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MANDELL’S RUNNING ‘ANSWERS’

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By Derek Mandell

To break up the monotony that my training stories may produce, this week’s segment features a different angle…followed by the same old training stories in my quest to run my first marathon at the Guam International Marathon. Enjoy.

Derek Mandell (yellow shirt and 'short shorts') jump starts the Hafa Marathon where he finished in first place. (courtesy photo)

Derek Mandell (yellow shirt and ‘short shorts’) jump starts the Hafa Marathon where he finished in first place. (courtesy photo)

The Runner’s Bond

Becoming a “runner” is a simple process that involves putting on athletic clothing, running shoes and having a strong sense of determination, regardless of what type of running goals you have. Whether your goal is to adopt a healthier lifestyle, finish a certain race distance, or win a shiny-looking medal, we runners all share a common bond. The bond I speak of is experiencing, of course, the dreaded questions and comments that all runners encounter on a weekly (or sometimes daily) basis.

In no particular order or sense of organization, the following are the most common questions and comments runners have encountered at some point in life. As a bonus, I provide some safe responses a runner can give and what they may actually be thinking.

Comment: “You run (insert number) miles??? I don’t even drive that far!”
Safe response: “Oh, I’m just trying to reach a goal; it’s necessary!”
…but thinking: “This is a sad day in the automotive industry.”

Question: “What do you think about when you run?”
Safe response: “Breathing, maintaining a steady pace, and focusing on my running form.”
…but thinking: “Fish Fish McBytes McBytes, Fish Fish McBytes McBytes, Fish Fish McBytes McBytes…FISHAY FISHAYYY!”

Comment: “Run, Forrest, Run!”
Safe response: “HA-HA.”
…but thinking: “At least they aren’t making fun of my shorts.”

and of course:

Question/Comment: “Who wears short, shorts?”
Safe response: “…”
…but thinking: “Bad choice, Derek. Bad, bad, choice.”

Back to Business

After reaching a milestone in training, it becomes more difficult to duplicate the efforts; if it was easy it wouldn’t be called a milestone. I must admit that training for the Guam International Marathon is a lot tougher than I initially thought. Training for a marathon is entirely different than training for the 800m and 1500m runs, and I’m learning that quickly.

The week after completing the 101-mile week, I dropped back down to 80 miles. The week after that it rose again, but not quite 100. Then back down to 80, and so on and so forth. The beauty of having a flexible training plan is that you can adapt to how your body feels throughout the week and allow yourself to recover properly. However, the work still needs to be done.

A quick excerpt from last week’s training log:

Saturday-
AM: 5 miles;

PM: Open Track meet at JFK hosted by the Guam Track and Field Association  (2km XC run, 200m sprint, and 800m run) My 800m time of 2:10.79 was my slowest 800m time in long time. The past two years I would average under 2 minutes for the entire track season. Moral of the story is that my goal for this season is to run a fast marathon and need to focus on that.

Sunday-
AM: Gate to Gate 21 Miler, hosted by the Guam Running Club. The course starts at the Taco Bell near Big Navy and finishes by the front gate of Andersen AFB. Yes, you run the entirety of Marine Corps Drive. Yes, I know you don’t even drive that far.

PM: 5 miles. I wanted to be able to write down that I ran 26 miles in one day. Only I know it took two different runs…

If you’ve read this far down, thank you for your support. You win a picture of my black toenail. Stay active and wear shoes that fit. See you next time.

Derek's running 'black toe'. (photo by Derek Mandell)

Derek’s running ‘black toe’. (photo by Derek Mandell)

Derek’s Marathon Prep I

Derek’s Marathon Prep II

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