Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 2 of HM Training

Training wise, this week has been a flop. And it's only week two! Yikes. Sunday I was supposed to run 7 miles; I had already been scared out of my wits about it because I was sure I couldn't do it. Positive I couldn't, in fact. I went to bed Saturday night and immediately knew it was going to be a long night. My son wouldn't sleep at all. We were up at 10:30, 12:00, 2:00, and 3:00. My husband wasn't home--he was playing in an all night softball tournament. At 4 AM my phone rings. I can't believe I heard it, it was on vibrate. I answer. It's my husband.

Hubs: "Hi honey. I need you to have Mom come watch the kids for a bit."

Me: "What!? What happened??"

Hubs: "I need you to come to the hospital. I think I broke my arm."

Oh my word. So I called my mother-in-law (who, by the way, answered the phone like she had been up all along!) and told her what was going on. I hadn't even asked her yet to come stay with the kids before she said, "I'll be right over." She was there in less than 5 minutes. I'm not kidding when I say that a married into an amazingly wonderful unselfish giving family. My mother-in-law is an angel.

I went to the hospital and yes, his arm was most definitely broken. It looked like that scene from Harry Potter when  Professor Lockhart removes all Harry's bones from his arm.

Yes, that gross. Several hours later we were back home and hubs had a splint on his arm. I couldn't run, I was too tired. No way. I secretly celebrated getting out of it.

Monday rolled around. I still didn't get much sleep the night before but I went home after an already stressful day at work and needed to get OUT. I don't know why he agreed to it but hubs decided to watch the baby while I went for a run. I didn't tell him how far I was going or how long it would take, though... sneaky me.

I went 7 miles. Seven. Freaking. Miles. Did I really do that? I did, SEE!??

Okay, yes, I had to go really slow and I had to walk up the big hills and I may have even stopped to pet a couple of dogs who, by the way, weren't guarding their homes very well. But I did it and lived to tell the tale. This put me one day behind schedule but oh well. 

Just a little side story here: One time my mom bought my dad this new movie. He loved running and so she bought this movie for him that she assumed was about running called: 8 Mile. I saw it in the living room and said, "Mom, what are you doing with this? It's not really something I pictured you and Dad watching." She said, "Well I don't really know what it is I just know your dad likes to run so I got that for him." Oh Mom, no, this is not a movie about running... 

Picture credit here

Picture credit here

So anyway...

Last night I decided to do Tuesday's workout so that I would be back on schedule. My mother-in-law came over to watch the baby (remember me saying she was an angel?) and off I went. And then, less than a mile into it, I see lightning. I turned around and ran as fast as I could home. I've decided to just skip that workout and, if it stops raining, I'll just pick back up with today's workout. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 4 (and some "You know you're a runner when...")

A little humor before I get to the boring stuff (and btw, all of these apply to me...)
You know you're a runner when: 
  • you have more running clothes than regular clothes in your laundry pile. 
  • you've lost a toenail. And you tell people, "It's not that bad." (I have a black one about to fall off right now... it's really not that bad!) 
  • you have a line in your budget for "race entry fees/race travel". 
  • you get an invitation to a wedding and you automatically think about what race the date will conflict with.
  • you have dreams about showing up to a race late or not wearing any clothes. (I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!!!) 
  • you're not embarrassed to wear spandex. (it's hawt.)
  • you're always hungry. (technically I was always hungry before I started running too...)
  • you spend more time researching running routes than local restaurants when traveling to a new city. (I left work late yesterday trying to find the perfect route that would end right at the track!)
  • you know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
  • you have more fun shopping for running clothes than you do non-running clothes.
  • when you hear PR, you automatically think "personal record", not "public relations".
  • your holiday wish list can be fulfilled at any running or sporting goods store. (My birthday is coming up, too ;)
  • you have several drawers dedicated to running shirts.
  • your Facebook or Twitter updates frequently involve running. (Guilty.. apologies to my FB friends)
  • you always have your next race on the calendar. (including when the last day to register is)
  • your runs are sometimes longer than your commute to work or school.
  • you get jealous when you're driving in your car and pass runners.
  • you want to either cry or punch your doctor in the face when he tells you that you can't run for two weeks. (Which is why I won't go see one about my foot, doh!!)
  • you're excited for your next birthday because it means you'll be in a new age group at raoad races. (I run my last race as a 24 year old the week before my birthday and my first race as a 25 year old the week after my birthday! How cool is that!?)
  • you get excited when the race swag is a technical fabric (not cotton) T-shirt. (a rare occurrence, though)
  • when someone passes you during a training run, you assume they're running a shorter distance than you are. (Um, duh, there's no way that girl would pass me otherwise)
  • you spend more money on running clothes than work or casual clothes. (guilty...)
  • the only time major household projects get done is during tapering or race recovery. (Which is why only half our dining room has been painted so far!)
Find more here

Okay, on to the boring bit. Day 4 of HM training consisted of:

4 miles + 4 GP (gentle pickups)-"At the end of your run, walk for several minutes, then slowly increase your leg turnover on a flat stretch for 100 meters—the straightaway on a track—up to the point where you start to breathe hard. Hold it there for 10 to 20 meters, then gradually slow down. Walk to full recovery before you start the next one."

I seriously wanted to quit after the first mile. I couldn't breathe, my legs were dead, and I had side stitches like nobody's business. I ran around the park where I didn't think the hills would be too hard since I'm used to running hills anyway but they. were. brutal. I wasn't trying to go too fast either--I settled into a pace 30 seconds slower than my usual easy run pace. It was just a bad day all around. I hope these kinds of runs don't stick around. It was a little hotter yesterday than usual, and I didn't drink enough water throughout the day, and I may or may not have had two cookies and a slice of coconut cream pie along with the rest of my lunch... so maybe it was just a combination of all those things.

I'm so glad today is a rest day. Tomorrow I only have to run 4 miles and then Sunday: the big 7. I have never ever ever in my whole life went that far so I wouldn't be surprised if I have to walk a lot of it. Ah well...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day Two

Day two training consisted of:

2 miles, 5X1:00 AI, 2 miles. AI=Aerobic intervals; "You push the pace, but just a little. Find a tempo that feels somewhere between comfortable and, "Hey, I'm workin' a little here." Don't run this too hard. Adding too much intensity while you're also increasing mileage is a recipe for injury. When you finish the timed AI, jog slowly until your breathing returns to normal, then work back into your regular pace." (Runner's World) 

Picture credit here
I could tell within the first mile that I was going to die. I knew I had to go slow or I wasn't going to make it. If this had been just another day of running where I didn't really have a goal in mind I would have decided right then to go 3 miles and call it a good day. But I couldn't do that--I had a stupid goal!

I had been nervous about the intervals but they turned out to be really easy. I only had to do 5 and they only last a minute each so the time went by really fast. I would walk for 30 seconds, run hard for a minute, walk 30 seconds... I was finished with that part in under 8 minutes. Piece of cake--until I realized I still had to run 2 more miles.

The road I run on was pretty busy--I could have just jumped out in front of a car to end my misery but I figured that would hurt really bad. So I finished my run, stretched, and laid on the pavement wondering if I was really going to be able to pull this off or not. I ran less than 5 miles and it hurt. 13.1 miles? That seems so unattainable right now!

Once I got in the house I just sat in the floor and blindly stared at the TV for an hour. My sweet little baby sat on my lap the entire time which is a miracle in itself because he doesn't normally sit still for more than, oh, say... 3.5 seconds. He even went to bed easy. He pointed at his crib and smiled. What is wrong with my kid!? I said to him, "Give Mommy a kiss," and he shook his head no. So then I said, "I'm not letting you go to bed until you give Mommy a kiss." And then he kissed me and went right to sleep without any fuss. It was mind boggling.

After what seemed like hours later, I got up off the couch and mumbled something about going to bed. My husband looked at me and said, "Really? Now? Honey... it's 9 o'clock." Whatever... It felt more like 2 in the morning. So I went to bed. My awesome hubby came in and rubbed my back and before long (like 2 minutes later) I was asleep. Wanna hear the best part? My little baby slept all night long. That's the first time in about a week and a half! He must have known Mommy needed her sleep... or maybe he did wake up and I just couldn't hear him because I was in a coma? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day One

So it begins: Day one of half-marathon training. Lucky for me day 1 starts of with a rest day! Yay! I am so nervous about the next few weeks. Can I really stick to the schedule? Can I really wake up at 5 AM to workout during the week? I decided to wake up at 6 this morning to try and get myself ready for waking up at 5 tomorrow. Instead of getting up, I turned my alarm off, woke up at 7, and had to have the hubby take Mr J to daycare because I was running late. *sigh*

I was sick all last week and couldn't do much of anything, let alone run. By Saturday I felt 100% better but decided to wait until Sunday to do a 5-mile test run. I started out really, really slow and had a side-stitch by mile 2. But I didn't stop, not even when I reached this:

I have been avoiding this series of hills for months but I decided to just go for it. Going down the first big one I thought, "This really isn't so bad." Going back up it I thought, "Why, Destiny, why did you do this to yourself!?" I was just a little past the 3 mile mark at that point and had to walk up the last hill, but at least I survived. At the end of mile 4 I upped my pace and finished the last mile in under 10 minutes. 

Let me just do a little bragging at this point: I am on day 11 without any DP. It has been (knock on wood) surprisingly easy so far. I just have to make sure to have at least one coffee a day to avoid headaches. My husband told me last week that the reason I got so sick was because I quit the hard stuff and my body wasn't responding well. Ha! But no, really, he's probably right. 

Last night, after putting little man to bed, I sat in the backyard and really thought about the next 9 weeks. This whole process is a huge deal for me. I need to eat right. I need to stay on schedule. And I need to get enough sleep every night. That's probably going to be the hardest thing for me to do. Every night when I lay J down I wonder how long he'll sleep before waking up, how many times he'll wake up, whether he'll stay in his own bed or wind up in our's. Whether I get enough sleep or not solely relies on him. Some nights I get a full 8 hours while others I function on just 2 or 3. Some nights we're up every 30 minutes. How do you tell a toddler that he needs to cooperate with Mommy's training!? It should be interesting!

Can I really do this? 
Stick around... we'll see!

**Update from day 2: I did NOT wake up at 5 AM!! Well technically I did.... but the only thing I accomplished during that time was warming up some milk for Jordan and patting him for 30 minutes trying to get him to go back to sleep. Hmmm. I guess weekday training will in fact occur in the evenings and weekend training will occur in the mornings. HAHA I am such a slacker already!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Never "Easy"

Today I am obviously cranky and having Dr Pepper withdrawls. It's been like 48 hours since my last DP injection and so I apologize for anything stupid I may say/do over the next few minutes/days/weeks/months.

Let's get right to it: being "skinny" (or fit or small or healthy or whatever is socially acceptable to say right now) can sometimes be a pain in the behind. This morning I woke up and really wanted the donut but ate the banana and 20 ounces (yes, twenty) of coffee instead. Lunch time rolls around and I'd love a nice slice of pizza with a side of ranch dressing and cheese dippers. *Drool* Instead I had tuna on wheat and some baby carrots. I don't want to eat this apple for my afternoon snack; what I WANT is a king size Almond Joy.
Let's get one thing straight: I am nowhere near what most people consider a "health nut." I eat crap all the time. I'm only 48 hours off my DP, remember? But I try to eat at least half as much good foods as I do crap. So I do eat my vegetables and I try (and try and try) to avoid bad foods. This is what happens: Almost everyday at some point at least one person says to me, "You're so small... it wouldn't kill you to just eat the one donut." It's true, that one donut (like the one I had for breakfast yesterday morning, btw) won't ruin me. But if I ate a donut (or a cheeseburger or whatever) every single time someone said that to me... I wouldn't be where I am now.

My point is this: it's hard. I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day (or something like it because I can't find it now...): "Being overweight is hard. Being skinny is hard. Being healthy is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard." I love it because it's true. I've been maintaining now for over a year and it's still not easy. If I don't count my calories every. single. day. I eat way too much, it never fails. It's hard. But you know what else was hard? Looking at my body in the mirror after my son was born was hard. Trying on size 12 jeans (that were too small) was hard. Seeing tagged photos of myself on Facebook was hard. Stepping on the scale was hard. For me those things were emotionally hard whereas eating healthier and exercising are physically and mentally hard.

It's about what makes you the happiest... which kind of "hard" will be the most satisfying? That's the one you choose.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monster Goal(s)

Last month my running goal was to complete 30 miles for the month. I ended up with 49.3! My big big goal is coming up pretty soon: Route 66 Half Marathon, November 18, 2012. Training for that starts on September 17th: one week from this upcoming Monday! Holy cowzers!

Even bigger than running a half marathon is my decision to stop drinking Dr Pepper until after the race. Today is only day one... this should be pretty interesting. This is a horrible time to start--but is there really ever a great time to give up a bad habit? No time like the present... so they say.

I don't remember what the point of this post was supposed to be... sorry! I'm delirious from lack of DP? It hasn't even been 24 hours yet but hey, I'm blaming it anyway. Let me just be clear about one thing: I am not giving up coffee. Maybe I should but let's take this one addiction at a time, shall we?

So anyway, half marathon training is coming up pretty soon and I am so nervous I won't be able to stick with it. Baby J gets tubes in his ears on the 25th... My daughter's birthday party is this weekend, she turns 7 next Friday, my cousin is getting married the next weekend, my husband will be working several Saturdays between now and November, there's softball tournaments scheduled, and let's not forget that there will be plenty of nights that Mama won't get any sleep... oh dear, I'm dizzy. And the one thing that tops it ALL off is that I plan on doing all my training in the mornings which I already know is a mistake because I never get up early enough for that. I am a night runner. Don't get me wrong I am naturally a morning person, but that doesn't mean I want to go run 7 miles before breakfast.

I haven't signed up for the race yet. I should probably do it now so that I can't be a weenie after week one of training and back out of it altogether. My biggest worry is that my stupid right foot won't make it... It's been hurting and swollen for about 3 weeks now. I'm not going to the doctor... I'm so sick of bills. I had a plantar's wart that made it difficult to even walk for an entire year before I finally caved and had it removed. It took the guy 5 minutes and maybe $10 worth of acid treatment and one week later it was gone. $140 bill came in the mail a few weeks later, after my $40 co-pay and with insurance applied. Really, doc? Thanks a lot. So, even though I know I really need to go see someone about my foot, I'm not going to. Plus, they'll probably tell me I need to stay off of it for 4-6 weeks and let's face it... I can't train for a half marathon with only one foot. So I am just going to pretend there's nothing wrong and probably have to have it amputated later.

In a nutshell: I am going to need lots of support (and don't forget COFFEE) over the next few months. Maybe even a present here and there, massages are always appreciated.

Here is my training schedule:

*AI = Aerobic Intervals
*GP = Gentle Pickups

**This schedule is something I came up with all my own because I'm a genius found from Runner's World which is basically my go-to for any running questions I have. It is a training guide for beginning runners who run on average 15-20 miles per week, have been running for at least a year, and have finished at least one 5K race. That's me! Yay!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I've Learned

Last night I set a goal to do 4 miles. During that time I couldn't stop thinking about how tired I was! I kept thinking about how I could change my route and go this way instead of that way so that I could avoid the big hills and yada yada yada...

My foot hurt, my legs were sore, I needed to blow a snot rocket, my underwear were riding up... well, you get the picture. At the 2 mile mark I reached the place where I HAD to make a decision: If I turn right I can make the loop and I'll be running down the big hills instead of up them, or go straight and I'll be running UP the monster hills which is not only harder on my body but makes me run a lot slower. My legs were already tired. I had sweat in my eyes. And just at that moment my stupid iPod starts playing that stupid Kelly Clarkson song about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... and so I went straight. Up the big stupid hills. And that's when I started reflecting on my running career.

1. I started running constistantly 16 months ago. Love for running (for me, anyway) was an acquired taste. I used to HATE it, I'm not even kidding. It took me about 3 months of forcing myself to do it before I actually found joy in it!

2. The first time I attempted "going for a jog" after Jordan was born I broke down and started crying 5 minutes in. I hurt. I couldn't breath. I was jiggly. I felt so defeated. But I'd heard this quote and it kept me going: "Running slow is not a character trait. Quitting is." I did not want to be a quitter, and so I kept going.

3. I ran my first ever 5K (EVER) in October 2011. I ran it in 25:08 and haven't been able to run that fast since! Over time I've learned that even though I haven't beat my own PR doesn't mean I can't. Sometimes just telling myself "I'm capable of more" during a difficult run gets me through it and forces me to push harder.

4. At some point over the last year I decided I didn't care how gross my stomach is, if it's 95+ degress outside, I'm running in a sports bra, dangit! While, yeah, I am vain enough to want to be one of those hot tan girls showing off her bod, it isn't (always) about showing off to others--it's about proving to myself that I can do more. I have a beautiful collection of stretch marks and loose skin from pregnancy but I'm sorry, if it's hot outside, you're gonna see them.

5. The donut or the banana? That is the question. I won't lie, somedays I eat the donut. But the truth is I usually eat better on days I run. (Better, not perfect.) I love DP too much to eat perfect!

6. The shoes matter. My husband ran with me one day (and he never runs!) and his foot hurt for two weeks after. We only went three miles but he wasn't wearing the right kind of shoes for his feet and running style. I've only been able to con him into running with me one other time since: The Warrior Dash. Now he doesn't even acknowledge me when I mention "running together."

7. It took me a long time to get over my fear of hills. One of the most important things I've learned over the past 16 months (and you can quote me on this) is that the hills NEVER get smaller. They never get shorter. My legs and feet and lungs all hurt during the climb. But, even though the hills never get any easier to conquer physically, they do become less intimidating. That, my friends, gives me so much power as a runner.

8. I am 24 years old, almost 25. Someday I'll be old, right? Someday I'll be wrinkled and hunched and have to use a walker to get around. I never ever in my whole life want to look back and simply WISH I had taken advantage of my youth when I had the chance.