So, not much to report today since I took today off. To be honest, I don’t think I stretched well enough after the race yesterday and the 15 minute walk back to the car shortly afterward didn’t do me any favors at all. My legs still kind of hurt today – I even think they feel worse today than they did after my 11 mile run last week.

I did read a good book over my vacation though – it’s an autobiography of Marla Runyan, who was the first legally blind woman to run in the Olympics, in Sydney, Australia. The name of it is No Finish Line. She wrote it with the same person who helped Lance Armstrong with his book, Sally Jenkins. Believe me, Marla is amazing. She runs races, and she can’t even see the people clearly who are running around her, and she can’t see the finish line. Imagine what that is like. It sounds like she grew up with an amazing mom, who fought for her every step of the way. And she’s just so incredibly fast. What I liked was that she acknowledges her shortcomings, and she realizes now she was overtraining for many years. That’s something I have done in the past, and am worried I may sometimes be doing now, since I feel like my speed (what little I ever had) has just seemed to dissipate lately.

So, speaking of speed, i just got another book from my library tonight, which was recommended to me by Alissa of the Balancing Act blog. It’s called Run Less, Run Faster. This is the book that suggests you run 3 days per week, and cross train on the other days. I think I need to sit down and really look at it. I personally am not going to lose sleep if I never run a marathon fast enough to qualify for Boston. (After all, if you run Boston, then you have to train through the winter, and to be honest, who knows if I will do another one after this October? Time will tell if I really like this distance, and if my body can truly handle it.) I guess now, I have to figure out – do I really want to really push myself, or am I happy with the speed I am running? Sometimes I find my best runs are the ones where I just say to myself, it’s not about the speed at all, but whether or not I feel happy running right now, and just taking in everything around me. (Guess that’s why the thought of running on a treadmill makes me want to take out a fork and stab it in my eye repeatedly. Nice image, isn’t it?)

I got the Marla Runyan book a few weeks back when I was really hurting for inspiration, and a good run. The Lance Armstrong one, It’s Not About the Bike, is the next one I have on tap. (Can you tell, I read a lot, and sometimes a few books at the same time?) I’m hoping both can do the trick and continue to inspire me this summer through the really crappy runs, because I am sure that there are more out there, just lurking around, waiting to happen.

Two unrelated thoughts to my reading:

1. For those of you who try to pick spectator-friendly races, the New Charles River Run was given a D+ on that scale by my husband, Bill. He said as soon as the race started (i.e., the herd ran past him) he saw that there was basically no one left other than as he put it, “him, and the people who started to take apart the start line.” He walked for 10 minutes trying to find a bridge to try to see me somewhere else, and couldn’t find one, then started back in the direction he’d come from. To see people finish, he said you either had to “stand in the mud” behind the American Legion building, or stand up on the bridge in the blazing sun (it was hot and humid yesterday.) As he says, it’s all about the spectators. When Jamie and I run the Maine Marathon in October, he’d like one of us to wear a siren, and the other to wear a strobe light on the top of our hats, so he can see and hear us coming from far away. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the man I married. 🙂 (And, yes, I do know he’ll be reading this…ha ha ha).

2. I am toying with the idea of joining the Virtual Run Club, but think it may be best to do so after the next two weeks, since I’ll be traveling for a lot of it. (Are you reading this, Chris?) I have to figure out ways to get my long runs in over the next two weeks, however. This weekend, I’ll be watching my brother run that 50-miler (I still think he’s insane) in Western New York. My brother-in-law is running the 50K (and Bill keeps threatening to sign me up for the 25K even though I’ve never run that far, and wouldn’t be able to make it at this point.) I’ve volunteered to help pace my brother toward the end, but I still think that even on my fresh legs, and his tired ones, I’d be slowing him down. Sad, I know. The following weekend, I am going to be at a conference, where they are having a 5K race, but it’s on a Sunday, which throws off the long run-Saturday schedule, so I really have to do some advance planning. (The 5K is also at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., so that’s another reason I am still debating whether or not to do it.)

Oh, and I know I need to get started with that 100 push up challenge thing now that I am back from vacation. Should be interesting to see how many (or should I say, how few) I can do the first time!