Mojo Running

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What is Mojo?  An inner strength?  Inner spirit?  Fight?  Desire?  The want or need to fulfill, and going after it.  Feeling good, and not being afraid.  Taping into that special glow from within.

Finding that spark is sometimes hard to do.  Sometimes we have it, and other times we don’t.

What do you do to find that spirit?  To show the world and yourself that you run with a purpose?

Sometimes I run, and it’s just a run.  Other times, I find myself in another world.  When the planets align, and the body feels good, the mind is sharp, who knows what can happen.  We humans can achieve greatness.  Look at Meb.  Hard fought, and effort galore, he brings home the Boston Marathon to the U.S. for the first time in 31 years.  Yeah, of course we have to have ability.  What is really comes down to is one thing, I think.  Desire.  (Mojo)

We all run at different speeds, different abilities and different goals.  What we share, however, is that inner spark.  That thing that gets us out on the road, or trail or to the gym.  Whether your goal is to win the Boston Marathon, or just to get there, or to get off the couch and run that first mile, we all need mojo.

I’ve felt my Mojo returning after a few weeks of recovery, and it feels so good.  The legs want to run, the mind is ready for that high.  I’ve tapped into it again, and am running happy.  Running proud, and running strong.

Please excuse me, my running shoes are calling….

Ironman in a week

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The signs are up downtown, welcoming triathletes to Raleigh.  The site of a 70.3 adventure from Jordan Lake to Raleigh.  What an incredible time we are going to have.  My relay team, that is.

The race starts at a lake south of Raleigh.  A popular recreational area, Jordan Lake I’m sure is crawling with beach goers, swimmers, boaters and water skiers today, this Memorial Day.  The weather has been just perfect all weekend, and to cap it off with a trip to the Lake would be a fantastic way to celebrate our armed services, past, present and future.  This coming Sunday, the swimmers will take their marks to start off the race.

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Following the 1.2 mile swim, the bike transition, and 56 miles along the beautiful roads of Chatham and Wake Counties heading into Raleigh.

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Then I will take my turn and run 13.1 miles in the city to finish.  I am very excited, and can’t wait to compete in an a Ironman competition.

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Have a great Memorial Day!  Relax and celebrate.

Back to Back Races – Why Not?

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I’ve signed up for an interesting challenge in a few weeks.  Back to back races.  One right after the other.  I don’t mean a Saturday, then Sunday race either.  Or even back to back weekends.  What I’ve signed up for is a 10k race, and then a 5k race that starts an hour and a half after the first.  It’s called the 15 Quay Challenge.

This year is the 10 year Anniversary of a local 5k event.  To commemorate the occasion, the town has decided to add a 10k race to the line up, which also includes a kids fun run.  For an even more interesting twist, they have added a challenge.  To compete in both races, back to back.  For bragging rights?  For a special award?  Not really sure what the perks are, but I am all up for a challenge.  You have to try it once, right?

I ran the 5k race a few years ago, and it’s actually a tough hilly course, but also my PR.  I ran the 10k course in a training run this week, and yeah, it’s even tougher.  It will be interesting to give the 10k course my all, and then have about a half hour to recover before hitting the 5k course.  One thing is for sure, I will have fun.

I won’t be gunning for any PR’s at either distance this year, but look forward to the challenge of running both.  These races will be my last as the Summer here in North Carolina begins.  It’s too hot to race here during the Summer, so back to the drawing board, in effort to get quality training for the Fall season.

Have you ever run any crazy challenges before?  I know some folks that have run the Disney challenges like Goofy, but are there any unique races or challenges that you have done?  Let me know.

Vacation Races

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There is a relatively new race company out there providing racing opportunities in several of our nations biggest, most majestic and beautiful parks.  Vacation Races seeks to provide runners with new experiences, new venues to run and new vistas to explore through running.  Check them out online, or on Twitter.

They have several races coming up, that I bet you would be really excited to run.  It’s a Half Marathon haven to experience.  Turn your hobby into a vacation in one of our National Parks.  Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains National Park to name a few.  Get away to somewhere beautiful and run a Half Marathon while you are there.

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This being a holiday weekend in the United States, thousands of folks from around the country will head to our National Parks.  I have to admit that I haven’t seen many of them, but plan to through racing.  What a great opportunity to enjoy what our country has to offer through natural beauty, all while running.  After the race, visit the parks, hike, fish and explore.

I am signed up for the Inaugural race in Tennessee.  Have you ever been to Gatlinburg?  The Great Smoky Mountains are a mere five hour drive from where I live, and I love going there.  I am already excited to have an extended weekend in the Park.

National Running Day 2014

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I wanted to let you know about a very well kept secret.  A special day for runners all over the United States.  Not many know about this special holiday created just for runners like you and me.  Why not celebrate our sport?  There is basically a holiday for everything else, so why not a holiday for running?  If we have a special day set aside to celebrate yogurt, or square dancing or lady bugs, all the more power to running enthusiasts to mark a special day.

National Running Day is typically the first Wednesday of the month of June every year.  Well, this special day will be upon us very soon.  Just two weeks from today.  Mark your calendars!  Set an appointment for yourself or a reminder on your phone, for when June 4th arrives, you will not want to miss the festivities.

Group runs, charity runs, donating miles across America to shed more light upon the sport that we love.  Get more involved, help spread the word.  Take part in a run, and show how popular our sport is.  Get others involved.  Inspire others through your own efforts.  There will be a lot of runners out there on June 4th, running just because.  Running to stay healthy, get fitter, training for that next race. It will be a big day.

National Running Day is also a day to get great discounts on upcoming races.  Look for them.  Visit race websites that day.  Bookmark race websites, and keep your eyes on emails, Twitter and Facebook that day.  Many, many races will offer special race discounts that day.  I scored a few unbeatable 50% off discounts on marathons last year on National Running Day.  It will be worth it, promise!  I paid $40 each, and registered for two marathons last year on our special holiday.  I am ready to spend some time on my computer June 4th, but will save some time that day to get a nice run in as well.

Happy National Running Day, in advance!  Enjoy our holiday!

Traveling to Run – Running to Travel

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One of the best things that has happened as a result of my running, well other than the health benefits both physical and mental is that running gives me an opportunity to travel to places that I may not have normally visited otherwise.  Who doesn’t love to travel?  Unique places, different cities.

Let me think…. Racing has taken me many places.  Many, many more to come.  Over the past few years I was able to visit Asheville, NC twice to run marathons.  Different marathons.  I visited a small town in Upstate New York to run a Half Marathon in a town called DeRuyter.  I’ve been to both Wrightsville Beach, NC, and Charleston, SC, both beach towns this year alone.  I’ve been to Roanoke, Virginia.  A beautiful mountain town with beautiful people, to run America’s Toughest Road Marathon, the a Blue Ridge Marathon.  Yeah, I have traveled to Las Vegas three times to race.  Well, I go there anyway a few times a year, but adding a race into the trip makes it even more fun.  I’ve traveled to Jersey City, NJ.  A beautiful half Marathon right across the water from Manhattan, with views of the Statue of Liberty.  I’ve been a few places, for sure.

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Looking at the months ahead, I have a few more “new” cities to explore through my running.  I’ve never been to Chicago before.  I get to run the Chicago Marathon this year, so this will be a first visit.  I get to travel to Utah this Fall.  Another first.  Running the Big Cottonwood Marathon is the reason for the trip.  A trip I probably wouldn’t make otherwise.

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What other locations on the map will I check off the list one day due to my running?  Many, I hope.  I can think of another right off the bag that would be an amazing trip.  Boston, MA.  We’ll see where running takes me.  Reading running blogs from around the world often inspire me to travel.  One of my favorites, with many beautiful pictures makes me want to travel down under.  http://www.unsportywomencanrun.wordpress.com is a great blog, and the reason why I want to travel a billion miles to get there.

I am lucky to run, and lucky to travel.  Have you ever been to a place through your running that you would have never visited otherwise?  Do you travel to run?  Run to travel?  Share your stories, and let me know what places on the map are just not to be missed.

Uber Fatigue

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This past week has been one of those weeks.  A week of very early mornings, lots of work, and little play time.  Do you ever have one of those weeks?

Just trying to muster up the strength to get any exercise has been a challenge.  I think I’ve run about 14 miles total this week.  Actually looking at it now, I am surprised I was able to get that tally.  I’ve just not been getting enough sleep, and certainly not enough fun.  Yeah, I know my body is in full on recovery mode, too, which doesn’t help the overall feeling of listlessness.  It just makes me crazy to feel run down.

I managed a few decent, albeit short runs this week.  One day I would feel decent, the next, just so tired.  I laced up though, even when my body said “no”.  Just getting in a few miles helped my mind and heart get a brief uplifting.  I just find it difficult to mix in enough rest, all the while still wanting to get in some training miles.

So, what’s up next?  Well, the marathons are over for the season.  No more until September.  Body says thank you.  I only have one half marathon in two weeks, and a 10k the following weekend.  That’s it.  Seems simple, yes?  The honest fact about racing is this.  I love it.  I love having a race in the near future to look forward to.  This will only last though for another few weeks.  Come June 7th, after the 10k, I will have nothing on the books for the entire Summer.

Once I get it through my head that I am not racing all Summer, I plan on using June, July and August to rest and rebuild this machine.  Taking care of this mid 40’s body, and reenergizing it.  Back to basics, ironing out a new training schedule, and following it.  Hopefully starting back at square one will get me that BQ in September that I want so badly.

Time to hit the “Reset” button so I don’t feel like this anymore.

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