The Future

You reach that point in high school when you have to begin thinking about college; you reach that point in college when you have to begin thinking about a career. You even hit that age when you have to start thinking about families, but I am avoiding that one for the time being. I can’t however deny my looming race date and the reality that I must explore the future beyond it.

I am sure there are people who are blessed enough to focus on one goal or one race at a time; I am not one of them.  I have always done too many things at once and need to know what I will be doing next week in order to do what I will need to do today.  So I woke up at 7:00 this Saturday morning to think about  (dom dom doooooohm) The Future.

An hour later, I had mapped out the next six months of my training life in painstaking detail.  The good news is that it can be done.  The scary news is that it is way more than I have ever done before.  But if I do it, I will have run my first half marathon and completed my first sprint triathlon in my thirtieth year of life (with literally no days to spare –I turn 31 the day after my tri).

I would be lying if I said the challenge before me was not intimidating, but I am also thrilled by the idea of new challenges ahead.  I am also super-psyched that boyfriend will be training with me for the tri.  Which is to say, he is doing the tri, though has made it clear he has no desire to train as much as I do or take it as seriously as I do.  And he may still beat me…but that is yet to be seen.

So here’s what the next six months after my first half marathon hold.  I hope a few of you will stick around for that journey as well! I am running 10 miles tomorrow and then just 25 miles till race day.

My 2010 Event and Training Calendar for Half marathon and Sprint Triathlon

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November 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Just 35 more miles

There are no two ways about; I procrastinate.  More than once after finally doing the thing I’ve been dreading, I have found myself thinking, “that wasn’t so bad,” or “that was much quicker/better/more fun than I expected.”  I procrastinate about a long list of things including cleaning, work projects, taking the dog out and even going to bed.  Lately, I have put off running until the last possible moment too, which makes my blog even later!

I can say I sort of had a good reason to stall on running this week, or at least I thought I did.  After my 9 miles Sunday, my right knee was really sore.  After icing all day Monday, I was afraid to run on it Tuesday and opted for the gym instead.  Thursday I was supposed to run, but I was so afraid of finding out my knee was really “messed up,” I waited until today.  A week’s worth of worry (and rest) resulted in a fine run today and very little pain afterwards.

Running really is 98% mental.  I have just 35 miles to go before my race and I need every one of them.  Putting them off is not an option.  No room for procrastination or excuses.  Just 35 more miles.  I can’t believe I have come this far, and you better believe I am going all the way!  Next up: 10 on Sunday.

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November 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm 1 comment

Brought to you by the color purple

Well, I did it.  I ran 9 miles on Sunday, making this week’s long run my longest run ever.  I am still slightly in disbelief that I actually ran 9 miles, but my knees are both assuring me with each step that I did.  My split times were all a little slower than usual, but overall it was a solid run and I am not complaining—well, not complaining about anything other than my knees.  (Ice and Advil do your thing)

In an effort to totally freak myself out motivate myself for the year ahead, I plotted my races and training weeks on a 2010 calendar.  I think my New Year’s resolution will be to sleep as much as possible because after training that is all I will have the strength to do.  At least I have a few weeks to look at the seemingly impossible 5 months of training before committing with entry fees in December.

Today, the purchase on my mind is my half marathon ensemble.  I know I will be wearing one of two pairs of black tights, my favorite of which has a little purple accent stripe.  I keep debating about making purple my “color of the day” and ordering a shirt to match.  It seems silly when I have several other perfectly good shirts, but somehow the purple is calling to me. And I need to decide now so I can wear it a few times to break it in.  Hmmm…I’ll let you know.

The other thing calling my name is meat.  It’s the last night of downtown dining, and we will be at Texas de Brazil for an all-you-can-eat meat feast.  OK, truthful that much meat the night before a morning run sounds disgusting to me and I am hoping no one will notice if I load up at the salad bar instead.  I think one week of good training and sensible eating will have me ready for a much better time on my 10 miles this Saturday.

My countdown calendar is a constant reminder that Decemeber 5th will be here before I know it.  This week I am feeling much more prepared.  Pilates today to stretch out and get ready for tomorrow.

November 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

Lace Up and Get Past It



This morning while running my 5 miles, I began thinking about the 7 deadly sins. This may seem a little deep for 6:00 in the morning, but I was thinking in particular about to deadlies I committed this week: Gluttony and Sloth.  And since these are running sins it only seems right to confess to you readers and move past it.

Today was my first good run since last Friday.  Saturday I woke up early to fly to a tradeshow in Orlando.  I spent the weekend with my sister, but we opted for baking and shopping instead of running.  Monday I stood all day at the trade show and Tuesday I found my knees too sore to do more than walk 1.5 miles around the hotel.  I got home Tuesday night and had a pitiful 2.5 mile run/walk on Wednesday during lunch.  Everything hurt and I had no cardio endurance whatsoever.

If all this not running weren’t enough, I have been eating like I was on vacation with a per diem (because I was).  I got home in time to catch Downtown Dining, a great week of all the nicest restaurants in town becoming accessible to peasants with $20 three course dinners.  Add to that a few glasses of wine and not enough water, and, well, I guess we have all been there.  (If you haven’t, don’t do it 3 weeks before your half marathon!)

I spent most of my run this morning feeling really guilty and being quite hard on myself for dragging along my chosen route.  Afterwards, I checked my time and it was only a little slower than usual, and it actually included my fasted first mile on record.  I can only imagine how well I could have run if I would have laid off the guilt and just run!

My penance was to revise my training calendar and eat a healthy lunch that involved lettuce (one of the deadly vegetables in my opinion, blech).  My gilt is gone and my determination has returned.  Onward toward the next run!

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November 13, 2009 at 8:57 pm 1 comment

Fancy Fleece Wear


Gearing up for my run this morning seemed to take forever.  It was 40 degrees out, which I consider quite chilly, so I stacked on a light skullcap under my running cap, pulled on shorts over my tights, added a fleece vest over my long-sleeved shirt and at the last minute decided I needed my gloves too.  All I could do was laugh before heading out, thinking about all those times I have read that running is a low gear sport.  I don’t think anything I do is low gear.

After half a mile I stopped being cold. At mile 2, I contemplated taking the gloves off but decided against it.  I guess when dressing guides ask what temp you like to be, my answer would be “warm.”  At mile 5, I needed to consume my gel and decided to take off the gloves instead of getting them sticky.  I was surprised to see they were soaked through, but my hands were dry and did not chill in the air.

I finished mile 8 strong and walked about half a mile to stretch everything out.  (I always wonder if I am walking as slow as I think or if it just feels slow after running.  I always think someone will offer to give me a ride because I am barely moving. )

At home, my running cap was soaked but the skullcap was pretty dry and had kept me warm.  I notice my vest was really damp on the outside but I was dry and toasty.  All of my wicking stuff seemed to have wicked well, but I have yet to see the wicking product that could prevent a salt-covered face. After 8 miles. Running is not always pretty.

After I got in the shower I remembered how silly I had felt before my run all geared up in everything my running shop could offer.  What can I say, it all worked.  I was warm and dry, and spent my run focusing on running instead of my clothes or the cold.   And really, that isn’t silly at all.

November 6, 2009 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment

Creative hydration on long runs


Finding a refueling solution for my long runs has turned out to be easier than finding a hydration solution.  I have a running belt but it does not have the ability to hold water bottles and I really don’t want water sloshing around during my runs.  I have been unable to find any water fountains near my typical routes.

I know people who run figure eights so they can come back by home and grab a bottle they leave out, but being so close to home might make it too easy to stay home. Since none of my friends have volunteered to set up a water station for me, I have been forced to be creative.

Last week, I decided to put about 2 oz of water in a tiny snack zip bag and put it in my running belt.  I got all the air out in the hopes of it not bursting when I was jostling about.  If I had stuck with one, I might have been successful, but I added another.  About halfway into my 7 miles, I removed the first bag and sucked down my 2 oz.  Awesome!  Then I noticed the other bag was completely empty and looking back I saw a huge wet spot over my butt.  Nice.

I finished the run with no water to wash down my gel and left determined to find a solution.  Sunday at Target, I walked up and down all the liquid aisles until my eyes landed on these mini boxes of Juicy Juice. Juicy Juice calls them Fun Size and each box is 4.23 oz.  So small, in fact I thought they just might fit in my belt.  I took a chance and bought the apple ones (not like I won’t drink them anyway).

I tested it when I got home and both my phone and a Juicy Juice will fit in my belt!  I tested it Monday and the box stayed in tact over my 4.75 mile run.  Luckily there are lots of trashcans in the park.

I am headed out for 8 miles tomorrow.  Now to make sure apple juice goes down smoothly on the road.

November 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Two-month Running Anniversary


I checked my training log today and confirmed that yesterday was the two-month anniversary of my first run. Wow, two months. When I think of all I have accomplished from that first 1.75 miles to today I can’t help but be proud. I’ve run a 4-mile and 8-mile race, as well as committing to run a half marathon. And with that half marathon a month away, I feel very good about running it.

I have completed 25 runs and have 13 more before my half. Some have definitely been better than others (my training long only had on word for my run on Sept 5—pukey), but overall they have been good. Each run builds on the next, and each improvement is built on previous struggles.

My long run of 7 miles on Saturday went really well and the 4.75 miles I put in yesterday were smooth, too. I needed these runs to boost my confidence and they did just that. My commitment to follow my training schedule and run a strong half is through the roof.

Maybe the most important thing I did to show (force) my commitment to my training this weekend was finalize my training schedule and reschedule any runs disturbed by travel and the holidays. I now know all my runs will fit into my schedule and that I better do them because they don’t fit anywhere else.

It was hard not to run during lunch today, because I just feel so good, but looking back at my training log also reminded me of the consequences of overtraining. Instead, I read Runner’s World and dreamed about my own dramatic race finish.

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November 3, 2009 at 8:26 pm 1 comment

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