I’m not sure whether this is going to be a recurring feature, or a one-Monday-only special, but I wanted to share some of the little
things that are firing me up this week. The alliteration comes courtesy of a lack of motivation to think up anything more clever on a Monday morning.
- Retail therapy after my almost-16 miler on Saturday. You know you’re a runner when “retail therapy” means a new pair of socks, some Body Glide and Sports Beans. I stopped in Pacers after my almost-16-miler to purchase all of the above, and it felt just as awesome and self-indulgent as buying myself flowers.
- Some great new long-run songs. I literally cannot place “The View” by Modest Mouse and “Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” by Clap You Hands Say Yeah too early on my marathon playlist, because they’ll inspire me to run too fast, too soon. They’re perfect for a long run, when you’re looking for something with a great beat that’s also sort of meditative.
- Knowing what works. I bought two technical T-shirts from the Reebok outlet store in Jacksonville, Fla., while I was training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon in 2007. These random shirts ended up being my favorites to run in: They’re not too tight, not too loose, have amazing sweat-wicking properties and have a slight V-neck to prevent chafing (who knew this was possible with a shirt?). I’ve worn them to death, and they’re now so permanently smelly, the stench distracts even me. When we stopped at the Hagerstown, Md., outlets on our way back from West Virginia over the weekend, I stopped in the Reebok store. Just to see. I bought two new shirts in bright pink and purple for $12 a pop. Tested the purple one on my long run Saturday. Great success! This will be my marathon shirt!
- Renewing my commitment to swimming. As I whined about in a post last week, my beloved pool closes this Friday. But I found the most amazing Web site to help me find a new one. Details to follow. For now, the closure of my old haunt is inspiring me to swim for all my cross-training days this week. A sort of farewell tour to the pool that’s served me so well.
- Focusing on the journey. This is getting even tougher as the Marine Corps Marathon draws closer, and other friends running fall marathons are hounding Boston qualifying times — 3:40 for women in my age group. Most conversion charts say based on my most recent half-marathon time (1:49), I should be able to run a 3:50 marathon, making it tempting to wonder: What would it take for me to qualify? But I’m pretty sure the answer involves me training much harder than I am now, which might just shove me off the don’t-get-injured tightrope I already feel like I’m walking on. So I’m shooting for something like a four-hour marathon — nine-minute miles — and I’m trying to not even focus on that time, beyond using it to know what pace I should start the race at. I’m reminded of the saying: “You don’t sing to get to the end of a song.” We don’t run because we want to see some numbers on a clock. We run because it brings us peace and joy and a zenned-out feeling that only comes from meditation in motion.
What’s motivating you this week?