Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week in Review: Training Week 1

First, I simply have to get this off my chest. 

I CANNOT FLIPPIN' BELIEVE THAT I AM FLIPPIN' TRAINING FOR A FLIPPIN' HALF MARATHON. Seriously. Who am I? This is not the real me. The only logical explanation is that I was sucked into a wormhole and deposited into an alternate universe. Only. Logical. Explanation.

Okay, now that THAT's cleared up...

My first week of half mary training is complete! I believe it went fairly well. I know it's only going to get tougher from here!

Sunday: 30 minute strength
Monday: 3 mile run, 38 minutes (11:48 pace)
Tuesday: 30 minutes balance/leg strength
Wednesday: 60 minutes of cardio via DVD
Thursday: 2.5 mile run, 27 minutes (10:39 pace)
Friday: REST
Saturday: 4 mile run, 44 minutes (11:00 pace)

One week down, 11 more to go.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Run Club Recap

Yesterday's post was the short version. Here's the long version. The REALLY long version. Consider yourself warned.

(And a quick shout-out to my friend M who mentioned my blog in her post about group workouts. Thanks, pal!)

My local running store is facilitating a women's only running group, aimed at non-competitive, beginner-level runners. I skipped spin last night to check it out. When I arrived--dressed to the hilt for running--I immediately felt out of place, but not for the reasons I expected.

I imagined a group of sleek, tough, Garmin-wearing 30-somethings--how those folks would fit into a beginner/non-competitive group is beyond me. (Obviously I have a vivid imagination.) What I got was a small group made up of half 50-somethings who were NOT runners (they told us that--no judgements from Yours Truly), a young 30-something who'd run one 5k, and me. (Another lady eventually joined us, and she's in the intermediate range, with some potential as a triathlon training parter.) No one else was dressed to run, especially not in skin-tight running tights under a fitted wicking top and jacket, the way I was. Can you say "overdressed"?

We talked a bit about running experience/levels/mileage and what goals we'd like to accomplish as a group. The suggested goal is to complete the 5k at the same event where I'm running the half, so I guess I can probably check that one off the list. ;) At this point, everyone except me and the leader peeled off and headed home. I'd dressed for a run, and I was going to get one.

As we left the store, she asked about my usual pace and I said I hovered around an 11:30/mile, which she said sounded like it would be a good pace. And then she must have promptly forgot what she'd just uttered because she took off like a bat out of hell.

The leader is tiny compared to me (I'm 6ft in shoes), wiry and quick. She's like a little mouse. Which I suppose made me the cat, as I spent the next half-hour chasing her through downtown, trying to keep up. I did manage to match her about halfway through, or maybe the icy, slushy sidewalks forced her to finally slow down. About the time I fell into the groove, we were winding down and almost back to the store. I glanced at my watch when we stopped: 27:04. I suspected we'd been booking it faster than I normally would have--my quads and lungs were definitely protesting--but until I could map the route, I'd couldn't be sure. I knew it was under 3 miles, but wasn't sure how much over 2.

It wasn't until I got home and mapped it out--2.5 miles--that I realized I had indeed run a 10:39 pace. Wow! I know a 10:39 is a slow, easy run for lots of folks but for me? It's my fastest time yet, and almost a full minute faster than my normal solo pace.

I know when we stopped I felt like I was working hard and my legs were hollering, but I wasn't close to dying. Looking back, I probably could've hit 3 miles and been okay. I know I couldn't have pulled off that pace for that long on my own, which is, I suppose, the point of a running group. You (hopefully) have folks faster than you that make you dig deeper, run faster, reach farther than you would on your own.

I've mentioned in the past how I frequently have a case of "the can'ts." My mind is so quick to deliver the negative messages the first time my body sends out its "this is too hard!" signals, which often occur before I've even left the house. Last night was good for me--I saw that I CAN. And I DID. I know it was only 2.5 miles and it was only 10:39. But to run multiple miles at a pace that begins with a 10? Milestone.

My participation in the running group is still up in the air at this point. We meet again on Monday, so that removes the spin conflict for next week, which is good. But I worry about the balance of the group as far as skill level. I know I'm not SUPER AWESOME FAST RUNNER LADY, but I am beyond the slow run/walk intervals that some of the other folks want to start off doing. On one hand, I don't want to sacrifice my workout/training just to be part of a group, if that group is slower than me. On the other hand, I want to be supportive of their endeavors as new runners and not leave them behind if I want to go faster or longer. On the other hand, it is HI-larious that I should think so highly of myself that my speed/skill/running would ever make someone feel bad because I "left them behind". Oh, the laughing. It hurts. (And also? Apparently I have three hands.)

But just going by yesterday, where I hit a new quickest pace, I know that a group run is something I need. And heck, I'm lonely! So maybe this isn't the right group for me, but I do need *A* group. I'll go Monday, but I think the search continues for the group that's right for me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


First day of new running club.

Fastest pace yet--a full minute faster than my usual "alone" pace.

If this is what a running group can do, SIGN ME UP.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Strides

I feel like the first half of January was a bleak, depressing time for me. I remember feeling uninspired, tired, unmotivated and just plain BLAH. Maybe it was a case of the post-holiday blues, or the combination of short, dark days and cold, snowy weather. Or maybe it just WAS. The important part is that I'm feeling better and am doing the most I can do to change the things I can.

Today is the first OFFICIAL week of half marathon training! Woo! I do believe having something to focus on training-wise really helped me break out of my funk. Things are going fine so far. It's a pretty basic week (running, cross training, etc.) so nothing too exciting to report there.

I've been making friends with the Parks & Rec treadmills and have used those the past two Saturdays for some long runs. While I can't say I LOVE the 'mill, I do appreciate that I have access to them. I'm trying to embrace them for what they are instead of loathing them for what they aren't. And I'm trying to use the 'mill's benefits in my favor, namely being able to set a steady pace, the option for interval workouts, etc.

Tomorrow is normally my spin class (which I adore), but a local running store is starting a women's running group during my spin time so I'm ditching spin to check out the group. I'm super duper excited about the potential to meet some other local runners and would love having a group to run with again. But it can only happen if the time moves. I've already paid for spin, I love it, it's a great cross-training workout and I'm going to keep going. We'll see what happens tomorrow. At the very least, I know I'll get in a run!

I'm looking forward to cashing in a Groupon I bought earlier this month. It's for a private gym/boot camp that I've heard GREAT things about. I just can't decide if I want to do the 1 month of boot camp or 4 personal training sessions. They both have their merits and I think it's win-win no matter which way I go.

Lastly, I'm super psyched that I seem to have broken through a nasty weight plateau I've been fighting for at least a month now. I'm down 4 more pounds (33.4 total!) and am sitting right at 181.6. I hope I can blow off another 2 pounds and get me under 180. (Under 180. Man. I remember when I was hoping for the day I'd get under 210.) So close to that ultimate goal of 175!

I feel like I'm making some good strides towards my big goals and I like it. I know I have a long road ahead of me--I have no delusions about how difficult things will get very soon--but I like how I feel and the direction things are moving! I just have to stay in motion...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Officially official

I made it official today and registered for my first half marathon, the Kansas Half Marathon. I feel like dancing and puking at the same time. Sounds like party, huh? My friend M has graciously agreed to come run this with me, which I greatly appreciate. I know I'll need the support, encouragement and the outside motivation to keep me moving those 13.1 miles.

Now if it would only warm up about 40 degrees and stay that way so I could get outside to run!

93 days and counting, folks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling the burn

After work yesterday, I ran right home, popped in my new-fave exercise DVD, Bob's Killer Cardio (that's not the actual name, but it works for me), and proceeded to bust my butt--and my quads and my shoulders--for an hour. It's a hard hour, but I always feel FANTASTIC when it's over. And that was after doing 6w6p in the morning, so it was a double workout day for me. Woot!

It wasn't until one point during one of the hardest quad segments in the routine that I remembered, "Oh! I have spin class tomorrow! The class where the whole 40 minutes is focused on leg strength!" Uh yeah.

I can walk today, but I'm stiff and a quick flex of my legs tells me that there's more than a little soreness there. I wonder how long it'll take in class before my legs simply fall off? Who knows. Maybe I'll be surprised at how much I can do on sore legs. It's a test of mind over matter, right?

And the good news is that today was the last day of my between-friends, 7-day workout challenge so tomorrow is a REST DAY. Lord knows my little legs need it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Take my MIL. Please!

My mother-in-law (whom I adore--don't let the title of this post fool you) has been visiting the past few days, which is great because she's been able to stay home with Belly (my 3yo daughter) during these past two snow days.

However, her visit brings with it an unfortunate side effect: Lack of intense exercise + an increase of roughly 10,000 calories/day from her delicious cooking = blob. A big, lazy, blechy blob. Between the perfect-for-carb-loading chicken & dumplings last night and the fact that she hasn't met a stick of butter she didn't like, my waistline is suffering. I did manage to exercise Saturday and Sunday, but yesterday was a near-failure thanks to the 6 inches of snow that fell. I shoveled while Belly played outside, but that meant no time for "real" exercise. And did I mention last night was chicken & dumpling night? Oy.

I weighed myself to get a (love?)handle on the damage. 186.4 naked, pre-breakfast, which is when I'm my lightest. Ugh. I'd finally gotten myself back under 185 on Sunday, so that's two pounds up in 4 days. Blech.

So tonight is punishment both for the caloric excess and the exercise decrease--I'll meet Mr. Bob Harper for an hour's worth of intense cardio training via DVD. Not sure what dinner will be at this point. None of the items left on our planned menu are particularly healthy, so I might just have to employ the dreaded PORTION CONTROL. Dunh-dunh-DUNHHHH! And I probably should stay away from the cookies, huh? Anyway, I hope MIL is okay with me diving right into exercise when I get home. I know Belly is used to it--that's our usual routine on her regular school days. But I don't know if MIL will expect to be entertained (jazz hands!) after a boring day at the house.

MIL goes home tomorrow. The family will miss her. My waistline won't.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where is that horse, anyway?

This week I was determined to get back in the saddle. My 36th birthday was earlier in the week and I'd indulged in too much cake, Chinese, milk and other goodies--not to mention that I was still reeling from the holiday excesses a few weeks prior. Half marathon training is slowly inching closer and I knew I needed to re-establish the habit of daily exercise or I'd never be ready.

Luckily I have several close friends who also needed to reenergize their workout routines, so we established a 7-day exercise challenge with the requirement of at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Unfortunately, it's only day 3 and I want to quit.

Friday I did Jillian' 6w6p DVD--a deceptive title to be sure, as my whole body reels after that workout--and yesterday I did something I never thought I'd do. I willingly ran 4 miles on a treadmill. Firstly, I think that was only the second time in my life I'd done 4 miles at once. Secondly, it was my first ever real treadmill run. I feel good for having hit my "long" run goal on a treadmill. It's not something I want to do every day, but at least I know I CAN do it if I need to.

But today. Oh, today. I'm tired, it's cold, snowy and my mother-in-law is here. The last thing I want to do is haul out the laptop and workout in the dining room. If I don't, I have to report today as a failure. And only on day 3? What does that say about my willingness to stick to a tough half mary schedule?

Ugh. So I must do it. I must. Once football is on, I'll steal away to the dining room. Get it over with and be done for the day!

Oh, and I managed 9 miles of running this week for the 500 in 2011 challenge. I didn't count my 45-min spin class since I have no way of gauging how many miles I cover. I'm pleased--9 is my weekly min to hit the 500 this year, so I'm good so far!

Alright. I'm off to do something. No more wasting time.

Monday, January 3, 2011


It’s no secret—anyone who knows me IRL knows I have major confidence issues, namely that I don’t have any. It affects every facet of my life, from my job to my running. I doubt myself at every turn, second-guessing my intelligence, abilities, willpower, strength, steadfastness. “I don’t like competition” and “I’m a people-pleaser” is code for “I’d rather someone else be in charge and make the decisions because I don’t want to put myself out there and fear looking dumb.” And it’s all based on the fact that I don’t believe that I can do “it,” whatever “it” is. The fear is paralyzing. It’s kept me from moving forward in my career (and kept me from taking the necessary steps to discovering a real career), from graduating college, from doing things that I should’ve done with my life years ago.

2010 was a good year by my standards. I lost 30 pounds, ran four 5ks, logged more miles than in any other year in my life—probably all years combined!—and yet… Here I am again, afraid of rejection, insecure, afraid of looking dumb by putting this blog out there to my friends and family.

What if no one reads it? Or worse, what if they DO read it and still no one cares? And why do I still need someone else’s approval—even a complete stranger on the internet—in order to have confidence? Why can’t I get that from myself?

Isn’t it easier to stay hidden, stay anonymous, stay silent? Don’t take the chance. Fly under the radar. It’s safer here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Goals

Things I will accomplish in 2011...

  1. I will complete my first half marathon.
  2. I will complete my first sprint triathlon.
  3. I will hit my goal weight--175. (10 pounds to go.)
  1. We will pay off our last credit card, making us debt free except for the house.
  1. I will be more relaxed and less of a control-freak.
  2. I will be more patient with DD.
  3. I will say "yes" more often, especially when it comes to playing and doing and having fun with DD.
That's enough for now, I think.