Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Official

Tonight I signed up for the VA Beach Shamrock Half Marathon on Sunday, March 22, 2009.

OH MY GOSH. that 5 miles

Mentally, I needed to run 5 miles today even if Hal said 4 (and that is what I did). I just had too much doubt about the long distances to go another week running less than 5 miles. I'm supposed to be on Week 3 anyway... which would include a 5 mile run.

This week coming up I may do 4 miles for the long run instead of 5, or save this 4 mile run for a "rainy day." I organized my iTunes today. Downloaded more songs I knew I would enjoy running to to keep things interesting.

Gosh I love running. So much. Still not sure how I will get to the point where I can run 10 miles. Duh I can run 6, I've done that. I see 7 as do-able. More than that is a surreal concept at this point. I feel good looking at the plan. You work up to the longer distances by lengthening the "shorter runs" that you do during the week.

I've also decided that I absolutely HAVE to eat healthy. There is no way I'm going to be able to do this if I eat too much junk food. And hydration is key. Right now I'm just drinking before and afer I run, but I think I need to get a suction water bottle that is easier to drink from as I run.

Can I do this? Can I really become a half marathoner? I really hope that I'm one of those people that finishes and says it was fun. I know a couple people who said their half marathon "sucked." They weren't sure if they would ever do it again. I guess it really depends how much you enjoy running...

I have a feeling I don't even know at this point. I haven't run a long enough distance....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here we (really) go...

Tomorrow I will wrap up week 2 with a 4 mile run. As I look at Week 3 and beyond, I am scared. This is where it gets really hard core. I hope that my body is ready for it. My knees are a little sore at the moment.

Starting with Week 3, I will never have a week where I run less than 5 miles. The 3 mile runs increase to 3.5. I wish I was a good athlete. I wish that this was a piece of cake, but really it's not. Running 7, 8, or 9 miles will not be a piece of cake for me. I've been told "You'd be surprised what adrenaline can do" by a friend who has completed not only a half marathon but a marathon. I hope this statement holds true for me and not just him.

What is also frustrating is knowing that I am in good shape. I can run 3 miles without any problem. I can run 6 if I have to. Kicking it up another notch is hard when I know I'm not out of shape and already am in better shape than many people my age.

I just want everyone to know... DOUBT does come along with training for a half marathon. When you hear that I completed it, I had moments (like tonight) when I was scared and not sure if I could do it. I think the main reason for my doubts is how exhausting and time consuming my job is. And its adding a lot of streses at the moment so I cannot focus fully on training for this race. I'm also tired. I tend to wake up in a better mood. So, I'm heading to bed and hope things seem better in the morning!

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Running Mix -- Week 2

I ran 3 miles today and feel so much better about everything. I do not think I am meant to not exercise. Some people function fine without exercise. I do not. I'm a million times happier when I do. (Yay).

As part of this blog, I want to start sharing songs that I find are GREAT to run to. The funny thing is for me it totally changes based on my mood. If I'm pissed I want to listen to rock, rap, or songs where the artist is angry. If it's gorgeous outside and I'm in a great mood, I can run to anything even if it doesn't have a fast beat. On a sunny day I ran 4 miles to Jimmy Buffet and it was fabulous! And then sometimes I just feel like listening to super girly/pop music. I guess those are my girl power moments?

I'm still in the process of concocting my ULTIMATE running mix (or my standard when I want a mixture of genres). I want to share it now and see how much this changes before the big day.

1. Ready to Run - Dixie Chicks
A good song to ease into a run.

2. Womanizer - Britney Spears
One of my ABSOLUTE favorites at the moment.

3. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
It's very hard to not be in a good mood and listen to this song.

4. Forever - Chris Brown
I'm considering either moving or removing this song. I love it. It makes me want to dance. I think I am tempted to go harder that I should when listening to it. So I should move it for an extra burst of energy at the end. Or save it for dancing.

5. Live Those Songs- Kenny Chesney
One of his more upbeat songs that I've always liked.

6. No Reins - Rascal Flatts
Great song about having freedom, which is the feeling you get when you are running!

7. Night Shift - O.A.R
The first song I heard by O.A.R. back in high school and still one of my absolute favorites by the band. So funny and catchy.

8. Glamorous - Fergie
I don't know why I downloaded the clean version off of iTunes. I think I totally need the uncensored one. I am running after all. This reminds me of when I was on TRL with Emma :-)

9. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
One of the two songs I would always sing to myself (and to my mom) before I had an iPod. "Whooah, were half way there" (the perfect thing to sing at your halfway point. Which eventually this will be close to halfway of a long distance.)

10. Brown Eyed Girl - Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy makes me happy.

11. Fins - Jimmy Buffett
And if I start playing Jimmy Buffett I have to hear more than one of his songs.

(I believe it kind of stops there at this point. I start with Avril on a different run)

12. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
Another one of my ABSOLUTE favorites to workout to. I discovered how great this song goes with exercise in a spinning class at JMU. And it reminds me of... that time I was on TRL.

13. Jessie's Girl- Rick Springfield
Love it.

14. All Summer Long - The Rock Heroes
Mmm... this is working for now, could easily see this one being nixed as I continue training.

15. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler
Another great girl power song.

16. If You're Going Through Hell - Rodney Atkins
The second song I would always sing in my head and to my mom as we were running. I like the song, and at times it couldn't be more appropriate.... ;)

17. See You Again - Miley Cyrus
Another song that wouldn't be my first choice in the car, but I LOVE running to it.

18. Rock 'n Roll All Nite - Kiss
I'm all about changing things up. This is appropriate after Miley and it's a classic.

19. HEY HEY BABY - Swingin' Medallions
I'm RANDOM. Yes this IS that song that bands ALWAYS play at football games.

20. Summer Girls - LFO
Um.. well this song is interesting. I like the lengthy lyrics.

21. Hey Girl - O.A.R.
A pretty long song which is a plus when running.

22. Piece of Me - Britney Spears
Yay more Britney! What girl doesn't enjoy working out to her?

23. These Are My People - Rodney Atkins
Lots of lyrics to keep me entertained.

24. Keg in the Closet - Kenny Chesney
Very appropriate and sets the mood if college football is on TV. It's also fast paced.

So, we'll see how much this changes by the spring. I'm bound to get sick of some.

I Just Got Emotional...

I'm still debating if I will do the Shamrock or Country Music Half Marathon.

Shamrock: Is earlier (March 22nd) and closer to where I live. It will be colder and I have less time to prepare--16 weeks. Which is really a long time.

Country Music: Is later (April 25th). My brother wants to do it. It will be warmer. I have more time to prepare.... but I have to fly to get there. I might just want a vacation in Nashville.

I decided to look for footage of both on YouTube and see which seemed like more fun. I didn't get very far before I got emotional over this video...

I was so moved by all of these people that prepared and the support that they received. They are in the process of reaching a huge goal and look like they are really enjoying themselves. That WILL be me this spring. I think the music got me too... Make sure you watch the whole thing.

With a couple tears in my eyes and goosebumps I admit that I'm weird. Fyi--I'm not really a crier.

And then you STAND

I love Rascal Flatts. These lyrics from "Stand" are just one reason why...

Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place...

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand

Basically the last week and a half has been awful for me in terms of training (partially why I gave myself extra time and partially why I feel like a failure at the moment.)

In Oklahoma we worked very late each night, until 9:30 P.M. and 10:30 P.M and got up very early. I got one 3 mile run in... and then I went on vacay. Although I was active, running didn't happen. This past week work was very hectic. I was so sleep deprived, and tired, and truely did not have time to work out.

So it is now Black Friday, and I am doing my first run in over a week. I feel like a failure for getting so off track, and it really upsets me. I want to train for this. I refuse to let my career keep me from exercising. Avoiding writing this blog doesn't make it better either...

So if anyone out there is reading my blog struggling to exercise or commit to a distance,
Get up and get back in the race! It's all we can do at this point.
I'm visualizing myself at the finishline now (yes, it does seem surreal at this point). Crazy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Work Makes Me Feel Like a Slug

Work is hectic and sometimes I have only had time to do long runs on the weekends. Or one run during the week in addition to the weekends. And I'm not getting enough sleep. I feel I'm starting to lose the 'hott bod.' That is scary, depressing, and actually one of the only things that has brought me to tears in the past few months.

Seriously, I would rather be in awesome shape than make money or know anything about Oracle.

Really give me a beach and a morning run and I'm set for life. That's all I want. I hate that I sit around for a living. And I think you get hungrier just sitting for hours on end :-(

Okay.. I'll say it. I'm sure every girl reading this can relate...

I'm sure with training for a half marathon that should happen naturally. But I figure if I put it on here, maybe I will be more dilligent in eating only healthy foods. No chocolate. No cookies. Drink less soda. I think even diet soda bloats you? Blahh.

I think my main thing is that I know I have not been as consistent with workouts as I was in college and that makes me feel gross. I am by no means fat...I actually am really petite. I think its just hard because my sister is naturally even smaller than I am. Weight loss isn't really going to be a main topic in this blog. I did want to touch on it briefly though because yes, I am human. And yes I think about it.

Save The Last Dance?

Today I realized Hal Hidgon's plan has more to do with:

1. The Number of Miles you put in per week
2. Consistently running longer distances/ building up your endurance

So, thanks to this plan I am now consistently running MORE than I have been in the past few months (per week). I was thinking of pushing myself beyond what he calls for in the first few weeks...but that probably doesn't make sense. Hal knows his stuff. If I do that I may start to hate running before I'm done training. It will get hard enough soon enough.

Luckily I love running for now.

WEIRD fact about my apartment gym... there was a (decently macho) guy watching Save the Last Dance while working out (That Ballet-Hip Hop chick flick with Julia Stiles). Not sure if he had turned it on for the girl he was with. But he was the one closer to the TV and she had an iPod that she seemed pretty into. He turned it up when I climbed on the eliptical. Was he trying to be nice thinking I wanted to hear the movie? Maybe. Even when he was done on the treadmill he was still watching the movie. WEIRD.

Now I love a good chick flick, but not when I'm running. Basically sitcom/movie watching is not a good idea (in my opinion) when you are running because it makes the time go by slower. And the characters are often sitting around talking/eating. This does not motivate you to keep going. I find myself wanting to go hang out in the coffee shop with Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey instead of continuing on with my workout.

I have found that mindless television (A la Parental Control and Project Runway) is best because you don't have to concentrate too hard on what you are watching.

The news works. The TODAY show is super entertaining, but I rarely see that these days
:-( Hmm.. maybe I should start putting it on my DVR? That sounds ridiculous.

I will never understand why some people watch CNBC while they are working out though. YAWN. I'm bored before I even start. Seriously, and I have a business degree. It just doesn't mesh well with a workout. Don't they even look bored?

And want to hear what I've found is the absolute best thing to put on TV while you are running? SURPRISE--- Sports! The athletes are active. You are active. The cheerleaders are super in shape (as I want to be.) The announcers make funny comments. It's an all around good time.
For a month I was really getting into College Football as I ran on Saturdays. But just about anything works.

Friday, November 14, 2008

WWHD...What Would Hal Do?

According to Hal Higdon the greatest distance I will be running until week 5 of the training plan is 5 miles.

After I get to Week 5 Hal should be giving me more of a challenge. But, I have 7 weeks before I even have to try to run 7 miles. The first half of this plan doesn't sound too bad. I really question how I will magically be able to run 8,9, and 10 miles. Just because Hal says I will on this piece of paper doesn't mean that it will be easy. I want to know more about this guy.

I just looked him up on Wikipedia and Facebook. He does look pretty youthful despite his age.

According to Wikipedia:

Hal Higdon is an American writer and runner. He has contributed to Runner's World magazine longer than any other writer. He is the author of 34 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He has worked as a freelance writer since 1959, and has written a variety of subjects including a children's book that was made into an animated feature. He ran eight times in the United States Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. He is one of the founders of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA).

Okay not bad.

It looks like Hal doesn't have a Facebook account, but there is a 'We Love Hal Higdon' group on Facebook. The highlights include that he has run 111 marathons and was 74 when the group was created.

So he knows his stuff. Hopefully I will be more convinced his plan works as the weeks progress.

I've heard it's so much better to have a training group for half marathons, but whatever. I've never ran with a group and I have friends to keep me accountable.

I'm frustrated with a few aspects of my life that are beyond my control. When frustration happens I tend to find something I can do to prove to myself I really am awesome. Whether that is a good thing or not, I don't really know...but why not a half marathon?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Scared of Failure

I want my family and friends to read this blog. JUST. NOT. NOW. Why you ask? Because I am scared of failure. I'd say the people who know me would describe me as a talented chick... but here' s my secret: I do things I know I am naturally good at. I don't really attempt to do things I know will be an impossible struggle. Challenges YES. Impossible stuggles NO. And if I am trying to challenge myself, a lot of times I don't tell other people about it until I have successfully completed my goal. So basically I never fail, and when I do, people don't know about it.

At this point I can run 6 miles (probably 7 if I were really pushing myself). By March or April I have to double that if I am going to run a half marathon. My first goal is 10 miles, but they say if you can run 10 miles you can run a half... so here we go.Yesterday I made it official. I printed off the Hal Higdon training plan. I'm going to follow it closely. I'm tempted to start at Week 7 which includes a 7 mile run. However, I'm starting at Week 1 and making running a regular part of my schedule again. Lately its been a weekend thing; I'm lucky if it happens during the week. And boyyy is this going to be hard to fit in during the week because work is a BITCH right now. I worked from 7:45 AM- 12:30 AM yesterday.

If you randomly stumbled upon this blog... please, please, please follow me as I embark on this journey, and comment!!