Pheidippides Award Winner – USATF

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As a member of the United States Track & Field Association I earned this award for long distance running for 2013.  Yes, I am a Masters runner, and proud of it.  This award is categorized in three levels.  Gold, Silver and Bronze.  In 2011, I earned a silver, and the last two years the Gold.

This award is inspired by Phidippides himself.  Yes, you can spell his name two ways.  Runners over the age of 40 can accumulate points by running road races during the year, and if attaining enough points, be eligible for this nice plaque.

Taken from the USATF website, “Phidippides was sent to Sparta by Athenian officials when they were threatened by Persians landing at Marathon.  The trip was 150 miles which he ran in two days.  The Spartans were celebrating a festival and could not come until the full moon, several days later, whereupon Phidippides retraced his steps in two more days.  He then fought a battle with the rest of Athenians routing the Persians.  The Persians retreated to their ships and set sail for Athens, which caused the Athenians to send Phidippides from the battlefield to Athens, a distance of 26 miles.  He reached Athens, pronounced Nenikekamen and promptly died.”  This 26 mile journey turned into an Olympic running event called the marathon.

If you are not a member of USATF, and live in the USA, you should consider becoming a member.  There are plenty of member benefits.  Check them out at http://www.usatf.org.

Recovery running

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This is is how I imagine I look when I run, but alas, looking at 99% of my race photos, this is far from true.  Having run a difficult marathon in the wind and cold four days ago, I am considering a recovery run today.  I’ve read many articles on how runners of all shapes and sizes and levels of ability approach recovery.  As I have progressed as a runner, I’ve learned that I have to adapt and personalize my recovery, and can’t use a bottled recovery plan.

After the marathon on Saturday, my body felt pretty wrecked.  My hips, and knees were just sore beyond belief.  I certainly have walked away from other marathons easier than I did this past weekend.  The wind forced me to work harder, resulting in more aches and pains.  The day after, on Sunday, I felt even worse, plus I had to work that afternoon.  I wasn’t ready for a run, and didn’t plan on one.  Sunday came and went, leading to Monday.  I could have run on Monday, but wasn’t feeling ready.  No problem.  The aches and pains were still there, but the hips felt much better.  Just some knee pain, but a fading pain.  Tuesday came, and my thought was to wait another day to run.  Like magic, over the course of the day, my legs felt back to normal.  No more pains of any kind.  That leads me to today.  So, I think I am ready for a short distance run.  Thinking maybe a two miler.

It is extremely important to listen to your body, and this doesn’t happen overnight.  I’ve made many mistakes over the past few years, but the good thing is, I’ve learned from my mistakes.  Running when your body isn’t ready will just lead to injury, so learn to listen.  Taking an extra day or two off will only help.  I’ve learned that resting can be just as beneficial sometimes.  Focus on keeping the body healthy.

I am going to start back slowly, with no target pace in mind other than slow.  If I’m not feeling it, I will end it early.

The running community is a great one, full of ideas, tricks and tips.  If you have any suggestions on recovery, what has worked for you, please share.  Would love to hear your recovery techniques.