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On the go: progress in marathon training

Follow Rachel’s day-to-day training on her twitter and facebook pages and read more of Rachel’s marathon experience every other Sunday in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.


By Rachel Luna, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/22/2011 07:15:04 AM PDT

So I guess it would be fair to say that I’ve made some progress in my running endeavor.

It’s seven weeks into my marathon training and I’m still surviving. But I had no idea just how much I’ve actually accomplished.

I flipped through my running log Friday afternoon and finally calculated all the mileage I’ve put in so far – more than 70 miles. I never thought I’d see the day.

I can’t imagine how many miles I’ll rack up by the time the L.A. Marathon comes around next March. And it’s still more than five months away.

Turns out there’s a lot more to running. It’s not as simple as Forrest Gump makes it look. But then again, he was a simple man that compared life to a box of chocolates.

A whole different world – a runner’s world – exists and I’m learning the ropes. And there’s still much more to learn about running. I’ve had several good laughs along the way.

For instance, I decided to run with a small reusable water pouch instead of wasting disposable cups at water stations set up along the routes of the L.A. Roadrunners – the group I’m training with.

I can now say it’s definitely a bad idea to have any liquid in the pouch while running. Nobody bothered sharing this valuable piece of information – but a pouch full of bright red Gatorade did.

Yup, I got to run six sticky miles with my training group that day. Lesson learned.

Also, I’d highly recommend getting properly fitted for running shoes at a running specialty shop.

And here’s why: On the first Saturday training run with the L.A. Roadrunners (a 3-mile run) I didn’t think shoes were that important, so I just ran with my four-year-old “running” shoes. Nope. Dumbest idea I had – besides the water pouch thing – so far.

The next morning as soon as my feet hit the ground after I got out of bed, pain shot through my feet so quickly I jumped back on my bed in agony. I seriously contemplated crawling on all fours or hand-walking for the rest of the day, but both options seemed a little too out-of-reach and ridiculous. So I dealt with all the pain for the following three days. Another lesson learned.

During a proper shoe fitting, a complete rundown of your feet’s biomechanics will be analyzed to ensure a proper fit. I had my weight, height, stride, foot print and walk analyzed to help get me a shoe that would help my feet run in the correct motion.

Who knew so much went into getting a real running shoe? I clearly understand it all now. It’s made a tremendous difference in my running and my feet haven’t had any problems since.

The only problem with my shoes are my laces. That’s right, there’s even a special runner’s way of lacing up. It’s my fault. I forgot how to do it after the saleswoman showed me at the running shop. So I haven’t completely untied my shoelaces since I’ve step out of the shop with them.

All I can do is laugh and move on. The mishaps I’ve had are adding up to a great first-time marathon experience.

I only hope to pass on the things I’ve learned to other novice runners out training on their own and perhaps remind all the veteran runners of their early days when they didn’t have a clue.

I’m just glad I haven’t tripped while I’m out training. That’s one thing I’m good at – I’m a total klutz.

Next Saturday I’ll reach the 10-mile distance with L.A. Roadrunners. The 26.2 miles is getting a little closer. Between now and the marathon mileage, I pray everything continues to go well – and maybe I’ll actually learn how to tie my running shoes.

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015