Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Ahoy mateys, there be sarcasm ahead...
Boy, I sure am glad I wrote my new half-marathon training plan into my calendar in red ink! Because it's so clearly do-able for me at this point.
Except it's not. Not right at this moment, anyway. I can see now why so many half-marathon run/walk training plans are preceded with a statement like, "This plan was designed for people who have some running experience and run 5-10 miles per week." That's often followed by "if you're running less, that's okay. It may take longer to complete the plan."
Before entering the plan in my calendar, I figured out my weekly mileage with C25K (stuck in week 3). At the most, I was getting in about 2.25 miles of actual running per week (with another three miles walking). I average about .75 mile running on week 3 per session. So I started week 1 of this new run/walk plan. Day one is 2 miles alternating 2 mins running to 1 min walking. Day 2 is 2.5 miles, day 3 is a long run of 3 miles. Each week on day 3 you add a mile to your long run until you get to 13. Makes sense.
Makes sense unless you bite off more than you can chew, that is! I managed to run/walk at the 2:1 interval for a total of 1.75 miles, which is pretty spectacular, to me. But I had to split into two separate miles with a break for stretching in between. My legs were too freakin' sore not to! And on the second mile, I got to lap 12 around the 1/16 mile track and knew I couldn't run any more. I finished out the second mile in a cool down walk. (Oh, and I just realized that I walked another 1/4 mile before I started as a warm up.)
I have to admit, I'm pretty doggone proud that I ran/walked for as long as I did. Those intervals were much more quick than I'm used to and the distance was further than I'd ever done before. But I am so very far from being confident in my ability to run/walk 2.5 or 3 miles this week, and certainly not at the 2:1 pace. So my new "Jenna-specific" plan calls for a bit of pre-conditioning. Before starting back with the official, earnest "I'm training for a half-marathon" plan, I plan to take a few weeks to build up to a three mile run first. In fact, I'm going to take five and aim at starting the big plan when I return from my conference in Chicago. It's going to be a key part of my four-week "reset period."
I have now worked out a plan that will allow me to gradually increase pace and mileage so I will be prepared for the regular training plan. As for what that plan will be, I'm kind of torn between Jeff Galloway, John Bingham, and a plan I found on about.com. Who knows, I might end up with some completely customized hybrid plan. Whatever gets me to that finish line!
In any case, I need to cover up some red ink. Hmm. I think I've got some CorrecTape around here somewhere...
Monday, July 12, 2010
I have decreed it and it will be so.
I've had enough of all that nonsense. I'm done allowing myself to slack off on diet and exercise. There will be no more of this "I don't really have time to strength train, so I'll just go home after my run." The way to ensure I have enough time for a balanced workout is to get there earlier. So I will do that. There will be an end to the two-run or one-run weeks. There are only 33 weeks left to train for the half marathon. I need consistency.
I'm giving myself a four week reset period. I have one social event planned during that time period (family picnic- calorie landmines, ahoy!), but aside from that, the next four weeks look blissfully clear. Week five is a bit of a test. I'm going to Chicago for a work conference. There will be many opportunities to slip up. Lots of buffets, afternoon coffee (*ahem cookie*) breaks, "team building" dinners out, receptions with drink tickets. That sort of thing. So the test will be, do I have the strength to be sensible, avoid food triggers and hit the running track in the hotel fitness center? I think I do have that kind of strength.
More than that, I have the determination. I keep thinking about how far I've come and how far I still have to go. I tend to get really happy thinking about how I've lost 20 pounds since January (30 since last summer). And that's good. I should be happy about it. But I have about 45 pounds left to lose. And my intended goal date is in 35 weeks. That's a little daunting. I won't let those 45 pounds beat me. Even if I don't do it in 35 weeks, I will lose every single one of those pounds. I want to do it in the time I set for myself, though. It's less than 1.5 pounds a week. If I stick to the plan from now on, I can do it. I just need to do what I say I'm going to do.
I can and will do this.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
It's been kind of a busy and hectic summer so far. Work has got me really bogged down and social activities have got me running all over the place and not exactly taking good care of myself. Add to that a general lack of motivation, and it leads to setbacks and the near-obliteration of good habits.
The good news is, I've still managed to lose three pounds since I stopped posting regularly. The bad news is, I've only lost three pounds in the past month. I've lost eight pounds since April. Which isn't much of a setback, I know, but it's pretty well short of where I (and SP's little red "goal line") think I should be at this point. According to that line, I should be in "one-derland" already, and well, I'm not. Also, the loss of momentum is something that I'm very unhappy about. Well, maybe not "unhappy." Perhaps "disappointed" would be a better word. I haven't been running regularly since I got that sunburn back at the end of May. I started running again as soon as it didn't hurt to move my upper body, but I have yet to have a week where I actually ran three times. I've been sticking to the week three C25K plan because I think I lost my tenuous hold on the ability to run for five minutes straight. I think it's coming back, though. I ran last night and I felt like I could have run longer than three minutes. Last night was also kind of tricky, though. I ran on the track at the gym because it was 92 degrees out and I didn't want the heat to derail my run. There was some kind of youth basketball tournament going on, so people were standing around the track watching the games below. A couple of dads parked themselves at the rail, firmly in the "walk" lane and proceeded to spend about half an hour watching and yelling at their kids. This is to say nothing of the groups of unescorted kids running in and out of the track willy-nilly. Anyway, the upshot is, I noticed that I tend to run a little faster when there are people stopped on the track. Could be a mild rage thing, I don't know. All I know is my max heart rate was higher than I like and I'd rather run long than run fast. (I also now know that I can pick up the red front desk phone to have someone roust the people who don't get the difference between a track and a skybox.)
Anyway, I'm trying not to dwell on setbacks and "should be's". It looks like this week might be another example of not getting three runs in (unless I run after golf, which doesn't sound too appetizing). But starting next week, I'm sticking to my schedule. I'm also going to get back into the habit of logging my nutrition more regularly. Perhaps that way I won't devour 1000 calories worth of M&Ms. (My number one bad work/diet habit: when I get really busy and have a looming deadline, I stress eat M&Ms. I refer to them as "speed" and shovel them in two at a time. It's a bad scene.) And the biggest thing I need to get back into is reading/blogging on SP. You never really know how much you come to depend on other Sparkers and on the ability to write down your issues and triumphs until you stop doing it. I may not be able to post as much as I was doing, but I need to stay involved.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I don't know what the heck has been up with me lately. Sure, I've been busy, but I feel like that has distracted me from my goals and I don't like it. I ran last Monday. It was a good run. I feel like I finally conquered week four on C25K. That's nearly half way through! And there was such a sense of accomplishment when I finally realized that I really could run for five minutes without stopping. I don't think people who haven't spent the better part of their lives unable to do that can really understand it. I also think that a lot of fit people who don't run don't necessarily understand how long five minutes running really is, because the bigger the person I tell, the more sincere their praise is.
Anyway, last week went like this, run Monday; dinner with my sister's family on Tuesday; work golf outing on Wednesday; golf league on Thursday; tired and not feeling great on Friday; cleaning, dinner and drinks out and roller derby (watching only- I value my knees too much to be a derby girl) on Saturday; at least four hours of scrubbing the deck on Sunday. Yesterday, I was dealing with the fallout of deck scrubbing. Not only was my back sore from hunching over scrubbing, and moving all sorts of planters and furniture, but my upper back and shoulders are on fire with my first sunburn of the season. It's pretty bad. Two days after sun exposure, I can still feel the heat of it through my shirt. It hurts to touch it and it hurts to raise my arms above my waist. Any thought of my usual upper body and core strength training seemed like torture. So I decided to give it another day of rest and dug through the linen closet for the Solarcaine.
But it's time for me to get a little honest with myself. I don't think I'm ready to move on from week four on C25K, but I'm looking at week five anyway, and frankly, what I'm looking at scares me. I know I can run for five minutes. I think I can get to running eight minutes. But the idea of running for twenty minutes freaks me out for some reason. I think it's this feeling that if I fail at this, I will fail at running, period. It seemed like such an uphill climb to get to the point I'm at now, and what I'm looking at is *four times* as long. I know several people who've advised that the first fifteen minutes of any run is the hardest and that once you get to that point, it's just easier to keep going. But "daunting" doesn't even begin to describe it.
And then there's this insidious little thought that's been creeping in. I've already decided to do the half marathon next year as a run-walk using a plan I found in John Bingham's "Marathoning for Mortals." It's a pattern of four minutes running to one minute walking, and he includes a sixteen week training plan. So I've been thinking, Why am I training to run a 5K straight through when I intend to run thirteen miles four minutes at a time? Shouldn't I start the run-walk training now? It sounds sensible. But it also feels like quitting, to me. I can't shake the feeling that I'm using it as an out, because a big part of me *really* doesn't want to run for twenty to forty minutes straight.
So this morning I used my stuck in traffic time to really think about it and came up with a compromise. I can switch to the half marathon run-walk training before finishing the C25K program. However, I can't do it until I run for twenty minutes without stopping. That way, I do the sensible thing and start training for the half as soon as I can, but I also have to face down this ridiculous fear and experience that big moment. I suspect it will take me a long time to get there, but I also know it will be worth it. And it will make the half marathon run-walk training that much easier!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In my last post, I mentioned the incredible experience I had with Relay for Life on Saturday and Sunday. Well, as of this morning, Relay for Life of Canton, MI has raised over $248, 062 for the American Cancer Society! I am so proud of my town!
And you know how I ran for five minutes straight on Friday and was all excited about it? I did it again on Monday. Twice!
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