PictureMeb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas
After reading Meb Keflezighi's book, Meb For Mortals How to Run, Think, and Eat Like A Champion Marathoner, I've decided we are exactly the same person. But we'll get to that in a minute. 

Runner's World contacted me recently and asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book and you know I said yes! I've actually never done a book review before, but it's been fun doing something different. I was provided a free digital copy of the book to review  but as always, all opinions and typos are my own. 

Now back to how Meb and RunGingerRun are the same person...

I know what you are thinking. 

Sure, he's male and I'm female. He's African American and I'm a Native American Ginger. He wins marathons and I barely survive them. But I'm pretty sure we're the same person deep down inside. 

In his book, Meb talks about a lot of things.
He talks about his mental process, his training plan, his cross training plan, how he eats, and even how he recovers from a race. 

Reason number one on how Meb and RGR are the same.
He takes time off after a race! 
"I always take a break after a marathon. In the first few days after, I don't have a choice - I can barely walk." 

Umm what? So you mean to tell me Meb Keflezighi, 2014 Boston Marathon Winner, also does the stiff-legged-shuffle the days after a race?! I bet he curses those stairwells the same way I do! I had no idea. Professional athletes make it look so easy. 

He says he make take off as much as 3 weeks after a marathon depending on "how beat up" he is. He does this to help recover and avoid injury. 
So my 8 week hiatus from running this summer just means I'm training like the pros...kinda. :)

Reason number two on how Meb and RGR are the same.
He doesn't worry about missing a mile or two on his training plan!
"It's better to be undertrained than overtrained." 
I can get behind this 100%.
Overtraining leads to injury. Injury leads to missing races and other fun stuff.
Personally, I'd rather sit out a training run or cut one short than miss my entire goal event.

Reason number three on how Meb and RGR are the same.
Meb wears sunglasses on race day! So do I! Albeit for different reasons. Until I read the book, I didn't really give much thought to his signature look. You know, the 5 S's...Shorts, Sketchers Shoes, Singlet, and Sunglasses. 

"I usually wear sunglasses in a race if it's a sunny day. This is not because of the sun but to help keep my head at the right level."
For me, it's all about comfort and to keep the sun out of my eyes. For Meb, it's all about posture and running form. He feels that if he wears them he'll notice when his head starts to drop in poor form because his sunglasses will slide down his face. Who knew?

Meb for Mortals is the title, but is it really for the everyday runner?

That thought crossed my mind when I started reading this. I expected to see crazy workout strategies, diets, and gear that only an elite athlete could come up with. Turns out, it really is a book for the everyday runner or "mortal" if you will. 

He talks about runners who wear a phone on their arm and tells us why it's a bad idea when it comes to your running form. I think it's pretty neat the this book focuses on real habits of all kinds of runners. I've certainly  been that runner with a phone on my arm and now that I see it in print that it changes your running form, I can see why. 

I could go on and on about the cool down-to-earth tips this book gives but let's do a quick rundown of the items included in this book.
  • He discusses his 9 day training cycle when most athletes do a 7 day cycle
  • He gives a list of running drills to help you with form (with pictures)
  • He shares tips with where to do certain works outs. He races on the road so a lot of his workouts are on the road.
  • Detailed 4 weeks of his 5k,10k, haf marathon and marathon training plans that lead to his PRs
  • Race nutrition - When he can't sleep at night before a marathon, he eats!
  • When to take a DNF. He's had three. 
  • Eating in general. Quick summary: No to fast food, yes to coffee sometimes!

I could go on and on with the cool tips and advice that this books includes,  but really, it's a quick, easy, and intriguing read if you're a runner or a fan of the sport. 
If you need a book for your next plane trip or day by the pool, this is a good one to have! 
You can buy a copy of Meb's book here. It's a paperback book that retails for $19.99.
You can follow him on Twitter here.
You can find him on Facebook here.
You can like his photos on Instagram here.

Also - Meb will be running in the 2015 Boston Marathon so be sure to cheer him on! 

Question! Do you plan to watch the 2015 Boston Marathon to see if Meb wins again?

 
 
Picture
My 7th marathon is less than two weeks away and I'm trying to mentally prepare for it.
I survived my last long run of almost 20 miles this weekend but my training this season has been less than stellar. I'm pretty sure won't be setting any PRs anytime soon. But I willing signed up for this race and I'm going to give it a shot.

Why?

Because I like medals.

I collect them. It's not just a collection. It's something I can say that I earned as well. Every step of the way. I know some runners don't care much about medals and we all have different reasons why we sign up for a race, but this is mine. 

When I'm picking a half or full marathon, I go through these questions in this order:
1. Does it have a medal? If yes, move on to question two. If the answer is no to this question, there is no need to move forward to any other questions. 
2. What does it look like? If I think it's neat, cool, unique, etc. Move on to next question.
3. Travel, Lodging, Cost. If it's affordable, move on to next question. 
4. Does it fit in my training cycle? If the race in Oct/Nov or late March/early April, next question.
5. Have I already raced in this state? If no, then its a definite possibility!

Sometime last year there were rumors swirling in my running community that the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas was going to have Dorothy as the main character for their medal this year.

Quick back story - In the past, the half medal has been the Wicked Witch and the Full marathon medal has been rotating the other characters (Tin Man, Scare Crow and last year it was the Cowardly Lion). 

Another quick story - I freaking love the Wizard of Oz! I've dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween 2 or 3 times, I've watched the movie countless times, and I've seen the musical Wicked 3 times! 

Last year, the Hubbo and I and some of our running buddies drove up to Kansas and ran the half marathon. So now I have the Wicked Witch medal and when it was confirmed that the Full Marathon Medal would be Dorothy and I knew I had to sign up. And I did.

It only makes sense, right? If I'm not going to do this race again, this is a perfect set. 
Wicked Witch + Dorothy
They are an iconic pair like, Romeo and Juliet, Popeye and Olive Oil, or Bonnie and Clyde! 
You just can't have one without the other. You just can't. My brain can't comprehend it any other way.

I don't plan to do another full marathon anytime soon. So I won't be collecting the other characters. Sorry Scare Crow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man! Who knows if they will be doing the same thing over the next few years.

I don't plan on running any marathons for a while because this is me lately...
And that is how I ended up signing up for another marathon when I had no intentions of training for a full marathon two training cycles in a row. 

I'm just here for the medal.

Question! Have you ever signed up for a race just for the medal?

 
 
Happy Good Friday Running Buddies!

I'm off work today, but the Hubbo has to work so I'm just sitting at home relaxing and preparing for my 20 miler tomorrow. 
It's just me, the dog, and the cat. I'm hydrating like a boss and they, well, they are being lazy. 

The Hubbo sent me the pic below of our dog, Zoey, and our cat, Gypsy, a few weeks ago.
This picture is totally staged! They aren't friends, but it's cute when they tolerate each other for a few seconds. 
Don't get me wrong, it's not a hostile relationship, they just prefer to pretend the other doesn't exist. And when Zoey walks too close to Gypsy, she likes to bop her in the face a time or two. Don't worry though, we always separate them and Gypsy doesn't use her claws. Zoey usually just stands there looking confused for a second. 
Picture
You can cut the tension with a knife...
Picture
Today I'm getting mentally and physically ready for my 20 mile run tomorrow with my group.
Here's my plan for the day...

Step 1: Eat cereal for breakfast.
Done!

Step 2: Wear Strassburg Sock off and on today.
Currently In Progress.

Step 3: Hydrate like a boss!
In Progress! Already 17 ounces in.

Step 4: Stretch and Foam Roll.
Eh, we'll see if I get to this one...
Step 5: Play Laser Tag with friends.
Totally doing this today! What should my player name be?

Step 6: Eat a turkey sandwich and apple for lunch.
Nom nom nom!

Step 7: Eat something for dinner and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
TBD

And this will be me tomorrow after my run...

Leave a comment! How do you prepare for your long run?

 
 
In less than three weeks, I'll hopefully complete my 7th marathon. My plan is to run the Full at the Garmin Marathon in Kansas and collect my Dorothy themed medal. I ran the half here last year and received a Wicked Witch medal, so it only makes sense that I add Dorothy to my collection, right? 

Oh the things we do for bling! 

I never really do weekly training recaps but I feel like once or twice a training session I tend to blog about my training. I don't do weekly recaps for a couple reasons.

1. I think seeing post after post after post of someones miles/splits can be boring and mine aren't that impressive. 
2. I pay for my training plan and I don't know if my running club would appreciate me posting it all over the place.
3. I never really stick to that plan anyways.

With that being said, I will share with you all that this is supposed to be my peak week. Supposed to be.
I haven't really been doing a stellar job at sticking to my training and this is the first training session where I've really slacked on my miles.

I didn't run Monday because I got a massage. Remind me someday to tell you about my love/hate relationship with massages. It's mostly a hate relationship...

I ran 4 miles Tuesday and it was HOT! It was close to 90 degrees after work. 
I plan to run a tempo run with my group tomorrow after work. Fingers crossed!
Saturday is our longest run of the session. 20 miles. 

Then I'll slide into taper mode.  It kind of feel like I've been in that mode since January. But hopefully, come Saturday, I'll get the job done. I'm already mentally prepping for that day and asking myself all of life's serious questions...

Compression socks or no compression socks?
Do I tape my feet or not tape my feet?
Do I take 4 or 5 packets of nutrition with me?
Do I take my iPod along or no?
And OMG, what am I going to wear? What's the weather going to be like? 
In other news...

I've been seeing my Chiropractor again. We have an on-again off-again relationship. Right now we are on and I'm happy with how my appointments are progressing.
I've had two this week and I have 3 scheduled for next week.
Today we did some Active Release Therapy and Dry Needling.
I've had the needling done before and it didn't really bother me, but today..OUCH! 
He's working on two separate issues. My plantar fasciitis has been acting up and I have a compressed nerve on the inside of my foot. 
I'm not too worried about these issues. I've been dealing with my plantar fasciitis for a while now and he seems to be confident that he can fix up the nerve problem. So if everything goes according to plan, I should be able to show up and run the Garmin Marathon in a couple weeks.

Leave a comment? How's your training going? 
iPod or no iPod?