I never watched the show but the title sounded like something I tell myself all the time:

JUST ONE HANDICAP AT A TIME

This really helps to keep me in check.It's a very useful mantra on the month before a marathon. We are peaking, we feel strong and fast, the weather eases up so we feel even better; we feel GREAT and the taper is approaching... this is when most of us mess up.I like to repeat LESS IS MOREBut what is less and what is more? I tell myself THIS IS THE TIME TO BE CONSERVATIVEBut how do I know I am being conservative enough?

Well... enter the new and reformed:

JUST ONE HANDICAP AT A TIME

If it's hot, back off on the pace.
If you're going long, back off on the pace.
If you're doing hills, back off on everything else.
If you're doing speedwork, don't wear the wrong gear.
and so on...

Stats are pretty scary; 6 weeks to 10 days before race day is HOT DANGER CRAZY RED JALAPENO BURNING ZONE.I should know!!!Make sure you don't do too much to hurt yourself and make sure you don't peak too early...  Tape a sign on the door if you have to, deal?PS: Please don't hold me accountable if I do!
 
 
Remember when I told you about the Five Boro Challenge? Post is here, small recap here:

Every year the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge brings together five ING New York City Marathon runners, each one representing a New York City borough.
Their goal: be the fastest finisher out of the five and become champion of the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge! 
This is your chance to take your 2011 Marathon experience to a higher level and show your pride for your borough.
The Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge team will be treated as VIPs and will be featured on the NBC4 New York live television broadcast on race day.
The runner who finishes with the fastest time will become the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Champion, and will win a Tiffany & Co. trophy and citywide bragging rights.Must commit to running the first 13.1 miles of the marathon with the Challenge Team (after that, you’re free to run alone or stay with the group). Must be available at select times during marathon week to participate in a pre-marathon media event.

This is HUGE. We have our own start and we basically run on our own through the Verrazano. Last year I saw the 5 challengers in the papers, on tv, everywhere... so I am sure everyone in NYC is going to be sick of seeing my face ;-) 

Photo Shoot and Pretaping with NBC, in a very secret location (Central Park, yeah!) is next week. If there is one person in NYC that doesn't know me yet, I am coming for them!;-) SO exciting!!!!!!
 
 
The following is from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt.. A friend sent it to me, she says she reads this quite often when she is down/out about running. 
 
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

Some of you will forget this in two minutes but I know a few of you were waiting for something exactly like this. Have a rocking weekend!!!
 
 

that you CAN run more than ONE mile
that you're not doing this alone
how great a new running path feels
that you already knew a lot of runners
that you actually want to run
that you love company on some of your runs
that you can afford to eat an extra serving
that you need rest sometimes
that blisters will heal and toe-nails will grow back
that a bruised ego can turn into a lot of determination 
that the world gets smaller
that you are not scared anymore
that can, and sometimes even enjoy, running in the rain, the snow, a moonsoon
that you know how to do this
that you are inspiring everyone around you without even trying

                                           ...just some of the little glories of being a runner...
 
 
Wow, Intense.

Just like with the first book, the first half was a bit slow and maybe not SO running related, but still a good read. Now, once I got to chapter 21, my head exploded. It was intense. And the the fireworks kept going til the end. So, so intense.

Quenton is now a lawyer in Florida, and the first half of the book gives you a good picture of his life at the law firm, his colleges, his fishing trips, his usual pranks, his runs... nothing out of the ordinary. Until he decides he misses the training and embarka on another quixotic quest... Then the fun starts!

Without saying one more word about what the book is about I have to admit that I liked this book better than Once a Runner, if that is even possible to conceive.

What he talks about (distance, not track!!) is a lot closer to what I know and it was so easy to relate to. And it was so beautiful and precise. I reread every chapter as soon as I finished it, memorizing it, reliving it, and making the book last longer!

Chapter 27 is Pure Glory. It talks about why he needs to go back to training. Just running is not doing it for him anymore...

"...when you are a competitive runner in training you are constantly in a process of ascending... It's not something most human beings would give a moment of consideration to, that it is actually possible to be living for years in a state of betterment... That if you are doing it right you are an organism constantly evolving toward some agreed-upon approximating of excellence. Wouldn't that be at least one definition of a spiritual state?"

He talks about the Two Mile Rule, about how other people's sports look silly to everyone else, how training really feels like you are getting sick, how you eat like a shipwreck survivor, and how we are all totally crazy and "self-selecting for manic depression (which is like an occupational hazard, and that what we are essentially doing is self-medicating with endorphins and such)."
I am giving it a week and reading it again.
 
 
Yesterday I got to watch this film, Run to the East (NOT Run to Eat, as I originally read!), on a limited screening; very limited, there were like 50 of us, half of them were from my team!

The movie follows three native american high school runners during their senior year. These students (two are in the same school) run to earn scholarships that will take them off the reservation.

And 
here is the trailer. 

The filmakers are screening the film mostly on the reservation to inspire other kids to try to realize their dreams. The problem is, because their world is so closed, they don't have many dreams, or even options to try out. So when they get to see these three runners they are inspired to look beyond what their families and friends have been doing for centuries and find their own dreams to chase.

It is not easy to get the movie to them though, it's not like they have movie threathers, but they put together a kit that has been travelling through the reservations and it has inspired many kids that now see these three runners are symbols of hope. Their story is about regular high-schoolers who train and race, mostly on their own, but it is also about staying true to who they really are and where they come from, and mostly about endurance. These are kids just like them, talking about the challenges of life on the rez and how running helped them overcome everyday obstacles in school.

Chantel “Tails” Hunt, one of the main characters of the movie, was in the room and she did a little Q&A after the movie with the filmmakers. Such an extraordinarily driven girl!

She said she had come to NYC for a meet and wanted to come back since. She knew she needed to expand her world and college would help her with that, and running would help her with college... I wanted to take her out for a lap in Central Park. But she's too fast for me.
 
 
Most of you have tried all the regular workouts... Besides the long, easy, recovery, tempo runs, there are also very specific interval workouts we've all dabbled on. There are also the intervals that serve as race predictors (like the Yasso 800s!) and even though they are scary and painful, they can become second nature and a comfortable workout that will tell you exactly where you are on any given time of running cycle. And you end up looking forward to them sometimes...

I am not very fond of track workouts, they feel hard and I am into loving my runs. But I think the main reason why I don't go to the track often is because I don't have one that is convenient for me to get to. Still, a few weeks ago I was at my aunt's house for a few days and they have a brand new track super close, like half a mile away. And no one goes there, such a pity... I don't do track workouts more than 2 or 3 times a year so I had no idea what to expect or do; I chose to do 800s, and it was quite fun. Not my thing, but I would probably do these more often if I had a track close.

Anyway, I came accross Billat's 30-30. Apparently, it's the Best Running Workout You've Never Done. Time to share, right

It's not an all out pace (it's VERY ROUGHLY two mile -around your mile time plus 10 seconds- pace) and you alternate 30 seconds of that pace with 30 seconds of easy jogging. The point is that you're working both velocity at VO2max with this speed, so you're improving your vVO2max! Genius. Not sure why it's not more popular. 30 seconds (shorter!) of vO2mx (slower!), seems way easier, no?

If you're LUCKY, you find a "hard" interval workout that eventually feels comfortable for you. I have two. Both are hill sprintsI know, I am weird, I LOVE hill sprints. I defined them a while ago by trees, light posts, or anything that won't move and then I compete with my fastest time. I jog back down to I recover my breath. As hard as they are, I LOVE THEM. It doesn't feel like a hard workout (like doing laps and laps in a track!!). It feels like I am climbing the world! And I keep telling myself, just one more please, like they're cupcakes! I have a tempo (also defined by the course) I do once in a while too and I am starting to feel ok about it, but we're not thaaaaat close yet. Hoping we grow fond of each other eventually...