Tips on Running an International Marathon

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Marathons are hard.  Traveling can be exhausting.  Combine the two could potentially be a recipe for disaster.  But it doesn’t have to be. My favorite races have been those in places completely unfamiliar.  There’s no better way to explore a city than on foot, running shoulder to shoulder with thousands of locals.  You can learn a lot about a culture during 26.2 miles.  Here are a few tips if you plan to run a race in a different country or even a different state.  Click on the link below to read my column, then pack your bags and choose your own adventure.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865666575/Running-races-internationally.html?clear_cache=1

How I Recover From a Marathon

Classic.  My friend Elfi and I obviously NOT enjoying life post-race.  Keeping it real.
Classic. My friend Elfi and I obviously NOT enjoying life post-race. Keeping it real.

When you ask people to name their talents, you usually hear singing, playing piano, acting, sewing, cooking and the like.  My talent is a little off-beat.  My gift is recovery.  Whether from a hard workout or a race, recovery is key to long-term health.  A doctor once explained to me that running a marathon is like little bombs exploding in leg muscles.  How they repair and recover are key.  There are some recovery methods that aren’t in my control: my body hoards water to help the muscles recovery.  What does that mean?  It means the scale goes up significantly the week after a race.  We’re talking around 5 pounds for me.  No need to worry.  The body’s just doing what it was designed to do.

But other recovery methods are in my control.  Click on the link below to see what it is I do to get myself back in the game of life post-race.  Remember, what works for me may not work for you.  This isn’t a “how-to”.  It’s just me sharing what has been successful for me.  Enjoy.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865663863/Kim-Cowart-How-I-recover-from-a-marathon.html?pg=all

Race Report- Top of Utah 2016

Top of Utah Marathon
Female Master’s Winner and new course record holder with 3:06

Strangely enough, this is my first race report of the year.  Usually by this time I’ve run 6 marathons, a few halfs, a relay and a random 10K here and there.  This year, nothing.  Unless you count the century bike ride that abruptly ended at mile 23.  It’s been a heckuva year.

Full disclosure, those days of running races every weekend are over for me.  The desire is no longer there.  Weekends spent tapering and recovering, packing and planning don’t sound even remotely fun anymore.  What sounds fun is a nice long run early Saturday morning starting at my doorstep and ending on my front lawn.  Long run promptly followed by lunch and lounging around the house.  Absolutely dreamy!

That said, I only signed up for three marathons.  Two local and one in Amsterdam (coming up in 4 weeks!).  My first race, Utah Valley, was canceled after Shelly and I crashed our bikes at the Little Red Riding Hood century ride.  Grade 3 AC separation and a fractured right hand kept me from toeing the start line the following week.  I was a little disappointed, but not really.  Not a fan of that race or it’s 3:30 am wake-up call.

For the next few months I focused solely on recovery with my eyes set on the Top of Utah Marathon.  The recovery went well with only a few speed bumps along the way.  I clawed my way back to what I felt was the best shape I could be in at my age (41) and given the physical challenges of the past year.  With a couple weeks until race day, I felt as ready as I could expect and was excited to see the outcome.  I had high, albeit secret, expectations.

Top of Utah Marathon
Ready or not!

I should know by now never to let my expectations get high.

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Demons of Self Doubt

“Our doubts are traitors,/
and make us lose the good we oft might win,/
by fearing to attempt.”

-William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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On my way to the start line of my first Boston Marathon. Riddled with nerves and a generous dose of self-doubt. Thank goodness for little Kaitlynne whose antics always lighten the mood.

As a little girl I was never scared of monsters. Obviously they weren’t real. I’m not sure I ever believed in Santa, so why would I worry about some three-headed goblin taking up residence in my closet.

My fears were based more in reality. Snakes in the toilet, spiders in my bed. I still check the toilet before I sit down. Always.

The fears I do battle with most often as an adult aren’t of the green, slimy kind. They are the little demons of self-doubt.

No matter how well I may master a skill, these little creatures weasel their way into my psyche and wreak havoc at the most unexpected moments. The longer they linger, the deeper they cling.

Sometimes self-doubt is sneaky. I will attribute success to being in the right place at the right time. I will credit luck rather than hard work for a fortunate outcome.

“I’m not a good writer. I just happened to have a couple good ideas here and there.”

“I’m not a good runner. All the fast girls stayed home today.”

“I’m not a good mom. God just graced me with good kids.”

Other times self-doubt is brazen and bold, shouting insults with megaphone-like intensity.

“You have nothing interesting to say.”

“You aren’t fast enough, so why bother.”

“You’ll be lucky if those kids make it to adulthood without needing serious therapy.”

Continue reading “Demons of Self Doubt”