Wednesday, August 10, 2011

3.5 miles

Firstly, I am a really bad proofreader of my own writing.  So, I apologize for the dozens and dozens of typos that have a constant presence here on the blog.

Secondly, I went to the gym yesterday!  The schedule called for 3.5 miles, so that's what I did.  I warmed up for 5 minutes at 3.6,  ran 5 at 4.8, walked 5 at 4.0, ran 5 at 4.8, walked...10 at 4.0, and so on.  I think I could have pushed myself a little harder, but I was with a friend, and we were talking, and I just wanted to enjoy myself.  I ended up doing 3.5 in 51:31, which is an avg pace of about 14:42.

Like I said, I felt I could have pushed myself harder, but overall I finished feeling really good.  That's definitely an improvement over last week's runs, all three of which bruised my ego.

Today is a rest day, but the schedule calls for 2 miles on Thursday.  The actual plan calls for 2 miles OR cross-training, so I may do an elliptical workout instead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.  I turned 27.  I'm saying that I am now 27 years old.

27.  Look, I know it's not 30, but 27 seems like...a grown up age, probably more so now that I know so many people getting married, making babies, progressing in their careers, etc.

I have a history with 27.  I've dated 27 year old boys who thought they were men.  It's a year to reflect, I guess, and usually that ended badly for me.  But that's okay.  I get it now.

So reflecting on the last year.  Let's see.
  • My baby cousin had a precious baby of her own, who's photos I fawn over for hours.
  • I interviewed with half a dozen companies, and applied for hundreds more.
  • I celebrated my second Christmas with Eric and his amazing family.
  • I handled my own family situations with as much grace and levelheadedness as I could muster.
  • I moved in with a boy!  On purpose!
  • I purchased myself a new camera.
  • I booked several engagement sessions and TWO actual weddings for the year!
  • I purchased real, honest-to-Gawd running shoes.
  • I ran two 5ks and registered for a half marathon.
  • I accepted an offer as a marketing coordinator, and am finally leaving the legal field for good.
This year had a lot of emotional lows for me.  It was a struggle to stay positive in an environment in which I felt I was floundering, day in and day out.  But looking back, I also accomplished a lot, and propelled myself forward.  And I didn't do it alone.  Not by a long shot.

So my deepest and most heart felt thanks to:

My housewife


My muse


My band of brothers (and sisters)


My fellow adventure seekers


Without these folks (sadly, not all pictured), I would not have survived myself this last year.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Training Plan 8/8 - 8/14

Alright, first a look at last week's plan:

Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Rest or Yoga
And the execution:
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3.5 mile walk/run
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest
Total miles: 9.5
Friday's Run:
The 4 mile run scheduled for the weekend troubled me because I had so many birthday plans.  I decided to scrap Friday's 3 miler and attempt to do 4 on the road.  I mapped out a short route that should have been pretty easy.  My friend, Nate, came with me.  I started out going a steady (but very slow) pace, and did about a mile.  We stopped for a walk break, and to find the road to turn on.  That road ended up being far hillier than I thought, and we were poorly prepared for the extra exertion + crazy heat.  Nate was smart, and brought some water, but not nearly enough, and certainly not for the both of us.  He did share, which was sweet, but we struggled up a steep hill about 1.8 miles in, decided it we'd had enough, and turned around.
I did an okay job of jogging back once we were on the main road, which was about .75 miles.  I'd say I probably jogged a total of 1.3-1.5 miles.  Now granted, this was at a much slower speed than what I do on the treadmill, but considering I generally have to tap out at 10 minutes, I consider that an accomplishment.
Week 3 Plan:
This week, things get interesting (read: mileage increase!).
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Yoga and 3.5 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: 3.5 miles
Saturday: Rest or Yoga
Sunday: 5 miles (OMG - terrified)
Total Estimated Miles: 14
So, today is my birthday (happy birthday to me!), which means Eric and I have reservations at our favorite sushi place.  I should have gone to the gym this morning before work, but since I didn't, there really isn't enough time to do anything tonight.  Wednesday, my co-workers are taking me out for dinner and drinks to say goodbye because Thursday(!!) is my last day as a paralegal!
I've had to modify the schedule a bit, but yoga and a run on the same day will be, um, fun, right?
Wish me luck, because I will really, really need it this week.
I'll be back later today with a birthday-related post.  What's your favorite tradition for ringing in a new year?

Friday, August 5, 2011

2 miles

I "ran" two miles yesterday.  Came in at 28:39.  I beat Monday's avg page by almost a minute, but I suppose that's easy to do when the distance is halved.

The schedule calls for a 3 mile run tonight and a 4 mile run this weekend.  I've been struggling to decide which day to do the 4 miles since it's my birthday weekend and I have tons of plans, so I've decided to scrap the 3 mile tonight and just go for 4.  The longer "runs" are the most important anyway.  I'm hoping to come in at about 56 minutes, which would give me a 14 min/mile pace, but would include my warm up and warm down.

This is really hard, you guys.  I know it's supposed to be, but it's much hard mentally and emotionally than I thought it would be.  I feel like an imposter.  I'm not a runner, not even close, and I signed up for a half marathon??  When I can't even run a 5k all the way through?  I'm nuts. 

I'm grateful for any encouragement, and am especially appreciative of the kind words from my fellow newbie runners.  Like I said, I didn't expect this to be easy,  Very tough.  Especially on my ego.  :)

How did you stay motivated for your first big race?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yoga Breakthrough!

Just a quick update for now, and I'll post a total rundown on Sunday.

I walked/ran the 4 miles I was supposed to on Monday.  Did it on a treadmill in 1 hr 56 sec.  Not fast by any means, but I did it!

My legs were SORE yesterday.  Luckily, Tuesdays happen to be the days when Eric's aunt teaches yoga at my gym!  You know how sometimes you have a good class, and you leave feeling like you really treated your body well?  And sometimes you have a freaking phenomenally fantastic class because you leave knowing the were finally able to touch your toes for a majority of the class, and you were really able to get deep into the poses, and your mind and body are just elated, and you just can't stop smiling?  That was yesterday's class for me.  I was on cloud nine for the rest of the night.

The schedule calls for a two mile run tonight, but Eric's family is hosting a lovely little dinner party, so the rest of my week is getting pushed back a day.  Two mile run tomorrow, three mile run Friday, rest (and party!) Satuday, and four mile run on Sunday.

Well, I'm debating the four mile run.  On the one hand, I don't want to burn out doing two, three and four three days in a row.  But on the other hand, Saturday night is my birthday party, and I can't imagine any part of me will want to go to the gym on Sunday.  Any advice?

Also, yes, a birthday, year in review, something type post will be up by Monday.  Something far more positive than my last post about my birthday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Training Plan 8/1-8/7

First, a look at plan vs execution last week.

The Plan:
Monday: 3 mile easy run/walk
Tuesday: 20 min run & Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Yoga or Rest

The Execution:
Monday: Nada
Tuesday: 15 minute Elliptical Warm-up & Yoga
Wednesday: Zilch
Thursday: 15 minute Elliptical and Stretch
Friday: Rest (I'm good at those, remember?)
Saturday: Goose Egg
Sunday: Rest

I didn't want to write about last week because I feel like a failure.  I was lazy, pure and simple.  There are so many reasons that becoming more active is difficult, but no one ever tells you that the biggest problem is you.  Sure, plenty of magazines and blogs can give you helpful hints on how to stay motivated, but they don't discuss the possibility of a deeper problem.  It's not just motivation.  It's overcoming this sense of entitlement.  "I had a horrible day at work, I deserve to relax with a glass of wine instead of run."  Or "This really awesome thing happened and I deserve to celebrate...instead of run."  Or "I'm going to fail anyway because I was never athletic and I'll never BE athletic, so why bother?"

Last week was full of mixed emotions.  A really great opportunity for my career has presented itself, and I am beyond excited.  I was offered a position with a company as a marketing coordinator, and I did it on my own - not through connections or bribing or anything!  I'm so proud of myself and excited for my future.  Not to derail the running/training aspect of this blog but briefly - I never thought this day would come.  I've been in the legal field since 2006, and I've known it's not what I wanted to do since about 2007.  I've watched my friends succeed and grow and flourish in grad school and in their careers, and I never felt half as accomplished.  I've been applying for marketing positions since May of last year, and it's finally paid off.  I can't tell you how happy I am.

Also last week, I officially registered for the Athens Half Marathon.  Let me tell you what that means to me.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - I could have, and pretty much did, bail on my training program.  There was always an out, since I hadn't registered yet.  I could wait for the Thanksgiving Day half, or the Publix half in March.  But Friday, I registered, and that's that.  I will be in Athens on October 23, and if I don't train properly, I could really hurt myself.  I didn't do my run on Saturday, because I had a million errands to run, cleaning to do, and a birthday party to attend.  I decided to move it to Sunday and try out my new apartment gym.  (Side note: I had decided if I liked the gym enough I would cancel my schmancy gym membership).  I'm not going to lie - when I woke up Sunday morning I was a little hungover from the party, and then Eric and I had a heavy brunch.  I decided that the best use of my time would be to edit the 394857239471 photos I promised to have by the end of the weekend.  Eric, however, needed to use my computer to take an online exam so I watched 3 or 4 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

When Eric finished his exam he gave me a hard time for wasting 3 hours watching TV. when I could have been to the gym and back already.  He asked me if I was still planning to go.  I sheepishly said yes, but I didn't want to go alone.  I didn't want to go at all, and he knew it, but he had the ace in the hole.  I HAVE to train.  I have to.  I can't just show up to a half marathon only having the ability to run 3 miles.  So we went.  It started out well.  I ran at a good pace for me (12 min/mi) for about 5 minutes.  I slowed to a walking break and turned to ask Eric for some water when the treadmill just stopped.  I flipped out.  I couldn't get my time or average pace back.  I couldn't get it to start again.  Nothing.  I was so angry.  It's hard being unathletic.  Those numbers make me proud, and trying to run without them a) makes it easier for me to cheat myself, and b) makes it difficult to see what my actual progress is.  So I gave up.  We walked home, and it was awful.  I was fighting back tears because I knew how stupid I was being, but I wouldn't go back.  
I read a lot healthy lifestyle blogs, and these girls are ATHLETES.  They can run distances I can only dream of at paces that seem impossible to me.  Several are training for half Iron Mans or Olympic Triathlons.  One just became and Iron Man last weekend.  I can't even run 4 miles on a treadmill. When we got home, I chastised myself for allowing failure.  It's as simple as that.  So today starts a new month, the half marathon is 12 weeks away, and I have a chance at redemption.

Here's the new plan:
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Rest or Yoga

I'm obviously not giving up my gym membership.  My apartment has two gyms and both are beyond subpar (broken and outdated equipment, lack of AC, etc).  It's possible that in the winter, when I've acclimated to running outside, I may drop it, but until then, ACNE will be my second home.

I knew this would be difficult; athletics, sports, they never came naturally.  But it's so much harder than I thought it would be.  And it's not running, and it's not just making the time.  It's me.  I am my biggest hurdle.