Category Archives: Marathon

Sisu

Sisu  happyfitmama.com

Monday I went for a run along the seacoast. It was an absolutely beautiful morning. Blue skies and sunshine that made the calm ocean waters sparkle like diamonds.

It was a good day. And a good run.

I even had a sign.

One of the things I like about running is that I get to see so much. I watch people, look at houses, notice the cars, motorcycles, the grass, trees.

As I was running along, pushing at tempo pace on Monday, a car passed me. I noticed the license plate. It said SISU. About 30 minutes later, I saw another car with a bumper sticker that said the same thing – SISU.

I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Way, way far north of Detroit. There’s a large population of Finnish descendants, my husbands family being one of them. Up there, you see the word SISU a lot and don’t think anything of it. A long time friend of the family even had a dog named Sisu.

But here, in New Hampshire, I’ve never seen or heard anyone speak of it.

And I just saw it twice in one day!

So what does Sisu mean? Truthfully, I didn’t really know what it meant. Ron thought the meaning was something similar to Finn Pride.

So I Googled it.

What I found was there really isn’t a proper translation of the word into any other language. It’s more of a quality someone holds.

Here’s how Urban Dictionary defines it (not sure how legit it is):

- a uniquely Finnish quality;
- the word used to typify the Finnish spirit;
- a concept that is at the heart of how all Finns view themselves;
- a certain feature or value considered by Finns to be typically Finnish
- endurance, resilience, tenacity, determination, perseverance
- an inner reserve of diligence, capacity, the ability to face head-on and always overcome
- craziness: the recklessness that inspires a person to take on something in the face of incredible odds
- bravery, empowerment, inner strength

Endurance, resilience, tenacity, determination, perseverance.

Hmmmm….those are all traits I rely on for training/running a marathon.

See the sign now?

On Monday, I wrote about how my focus and confidence are wavering in marathon training. From now on, I’m channeling my inner SISU. It’s time to find my inner strength to focus on the miles ahead of me.

The signs are all there.

Do you believe in signs?

Ever heard of Sisu?

Training Update: Baystate Marathon

26.2 Saucony | HappyFitMama.com

Happy Monday everyone!

Like I said on Friday, this Monday is especially marvelous (thanks for the link up, Katie!) since I’m off from work all week and I’ve got no one to answer to for the whole day. Can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited about that?

I realized over the weekend that in my previous marathon training, I’ve done a weekly training update. This time around I’ve just been giving you scattered pieces of information here and there. So I thought maybe it was time to give you a training update: Baystate Marathon style and let you know where I’m at and what I’m doing.

I’m currently in week 9 of an 18 week plan. In a nutshell, I’ve done one 20 miler so far and numerous speed and tempo workouts.

The best part of being in the middle section of marathon training is that 14, 16 and 18 milers seem like nothing. I get excited when I see that on my plan and think “A rest week! I’m running less than 3 hours!”

It’s crazy but I’m really digging my speed workouts at the track. This is the first year that I’m doing all of them there rather than some on the treadmill. I feel like I’m going to puke and my lungs will explode but it’s knowing that I only have to run an 800 or 1600 and then I get to slow down that makes it alright.

Track Workout Jump | happyfitmama.com

Tempos have been harder for me. I live in a rather hilly area so it seems like no matter what route I take, I’m slowed down by the hills. I try to stick to the flatter routes to at least give me a little confidence boost in seeing my goal pace more often. I think maybe trying to push the pace at zero dark thirty for 7, 8, 9 miles may be the problem too. My body is revolting and wants to go back to bed.

There are 9 more weeks till Baystate Marathon. I’m kind of freaked out by that just because September will be gone in a blur. I’ve got Reach the Beach, 1-2 5k’s and Zooma that month. After Zooma, it’s taper time. Gah!

The middle part of a training plan is the most difficult for me. The plan isn’t new anymore and race day is still far off. I have a tendency to lose focus. Right now, my confidence is wavering.

Last week was the second time in 9 weeks that I’ve had to take time off from running because of my calf/knee issue. While the rest has been good, I feel that I am just waiting for it to pop up again. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my physical therapist last year when I was going through my tendon issue.She suggested (and I fully agreed) that I was hypersensitive to any twinge I felt around the tendon. It’s like I’m fixated on it. I’m the same way with my calf/knee.

BTW – I ran on Saturday and Sunday. Everything felt good. My knee was a little noticeable at the beginning of Saturday’s run but went away the more I warmed up…and the more the conversation flowed between Mariette and I. Thank goodness for running buddies to take your mind off things!

Leg Press | happyfitmama.com

Cross training wise, I’ve been slacking a bit. I’m getting on my bike trainer at least one morning a week. I do core work everyday and most of my physical therapy hip strengthening exercises at least 3-4 days. I’ve been doing a Kettlebells or weights 2-3 times a week. And yoga…well that just fell by the wayside. With it being summer, I don’t want to be inside. I committed myself to doing at least 20 minutes of yoga every day for the next 30 days and so far, I’m on it. AND I’m loving it. I’ve missed my yoga!

So that’s where I’m at. There’s still a lot more hard work to do. I’m hoping that my calf/knee will play nice and I won’t have to think about it any more.

And with that, I’m off to the beach to run a mostly flat tempo to boost my moral!

What’s your favorite part of a training program – beginning, middle or end?