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Archive for March, 2012

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Total Running Miles: 17.04

Cross Training:

3/25/12 walked Ada the Dog 1 mile+

3/27/12 Level 1 Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 5 lbs

3/29/12 Level 2 Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 5 lbs

Thoughts: I may have jumped a little too enthusiastically into training. My legs have had the tough-workout-ache all week. Yes, even when I took days off they still ached. I also have been re-thinking my speed. I was surprised to realize how much slower I’ve gotten, so have been pushing myself to go faster (that 8:36 pace on the 6.51 miler took a lot of pushing), and have learned that I shouldn’t be doing that. Apparently I’m supposed to relax and just push myself when my training plan tells me to.

Also, I’m super bad at speed work – see my run on 3/27/12? Yeah, that was split into 4 quarter miles with walking in between. I was supposed to do 6 sets, but after 4 I was done. I didn’t realize at the time how ridiculously fast I was going. I think I can have some better success with the speed work if I can learn to pace myself at about 7:30/mile rather than 5:30/mile! I’ll keep trying at that.

Pre-wedding, Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred helped me get in shape. I could do all levels with 5 lbs, and would use 10 lbs for some of the moves on Levels 1 & 2. I can’t so much do that anymore…I even cheated on Level 2 this week, and when it came time for the second set of chair-raise-v-flies, I did a different arm move. I couldn’t push myself to do it.

Conclusion: I may need to slow myself down! I’m still surprised by how out of shape I am so I try to compensate by forcing myself to go faster. But in the past when I was faster than I am now, I didn’t push myself at all, I just did what felt natural.

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Why Now?

I’ve planned to run a marathon for several years now. But something always seemed to get in the way. I’d think, “Maybe when ___________” (Fill in the blank here). I mean, I’m not trying to make excuses for myself, but there have been some pretty good reasons for why it wasn’t a good time to train for a marathon…I was in school, it was snowboarding season, it was too hot, it was too cold, it was too expensive, I worked weekends so there wasn’t time for long runs, etc, etc, etc.

Oh wait, but I’m supposed to be writing about why, not why not. Okay, so here’s the story:

For the week of my 30th birthday, Saign (my husband) and I went on a snowboarding trip. While on this trip, we decided to go swimming in the hotel pool. When I put on my swimsuit, I was in for a surprise: I had excess fat hanging over the top of my swimsuit bottoms. “Hmm. This doesn’t seem right, the bottoms must have shrunk,” I thought to myself. I changed my swimsuit bottoms, hoping that doing so would remedy the situation. Unfortunately, even in the new swimsuit, there the love handles were, looking just as out of place as they had in the first swimsuit.Both of these bathing suits had been worn on our honeymoon, 6 months earlier, and I didn’t remember them looking like this. When had this fat arrived?After arriving home from our trip, I decided that I should probably purchase a scale, given this unexpected fat development. (Yes, in 6 months of marriage, I had never weighed myself).

Here are the monsterous bottoms that no longer fit.

When I arrived home with the scale I set it down and weighed myself. Oh man, was I surprised when I saw the number! I weighed approximately 13 pounds more than I had when I got married. Oh, and lest you try to make excuses for me, this was not muscle weight. I know that for sure…because prior to getting married I ran, walked, and did circuit training nearly everyday, which I no longer continued with after getting married. In other words, I had definitely lost muscle and gained fat since the wedding…just like so many brides do, and just like I thought would never happen to me. (The same thing happened in college with the freshman 15…but that’s not the point…I’ll write a post another day about how this fat gain snuck up on me).

Okay, so, at that moment, having just turned the big 3-0 and realizing that I had gotten bigger, I decided that it was time to finally get off my butt and do the marathon I had always said I hoped to run. There are several other reasons why this point in my life is a great time for me to get going with a marathon, but of all the reasons, the 14 unexpected pounds + the abandonment of my 20s were the experiences that tipped the scale (ha!) and made me say that I really, really, really should commit to something that will get me back to a healthier me.

Here's me in a swimsuit 2 years ago. I would like to look like this again! (Funny thing is, I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that I didn't still look like this!)

*disclaimer: When I say “fat,” I am not using an adjective to describe myself. That would clearly be a mean, insensitive thing to say on the worldwide web. What I am saying is that I had more “fat” (noun) on my body than I expected or needed.

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The Beginning….

A decision has been made. This is the year…the year for me to run my very first marathon. I am very excited about this decision…but I am a bit confused. And I’m even a little confused about why I’m confused. I just can’t figure this out.

Okay, so here’s why marathon running is confusing: There’s a lot of “myths” about marathon running. (Maybe they’re not myths, hence why I put it in quotations). Things about chaffing, about goal times, about nipples bleeding, injuries, when to eat, what to eat, how to pace. Lots of “myths” that I just don’t know what to believe.

Now onto why the confusion is confusing…Well, because running at it’s core is really not all that complicated. Humans are pretty easily able to run, and we start doing it at a pretty young age. In fact, I myself have known how to run for 28 years. Not only that, but I’ve been a consistent runner for 12 years now. So, I should kinda know what I’m doing, right? I think so! Which is why I’m confused that a sport that I’ve been engaging in for 12 years is suddenly complicated, confusing, and unknown.

Marathons are a really, really big deal (I think), and the reason that people make a big deal out of it is because they are hard to do. So, despite how natural running is, and how easy it seems to be, I know it won’t stay this way. So what I want is to pick up knowledge. I want to learn what is myth and what is fact so that I can maximize my training and perform to the best of my ability.

So, in this state of confusion and questioning, it makes most sense to me to turn to other people’s experiences to answer those myths…so I’ve tried to find the blog of a beginning marathoner…someone like me who has been running for years, but who is just embarking on the journey of the 26.2 miler and learning what is and isn’t true. The problem? I couldn’t find such a blog. (Plenty probably exist, but I wasn’t able to find them). So, naturally I decided to start my own. Secretly I’m hoping that it becomes a huge success so that I can be sponsored to race. Because races are expensive! And how cool would it be to say that I’m a “sponsored athlete?” Oh yeah, that would be really cool. So here goes, my journey to running 26.2 miles…

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This is what I would look like with my marathon medal. (I think a good blog should include photos, but since I don’t have a photo of me finishing a marathon, I drew this great one!)

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