It’s time for Urbanathalon Training! – Run Report

Posted on September 26, 2010

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I’ve grown to love running without my ipod. It brings me back to when I trained for & ran the Chicago Marathon, and the only way to listen to portable music was to haul around one of those belts that held your cd player. For 20+ miles? No thank you! Sure an ipod is nice for jamming out once in a while but as I’ve now been converted to see, there is so much going on during a training run or an actual race, that an ipod becomes more of a distraction than a help.

And good thing I don’t rely on the ipod to get me through a race because they are banned from this years’ Urbanathalon – in which I’ll be racing on Oct. 16! What is an Urbanathalon you ask? 9 mi run + obstacles courses – you know, because 9 mi isn’t hard enough!

I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again – if you’re not regularly doing things that freak you out just a bit, then you’re missing out on so much! If you play it safe every day, all the time, you never get pushed to grow & change. Just trying to “hang in there” is about as bad as saying “at least”which reminds me, take stock of every time you say “at least” this week, then realize that every time you said it, you were crediting yourself for doing the very least amount possible. Not good. Change that verbal habit & put words of empowerment in your mouth. Soon you’ll start to follow through with actions that match your empowering words.

So off I go with Urbanathalon training! And just how does 1 train for an Urbanathalon? Long runs are a must – just like other training programs. But there also has to be a great focus on strength – and not your typical, “let’s go lift some weights & otherwise mess around at the gym.” To feel that you’re ready for this race, you need seriously functional strength – good grip strength, power in your legs, upper body strength to muscle up & over cars, walls, 5 1/2 foot high barricades, etc.

Oh! And you have to be able to bounce between that strength & cardio strength since the obstacles are plopped down every few miles or so with no rest stations between anything. So last week was a painful (in a good way!) 6mi run with my college roomie where I dumped obstacle course training on her at the halfway point of our distance. Eek, painful, seriously. But knowing we had brunch, nail appts & more gabbing to do post-run, we were motivated to keep up a good pace & get it done!

My heart rate was through the roof for the whole run last week, so this week was all about keeping my HR in check to better build my aerobic base & not overtrain myself. So today was a simple 8mi run, keep the HR under a certain # & focus on getting more comfortable in my run form, not over-thinking it, not under-thinking it. 4mi out, hit the turn around & bam! A stellar headwind to head into the whole way back. Well, the race is on Chicago’s lakefront, so running into a headwind may be very true to race day so this should be good practice.

I could not believe how good I felt – my legs were fresh, I really wasn’t too tired, for at least a mile I pondered why I’m spitting so much these days. Now that is attractive isn’t it?! Seriously, I regularly need to spit on my runs, and most of the time, I’m good at spitting away from myself – most of the time. There have been at least a few times that somehow my spit landed, at least partially, back on me. Lovely. It’s not mucus, just spit so inevitably it dries and I forget about it, but still, all this spitting, why??

So I’ll be spending the next few weeks continuing training for a race that, when I look at it, it makes me just a bit nervous. And to be honest, it wouldn’t matter if it were a 1/2 Marathon, a 5K, or an Urbanathalon, because every race I choose is a test of some level of performance or fitness. To finish within a certain time, to negative split the miles, or to power through a particularly difficult part of the course – 

-the best way to go through life is to do things that will challenge you. If you’re not regularly being challenged, you’re not growing & stretching. To commit to & achieve a goal means you planned, were disciplined, followed through, stayed motivated even when the going got rough, & turned your vision into reality. Doesn’t that all sound like stuff you want in your life?? Definitely! So stretch yourself, commit yourself, then follow through for yourself!

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