September 22, 2019

The Not-So -Fast Runner

Tomorrow begins week 11 of my training plan for my first marathon!  I'm excited and of course nervous, because when I have a long run of 12 miles and feel like death by mile 10, I wonder, How the F am I going to run 26 miles?!  Well, we just do.  We somehow make it work.  And that's pretty much how I have been taking this training, one day at a time, making it work, even when I am so exhausted from adulting and moming during the week. 

Next Sunday, the 29th, will be my 3rd half marathon.  I'm looking forward to it as I did this one in Ocean City, NJ three years ago.   I recall it was  HOT day and that's what I am dreading the most.  It being a hot, humid day, sun beaming, etc.  I don't care about temps, but if the sun remains out the entire time, it's an issue.  Most runners don't care for that.  I'm hoping it's overcast.  Cross your fingers for me or say a prayer.  I would say so far, most of this training plan has been actually pretty great.  I have been sticking to all of my runs, but the past two long runs I had to cut short by 2-3 miles because I .WAS.SPENT. Running puts a ton of stress on your body, and while mainly my diet has been pretty great, mostly healthy foods and fueling correctly, it's still  a lot of stress on the body.

I'm up most days by 530.  I prefer to do all of my runs early morning, that's honestly just how I have been since having a kid.  I like starting my day before the rest of my family is up.  It can't always go that way though, so I make adjustments when necessary. I also HATE eating before a run and that's a big struggle for me because with no fuel in your body, running more than 5 miles/over an hour, you're going to start depleting your muscles and fatigue will set in.  But I have stomach issues and sorry if TMI, but running makes you poop.  A LOT. You are literally sloshing around your organs and the bowl movements get irritated, hence, you'll need to use the bathroom at least twice.  I carry water with me sometimes, but I don't at a race because there are water stations everywhere.  Thankfully, while training, a coffee shop near my house offers free iced water in a pitcher.  It's glorious.  So aside from needing to use the potty on most training runs ( mainly only my long runs) and needing to stop for a bite of bagel and water, I have been feeling like I've been kicking some ass.  This Saturday however, was a different story.

 I was supposed to run 12 miles.  I ran 7.76 miles.  Most of those miles sucked.  I wasn't feeling the run at all and my music kept getting messed up.  I also wore a bulky jacket that isn't even meant to workout in, but it was 45 degrees when I started and I wanted something to cover me.  I also didn't have anymore gum, so I had to suck on a cough drop.  It was gross but did the job.  I like having something in my mouth while running so my mouth doesn't get dried out. Anyway, I called it for what it was, I felt tired and annoyed and pretty much burned out...and I still 9 WEEKS! to go until the marathon.  HOW THE F.....?!  Send help.

But getting to this point and with that run being so far, the only run I truly dreaded and was not into, that's actually not bad.  It's about to happen at some point.  I have only been running three days a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for long runs.  Everyone is different, and this schedule works for me, with two days typically being a 30-40  min strength circuit.  Resting at least two days.  I only ran on Tuesday this past week and did one 30 min strength.  I was hoping I'd have more stamina by Saturday and fresh legs for 12 miles, but it just didn't work out that way, and that's OK.

I might be getting 'stonger' with all the training, but I am definitely not getting faster.  Part of it is definitely my age, not getting even close to an 8 min mile like I did four years ago.  I'm averaging 9:45-10:30 min  miles.  It's all good and honestly , I feel that's a great pace.  I try not to start out too fast, but of course, it's hard not to because I haven't exerted myself that much yet.  My goal for my half marathon is to break my 2:20 and 2:18 times; hitting just 2 hours would be amazing.  But my past few longer runs aren't showing that.  My best run yet was 12 miles at the end of August hitting 12 miles @ 2:03.  Which would bring me to 2:13 for a half marathon.  I'd love to get under 2 hours but we will just see what the day brings! 

For my first marathon, my only goal is to get across that finish line.  So I'm not stressing about time and it's been very liberating.  I would, however, LOVE to get close to Oprah's time, yes Oprah!  She ran her first and only marathon in DC in 1994 at age 40.  I'll be 37 in another month and my only goal was to complete a full marathon before I'm 40.  Oprah clocked in at 4:29. with a pace averaging 10:17.  That's an amazing time and pace and one I hope to match!

Here's to doing you! and not worrying about anyone else!  This is one mantra that I try to tell myself every single day and I'd be lying if I said I don't have negative, shitty thoughts about all of this and doubt myself.  Running is so mental, but oddly, I feel better running now, even after taking last year off from races, than compared to when I started running four years ago.  My diet is much healthier (80% of the time) and keeping up with weights really does help with strength. Comparison is definitely the thief of Joy as they say, and even though I'd be lying if I said I didn't do that, I'm learning every day to worry about myself and do what's best for me!

I may be three margaritas in, but it's Sunday Funday.  Enjoy!

Cheers!  and good luck to any one racing this year!!

August 7, 2019

Is It September Yet?


Time is flying! The Summer is flying by and to be quite honest, I'm very much ready for Fall.  It's my favorite season; the cooler air, the falling leaves, Halloween, Pumpkin Spice scented everything, apple and pumpkin picking, my wedding anniversary is in October and so is my birthday, and the most important thing of Fall, BACK TO SCHOOL!  Not for me, for my Kindergartner!  That's a whole other level of craziness right there- how is my only child entering elementary school already!? 

The Summer has been lots of fun, but since I'm home right now and not working, I am with my child 97% of the time and I.am.exhausted.  We are currently going through still not getting up to use the potty in the middle of the night, ( my kid, not me) but she is a pretty good sleeper and a DEEP sleeper so, after trying a few different concoctions with bedding,bed time routines, stopping liquids an hour before bed,  going pee one last time right before getting into bed and explaining why we need to get up and go in the middle of the night, with tons of nightlights on and bathroom light on, I feel drained and defeated.  We've only been at this for a whole month so, work in progress?

I'll report back in two months and in the mean time purchase more mattress pads and liners. Ugh.  My daughter has also been going through what I hope is a phase of being basically an asshole who steals my stuff, doesn't tell me, and hides it in her purse and then later shows me what is in her purse. But she's five and isn't a bad person- she really has no clue what she's doing, but on the same token, she's not a baby anymore and definitely has some idea.  She has taken two packs of my gum and put them in a purse for a week and just yesterday, we were watching a movie and she showed me the gum she was CHEWING.  I was pissed off at first but also concerned because that's a choking hazzard.  We went into her room and I calmly discussed how we don't take things (add in the crying and yelling on her part for a few minutes) that aren't ours and to ask and tell what we are doing first before taking and hiding things.  This is when I also found three of my nail polish bottles in a different purse that she took and hid.  I told her the same spiel but adding that they are glass bottles and if she were playing with them and were to drop them, it would shatter the glass and stinky nail polish would be everywhere.

Have kids they said.  It will be fun they said.

Fast forward to right now where I am enjoying a break from my kid, catching up on a few things job search related and blogging while she is spending some quality time with daddy who is off work this week. I'm exhausted and feeling a little out of my mind because she is growing and learning new things every day and I try my hardest every day to soak that all up but it is exhausting trying to entertain her all of the time. And yet I know I don't HAVE to entertain her all the time.  For the record, she did ask me about keeping the gum in her purse when she first saw the new packs and I said 'yes', but that was agreed upon her NOT opening it and NOT taking a piece out and chewing it.  She told me numerous times she would not chew it and she did eventually. Classic case of a rebel, no?  I don't know.  It's a daily struggle for me to not think that I'm ruining my child.  The more you tell a person they can't do something, they want to do it.  But it's soooooo much harder telling that to a 5 year old who thinks they know everything.

 Each day sure is an adventure.  My daughter is truly a sweetheart 90% of the time and really, a great kid.  She's been getting more and more independent and wants to play in her room alone, which is totally cool.  But again, it's not all good because after this stealing and hiding conundrum, I can't totally trust her alone.  As of late, I've heard a lot of " that's why you have a second kid so they can entertain each other."  I get that, but it's not logical. I'm not making another human just so my kid has a play date and also they could easily hate one another and hate playing with each other.  No thanks.

So I'm still struggling with and working on that other 10% every day.  Here's to back to school and all you hard working moms out there, especially with more than one kid.  How are you people still breathing?!






July 17, 2019

I Ran On The Treadmill Today


This wasn't my first ever rodeo on the treadmill, I just hate running on it.  To me, I'm in a hindering, tight space and confined to this small box.  My runs aren't near as good and worth it as they are when I simply run on the road.  I woke up today having to only run 3 miles.  Pretty easy peasy for me, sure, but on a treadmill, it's beyond torture.

The first two things I always do in the morning are go to the bathroom and check my phone for weather.  It's the dead of Summer so yeah, it's hot outside.  Our humidity has been increasing this week, however, and compared to what Monday and Tuesday felt like, this morning was a drastic change in temperature and humidity percentage.  I should also add that eve though today's run sucked in my opinion, I am just proud that I showed up the past three days and got up immediately with my alarm at 530am to get my workouts in.  That's all that matters in the end.

So this morning's temps at 530 in the damn morning were 77 degrees and 88% humidity!  I may as well run in an oven.  Blech.  Gross.  So trying to think quick on my feet and not waste too much time on where I should run, I had a though, a positive spin if you will on my disappointment  that I will just try the treadmill today because it's disgusting outside and it's only 3 miles.  I also haven't ran on the treadmill since March.  It will come in handy for downpours or of course, ice and snow but I know that to get the best out of my longer runs, I will have to suck it up in the oven and just run outside.

Which is fine, I kind of learned my lesson this morning but I am glad I ran on it because it's been a while. I still broke a good sweat  and had the fans that come on the treadmill on even though they suck and barely cool me down.  After I ran 2 miles ( barely and had to stop a few times for sips of water)  I walked until around 2.35 miles and then I ran to 3 miles.  I'm really not sure how.  Mariah Carey's Emotions song may have helped.  But again, it's done.

So to sum up, I won't be using the treadmill for training unless it's raining cats and dogs out there and/or there's a thunderstorm.  By Saturday, it's supposed to reach 100 degrees so I already know at 530 am it's going to SUCK out there with humidity and I have 6 miles to run.  Wish me luck!

Pros for using the treadmill:
-AC is on most likely so you're not as hot
-don't need to carry anything.  water bottle, food, phone, etc.
-no need to layer up in the dead of winter.  just shorts and tank top and you're good.
 - not much to think about.  just hop on and get started.
-speed runs ( if you're into that kind of thing)

Cons for using the treadmill:
- no pretty views
-boring AF
-confined to a small space
-not running as fast. ( I run much faster outside than on the treadmill) I hate running super fast on these machines.  They kill my knees and are too loud. But this is my view on the subject.

 Do you run on the treadmill?  

Outside or Inside runs?

Like them?  Yay or Nay?

July 8, 2019

Half and Full Marathon Training Plan




2018- no races and took a year off from running, only doing it occasionally.  This was when I got really interested in strength circuits and weights.  I still love a good 25-30 min strength workout!  Don't underestimate weights- it can be incredible cardio, too.  I had planned on running my 3rd half in March of that year, but my life suddenly stopped for a bit as I lost my mom to cancer in early February.   I just didn't have it in me to keep running and think about logging miles during that time.  The break was much needed.  Yoga helped too.

2019-decided mid-May I was going to run my first full marathon.  The reason?  Why not!  I will also be running my 3rd half marathon two months before the full.  I needed to begin running more and build a decent base consistently simply by just starting.  And I did, slowly.

I've been running since the end of May 3-4 times/week.  Also doing strength at least 2x/week.



I love seeing the different paces and times. There will always be good and bad runs.  I feel like I'm slowly getting my speed back and I'd like to beat my previous two half marathon times but for my first full, my goal is to finish. Time is not a priority since I have nothing to compare it to.  Just to cross that finish line, knowing I can run 26.2 miles will be , I'm sure, the best feeling I will ever experience.


Training Plan:   I used a random marathon plan online along with the intermediate Hal Higdon marathon training plan, and I customized it to fit my schedule and needs.  A really good piece of advice someone gave me is that the training plan is just that- a plan, a guide.  It isn't to take over all other life events.  Stuff is going to come up and the plan will not always go according to the plan.  I'm usually OK when things come up and ruin my plans, but I'm still learning to deal even better when shit happens.  I'm just going to do my best with what time/energy I have and not think too much about it.  Again, I set up my "plan/guide" and all I can do now is try and hope for the best!


7/15- Week One

Monday- strength workout. 30-50 min
Tuesday- 3 mile run
Wednesday- 3 mile run
Thursday- strength workout 30-50 min
Friday- rest or stretches/body weight workouts 
Saturday- 6  mile run
Sunday- rest

Since running for two months now, I haven't experimented too much with foods or stuff I'll bring on longer runs. Ideally, I would run most days starting around 5am.  The earlier the better for me, however, I will never get up before 5am.  I have been carrying my phone with me because I actually hate wearing an armband but for runs longer than 8 miles, I'm going to have to suck it up because I don't like carrying water with me either. I'm not really into the latest trends and styles when it comes to running.  I have regular ear buds with the cord, my phone for music and emergencies and a water bottle.  The only thing I'll spend more money on is good shoes.  I just recently bought myself a new pair of Brooks sneaks- Glycerin 17. This is my third pair of Brooks and I love them! They are sooooo cushy and comfy! I have a small running water bottle I'll bring on 8 miles or more runs and I picked up a few fruit Cliff chew blocks to try on longer runs.  Because I like to begin early, I'm rarely hungry that early and prefer to run on an empty stomach. 


A few things I have tried and love and which might be good before a longer run:

Built Bars-  these taste like a musketeer bar!  so good! 
Stroopwaffels- just try one.  you'll thank me later.
I like to chew gum while I run, at least for the first couple of miles.
Cliff Bar Energy Chews-  I picked up a sour watermelon flavor that's new to me and strawberry.  we'll see how they work!

My only concern for this is when my runs become longer, I know I'll need some fuel like a few bites of a bagel or half a banana. I get gassy stomach aches after a few miles of running, so running with food in me has made me feel worse sometimes.  It really just depends; it's not a consistent thing.  I just know I feel better overall when I've only popped my multi vitamin and drank some water before leaving for a run.  The meal I eat the night before matters too.  I try to keep it simple with grilled chicken or a big salad with lots of protein and some carbs.  My family and I tend to eat dinner on the earlier side too, around 5pm. That helps I think.  If I feel hungry later at night, 8 or 9pm, I like to have two graham crackers with tea before bed as I find it settles my stomach without being too fatty, sweet or heavy.  The extra carbs at night can't hurt if I plan on running the next morning.  I like to experiment when it comes to fitness, nutrition, food and losing weight.  I'm looking forward to more trial and error!

March 28, 2019

Five Years Later: The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted


I wrote this post five years ago and I would like to read this book again some time.  Today was one of those days where I ate whatever I wanted.  Let me embellish this a little bit more.  Today was a rest day/relaxing day for me.  I typically like to have these days at least once a week or depending on how I feel, twice a week.

 It's healthy and good for the body to rest and recover from workouts or simply from just doing too much or from running around a lot. I try to workout at least five days a week and I just go with what I feel like doing that day whether that's weights, cardio, or a combo of both or simply a good fifteen minute stretching session. So I'll cut to the chase- today I rested, after taking my dog to the vet in the morning to have surgery.  I didn't have any breakfast, just coffee. I slept in until 7am and it was glorious.  I was pretty hungry once 10am came around but I was running around in the morning and just couldn't stop for food.  At noon, I picked my husband and I up lunch from chic-fil-a.  I had the grilled chicken sandwich with fries and their own sauce which is  made from crack, I'm certain.  I drank a good amount of water today and then about an hour later I enjoyed two homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It was about 3pm and I still wanted something sweet and felt slightly hungry.  I could have made a healthier snack like apples with peanut butter, or have some caramel rice cakes or yogurt. But today just wasn't that kind of day.  I had remembered a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby in the freezer and basically began craving it.  So, I went with how I felt and ate the ice cream.  It was basically almost the entire pint I devoured.  Let it be known that I rarely do this or eat that much ice cream, but it was just so good and hit the spot.  However, that's a lot of sugar in one sitting.  I of course felt slightly guilty when I was done eating it and I didn't feel too great.  I was shaky and had a headache; close to a hangover.  I decided to take a walk since it was beautiful outside.  Sunny and 60 degrees! I felt slightly better after that.  I drank another bottle of water and relaxed on the couch.

It's currently 530pm and I am getting a little hungry again.  We are going to order a pizza and wings soon and I'm going to enjoy my dinner.  And that's my Thursday!  

Take care of your body.  Rest is crucial.  Eating more calories is crucial sometimes too.  Go with how you feel.  There is such a thing as too many salads.  It gets old real fast.  I love eating healthy.  Today is not that kind of day though. I swear it's like clockwork for me- I have these kinds of days at least once a week.  The human body does speak to us.  Listen to it.


 
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