly that’s the best way to build up you running base and mileage. Each day I try to increase by as little as a mile but the important thing is running consistently. Six days a week isn’t too much to aim for and increasing your mileage by the week is much more realistic. Say you’re running between 20 miles this week, you want to slowly increase that to 25 by next week and then 30 and so on. That’s ideally of course, but there are those with a slower pace, here you want to focus on consistency over pace.  Let’s say you’ve never raced before and this is going to be your first marathon, then you would benefit from starting slowly and gradually increasing pace and mileage but ensuring that you stay consistent with your running.

Building Core Strength & Upping Your Fitness Level

It’s said that good running form is essential to completing 26.2 miles.  There’s really no contesting that. Good running posture ensures economy of movement, which in turn maximizes your speed, strength and endurance.  However, this all begins in your core area, which needs to be strong to help you perfect your running plans.  Core exercises such as planks, crunches and push-ups are very helpful as are Pilates as it deals with contracting your abdominal. Also, swimming, biking and weight-training are great cross-training methods. It is also important to get proper sleep and maintain a nutritious diet high in protein and to ensure post-workout recovery; proper stretching, eat, drink and rest.

Long/Tune-Up Run

This is super-important. About 3-4 weeks before race day do a couple long runs. So 4 weeks before, then 3 weeks before; whether it’s a half marathon, 18 or 20 miler, this allows you to know where you’re at in terms of your race day goal as well as it gives you the opportunity to run at your goal pace, determine your fitness level and practice your nutrition and hydration strategies..which work best for you..that you’ll use on race day.

Race Day

All your perpetration culminates on this day. By now you know your level of fitness, you’re comfortable in your skin and you’re ready to run the race of your life. There is no room for doubt or dissension, you’ve done the work and your body will thank you. Follow your race-day plan which would have included a good night’s rest, getting up early to have a good breakfast, which would entail only the stuff you’ve eaten before, don’t try anything new but stick with the tried and true, says Coach Lindley from Boulder, Colo.,. This is your day, paint yourself a mental picture of your race, see how you plan to run and see yourself overcoming whatever minor obstacles that may turn up. Let the finish line and the celebration you would have earned propel you towards it. As most coaches like to say, finish strong.

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