Wednesday, September 26, 2012

napa valley marathon

©2012, Monika Roe

Last year I joined the California 500 Mile Native American Spiritual Marathon running team. I'm not Native American, but that's not a requirement to be a part of the team. I found them through my man who has been involved with the team for years, first as a runner and now as a member of the support crew (due to an injury).

I've never been a runner, but the team needed runners so I decided to try it out and see how it went. The team meets once a month for a run somewhere in the San Jose/Bay Area. We run on all sorts of terrain, from city streets to the breathtakingly beautiful trails overlooking Half Moon Bay.

All of this training is in preparation for the annual 500 Mile marathon in June. The team covers 500 miles in 5 days with the purpose of spreading the message that "all life is sacred". The team is split up into smaller teams, usually there's around 10 people per team and each team runs 100 miles a day in a relay style, camping every night along the way.

As the run approached, I was more worried about the camping than the running! I'm more of a city comfort girl than a camper! In the end I survived and averaged around 12 miles per day. On the last day, I ran better than I had run on the first day! I was really happy and proud to have been a part of the 34th year of this event.

We had a couple months off before training began again this month. I kept up my running. Kind of. They say that the hardest part of running is getting out of the front door and I find that to be true. And then I watched a documentary about the Chicago marathon called Spirit of the Marathon.

I've never even thought about running a marathon until I watched that documentary. Something about "normal" people from all walks of life running that thing resonated with me and I started thinking about it non-stop. I casually researched marathons here in California and ended up signing myself up for the Napa Valley Marathon on March 3, 2013!

Now that I have a goal it's much easier to get out the door and run. If I don't, I won't be able to run the marathon in March. It's that simple! I'm following the marathon training plan that I found on the Marathon Rookie site. Because I have more than 16 weeks to train I'll stagger my training by jumping back a week every 4th week. This will add more weeks of training and vary the intensity of the weeks instead of increasing mileage every single week.

I'm on week 3 of training and it's going really well. I added a new pair of Asics Gel shoes to my running shoe rotation. I really like my older pair of Asics Gels so I didn't hesitate to buy this new pair. Unfortunately they seem to be a little too snug across the widest part of my foot. When I was on Pinterest the other day I found a pin leading to a website that showed different ways from a podiatrist to lace your shoes depending on your foot concerns.

And that FINALLY leads me to the above illustration! The shoe on the right shows the way to lace a shoe to alleviate tightness across the foot. In my illo I kept that shoe shown in mostly line art and made the lace a bright color so it would be easy to see the lacing technique.

I laced up both of my shoes in this way and went on a 3 mile run. The next day my feet were sore and I think it's because I need the support of the laces across my feet. So this lacing tactic didn't help my run after all. I think I'm going to have to break these new shoes in the old fashioned way, just wear them around until they stretch out!

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