Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 1, Shoes and Skirts...Oh My!

Week 1
This (past) week was officially the first week of training for my spring halfs.  Despite it starting out rocky (up all night with a 2 year old who was puking/dry heaving every 20 minutes) it ended up good.  I was left with a cold....again.  But I'll take that over puking any day!  So training this week was really no different than my other weeks.  Ran 3 days, crossed trained 4 days, total mileage only 18 miles or so.  I'm doing an ever so gradual build up in miles, hopefully to prevent injury!  I feel good and strong and am excited about this training cycle.  I also started reading the Dean Karnazes' book as a way to inspire me during training.  I really liked reading my marathon training book each week when I was training for my first marathon.  I'm not a big reader, so reading one chapter a week is perfect for me!  As an aside to training - I hit my WW "goal" weight this week.  I was able to lose about 11 pounds since January 1st.  Now, I still want to lose about 12 more pounds, but for WW purposes (and cost) I set my goal a bit higher.

 It's that time of the year again!  My current Mizunos have about  375 miles on them and I can feel it!  The balls of my feet are staring to hurt.  I hate getting new shoes in the middle of winter....only to have them dirtied by the mud/slush/snow.  But, I want to avoid injury.  I'm heavily considering changing to the Brooks Trance 9's.  These were the shoes that were so cushy when I got my last ones.  I guess there have been some improvements to my current Mizunos, so we'll have to see.

Yes, it's true.  The girl who only owns one dress and one skirt (essentially because I never bought any new skirts or dresses after I lost weight) has decided to get a running skirt.  I don't consider myself "girly".  I mean I love the color pink and I like to smell good....but that's about it! After much consideration, it seems like the best of both worlds.  So now, I need recommendations!  I have no idea what to look for in a skirt, but I know I'd be highly annoyed at anything riding up while I was running!  A pocket would be nice, but not necessary.  I'm not in a hurry to get my skirt...seeing as I live in Ohio and although yesterday I ran without gloves or a hat, running weather for skirts and shorts is a long way off!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snow intervals...kinda?

Well, I'm happy to say that this Stella may have finally gotten her groove back!  I've had 3 fantastic runs in a row.  Guess I finally beat whatever crud was lingering in my body and lungs.  Now, to look at my average pace of my recent runs, you'd surely think I was crazy.  11:00 minute miles, I mean...come on!  But running on snowy surfaces is a whole new ballgame for me.  Add a crazy dingo to the mix (who suddenly thinks he has to pee on any barren patch of white snow) and my pace is slower than slow.  BUT....I'm focusing on how great I feel!  I felt so great yesterday that whenever I came upon clear pavement....I sprinted!  Now those patches were few and far between and I don't think I've fully extended my legs while running for over a week, so my legs were like what the heck....but I did it.  I wonder if it's just me who has a mutated stride when running in snow?  Anyway, I'm sure glad to have some good runs under my belt (or double layers of winter running pants) because training for my 2 halfs starts next week.  Yippee!!  Reading all the recent marathon recaps has really given me the itch to start training again.

My Weight Watchers adventure is also on track.  I officially re-signed up last Saturday (although I had been following the plan since 1/1/10).  I lost almost 6 pounds before my first official weigh-in, so I'm not expecting a big loss this week....but this also feels GOOD.  To see the numbers finally going down and not up is nice!  Darn that marathon training.  Actually, I've decided the lack of weight training during my race training is what sends my metabolism in the crapper.  It's the only way that I can figure out that I would GAIN weight during my training cycles.  It's the only variable (unless I subconsciously get up and eat at night...which is entirely possible given my love of food).  My "vain" goal for 2010 is to be in bikini shape by this summer.  I know I shouldn't care how I look and that I should just focus on my "health", but it's kind of a challenge for me.  I haven't worn a bikini since I was (practically anorexic) 18 years old.  I just hope I can stick to my WW plan when my mileage starts getting up there.  More on that to come, I'm sure! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No iPod, Yaktrax kind of day

I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow which meant it was time to pull out the yaktrax!  Winter running has officially begun!  It was 14 degrees and with the windchill it felt like 4 degrees.  My new winter running gear had me prepared though!  Although my new Saucony pants aren't the miracle I was hoping they'd be, they do a pretty good job of blocking the wind.  It's kind of weird actually.  The surface of my legs are nice and toasty, but I feel the cold down deep in my muscles.  I guess layering will continue to be key.  My smartwools kept my feet nice and warm, even trudging through inches of snow and slush.  I love snow covered streets.  The winter air becomes even more quiet and peaceful.  About 5 minutes into our run, we ran into a family of deer.  I guess the blinking lights on the dingo's collar scared them away.  We passed a handful of other runners/walkers taking in the early morning calm.  Without the iPod blaring, I focused on my breathing and the sound of the snow beneath my feet.  I love climbing hills in the yaktrax.  It's like I can feel the metal digging through the snow to pull me up the hill.  I must remember that feeling more often when climbing a hill (when it's not snow covered!).  Knowing I had extra support on my shoes gave me all the umph I needed to get up the hills.  My quads are still a bit sore from Saturday's run.  There wasn't enough snow on the roads to warrant yaktrax use that day, so my legs took a definite beating.  I wonder how many more calories you burn running in the snow vs dry land?  It sure seems harder!  In any case, I didn't quite meet my 5 mile goal.  My pace is much slower in the snow, and I was time-limited.  I suppose 4.75 is better than nothing, though!

I appreciate all the comments and advice on my proposed training plan.  The more I look at it, the more overwhelmed I get.  My runs have not been going so well and I'm really loosing my confidence.  I'd like to follow a "tested" plan, for that added confidence, so I may keep looking.  Training will officially begin the week of January 17th, so I've got a few weeks.

Per a special Redhead's's a pic of the YakTrax!



Saturday, January 2, 2010

Training Plan Woes....

So, I've essentially been absent from bloggy land for the past 2-3 weeks.  Hubby and I have been enjoying time together with the family.  Hubby's on his school "break", Braden has been out of preschool for the past 2 weeks and I've only worked 3 days in the past 2 weeks.  I count on working to get caught up on all my bloggy friends!  Thank goodness my work came to their senses and un-blocked blogger!  Anyway, I've been keeping up with my 15-20 mile/week plan.  I've essentially been sick since December 11th, so my runs have actually been pretty rotten...but at least I'm getting them done and not skipping any of my workouts.  My new gear has worked out great and I've come to really enjoy running in the snow and cold.  So peaceful and serene.  I've also gotten a chance to run with my friend a handful of times over the past few weeks.  I had forgotten how nice it is to run with someone!  Conversation always comes easy and the miles tick away quickly. 

As I look ahead to April and May, I have two half-marathons on my schedule.  They are 2 weeks apart and I'm really struggling to come up with a training plan.  I'm too new to this whole running thing to just make my own plan up without your guys' input!  However when I look at premade plans (Runner's World, Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway, etc) they all do a 2-3 week taper.  Not sure how I fit in a taper with 2 halfs, two weeks apart?  I generally follow a novice plan, just because I can only physically leave the house 3 times a week to run.  Hubby and I have to share our morning workout time!  I've been running 5 miles, 2 days a week, so I suspect I will keep that up throughout the training plan.  I will also cross-train 3 days per week, and have one day for rest.  So my real question is, do I take my mileage up to like 15-16 miles (long run) for 2-3 weeks before the halfs?

The long run schedule would be something like this:
Week 1:  7 mi  (17 mi total)
Week 2:  8 mi  (18 mi total)
Week 3:  9 mi  (19 mi total)
Week 4:  10 mi  (20 mi total)
Week 5:  11 mi  (21 mi total)
Week 6:  12 mi  (22 mi total)
Week 7:  13 mi  (23 mi total)
Week 8:  14 mi  (24 mi total)
Week 9:  15 mi  (25 mi total)
Week 10:  15 mi  (25 mi total)
Week 11:  14 mi  (24 mi total)
Week 12:  12 mi  (22 mi total)
Week 13:  10 mi  (20 mi total)
Week 14:  13.1 mi RACE!  (23 mi total)
Week 15:  10 mi (20 mi total)
Week 16:  13.1 mi RACE! (23 mi total)

I want to make sure I have a strong base heading into the 2 halfs, but I don't want to over-do-it!  I don't have a time goal either.  My goal is to have fun and finish!  Maybe this plan is too much for me?  When I trained for my first half (using Jeff Galloway's plan) we would build up a few weeks and then go down in mileage for a week.  I also only ran 30-45 minutes, 2 days during the week.  I know at a minimum, if I do that I'll be okay....but for 2 halfs?  Input is definitely needed!

As for other 2010 goals....there will be more on that to come!  Let's just say I'm heading back to Weight Watchers, though!  I need to finish what I started....