Today was the Marine Corps Marathon, and I have been reading social networking posts from friends who ran. Brooks Running was posting about it, and others are posting about the upcoming New York City Marathon. So why am I writing about this? Because it gets me insanely pumped up! I didn't even run a race today, but I feel like I have the adrenaline that I get for race day.

One of the things I love most about running is this runner's high, happy feeling, and how in tune I feel with other running friends. I am so happy for them, even the ones I don't know all that well. A successful finish, a PR, or just getting out there is impressive. Today I feel all of these things through friends and acquaintances who raced.

The hardest part for me at the moment is this ongoing injury from the bike that I've been dealing with since mid-August. I had to give up my fall marathon and that makes me feel like a wuss. At the same time, there is no way I should be ramping up my mileage that much when running 12 or 13 miles gives me days of pain; I know better than to push like that even if I want to. I'm listening to my body and trying really hard to cut back on long runs. My post-Malibu Half goal is for my longest run to be 6 miles until I start increasing for the Santa Cruz Half on April 1.

In the meantime, I'm occupying my fitness self with personal training. There are two of us training together, and we had our first session this past Thursday. The trainer went really easy on us for the first one and neither of us were sore, but I'm sure he'll make it harder once he determines our abilities. He also gave us a fitness test based on movement and flexibility, which I didn't score well on at all (13 out of 21 - oops.) Now I have something to work on! This was hard to hear because I consider myself to be fairly strong, but I suppose my sporadic strength training and cardio-only mindset of late has let me slip.

Interestingly enough, I've read a few articles on how endurance training helps you store fat. I don't feel fat, but I do know that my strength is down and I don't have the muscle definition I used to when I trained regularly. My favorite article - and one that really hits home for me - is by Rachel Cosgrove, a personal trainer who found herself in less-than-toned shape after completing an Ironman. An Ironman, which I would think makes you stronger and fitter, but not so! Check out her article - make sure to see all of the pages and to check out the pictures at the end - and prepare to be inspired.


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