Tuesday, January 03, 2012
January 3, 2012
Today I begin Week 2 of Couch to 5K. This is my fifth year doing it, but I’m starting much earlier. Usually I start in April. One of my goals is to run a 10k this year. I found an article in Runner’s World –
- that recommends running 20 miles a week with a long run of six miles. I would do the six miles on a weekend, I think. Then that leaves 14 miles to divide over three additional days of running. That’s a lot for me – if I can accomplish this, it may be my year!
First things first, I must finish the C25k. I have a race planned for February 26th. I should finish Week 9 right before the race. I wanted to do a race to benefit cardiac research this year and found only one – thankfully it is in Chicago and accessible. It’s an inaugural race at McCormick Place, running indoors. Max is 2500 people. Should be interesting.
The article recommends simple yoga twice a week as well. I keep hearing this and need to find a decent yoga DVD. I have P90x yoga, but is 1.5 hours long and is difficult. Definitely not for beginners. I put a request out on a few Spark running forums for recommendations.
The same article recommends higher protein to preserve lean muscle mass and control appetite. I know I don’t get enough protein but this is something I will specifically work on.
“Include protein in every meal.
A 2010 study found that athletes were more successful losing weight with a diet that was 35 percent protein than one that was 15 percent protein. "Protein preserves lean muscle mass and controls appetite," she says. But it should be lean, such as poultry, fish, lean meats, beans, lentils, soy food, and yogurt.”
More water is a must. I also know I’m not staying hydrated. I can’t stand drinking water when I’m not thirsty, but I’ll also work on this. Ugh.
From the Article -
“Be More Consistent
- Ask elite runners for the number one "secret" of their success and the most common response is one word: consistency. "Consistent training promotes the physiological changes which are necessary for better performance, while inconsistent training stresses the body and can lead to injury," says Robert Martin, a San Diego running coach and personal trainer.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
"Start with a reasonable goal, develop a plan, then record your workouts and progress," says Martin. "If that's not enough motivation to not skip workouts, find a coach or a training buddy who can help you keep your feet to the fire, and announce your goals to friends, family, and coworkers." Social media is a good place to declare your running plans, too, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, dailymile.com, or runnersworld.com (Forums or The Loop). If all else fails, for every mile you run reward yourself with $1 toward a trip or something else you desire. Just don't confuse consistency with rigidity. It's okay to skip a run for a legit reason; it's not okay to repeatedly skip them if your reasons are as thin as an Ethiopian marathoner.”
I usually do the Metlife Duathlon every June (run 2 miles, bike 11, run 2 miles) but I really enjoy trail running. I found a race in northern Indiana that is quite small and is a 5k trail, bike 12 miles, 5k trail. It describes the trail as “challenging” with a “thigh burner hill.” Should be interesting!
Some good advice on Trail Running –
Try Real Trail Running -
Melody Fairchild had success on the track as America's first high-school girl to break 10 minutes in the two-mile, and then on the roads as a frequent race champion. But one of her favorite surfaces is the trail—twisting, turning, undulating paths, not smooth rail-trails or dirt roads.
"Constantly adjusting your stride to maneuver over rocks and roots forces you to run more on your midfoot and forefoot, which teaches you to run more efficiently," she says. "After a trail run, your muscles feel completely worked because you're going up, down, and sideways. It's the fast track to gaining fitness. Plus, driving to a scenic trail makes it an outing."
MAKE IT HAPPEN
Find nearby trails at trailrunner.com, or ask at a running shop. Fairchild, who leads trail-running camps in Colorado, says to gauge your workout by elapsed time, not distance—otherwise you'll get frustrated because you'll compare your pace to road runs.
Spend enough time off-road and you may want to consider buying trail-specific running shoes, which have better traction and are made of protective material that shields the feet from sharp objects.
Trail races (5-K to 100 miles) are also an option. Train for one to two months on similar terrain to condition your body to the special demands of running off-road."
Last year I became a Garmin addict. This year I’m running without it. I was so intent on improving my 5k time whether it was a “training” run or an actual race. Ridiculous and most likely sidelined any potential success. This year I’m running for enjoyment. I want to try a few cross country races and the duathlon I mentioned above. I would also like to do a 10k race. I will wear my Garmin but not until I’m done with the C25k training plan and then only once a week for my long runs.
From the Article - "Developing leg strength with hill running, core strength with core exercises, speed with intervals, and improved fitness with recovery days are all important when you pursue a PR," says Mike Norman, head coach of Chicago Endurance Sports. "Training consistency and good nutrition are also important."
Oh I would love to do a 30-minute 5K this year. Sigh. I should probably change that to “I will do a 30-minute 5k this year!”
So here are my goals for this year. I’m sure they will need a bit of tweaking or some creativity along the way, but I feel good about having a plan.
Monday, October 03, 2011
With the myriad of adventures that have gone on in my life this past year, I've wrestled (and usually lost) with negativity more than ever. Even the 5K that I ran last month felt so heavy. I ran with a friend thinking that would boost my energy level, but I still felt that dark cloud over my head. A lot of my training runs were not joyous but felt like defeat. I tried mixing it up - running intervals, running hills and even not running at all.
A few weeks ago, I decided to give up running for awhile and switch to biking. When I was a kid, my bike was always my escape. I'd spend all day on it, exploring places I wasn't allowed to walk to and pushing every limit I could come up with. Why couldn't I relive that kind of freedom now?
I spent a bit of time trying to figure out the best way to get out to the bike trail near my home. It's a relatively new, limestone path that runs for 26 miles. One of the old railway lines that is now a bike trail. I found that it's 3.6 miles from my house and I'd have to take a rural road to get out there. I headed out with my Garmin set to "bike" and my mace strapped to the bike (safety concern is animals on this route).
I made it out to the trail with no problem and set out to see what I could do. It was a beautiful ride. Fall flowers are blooming, there were deer on the path, a few snakes and rarely, another person. Although most people wouldn't find the Midwestern cornfields beautiful, they truly are...and smell heavenly.
I ended up doing a 20 mile ride and felt beyond renewed when I returned home. Now I use this as my "escape" when I start feeling a little dark. I'll eventually incorporate running again, but for now the satisfaction I get is a huge motivation.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
We've all had those times when life really seems to pile up the bad stuff all at once. I'm going through that right now and have been for the last few months. Patiently waiting for things to improve has been my way of coping...but so far life has just gotten more overwhelming.
I recently gave in to all the bad feelings and spent the day on the couch, getting up only to indulge in refined sugars and bad carbs. I watched bad TV and took three naps. I ignored the phone - I didn't feel like spreading my misery as I prefer to wallow in it alone. I expected this to feel luxurious but in reality, I felt like crap (sorry, it's the only word that truly fits the experience).
During my pity party, I began to realize that some things are just not within my control, but others are. Taking one day at a time isn't just a cliche but actually good advice. I started with a mental inventory of all the reasons why I am a very cool person and what I have to offer the world. Then I counted my blessings - which also sounds cliche-y but I'm desperate here!
The day on the couch helped me realize that I can't sit and watch life pass me by and knock me about the head while it does. I'm a runner and have goals. A friend just challenged me to a half marathon this year and darn it, I'm going to do it! My husband's heart problems have advanced and I need to be at my best to be able to motivate him. Together we can do this, but he can't do it alone. I'm recently unemployed but hey, that gives me more time to train for that half marathon while job searching. The medical bills piling up will just have to sit until we can pay them. Life is too short to worry about being sent to collections because I can only make $50 payments every month.
Taking a deep breath now and moving forward....because idling and waiting for life to get better on it's own is NOT an option. Proactive, not reactive :)
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