Posts Tagged ‘training’


So a little earlier today I received an email from the NSCA.





…now comes the hard part.  The next few weeks will be spent organizing a business plan and, hopefully, meeting with prospective clients. 

Time to get to work!

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Dear Boston 13.1 Team Up with Autism Speaks Runners,

I am truly sorry.  I have not kept up my end of the bargain we made last Spring.  I was supposed to lead you through your training, inspire you to run long, ready you for the 13.1 miles you will conquer next month.  I have done none of those things.  Unfortunately, lung issues have put me on the shelf for the last month and I have not been able to lead long runs, any runs really, at all.  It has been 28 days since I last laced up; and truth be told, the week leading up to that last run was labored at best.

No, I have been neither a good leader nor team captain, and for that I am truly sorry.

I hope you have been training.  I hope you have been running at least three time a week with one long run on the weekends (you should shoot for 10 slow miles this weekend).  I hope you’re on target with your fund raising goals.

I’ve got one last challenge for you.  I know it’s a lot to ask, particularly as I have been an absent leader, but I ask you nonetheless.  As of this coming Sunday, there will be three weeks until Boston 13.1.  I want you to convince a friend to come join you in our little jaunt by the sea.  It’s okay if they say they are in no shape to run 13.1 runs because you know what?  Neither am I!  But I will be there – despite the complete breakdown of my running since mid-July, the Blue Afro and I plan on being on the course with you.  I may have to walk, but I will be there – and if I can do it, so can a friend.

I can’t promise dinner with Jess (adiaryofamom) since she is not running this year, but I can promise that the team dinner the night before the race will fill you with words of inspiration and feelings of hope and promise…oh, and a chance to break bread with the Blue Afro and me.

I look forward to seeing old faces and meeting new friends on the 14th and 15th.

Sincerely and Apologetically,


PS:  If you can’t join us for Boston 13.1 but would like to contribute in some way, please consider donating to my fund raising page (link below).

—>Luau’s Fund Raising Page<—

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Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize

The TARC 100 is four, FOUR, days away.

I am worried and scared.

I worried because I’m not really worried about the race.

I’m scared because I’m not really scared about the distance.

I’m getting a bit wound up because I’m not getting wound up about the lack of sleep that is coming.

It’s a bit odd. As this race approaches, I’m pretty mellow about the whole thing. I’m convinced that JB and I are not only going to finish, but we’re going to finish with some time to spare. I suppose part of that is inexperience, a lack of knowledge of what truly lies ahead; not knowing what it is the legs and lungs and mind feel like after 75 miles, realizing that one still has to run what is essentially a full marathon.

Training hasn’t been ideal. I’ve missed a few long runs – a scheduled 50-miler and 24-miler stand out in particular.

I should be nervous…

…but I’m not…

…and that’s making me kind of, well, nervous.

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tick tick tick tick tick...

tick tick tick tick tick…

It is now less than 30 days until the TARC 100.

Cue mild panic attack.

Less than 30 days until I make my first (and possibly last) attempt at covering 100 miles on foot in less than 30 hours.  30 hours is the cutoff.  The race’s website states that if one is not on at least 30 hour pace when he or she reaches the various aid stations then that person will be pulled from the course.

30 hours. That’s 3.33 miles per hour.  18 minute mile pace.  Seems simple enough…until you really think about it.


My buddy JB and I have set our goal to finish under 24 hours, with an A+ goal being sub-20; but this plantar fasciitis thing has proven to be harder to shake than hoped and that has set back training for the last few weeks.  Sure I’ve continued to run through it to keep #AutismStreaks alive (I know, not wise) , but I haven’t been able to put in the miles one should when training for a 100 miler.


So what to do?

My thinking now is just finish.  In my head now I’m thinking if we go sub-24, that would be fantastic, but in reality, if I can cover 100 miles in anywhere between 24 and 30 hours, I will be pleased as punch.  In a perfect world I would have done a 50-miler last weekend.  Instead, I ran a total of 4 miles.

The world’s not perfect; training doesn’t always go as planned; ultimately we need to make adjustments to our expectations.

That’s life.

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So yesterday my buddy JB & I ran 31 miles (or for you metric folk – 50K).  It wasn’t a race; it was just a plain old long, slow, distance training run.  It was the second farthest I have ever run in my life (the farthest to date being the Vermont 50).  Unlike the Vermont 50, there was no walking yesterday, just a relentless push forward with only two brief stops to grab a PB&J and refill the water bottles at our cars at miles 12.5 and 20.5.  Our goal had been to finish close to the 5 hour mark.  We ended up hitting 31 miles in 4:48:07 for an average overall pace of 9:17 per mile.

So what did we learn from this run?  In no particular order:

  1. Slow down – 8:00 miles are too fast.
  2. Slow down some more – so are 8:30 miles.
  3. And then slow down even more – even 9:17’s we averaged are too fast if we’re going to successfully run 100 miles.
  4. LSD is much more enjoyable with a friend – the run, not the drug.
  5. Chatting makes the miles go by quickly
  6. …but there’s nothing wrong with running in silence for a mile here and there.
  7. Windy, twisty, turny paths are mentally a lot easier to deal with than long straight ones that end in a point on the horizon.
  8. If you go downhill, eventually you will have to go uphill
  9. Uphills, no matter how gentle the slope, still hurt after 27 miles
  10. I must practice eating while running – both PB&J’s hit the belly like a lead ball.
  11. Honey water works – as least at the 31 mile distance.
  12. So does pickle juice – not even a hint of a leg cramp yesterday.
  13. My Mophie packs are going to work out great – after 5 hours and 31 miles of tracking, I still had plenty of juice left.
  14. Breaking in shoes works – not a hint of a blister on my feet after all that running.
  15. Not all runners are friendly…
  16. …but most of them are.
  17. My legs are in better shape than I anticipated – they are a little sore today, but nothing like I was prepared to have to deal with.
  18. Salty bananas are delicious after 20 miles of running
  19. Momentum only takes you so far
  20. The hardest part of training over the next 65 days will be forcing myself to run 4 minutes per mile slower than I comfortably run
  21. In the longer distances you don’t need chase people that pass you – in all likelihood, you may see them again at some point.
  22. Body glide or vasoline or some kind of lube is a must – otherwise you will end up with the worst chafing in the worst spots.
  23. Eat more during the run – from the time we finished around 11:30AM, I didn’t stop eating until I got into bed at 9:30PM (I’m actually 5 pounds heavier this morning than I was yesterday before my run).
  24. Walk after running – I’m convinced that part of the reason I am not so sore today is that we walked  3/4 of a mile after hitting 31 miles and then my family and I went to the Children’s Museum as soon as I got home and showered.
  25. Drink more fluid during the run
  26. …and keep drinking afterward – as the afternoon progressed I was hit with a wicked headache.  A couple of Advil and a steady stream of liquid refreshment took care of that.
  27. If JB & I are going to run side by side for 20 – 24 hours, we’re gonna have to come up with some intriguing conversation topics
  28. Running at conversational pace is a heck of a lot easier on the body than running faster than that
  29. Running 31 miles in the morning and still having an entire day in front of you is a fantastic feeling
  30. Feeling the way we did during the last few miles made us realize, possibly for the first time, just how big of an undertaking 100 miles really is
  31. …but now I am more determined than ever to cross that finish line and get that belt buckle!

So there you have it.  On day 97 of #AutismStreaks I got a 31 miler/50K out of the way and put the streak over 550 miles for the year (553 to be exact).  In about a month, we will do a 50-miler (maybe).  We’ll see.  I hope you got your long run this weekend!

Me and JB - post-31-miler...smiling because we're done.

Me and JB – post-31-miler…smiling because we’re done.

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for the back ground on who The Blue Afro is, please read https://runluaurun.com/2012/09/17/boston-13-1-2012/ or just click on the picture

It’s still 6 months away, but the Blue Afro is thinking about September.  Where will you be this coming September 15th?  The Blue Afro and I hope that you will be here in Boston, with us, with one of those cool Autism Speaks singlets on, sharing 13.1 scenic miles along the shore through some classic Boston-area neighborhoods.

That’s right, Boston 13.1 is on September 15th this year and once again Autism Speaks is the sponsored charity of the race.

I (not the Blue Afro) have been running every day in 2013, in part for #AutismStreaks, in part to train for the TARC 100 and Vermont 50, but also to make sure that I am in shape and ready to go in September to once again help lead a team of amazing runners.

Last year Autism Speaks fielded 250 runners and raised over $186,000.00!  This year we are hoping to top that by recruiting 500 runners and raise at least $250,000.  All that needs to be done is that every one of you who ran last year grab a friend, a relative, a stranger off the street and convince them that THEY TOO can run (or walk) 13.1 miles!

You may wonder why I am once again leading the charge for Boston 13.1.  There is of course the obvious reason of running for a better, ever improving future for my little Brooke, but there is a less obvious answer as well.  Last year, as one of the team leaders, I had the privilege of leading weekly training runs every weekend throughout the summer.  Throughout the course of those runs I got to meet and get to know some pretty incredible people, many of whom I still interact with on at least a weekly basis, if not more often.  These runners were all running for different reason – some were parents or relatives of autistic children, some were educators, some were family friends of someone affected by autism, others were researchers – they all came from different backgrounds, they all came with different perspectives, but they all came with the objective of making the world a better place for their autistic children, siblings, friends, co-workers, students.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Once again this year, I will be leading weekly “long runs” on the weekends leading up to Boston 13.1, probably starting sometime in late April/early May, and I cannot wait to share the pavement on a weekly basis with some friends, both old and new.

Just like last year, I am not asking for your money – my close friends will be getting the donation letter shortly – no, once again, I am asking you to donate yourself, your body, your time.

I want you to:

  • help me raise autism awareness;
  • help me fund programs that help newly diagnosed children and adults and their families;
  • help me drive the research that could open the doorway to a better understanding of just what autism is;
  • help me make sure that autistic adults live in a world that embraces their differences and understands that everyone can be a productive, integral part of society.

Will you running 13.1 miles in September make that much of a difference?  It may not seem so at first glance – I mean, how far can the $500 raised really go, right?  You would be surprised.  You can fund 1 minute of research for as little as 10¢.  If we hit our goal of $250,000, multiply that 1 minute by 2.5 million dimes!  That’s a lot of minutes!!!  Every rain storm is made up of droplets and we have all seen what kind of effect the cumulative power of rain drops can be.

So I hope you will join me and my Blue Afro this September (and if you’re local, come join us every weekend – distances and pace will be individually based so don’t worry about how fast or how strong you are!).

Here are the details (pretty much the same as last year):

2013 Team Up! with Autism Speaks benefits include, but are not limited to:

* Guaranteed Race Entry

* Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt and an Autism Speaks hat/visor

* Private Team Celebration Dinner for you and a guest on September 14th. Location TBD – where you’ll be subjected to a motivational speech by yours truly AND we’ll get to break some bread together!

* Customized online fundraising page

* Team Up! Facebook Page

* Virtual Coaching by a certified running coach

* Fundraising Tips and Opportunities

* Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist

* Race Day Cheering Section

* Team Handbook – In a PDF form and downloadable for reference at any time.

**Team Up! with Autism Speaks does not cover travel expenses to and from Massachusetts for the race. We strongly recommend the usage of the race’s official travel partners for making all reservations.

Autism Speaks will have a block of rooms available for booking at a local hotel shortly.

Here’s the link to the registration page: http://events.autismspeaks.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1055963

And one last note – it DOESN’T MATTER if you are not a runner!  Boston 13.1 is walker-friendly.  I won’t lie to you and say it’s a leisure walk in the park; it is a faster-paced 16:00/mile walk, but I guarantee that if you start walking regularly today (or when Spring hits your neck of the woods), then YOU will be able to cover 13.1 miles in less than 3:30.  So saying, “but Luau, I’m not a runner,” is not a valid excuse!

Join me.

Join the Blue Afro.

Come out and have some fun.  If you are from out of town, you’re going to get to see Boston at the best time of year and if you are local, well, you’re gonna be here anyway!  I hope to see you out there.  There were 500 slots – the Blue Afro just took one of them.

See you in September.

She is why I run...who will you run/walk for?

She is why I run…who will you run/walk for?

You can find the Blue Afro on Twitter at: the Blue Afro

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For whatever ridiculous reason, I thought Saturday morning would be warm enough to go without glove...I was, um, wrong.

For whatever ridiculous reason, I thought Saturday morning would be warm enough to go without glove…I was, um, wrong.

Oops!  I knew I was forgetting something yesterday!  No, I got my run in – I forgot to post this post!

10 weeks in, 378 miles behind me.  Despite a snowstorm on Friday, I can feel the weather beginning to turn; I see more runners out on the weekends training for Boston – I still should have worn gloves Saturday morning though; 14 miles later, my fingers needed 30 minutes to fully recover.

I hope you got your runs in this week.  Less than a month to 100 days!!!

Week 10:
March 05 – 3.0 miles 24:34 8:11 pace aHR 133
March 06 – 5.0 miles 40:03 8:00 pace
March 07 – 5.0 miles 42:57 8:35 pace aHR 122
March 08 – 1.0 miles 9:00 9:00 pace
March 09 – 14.0 miles 1:51:19 7:57 pace aHR 129
March 10- 12.0 miles 1:50:03 9:10 pace aHR 123
March 11 – 1.0 miles 8:40 8:40 pace
Week 10 Total – 41.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 378.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)


If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

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Week 9 of #AutismStreaks brought highs and lows – for those of you who follow Jess, you know it’s been, well, an “interesting” week.  I was particularly pleased with my run on Saturday – a steady and strong 21-miler that was my longest run of the year by 9 miles.  During that run I shared a few miles with a gentleman named Errol, a runner from South Africa who was training for Boston.  While chatting he almost convinced me that I need to run Comrades, a 54 mile race in South Africa that changes direction every year; every other year it’s uphill, the other, downhill.  Let’s see if I still want to run Ultras after this year’s TARC 100 and Vermont 50.

I hope you got you runs in this week,

Week 9:
February 26 – 5.0 miles 37:58 7:35 pace
February 27 – 4.0 miles 31:54 7:58 pace aHR 128
February 28 – 7.0 miles 50:00 7:08 pace aHR 149
March 01 – 1.0 miles 8:32 8:32 pace aHR 146
March 02 – 21.0 miles 2:56:45 8:25 pace aHR 132
March 03- 1.0 miles 10:18 10:18 pace
March 04 – 5.0 miles 36:06 7:13 pace aHR 140
Week 8 Total – 44.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 337.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)


If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

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A little less than a year and a half ago I crossed the finish line of the Vermont 50 – fifty miles through the mountains of Vermont.




When I crossed the finish line in just over eleven hours, I made a bee-line for my buddy Doug (the guy who had convinced me this was a good idea) and yelled a string of expletives at him.  I was never going to do this again, I concluded.

Ultra-Marathon could now be checked off on the bucket list – time to move on.

Never again.

About a half hour later, I looked over at Doug and said something along the lines 0f, “you know, if we had actually done any kind of training before this, we probably could have gone sub-10:00.”  I started thinking of doing it again the following year.

As life will often do, scheduling got in the way and I could not participate in last year’s Vermont 50.  I told Doug that 2013 would be the year of the sub-10.  I hadn’t signed up for any marathons save New York City, so I planned on putting in some miles early and then getting serious about training over the summer.

Then #AutismStreaks began.  My mileage through seven and half weeks hasn’t been huge, but I do feel like my legs are coming back – I may be slower than I once was, but I still enjoy time on my feet.  Earlier this week I went running with my Super Sunday 5 running buddy JB.  He is probably one of the easiest people to run with.

Yesterday he posted this on Facebook:

JB's Facebook Post...

JB’s Facebook Post…


After Vermont and my experience at Around the Lake earlier that July, I swore I would never run a 100-miler until I had the ability to cover that distance in 18 hours or less.  It wasn’t a speed issue, rather it was I had come to dislike racing at night.  Around the Lake was miserable, absolutely miserable.  The idea of running through the night, which, at my speed, I would have to do to cover 100 miles, did not appeal to me at all.  I knew that at best I could maybe cover 100 miles in 24 hours, under ideal conditions, and the laws of time and space dictate that if that is the case, I would have to run through the night.

Nope.  I wasn’t ever going to do that.



To happen!


To humor myself I clicked on the link – what kind of craziness was JB getting into?  100 miles?  He’s crazy!  Trail running madman he is.  That’s just…oh, hey, look – it’s relatively local…and it’s flat…only 3000 feet of climb for the whole 100 miles…what was Vermont?  over 9,000 feet over 50 miles?  that’s six times the elevation per mile…and, whoa! $60???  that’s CHEAP!!!

I shook my head.  What the HELL was I thinking???

No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!!!

I left JB a comment: Are you entered?

JB: Yes sir.

Me:  Do you have a goal time?  WHY THE HELL WAS I ASKING??? And is 3000 climb for 100 miles or for 25 miles? STOP ASKING HIM QUESTIONS!!!

JB: its for the 100, and I think finishing would be a great goal! its pretty damn flat

My response?  I am not actually considering a 100-miler…I am not actually considering a 100-miler…I am not actually considering a 100-miler…


Over dinner I mentioned to Jess that I might be thinking about running the TARC 100 – I began with I know I said I would never do one of these things, but you know, it’s relatively local and it’s flat, and JB and Doug are running it and it’s really, really inexpensive and I know I said I would never do one of these things but…

She looked at me as she interrupted me, You know how when I tell you I’m going to buy a pair of boots and I start to come up with all kinds of reasons why I “need” them when I really don’t and you roll your eyes as if to say just go buy them?  I’m rolling my eyes…you’re nuts, but go ahead.

90 minutes later, this happened:

...what have I done?

…what have I done?


On the bright side, if I’m still #AutismStreaking at this point (I believe it would be day 165) that will be a lot of Charity Miles!

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From October 7th to December 31st of last year I ran a total of seven times.  Granted, some of those runs were 20+ mile runs, but that’s seven runs in eighty-six days.  That’s just over one run every two weeks.

Not a lot of running.


A day or two before New Year’s my buddy Doug posted a link on Facebook to a Crow Athletics Streak Challenge – run or walk at least one mile every day for one hundred days.  I have never been a fan of streaking, that is, the concept of running as many consecutive days as possible.  I’m a firm believer in the necessity of rest and I have a hard time believing that one can run and rest simultaneously.

But this piqued my interest – not because of its uniqueness, people streak all the time, but simply because of the personal nature of its timing.  I struggled off and on with motivation for almost all of 2012.  Even while I was training for Sugarloaf last winter, it was still a fight to get myself out the door.  I yearned for that time, not so long ago considering I’ve only been running for four years, when my legs were out the door before I was even aware of it.  2010 was a banner year for me.  I ran four marathons over the course of eight months; I pushed myself harder with each race, training with an eagerness that was fueled by hunger.

After qualifying for and then running Boston 2011, that drive slowly began to shrink.  I continued to enter races – Around the Lake (July 2011), the Vermont 50 (September 2011), NYCM (November 2011), but the training, the motivation continued to dwindle.  After being left out of Boston 2012 by a mere 30 seconds, I rallied briefly last Winter in an attempt to qualify for Boston 2013, but despite my decent training cycle, my lack of miles over the previous 12 months caught up with me.  At mile 20 of Sugarloaf 2012, on pace for around a 3:13 finish, the wheels came off the bus and I finished with a respectable, but non-BQ time of 3:23.

Despite the fact that 3:23 was my second best marathon time ever, my mojo was officially DOA.  I found other ways to encourage others to run.  I recruited and ran runners in at the Boston 13.1 Half Marathon in September (running a total of twenty some odd miles…barefoot), I pulled off what would have been a fun, silly stunt for New York 2012 by getting Katy Perry to donate 25 blue wigs to Team Up with Autism Speaks runners, but even in doing so, I hardly ran.  Yes, I ran some in October to help #teamLuau beat #teamBecca on the Gorilla Suit throwdown, but I was also helped tremendously by other runners and biker donating their miles.  I was still having fun running, but I just wasn’t doing a lot of it.


But then I saw Doug’s post.

Run at least one mile (or more) for one hundred days.


God, I hate streaking.



I ran six miles on the first of the year.  It was like starting a cold engine.  I had run once in December (on my birthday) – 4.3 miles to celebrate turning 43.  Before that I had run 30 days earlier on Thanksgiving – 3.1 miles in a personal Turkey Trot.

My legs were not ready for my New Year’s run.

But I did it.

The following day I put in 6 more.


I am NOT streaking!!!


On the 3rd, I put in a quick 4-spot, feeling good about my 7:30 pace.  During my run I began to think about a promise Doug and I made a while back – to attempt a sub-10 hour Vermont 50 this year.  I ran an 11:04 on essentially no training in 2011. Sub-10 was going to take some work.  As I hit the 2-mile mark in my run and turned for home, I realized that that work started with building a base.  Before I really started to train this summer, I would have to put some miles behind me.  It didn’t matter how long my runs were this winter, I was just going to have to run…a lot!


The following day I went out for 4 miles and came home having run 6.  My legs were tired from 4 consecutive days of running, but just like starting your car on a cold winter day, my engine, my drive, was warming up.


I wanna run tomorrow!  But am I streaking?  I don’t know!


I put in a short 3-miler because of time constraints, but the point was I ran.  Then yesterday, before going on an all-day road trip, I got up early to put in a few miles.  I was planning on 4 or 5 miles and came home having run 7.  I will be squeezing in a short run at lunch today.

Am I streaking?  I really don’t know.  But the turning of the calendar and the concept of this challenge, if nothing else, has at least turned the engine over.  I still believe in rest days, but I also, as a trainer-in-training, believe that we have to do what we can to find our motivation.  Sometimes that motivation is a size 6 dress (well, not for me); sometimes that motivation is an old pair of jeans; sometimes that motivation is a number on the scale; sometimes that motivation is being able to play with your children…sometimes, that motivation is something as silly as a streak.

What are YOU using as motivation this January to get your body moving?

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