December 30, 2011

Sleeping Counts as Running, Right?!

2011 is almost over, 2012 what's up - here's what I hope to accomplish, blah.

Nah you good.

I think I did something like this last year, and while I (probably) accomplished my running goals (I think the only one I really had was to do the full marathon), I have come to realize that running goals should be fluid and able to move and adjust with your progress (or lack there of) and the way you feel.

I was just catching up on some of the blogs I read, and I came across some genius writing in one of them. It speaks to one of the issues I find myself with now...packing on so much pressure for the DC Marathon in March, that I'm finding it hard to convince myself to even go for a run.

From Dirty Running's blog: "The main thing that I learned this year about my running is that if I focus too much on goals and reaching them at the expense of the enjoyment that I gain from running, then there really is no point in running at all."

SOOOO true people!!!! This is EXACTLY where I am now. I'm very blah about the race because I put the pressure on myself to acheive a sub 5 to qualify for JFK 50. There's nothing wrong with setting expectations and goals for yourself, but they should never cripple you.

As my running money jar is filling up with $10 bills, I decided this morning to finally just cut myself some slack. You know who probably won't run a sub 5 marathon? The Stephanie that is so stressed and worried about hitting that mark that her runs suffer and now so does her mood. You know who might have a shot at it? The Stephanie who is actually enjoying her runs and wants to get out there because it's fun.

Besides, I really need to want to get back into my runs. I'm getting a little squishy around the edges. Not cool. Thanks Ohio for all the yummy cookies and chocolates and chinese food!

So my crazy training plan is being thrown out the window, and I will be semi winging it until March 17th. I know roughly what miles I need to get in and how much is too much each week for a long run...and I feel like that's good enough for me. I will do something close to a long run today to get it out of the way for the weekend, and we'll see what follows next!

December 20, 2011

Photo Op!

I'm in Week Two of Thirteen for Marathon Training!

Here's what's going on. I didn't run my five miles :O I decided to be SUPER lazy a GREAT idea (except I might go broke) from R was that I make a jar, and put $5 or $10 in it every time I skip a run. I would love to say $10 because then my cheap butt will probably never miss a run, but if I make it $10 and keep being lazy...ouf. Hello bankruptcy. :)

$10 it is!

(starting now...that last missed run doesn't count!)

Anyway, I went to MVT after work, it was about 48 degrees...under armour tights, long sleeve shirt from VHTWHM (trail half mar.), my MCM finishers jacket, my ear warmers, off and on gloves. Maybe just a tad too much clothing up top for 48 degree weather...

And I forgot my watch. Luckily, I have run the MVT enough times to know where about 3 miles stands. I went down the MVT heading towards Alexandria.

Still daylight (barely)!

Then I turned to go up to Arlington Cemetery and went down the trail past the graves (so beautiful with the Christmas wreaths laid at each tombstone), and over to Iwo Jima.

Where I took this slew if pictures.

I thought I looked like that creepy guy from Harry Potter who doesn't have a nose, so I tried again and came up with this little gem:

Which was great, except I failed to get the whole thing in the I tried again (and :again and again and again...I will spare you ALL of my attempts)

Then I decided to hell with it, close enough...and a bus driver kept staring thinking I was crazy, I'm sure. I just wanted a picture with my MCM finisher's jacket and ear warmers by the monument that I actually finished the race. What what?! Good memories.

I grabbed a sip from the water fountain and was on my way again, hitting up Rosslyn, then getting back on the MVT briefly to get back to the car. It comes to about 3.5 miles ish I think.

It was a fun time and I wish the weather could stay in the high 40s or in the 50s every time I run. It feels waaay better than the summer heat or chilling winter. And I absolutely love wearing those under armour tights, they are so friggin comfortable. I just want to wear them everywhere...lounge in them...sleep in them...

I failed to do my Sunday prep of food for the week, so last night after my run I went to Giant for supplies, and made some tasty chicken broth skillet chicken, chicken broth brown rice, and broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms guessed it...chicken broth. So good though! And garlic... :D Nom.

Today I am considering a Holiday Lights Run with DC Capital Striders running group for a 4.5 run and sing type shindig. Hoping it doesn't rain though...

I also found out yesterday that the RnR DC Marathon has a lovely 5.5 hr cut off. Which is good and bad...I need to get under 5 hrs for my qualifying time for JFK, but 5.5 was my time for we shall see. Makes me want to bust my butt harder! Besides, the course looks a little 'easier' than MCM.

Since I only have twelve (thirteen including this week) weeks to get my crap together to run a faster 26.2 miles, I looked up some twelve week marathon training plans and this is what I found from RW:

(with my tweaking and starting Dec 26)

WEEK ONE: 75% of max weekly mileage
Key Workout #1: 3 x 1.5 miles at tempo with .5 mile recovery
Key Workout #2: 10 mile steady long run, 10% slower than MP
Two easy runs of 4 miles each

#1: 2 x 2 miles at tempo, .5 mile recovery
#2: Progression long run 13 miles
Two easy runs of 4 miles each

#1: 4 mile tempo run
#2: 15 miles, 10% slower than MP
Two easy runs of 5 miles each

#1: 3 x 2 miles at MP, .5 mile recovery
#2: 5k or 10k time trial
Two easy runs of 6 miles each

#1: 3 x 2 miles at MP, .5 mile recovery
#2: 16 miles
Two easy runs of 5 miles each

#1: 3 x 2 miles at MP, .5 mile recovery
#2: 15k or half marathon race
Two easy runs of 3 miles each

#1: 3 x 2 miles at tempo, .5 mile recovery
#2: 18 miles
Two easy runs of 3 miles each

#1: 5 x 2 miles at MP, .5 mile recovery
#2: 16 miles at 10% slower than MP
Two easy runs of 3 miles each

#1: 3 mile tempo run
#2: 20 miles
One easy run of 3 miles

WEEK TEN: 100%
#1: 2 x 4 miles at MP, .5 mile recovery
#2: 18 miles at 10% slower than MP
Two easy runs of 4 miles each

#1: 2 x 3 miles, .5 mile recovery
#2: 13 miles, last 8 at MP, do early in week 11
One easy run of 3 miles

#1: 6 miles, last 3 at MP
One easy run of 3 miles

Yeeeeah. A little hardcore. We'll see how much money that jar has by the time March 17th rolls around :D

December 15, 2011

A Lesson In Confidence and Sweating It Out.

Well today has seemed to be a roller coaster of a day, and I'm glad that it's almost finally over and almost the weekend. I would like some time to decompress and be alone and just veg.

I knew this next year was going to offer up some challenges, but I guess I wasn't as prepared for some of the lows and how they can come out of nowhere, from within myself.

Today I got my miles in, but in a different way. I forgot to set my alarm last night and barely woke up in time to get ready for work. I somehow managed to still get there by 7am, worked the day, and as I was preparing to change for my run after work, I noticed it was raining. Bummer. It was already not the best day, and while I normally do enjoy running in the rain, today I was definitely not in the mood.

When I got to my car, the rain had stopped. After a small cry, I decided that a run was necessary to get out the bad attempt to sweat it out. Let out the dog, changed into my gear, and went a block behind the apartment where there is a high school track. I figured I would take a crack at this speed work business. Well...I didn't get very far in there until they kicked me out. Someone came by to lock it I looked around for Plan B, since I had too much crap in my pockets to just bang out the 3 miles.

If you are familiar with the area, you know that there is a massive hill at 13th and Florida. Like...huge. So I figured why not just run up and down, up and down, wear myself out, and head home. I made a game out of it, run to this tree, then down, then back up past that tree, etc. Every time I would go to run the downhill part I could feel the wobble in my legs, huffing and puffing, but starting to feel better. After I had enough of the hill, I ran a few sprints down a straight part of 13th, then jogged a cool down and went home. At home I decided to do some crunches with my stability ball, a few arm workouts with the kettle bell, and a few other non running things.

Reflecting on my day now, I'm really glad I decided to go out for the run and not ruin the first week of training. These past three runs have reminded me to keep confident in my abilities and strengths as a runner. I also need to rely on myself in the personal and professional aspects of my life. Sometimes I allow my negative thoughts to over-shadow reality; we are human after all...every one does this I'm sure. I am so grateful to have a best friend that can talk some sense into me, while also being able to relate and share a story. Makes me feel a little less crazy.

So when I logged onto the computer, I saw this article and thought I would share.

Check it out.

December 13, 2011

'Midweek' Recap! ACCOUNTABILITY!


Woo! That's my post-run picture. Sorry it's dark. I went to the trail AFTER work instead of before, knocked out an awesome feeling three miles! So the story here is, it was not too bad of weather, a little chilly but bearable with my under armour pants, a long sleeve shirt and my MCM zip-up, gloves, and my MCM ear warmers. I put on my brave face, thought positive thoughts even though this was my first real run since the mile last week and before that was the debacle of Rosaryville's 50k (aka I was terrified that I would have to walk). Well I definitely did not walk, and I think I did a pretty decent job time wise considering I haven't really done anything but eat the past month! I completed the three miles in about 33 minutes, so 11 minute miles. I'll take that!


Last night I stayed up a little late because I got to talk to MY MAN! Seriously, worth every tired blink of my eyes today. I woke up and went to work, had my absolutely delicious baked pumpkin pie oatmeal over milk, went to our office holiday lunch, then was released for the day. Luckily, I was prepared to go home early and I had packed my bag with my running gear. I went straight from the restaurant to the trail and changed (discreetly) in my car! And off I went! I should tell you what I had for lunch. Beef tips and mashed potatoes, a bunch of water, and half a piece of cake. Apparently, tummy did not enjoy that bouncing around in there. My legs were a little sore in the quad area before starting the run but in a good way, so I told myself 'Day Two, here we go! We are going to crush these miles!' I made it halfway til the pain in my side was so bad that I pulled off the trail to contemplate barfing. I resisted, and ran the way back to the car. It looked a little something like this: 11:00 min for the first mile, 12:45 for the second mile, and 11:12 for the third mile. I'll take it.

So my legs are a little more sore after that, but I can't really feel the soreness while running, which is AWESOME!

Tomorrow I just have cross-training, so I will bring my workout gear to work and hit the work gym around 4:30pm.

In other news, I consulted with a friend of mine about speed work, and he provided me with a nifty little plan. I will be putting it to use very, very soon. You need a track to do successful speed work, and I've known for a while that there is a track at the high school right behind my apartment...but for the 6 months that I've lived here I have not been able to locate the entrance.

Today I found it.


I'm pretty excited. As soon as I convert all these km to what normal people use for measurements......

I'm sure I'll be sore for the next 90 days, but it's pretty exciting to think about attempting a sub 5 marathon, especially when that means I need to shave a whopping 30 minutes off my time. Most people are happy shaving a minute. It's SO good to be uninjured again!!!! And recovered!

Well I'm off. I have to get ready to watch the Biggest Loser finale! And then maaaaybe go to bed early. I'm trying this thing where I stay up PAST 9pm...we'll see how that goes. great is this thought. It's pretty much how I feel:

December 11, 2011

Let's Try This Again

So last week I said I would begin my training.....I ran one day. One mile. Yay me.

THIS WEEK, I will run. No really! I promise!

I oath it. (HIMYM reference, you're welcome.)

Monday: 3
Tuesday: 3
Wednesday: Cross Train
Thursday: 3
Friday: Off
Saturday: 5
Sunday: Light Cross Train

So, now that I have that out there on the big ole world wide web...maybe I will be held more accountable. Maybe.

Maybe my alarm will go off at 5am and I will say, Nah You Good to the cold air and just keep on keepin warm under the covers. Til I remind myself that I'm starting to get squishy again. And that I have 90 days to shape up before I see THE man. And that I ordered another bridesmaid dress and need to have that altered to be SMALLER, not bigger for May. And that I need to offset all the bad things I have eaten lately. And because I am STILL dreaming about those oreos that are sandwiched between two chocolate cookies and baked. GAAAH drool. Thank for making me constantly think about those. And how many I think I could eat. Double stuffed oreos are my kryptonite.

So I picked the wee hours of the morning for my weekday runs, hoping that it will give me a good jumpstart to my day, shock my body awake, maybe trick myself into being a morning person. Not that I'm a night person, since I'm a great granny who goes to bed at 9pm...and that's even late for me. I'm also hoping that it will make me more aware of what I'm eating and drinking through out the day and make good decisions.

If you are anything like me and face the difficulty of getting yourself up at 5am to sluggishly (currently my only speed) run 3 miles, then maybe you can do what I just did tonight!

I just made my entire week's worth of meals! Woot!

On the menu this week:

Breakfast - Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal (YUM!) - can be eaten cold over milk or warmed up. I'm hoping I will get up, go run, come back, have the coffee brewed, eat some nom pumpkin oatmeal, shower, get to work on time!

Lunch - I have balsamic chicken with tomatoes, garlic, and a little melted mozz. cheese on top, plus some quinoa out of a box, and some kale cooked with garlic and tomatoes and feta cheese. And yogurt if I get a little snacky later.

Dinner: Chicken sausage soup! It has some yummy chicken sausage, white beans, kale, celery, carrots, broth, and it's deliciousness hopefully!

That will be the same thing every day this week, maybe switching the soup to lunch and the chicken to dinner to trick myself that I'm not eating the same thing over and over!

Yeah, good luck with that!

So this week should be interesting. I've been feeling particularly lazy and un-athletic, and not like someone who ran a marathon a month and a half ago. I am actually excited to get back at it again and hopefully shave off a lofty 30 minutes from my previous time so I can kick some JFK 50 Miler butt!


December 05, 2011

New Again.

It's beginning to feel a lot like June 2010.

My body is starting to get back to that squishy, non-running state. My phobia of running is starting to creep back into my mind.

I'm back at square one, with what feels like just a small jog around the block. I need to get moving again, fend off the laziness, start eating healthier (again), and start building back my endurance. I need to keep my mind busy so it doesn't wander to places it shouldn't be. I need to start wearing myself out again to make this year go by quicker.

This morning on my way to work I saw some women running together and felt both envious and glad at the same time. Envious that they had each other to pass the miles and time, but also glad because when you run alone, no one needs to know how awful of a runner you are. You don't have to explain why you are having a hard time running three miles nonstop. You don't have to sound like you're listing off excuses when you talk about your injuries, or how your heart isn't in it today, etc.

I'm having a difficult time convincing myself that I will break my time barrier for this next marathon when I'm so phobic of running after the injuries from this past year keep plaguing my mind.

I skipped BYB # 4 at Fountainhead, and BYB #5 at Hemlock Overlook because I still didn't feel ready to get back out there.

Over Thanksgiving holiday in Texas I went with R for a 3 mile walk, not run, because the back of my left knee still hurts a bit (anyone have any idea what I can attribute this to??)

Anyway, I'm going to force myself to go for a small little run today, and then I will run with a friend tomorrow. Getting back on that horse.

Let the training for DC Rock'n'Roll Marathon, March 17 commence!

***currently accepting any ideas on cool cross-training, speedwork, and weight training niftiness***

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