Mental Toughness by Carl Silva
There have been many articles written and anecdotes shared about the stress-relieving benefits of running. Some say it’s the increased production of endorphins. It could also be the alone time you get because all your friends think you’re crazy when you ask them along for an easy 10-miler. Either way, running does seem to help us feel better. However, there are so many parts of training for a run a long-distance race that contribute to the health benefits and peace of mind gained by our selected sport.
Runners develop a mental toughness that may keep them from being too bothered by the little things in life. Not only is their time on the road considered training, but also the activities that lead up to and follow a run. Training truly begins on Sunday morning when the alarm goes off on a day when all your friends and family are still sound asleep and planning to remain in that state for at least two more hours. But you, the runner, bravely face an alarm, testing your resolve not to gently press the snooze button with a sledgehammer. If you pass that test there’s the next one, the race against the clock to follow whatever odd routine you may have to seat yourself on the porcelain throne and have a successful movement before you leave the house, so it won’t happen on the run. With that done and one eye just beginning to open and gain focus, you need to put together your running outfit, checking with the sniff-test to ensure it still hasn’t been overrun by the accumulated B.O. that every runner is too familiar with in tech fabrics. Now all that’s left is to untangle that shoelace that seems to get knotted only on the days when you’re running late. Dealing with those things is the warm up, to test tolerance and determination.
Following the run, training begins in the area of humility and patience. Of course you still have a life outside of running. Non-running friends and family who want to get together very soon after a Sunday long run for brunch, can be viewed as “trainers” because they push our limits. Of course runners know the importance of keeping strong family ties and friendships, so we continue the push. We hold back our need to rest and waddle back to our cars as soon as we’re hydrated and stretched out. The men, calmly and humbly, deal with the realization that because their legs are so stiff, they have to enter thier cars the way a woman in a short skirt has to; rear backed into the seat, knees and ankles together, as they twist their bodies to gracefully get into position to rush home, shower, and change, as they tell themselves “this shall never be mentioned to the other guys!” Then once you’re at the family gathering you learn to ignore the looks of wonder and semi-disgust as you pile your plate full of food to replenish the thousands of calories scorched, just hours before. That pan of breakfast bread pudding is just right to replenish our depleted glycogen! Luckily by that time, there’s more blood in our feet than our brains, so who cares what others think!
Yes, running brings many people peace of mind, and it’s worth every early morning and rushed schedule to continue this sport. So, keep pushing through the miles that build your mental toughness, and enjoy the stress-reduced lifestyle you’ve earned.
Pink Group by Hao Yang (10 – 10:30 minutes per mile):
This Sunday, some pinks began our last 14-miler at 6:15 a.m. We ran along the Ala Wai, around Magic Island, then back to the Clinic through Waikiki for 6.5 miles. After the talks, we were joined by other Pinks and we dashed to the gas station and back, for an additional 8 miles to give the Pink group a total of 14.5 miles.
Next Sunday, August 5, we will meet at the Clinic at 6 a.m. We will run to Ala Moana Park via the Ala Wai, around the main park, then back to the Clinic through Waikiki for 7 to 8 miles. We will regroup and meet up with other runners and run another 8 miles, to the gas station and back. Our Sunday plan is 16 miles for the month of August.
Homework runs: 2-3 times for week-day runs, aiming for at least one hour each, for a total weekly milage of 30-34 miles.
Silver Group by Carl Silva (10:30 – 11 minutes per mile):
The Silver Group ran 12.5 miles today, at an average pace of 11 minutes per mile. The group was led by Lynnae and included, Lee, Cody, Lance, Asami, Sandra, Gene, Julie, Darren, Daryn, Derek, and Carl. We were blessed with a clear sky and cooling trade winds, but it was still a warm day, so we didn’t miss our water stops.
The Silvers were pleasantly surprised to see returning, running friends, Asami and Cody. Asami, who is visiting from Okinawa with her family, joined us for half of the run. Cody just returned from boot camp on the mainland and he ran the entire distance as though he’d never left. The runs seem so much easier when friends return to train with us.
Tip: Now that we’re up to 12 miles and headed to 14, you might want to try out your running strategies in a few races. This will help you get used to the race environment. You can practice keeping a cool head during the rush of excitement at the start of a race that may make you run much faster than you normally do, causing you to burn out too quickly. You can develop a routine to help you get ready on a race day. You can also get an idea of what your race-pace feels like. Keep it safe but try some new things with caution to gain valuable experience before the marathon.
Homework: Two to three runs during the weekdays for 1.25 hours each at a comfortable pace with a rest day in between. Remain disciplined here, and the Sunday runs will be easier. Remember to hydrate Saturday to help sustain yourself for the Sunday run.
The runners’ high moment: Running through a sprinkler on a breezy, but hot day.
- 8/5 – 12+ mile run, with Kahala Avenue heading to HQ. Will need to start earlier, 6:20 .am.
- 8/12 – Options: (1) Bus Run #2; (2) Silvers Special Run from Hawaii Kai Dog Park starting at 630am; (3) Boca Hawaii Norman Tamanaha 15K, race #1 of the Marathon Readiness Series (leaders will be at the race).
- 8/19 – 14 mile run
Obtaining race experience before Marathon Day is highly suggested. Here’s an upcoming race to consider: Hickam Half Marathon. This is a nice flat run. Around 750 runners. Shot gun start with a chip finish line for time. It’s an open course, so there may be cars on the road too, but given the time very few cars. Runners will need base access or be escorted in.
The 12th Annual JBPHH Half Marathon is on August 18 at 5:30 a.m. Entry fee until July 29 is $35 (includes a t-shirt). July 30 to August 17 is $45. Race day is $55 cash only. Info at jbphh.greatlifehawaii.com. Register at active.com.
Black Group by Maile Burgey (11 – 12 minutes per mile):
The Black Group ran a total of 13.61 miles. Four of us started early our early-bird run, then went another 10 miles after we met up with the rest of the group. The conditions felt so heavy today. We weren’t quite sure why, because of VOG or what? However, we finished Kahala Kill Hill and expect to increase our mileage to14 miles in August. Time goes by so fast!! Be prepared for the longer distance running by doing your homework.
- 8-5-18: I’ll be in charge of the Merchandise Table, so please do an early bird run without me, if you want.
- 8-12-18: Meet at 7:15 a.m. for the second bus run.
White Group by Russell Uchida (12 – 12:30 minutes per mile):
The “CORE” White Group, eight-members strong, persevered through another brutal Sunday. We were led out by leaders Richard, Sam, and Violet with White group members Elena, Mika, Yuna, Danell, and Jaime in tow. Along our route, Scott merged with us at Diamond Head hill/Triangle Park. We were appreciative of the strong trades that helped to keep us “cool” as well as provide a tailwind boost when we needed it the most; on our way back to Paki Ave. Those that could keep up with Violet and Yuna’s outstanding 11:00 minute pace did so, while the rest of us continued on with our sure and steady 12:30 minute pace. We finished up the last Sunday of the month with Kahala Avenue, ensuring that we had enough reserve to finish at a respectable pace. Steve from the Pink Group joined us for a short stint as he is nursing himself back from an injury. He found his recovery was better than expected and he was soon gone in a flash!
Shoutouts: We miss all of you who have somehow forgotten your way to Kapiolani Park-Paki Pavilion or forgot which day that the “Sunday” Honolulu Marathon Clinic is held: Blair, Sara, Malia, Paris, Edee, Monika, and the rest of you…… Although, we did see some breakthrough at the end of our run as Monika & daughter made a guest appearance at Paki. Hopefully, in spite of the way we looked after our 12-miler, we provided some motivation for Monika to come out and lead the group once again. The rest of you, please google-map Kapiolani Park to help you find your way to the starting point. Set your alarm clock for 6:00am and “just do it”!! This goes for you too Dwight and Robert “Bob.”
Sightings: We did see Janelle finishing up her early morning readiness training run.
As hope springs eternal, the White Group will hope for cool brisk trades with intermittent sprinkles of rain on Sunday. Don’t forget the sunscreen, sun glasses, water, and gels.
Side Note: My current shades are on its last leg, so if anyone has a connection to Oakley’s at a discounted rate, I am all ears! Speaking of ears, don’t forget to sunscreen your ears too!
See all of you on Sunday!
Blue Group by Val Ogi (12:30 – 13:30 minutes per mile):
This morning there were 13 of us that started out after Dr. Scaff’s talk. I finally made it out to Wailupe Park for our six-mile mark to turn around and complete a 12-miler. It was a beautiful clear day but also very hot. We welcomed two new members, Eric and Mark who have committed and entered the Honolulu Marathon.
Our group pace is 12.5 to 13.5 miles per minute, and we are running 12 miles for our long runs this month. We welcome anyone wanting to step up from the beginner’s group into our intermediate group.
Green 15s by Lou Crompton (15 minutes per mile):
Pacing was Dr. Scaff’s subject today, and it is such a blessing for our people to train with the HMC that teaches us to develop a certain pace that just feels right. You don’t need an app or watch. You go out, come back, and you complete the distance at your pace. For us, it’s always about a 15 minutes per mile pace.
Today we only had nine in the Green 15 gang, and it was some regulars who were AWOL, while first timers showed up. Those who did show up, witnessed a miraculous event. Wow, what a great thing that happened today! The Greens were meandering out along Kalanianaole Hwy. and came upon this beach park. It looked like a regular beach park out there by Puuikena, but to our surprise this man just appeared out of nowhere and he started handing out Gatorade and chips. I mean it was like a mirage or maybe even an OASIS. He told one of our new ladies his name was Nelson. So, we shall call this place Nelson’s Oasis. Thank you, Nelson. Apparently we were the first group from HMC to visit this Oasis this year. Try it, you’ll like it!
We had a real treat when we returned to the park. Our goal today was 12 miles and just as we stepped off the sidewalk onto the grass, Garmin changed from 11.99 to 12.00. Time was 3 hours 8 minutes, so pace was in our 15 minute per mile range, again.
Big Mahalo to Ron for his ample spread of goodies.
8-5-2018: Very similar route, but we’ll call it 12.5 miles.