Friday, June 29, 2012
This week has been a great one. The marathon was a month ago, and I am finally feeling recovered. I feel energized and excited to workout, and Iíve started really pushing myself again.
I had an amazing lifting session on Wednesday. Weíre lifting heavy for the first time in 8? months, and I am psyched to be back at it. My strength has diminished since I started serious marathon training, but after only 2 weeks I see my strength returning. It felt great to push myself hard and feel sore and exhausted when it was over. Of course I had to teach Zumba immediately after, but I survived.
Iíve made at least 3 trips to the local farm stand this week, and Iíve probably eaten 2 pints of strawberries in 2 days. Iím loving the fresh produce and how great I feel when I eat clean. This week has been good for that, too. Itís so much easier to eat healthfully when the food is fresh and readily available.
Iím feeling really on-track overall. I just need a little more time for studying and to find time to squeeze in a run this weekend. We have a sleepover, my daughterís birthday party, and another birthday party this weekend, so it might be difficult. Iím going to try an early run tomorrow morning. I wanted to go this morning, but a thunderstorm kept me home. Plus, I knew my girl would be up early, and I didnít want to miss presents.
Is it possible that I had my daughter 6 years ago? I was such a different woman back then. There was definitely a lot more of me, but I was a sad, empty shell of a person. Having her was my turning point. She changed everything. It took me another 2 years and another baby to get it together and start taking care of myself, but it all began when she was born.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ever since the marathon ended, Iíve been feeling adrift. Iíve been exercising consistently and eating well, but Iím lacking motivation and purpose. Iím definitely the type of person who needs goals. I try to always be working on different projects and challenges, and when I donít have one, I get a little antsy.
While training for the marathon (especially during the long runs), I knew I wanted to run a few half marathons after I was done. I really enjoy 12-mile runs, and at that point another 1.1 miles is not a big deal. So, once I had finished the marathon, and was able to walk again, I started looking at different halfs.
Last summer I started running consistently. My original goal was to train for the Leaf Peeper Half Marathon, which is only an hour away from my house. It takes place during foliage season, and Iíve been told it is a gorgeous route. Iíve also heard they give out great shirts, and I love race shirts.
Registration for the October race opens in June, and I was excited to sign up. I had to wait a week to have the money to cover the registration fee Ė unfortunately, the race filled up in less than a week. I was bummed and delayed my distance running until the fall, when I set out to train for a spring half and ended up running a marathon instead.
This year I was determined to get in. I even emailed the race coordinator to find out when registration would open. As soon as I saw that it was open, I signed up. I am excited to have a new goal Ė and lots of time to train for it. Iíve been easing into running again, and I am kind of enjoying running without any goals, pressure, or expectations.
My plan is to re-build my distance fairly quickly. I did 7 miles last weekend without any trouble and only stopped because I didnít feel like pushing myself into pain. Iím going to take it easy and go up a mile a week (after this weekend, because weíre going camping!), and once Iíve got myself back up to 12 miles Iím going to work on getting faster.
I donít always want to be a slow runner, and I know that if I focus and push myself, I can get a lot faster. Plus, if I work on a speedier half now, then I will have a much better 2nd marathon when I decide to do it again.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Today I attempted my first long run since the marathon. My body is slowly recovering, and I started thinking about how much I wanted to do a longer run. I missed having that time to think and relax. A good long run is like moving meditation, and I havenít felt that since my 16-mile training run. The distances above 16 were too draining, physically and mentally, to be enjoyable.
My 16-mile run was a great one, and when I started craving a good distance run, it was the first one I thought of. I asked Andy to pick me up in town, so it would be 11-12 miles instead. I wonít be trying a 16 for quite a while. I thought it would be hard, but I wanted to try. I figured that if I didnít finish it, I would at least have a benchmark to start rebuilding my endurance. I want to build back up to 12 miles and then focus on getting faster. I have plenty of time. The Leaf Peeper Half Marathon isnít until October!
I was excited to run this morning. My kids have been decorating the house with stickers lately, and one found its way into my running shoe
Itís staying there.
The weather was beautiful (though a little hot), and I was ready to get outside and go. I started up my favorite hill. It was tough, but when I got to the top I felt great. That feeling lasted up the next two miles of hills and to the five-mile mark. I was starting to feel a little tired, and thought about turning back. It would still be a 10-mile run, but I would finish at my house. My original plan would take me into town where I would meet Andy and the kids at The Flying Disc*.
I had promised myself a frozen strawberry lemonade, and I was determined to get it. So, I kept going on my original route. The scenery was fantastic. The sky was bright blue, and everything was green. I was trying to focus on the natural beauty around me, but I was getting more and more tired. My legs felt heavy, and it was harder to lift my feet. My knee was beginning to ache, and I decided to stop.
Listening to my body is definitely important right now. I like running just for the enjoyment of it, and stopping when my body needs to stop. I called Andy and walked another 2 miles while waiting for him to pick me up. I ran about 7 miles, and I am totally happy with that.
I still got my strawberry lemonade!
*The Flying Disc is an awesome coffee shop that sells used videogames and handmade jewelry. They rock.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I had no idea when I began training for a marathon that the recovery from it would take so long. My trainer would tell me about trying to do normal exercises after her marathons and not being able to, but I thought she meant the week after. Nope. Turns out it takes a month for full recovery, and I have been discovering just how fatigued my muscles are.
I tried lifting with my trainer. We did our old program. The one Iíve done so many times I could do it in my sleep. I expected certain things to happen. I expected to be able to do a certain number of reps with a certain weight, and it just did not happen. I felt incredibly weak and could barely do half the reps I used to. Frustrating.
Next, I tried Yoga/Pilates. Yoga went okay. I was a little shaky on certain poses, but overall, it felt great to stretch. Then came Pilates. I could not believe how weak my core was. Everything hurt, and I found that I could only do half of the exercises. The pain went deep, and I could feel how exhausted all of my deep core muscles were.
Again, frustrating. I was so excited to jump back into working out and do all kinds of things other than running, but I have been thwarted by weak muscles that still need rest and some TLC.
I started my Zumba classes on Monday, and I was so excited to get back to it. I have loved dancing my entire life, and teaching Zumba gives me the perfect reason to keep doing it. I had a great group of ladies show up Monday night, and I was psyched! It went well. I could feel a little fatigue, but overall it felt great to move again.
Then we got to the core work at the end of class. I did a simple core workout because I knew I would have some new people in class. Iím glad I did. My abs were screaming, and I was as happy as everyone else when it was over.
Iíve had a lot of exercise frustration lately, and more than ever I wanted to get back into running. I want to start a more regular running schedule, and I knew I had to get started before I lost momentum. So, Tuesday morning I woke up at my usual time (even though itís officially summer vacation), and I went for a run. I set no goals. I didnít bring music. I decided to listen to my body and do what felt right.
My legs were heavy to start, but I warmed up quickly and really started to enjoy myself. The sun was shining, and it was early enough that everything looked golden. There was a nice, cool breeze, and I chose a route with rolling hills and beautiful scenery. It felt great to run without the weight of a fuel belt and iPod. Theyíre small things, but some days they can feel incredibly heavy.
It was a great run. My legs felt a little tired, so I took it easy. I decided to build a routine before worrying about increasing my speed. I listened to the birds and frogs and the rhythm of my footsteps. When I reached the 1.5-mile mark, I wanted to keep going, but decided to go easy on myself for my first run post-marathon. I turned back and finished the 3 miles I had planned to do.
I felt great the rest of the day, and I am looking forward to another short run tomorrow morning. I may try a slightly longer one this weekend. My legs are definitely feeling stronger. Now, if my abs would like to join the partyÖ
Friday, June 01, 2012
I have to admit, Iíve been having some post-run blues this week. I have been completely focused on the marathon for 3 months. Having such a huge goal kept me focused and on target with my workouts. Now that itís over, Iím feeling a little listless. Iíve taken this week to recover. Iíve been walking every day, and today I finally feel normal again.
That means itís time to start thinking about new goals and summer plans.
When I started talking to other people about the marathon, I kept being asked the same thing. ďWhatís next?Ē At first I thought what do you mean? I just ran a marathon! Iím going to rest!
But, the thing is, I need goals. They keep me focused and give me something to work for. Even though during the race I thought that I would never do another marathon, the next day I was thinking about how to improve for the next one. I know Iíll do another Ė but not for a couple years. I promised Andy ☺
Iím definitely excited to add some variety to my workouts. I want to do a lot more weight training while continuing my running. Iím aiming for 2-3 ST workouts, 2-3 short runs, and a long run / week. With Zumba and my other classes, it will be a lot, but I am so excited to get back into it.
Iím switching up my eating for the summer. I want to eat super clean 90% of the time. Hopefully, this will help me get rid of the rest of the extra weight. I want to be at my goal weight by the fall Ė which reminds meÖ
I want to keep racing. Right now I have 2 races in mind. Theyíre both in the fall, so I have plenty of time to improve my running. One is a short, fun one w/ a zombie theme. Andy and I will be running it together (hopefully with some of our friends), and it is going to be awesome. It looks like so much fun, and I am really excited to run w/ my husband.
The other race is the Leaf Peepers Half, which Iíve heard is a gorgeous run, and they apparently have awesome shirts Ė again, the only reason to do a race, right? Registration for Leaf Peepers opens soon, and I need to make sure I register ASAP. Last year I waited too long. It was a filled in a week.
So, thatís whatís next for now. I also need to finish up studying for my personal trainer certification and take the test. I hope to be certified by the end of the summer. Iím really excited about having some new goals, and I hope to have time to get back to my writing, too. Itís going to be an awesome summer.
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