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Monthly Archives: August 2014

I can, no I can’t, yes I can, no I can’t….

With my half marathon just under 5 weeks away, I’ve been pushing my training to try to increase my speed and my distance.  I want to be confident in my ability before race day.  I know I can get to the halfway point in the 1 hour 15 minute time cap with the adrenaline of a race, but I don’t want race day to be the first time I accomplish it.  I want to stand at the start line knowing I won’t be riding back in a bus after only 6.5-6.6 miles. 

So Sunday was the day of my long run and I learned a very important lesson… do not try to increase speed and distance on the same day in the form of running hills.  Yesterday I started my run on a 2 mile uphill (if the hill appears huge when you’re driving it, running it is a beast).  I turned down a road that allowed for some downhill and some flat, then turned around to head back.  The problem was, the downhill I had run at the 2 mile-ish marker, became the uphill I had to run from the 6-7 mile range.  After 3-4 miles uphill (added all together) and 7 miles total, that 2 mile downhill (the beast from the beginning of my run) no longer seemed that big.  Have you ever noticed that?  A hill that seems so humungous when you’re running up it, is barely a decline on the downhill…

This was a rough run for me.  It seems everyday I have a long run it’s gorgeous outside, usually a good thing, but sunny and 80 is not enjoyable running conditions.  My Nike 3’s which are so not long distance running shoes have served me well to this point, but I can now clock my mileage on when my body starts to scream because of them.  Right around mile 3.5 my back aches, my hip hurts, I can feel blisters on the insides of my arches, it’s just excruciating. 

There were parts of this run where I felt so strong and parts where I felt so weak.  I’m sure that’s not unusual in a long race to feel that way.  On the way back around mile 7-8 I actually considered calling my husband and asking him to come pick me up, but I didn’t and I made it. 

Along the way I must have told myself ‘You got this’ and ‘I  can’t go one more step’ at least a million times.  Some miles one voice won, others, the other voice did.  I just have to keep pushing, and I just have to get actual running shoes!

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Conversation I never Thought I’d Have

So I had a conversation yesterday I never imagined I would be involved it.  I was talking to someone getting half marathon training advice and she actually suggested I might be over-exercising.  Me?!  I hated to exercise and now I might be doing it too much?  IT is a crazy idea to me, but then, she could be right.

My schedule right now consists of toning zumba on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, TRX Tuesdays and Thursdays, short runs (4-6 miles) on Tuesdays and Fridays and long runs (I’m up to 9 miles this week) on Sundays.  That leaves 1 rest day.  While I’m accustomed to the workouts and I’m never sore, but that doesn’t mean my body doesn’t need time to rest. 

Giving up any of these workouts temporarily while I train for my half marathon is almost as scary to me as the half itself.  I have found workouts that work for me, that I see the results and I feel good doing, so for someone who has had a major focus on weight loss, it’s terrifying.  What if I cut out one or the other and I start to gain?  What if I then can’t get that gain back off?  What if I lose some of the muscle tones I’ve built?  I could go on and on. 

I’m having the same struggle with diet.  I know there are things that can help fuel my running, a big one being carbs.  Weight Watchers focuses on foods higher in protein and fiber, lower in fat and carbs.  This is a diet that has worked for me.  I’m super nervous about bringing more of those into my diet.  On the bright side, some of those foods (wheat breads, pastas, cereals) I eat anyway but can really help fuel my runs.

On the flip side of that, since I started my training I have gained about 5 pounds.  Not what you’d expect when burning that many calories.  I tell my Weight Watchers members on occasion they may not be eating enough, and I think I myself have fallen into that category, but because of my fear of gaining more, I’m terrified to eat more.  Ahh! All about simple science… I don’t think so.

On a different but similar note, I am now not just running half marathon distance, I am now running a half marathon.  My race is on September 28th and while my focus for my training has been on distance not time, I’m having to switch that focus because there are time limits for the race and the half-way point.  Here’s hoping I can get those times down since I have NEVER been a fast runner, but then again I NEVER thought I’d be involved in a conversation about over exercising either.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Finish Line Reward

I’m looking for some opinions.  One of my Weight Watchers members and I were talking about my half marathon goal and how I don’t plan to participate in a race, but rather run the distance on my own with friends.  She mentioned something I hadn’t even thought of.  She asked what my reward for myself was going to be after a finished.  She continued with, “It has to be something, you need to do something for yourself you wouldn’t usually do.  Like get a pedicure, or a pair of shoes or something.  Something to reward yourself.” 

I think she has a pretty great point.  Our budget is always fairly limited, but I’m hoping you can all give me some help with coming up with a finish line reward.  It doesn’t have to be big, but I’m open to any and all suggestions. 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Lesson Learned

I never really cared what type of sneakers I bought. I based my decision on price and what they looked like. I learned first hand why you can’t do that running distance. I wore a pair of sneakers I hadn’t run in since last year. I don’t know how I ever ran 5ks in those shoes. 1 1/2 miles in my toes went numb and the balls of my feet were screaming. When I got home and took my sneaks off I could hardly bend my toes. I still managed 4.5 miles but I won’t be running my 8 miles in those tomorrow.

Looks like sneaker shopping when, if ever the budget allows.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

I Never Would Have Thought

I have said more than a time or two that I’m not a “runner.”  I keep a fairly slow pace and I’ve always had it in my mind if you are a ‘runner’ you should be good at it, and I’m not.  I’m not fast, in fact I still struggle to get under a 12 minute pace, I’ve still never ran a mile in less than 10 minutes and I’ve never looked around at the scenery and thought I love that I’m out running.  Shouldn’t I at least enjoy it to be a ‘runner?’

But here I am, entering week 3 of my half marathon training and if nothing else, I am starting to feel like an athlete.  I have logged right around 40 miles in the last 3 weeks.  Yesterday I ran 7 miles!  The only time I stopped was for a quick water break right around the 6 mile marker.  I’ve come a long way since the first time I ran last year when I struggled to make it from 1 telephone poll to the next.

So you might wonder why I bother running when I really hate it so much and I have some really good reasons.  The obvious, it burns a lot of calories and is helping me tone up some of those tough to tone spots, but it’s more than that.  First, it is a goal I have set for myself.  I want to run a marathon.  I started me weight loss journey at 26.2 pounds and to me running 26.2 miles would be coming full circle.  Second, it challenges me like nothing else.  I have to force myself to get out and run, the entire time I’m running, I have to will myself to keep going and when I’m done, I feel accomplishment I can’t explain.  When I run, I push my brain and my body to do things I never could have imagined I was capable of doing.  It makes me feel empowered, strong and it makes me feel like I can conquer the world; like anything I put my mind to doing is mine to accomplish.

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I spent a lot of years not challenging my body or my mind.  I used the pounds as an excuse and my self-esteem dwindled until I saw myself as nothing more than a failure.  I had failed my husband, turning from the healthy active woman he married to a couch potato who didn’t want to do anything and who only felt sexy looking at pictures of my past self; I failed my children, not spending time with them playing on the floor because my feet fell asleep, not playing at the park because I was winded after just walking from the car; and I was failing myself, for all the above reasons and so many more.  I was not the woman I wanted to be and I was convinced I never could be.

Even after seeing success on the scale, this change in my mentality has only come from working out, and nothing proves to me what I’m capable like running does.

So far in this training I have learned where my wall is.  Right around 2-3 miles I just want to quit, I want to give up, I want to go back to the couch and put my feet up, but when I push through that, I can go beyond my wildest dreams.  Along the way yesterday I kept saying to myself, I’ll break for a walk after 3 miles, I’ll walk for a minute when my pace drops off, I’ll run to that sign, I’ll stop at the top of this hill… and I never did.  When I started this training, I still doubted it was even remotely possible for me to run a half marathon.  I mean, do you know how far 13.1 miles actually is?!  But I’ve got this.  No more sitting around letting the world pass me by, I want to be out moving, even if it is only at a 5 mph pace.  It may take me a little longer, but I’ll get there, and then I will keep going.  And who knows, maybe someday I’ll see myself as a ‘runner.’

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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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