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Team GSF SB Marathon: 20 Plus Runners and a Few Things I’ve Learned

June 05, 2011 by Bill Strong

We're a little under five-and-a-half months out from the Santa Barbara Marathon and I'm feeling great. I'm loving my training and it's become a normal part of my weekly routine -- two strengthening workouts followed by thirty minute runs and one one hour run. The intensity is definitely picking up but I can feel the changes in my body and the hard, consistent work is paying off. In addition, I feel healthy again and my every day energy is better than it has been the past few years. I'm feeling more comfortable on my runs and during my workouts and my pacing is improving -- even when I'm pushing my run times. So far, so good.

I thought I'd share a few things I've learned about running since starting my training:

  1. Shoes matter. I'm running in the Nike Pegasus+ 27 and love them.
  2. Socks matter. I love the WrightSock anti-blister running socks.
  3. Music playlists matter. I'm using Pandora on my iPhone more than my iPod tunes.
  4. Finishing my first marathon will be a huge physical challenge for me, but the mental aspect may be even bigger. No doubt pulling strength from Gwendolyn and all of those impacted by SMA will be a huge factor in getting me through those periods of personal doubt.
  5. Asphalt really is softer than concrete. And it makes a difference.
  6. "Rolling" regularly has made a huge difference for me.
  7. Running in the wind --> SUCKS. It just does.
  8. Technology for running is pretty incredible. I've been using an application called RunKeeper on my iPhone to track my runs (time, miles, pacing, heart rate, etc). Under normal circumstances I probably wouldn't carry my iPhone on runs but I feel the need to be connected to Victoria and Gwendolyn at all times in case of emergency, so I carry it and that allows me to use the RunKeeper application. If you are interested, you can check out my training progress by going to --> http://runkeeper.com/user/billstrong. There are some pretty cool tools and geeky reports and maps and stuff that I find very interesting from a technology standpoint.
  9. Santa Barbara has a lot of small hills. And our house seems to be downhill or uphill from everywhere smile
  10. Focus on time-on-my-feet, not miles (thank you Stephen and Mike for that advice). The miles will come.

I've also been completely overwhelmed and humbled by the incredible support and willingness by so many to jump on board Team GSF and run with me in the Santa Barbara Marathon since announcing my training a few weeks ago. I'm proud and excited that OVER 20 people -- 20 incredible people! -- from California to Massachusetts to New York are already confirmed and as pumped as I am to run the Santa Barbara Marathon in November 2011 and help end SMA in the process. We're excited to introduce the incredibly inspiring Team GSF Santa Barbara runners over the coming months.

Interested in participating in Team GSF for the Santa Barbara Marathon on November 12, 2011? There are three ways to be part of the team: (1) running the full marathon, (2) running the half-marathon, or (3) running the four person relay marathon. If you or anyone you know is interested in running for this great cause, please email me at Bill@GwendolynStrongFoundation.org for more information.

Happy training!

Talk About It

We are all excited here in the Needham house,to join you in this amazing,amazing event.Celebrating life and love and edging closer to the finish line .... cure. Love to you all. *Still need to actually sign up.Life has been hectic here but we,Jess,Caitlin and myself,are definitely a go!
Posted by Zoey's mom on 2011-06-05 15:56:22
Looking buff and tanned Bill! Victoria must be loving your workouts too! : ) You continue to inspire so many. Please keep us updated on all of your progress and best of luck!!
Posted by Kristen on 2011-06-05 18:12:12
So excited to join you in this amazing event. I too draw from Gwen for strength when it seems too hard to push on. She has taught me perseverance and faith. Love you Billy!
Posted by Aunt Kristen on 2011-06-08 11:04:37

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