Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whooah, I'm Halfway There

That is the line that I would always sing to my mom when we were halfway through our runs when she trained for the 2 mile race at our pool. So it's the MOST appropriate title for my post saying that I have completed half of Hal's plan.

It's quite a feeling to look at the piece of paper I printed out and see all of the distances that I have been able to check off over the past 7 weeks.

Tonight I was feeling good enough to run 4 miles (That run felt great too!) I decided not to try to push it with a 7 mile run since I felt so bad last night. Weeks 1-6 are all complete!

I think having a plan is the way to go. It gives me something concrete to do in terms of training.

2 Confessions:
1. When the plan says (+ Strength)....I haven't been doing strength. Weights tend to make me more sore and tired. I think I need to start doing that though and core work... because it will become more critical as the distances continue to increase.

2. I have been running for the time listed on the cross training days. I just really like running right now. I probably SHOULD do something other than run. Like bike or swim. I really don't want to hurt myself. I think its because of all the stress at work, I've gotten back into a love I found as a senior in high school and I really just don't care to do any of the other forms of exercise I was forced to settle with when my knee was bothering me.

It's also daunting to realize I'm about to enter unchartered territory.
The first six weeks really just got me back into shape. Yes... the short runs were a bit longer than my short runs in the past, but the long distance never pushed me beyond what I knew I was capable of. I have run 6 miles before. This week I have to run 7. I believe I am capable of running 7 miles. The difference is that when I complete this distance it will be for the first time in my life. And the same with 8,9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.1.

Thank God VA Beach is flat.

Ooh.. 1 more confession.
I am training on a treadmill. I guess this is okay because I plan to add long outside runs to my training plan in that extra 6 weeks between my completion of Week 12 and the race. It will be warmer outside then. I find running outside to be a pain here because of the traffic. I HATE stopping when I run. At all. Even for a stop light. It makes it so much harder to start up again. And now its cold. I really enjoy running outside, but I'm used to my parents neighborhood. Or I think I should probably have someone with me. And I don't know my way around THAT well.

For now, I'm making the treadmill work. I've developed an obsession with iTunes in the process.

Monument Avenue 10k!

One point of clarification, I did not complete a 5k race, I just did a 5k run the other week. There weren't any 5k races I could enter that week, but since I have roughly 6 extra weeks I should be able to find both a 5k and 10k race to occupy some of that time once it gets a bit warmer and all of the holidays are behind us.

Today I signed up for the Monument Avenue 10k...

the entry fee was a Christmas present from my parents. I have been wanting to do this race for like 3 years. When I was still at JMU it filled up more quickly than I was anticipating, so instead I did the Ashland Railroad Run 10k. Then last year I was not in shape to run the Monument Avenue 10k after I had to take a break from my knee injury. In a way I still cannot believe that I'm running 6 miles again. I remember right after I hurt my knee I thought I might never run again. Yeah.. I know... way to be a drama queen. I was able to heal whatever was going on with RICE.

Anyway, the registration for the Monument Avenue 10k opens up the day after Christmas and my brother and I are both registered! This is probably one of the best things Richmond has to offer (from what I've heard). There will be over 30,000 participants. The cool thing was that when you sign up you can chose to do the YMCA training program along with your registration. How incredible of a feeling to be like "I don't need that. I know I could run this thing tomorrow if I had to." A much nicer feeling than the butterflies in my stomach and slightly shaking right hand that performed the final click to sign up for the Shamrock Half Marathon.

The only thing I am sort of concerned about regarding the Monument Avenue 10k is that it is the Saturday after I run the Shamrock.... that is probably fine though right? At that point 6 miles shouldn't be difficult at all. I have a week before I have to run that distance. The fun atmosphere should be a good motivation. And I can go really slow if I have to?

I just feel like I have been waiting so long to run this race I will be really disappointed if I let another year pass by.

Just to give a running update:
I ran 4 miles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! I love not working and having time for a 10am run.
I did not run on Friday or Saturday. Today I am supposed to run either 4 miles or save that distance for later and go ahead and get in a 7 mile run while I still have a holiday break.

I was not feeling too well last night.. so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've Been Slacking...

Not on my running, but on my blogging. I had every intention to NOT make this like any running blog that lists how far the person ran, their thoughts about it, and "Goodnight and goodluck."

Because that's boring.

I can't imagine why anyone I know or anyone who stumbles across this would want to read that. Except MAYBE if they also really like running. AND were bored.

I wanted to mix my thoughts on different aspects of running into the documentation of my runs, but then life happened. Obviously, I have mentioned the long hours of the past few weeks at work. And I keep going out of town for the weekend. So the fact that I've posted at all is remarkable.

So how about a combo of Week 5 and Week 6? These are the distances I've completed.

Week 5
4 miles
2 miles
4 miles
40 min cross train
6 miles

Week 6
4 miles
2 miles
4 miles
5k race (That is roughly 3.1 miles)

I think I love Hal Higdeon. This plan seems to be working so well. I looked over a few old posts and somehow when I mentioned 3 and 4 miles it didn't sound as easy as either distance is now. I have full faith in this plan.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I ran 6.1 Today

So today I ran 6.1 miles. I only have to add 7 more miles to that distance by March 22, 2009, no big deal?!

I did feel pretty great and capable of completing it. I probably could have forced myself to do seven if that was what Hal told me to do. But he said 6, so I ran 6. It's kind of daunting to know that is not even half of the half marathon distance. And that I have to get to the point where 6 miles is a piece of cake. Currently 5 miles is my "comfortable, not that bad distance."

I'm excited for the day when I run 10 miles. That will be ridiculous. Until then I will just keep on running. And hoping I receive fun text messages during my runs... like today. They are always fun to read as I walk back to my apartment!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why so excited?

Maybe its because I haven't ran in the past two days and I am ansty. Or maybe its because I just looked at the website again, but I am getting SO EXCITED about the idea of running a half marathon.

For some reason in my head I feel like I will be fine and absolutely will be able to do this. Like, it will be fun. Really all I have to do is run for 2.5 hours (ish).

My new goal besides completing it, is to be someone who thinks running a half marathon is FUN. That means sticking to the training plan so I'm super prepared. I don't want to be someone who just finishes (walks some of it)..... and thinks it sucks the whole time because I am pushing myself too hard.

I don't know if that happens out of a natural love for running, or if when the distances get really long, a love for running goes out the window? I'm very excited for all of the free time I will have over the next 3 weeks and can't wait to use those days to train.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week 4

Well I am almost done with Week 4. I will be after I run 3.5 miles tomorrow morning. Today I ran 5 without any problems. I love when I start out not knowing which run I will do.. longer (5 miles) or shorter (3.5)...I almost always end up doing the longer.

I love pushing myself to run long distances. 5 miles isn't really that bad "It just takes some time." I feel so much more in shape too. How I felt the last time I ran the 10k. Back then, I was alternating between two and three miles about 4 times a week. Then I did longer runs occasionally.

The only difference is that now 6 miles is just a stepping stone. I remember when I felt purely exhausted after a 6 mile run on the track. Now my body is much more used to the longer distances which is good. I think I'm a bit more hydrated and eating better too. All good things and I am able to walk around comfortably after doing a 5 mile run. I don't think I have much else to share at this point. Except that it makes since that when I can run 5 miles very comfortably (as this plan prepares you to do) I will be able to run longer distances. I'm starting to believe I will be able to complete the half marathon without walking!

Week 4:
3.5 miles
2 miles
3.5 miles
40 min cross train
5 miles

Monday, December 8, 2008

Running is All That I Have

So today (as I mentioned earlier) I got up at 5:20 A.M. to run 5 miles. I got to the office around 8:20 A.M. I just got home and it is 11:35 P.M.

I was at work longer than 12 hours. I have soo much to do and this schedule of long hours will repeat all week.

This is the exact scenario that would cause many people to say "I don't have time to work out." That's what I would have said 6 months ago. And really you don't. Sleep is important. Funny thing is... I'm not getting enough sleep anyway. The fact that I ran 5 miles this morning not only gave me a better perspective on it all, it was the highlight of my day. I fully intend to continue working out this week.. even though I will have limited sleep.

My dad always says "You aren't meant to not work out." Everyone that you work with needs to let you get your workout in. You will be so much happier and productive. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean coming in at 9 A.M. or working normal hours. It means losing even more sleep to do what makes me happy.

I'm still scared about the idea of running 13.1 miles, but I'm more excited to get into good enough shape to be able to do it. I honestly doubt that I will start to hate running. It's my outlet. I'm not very fast, but I truely believe I will be one of those people that thinks Half Marathons are fun.

I already grew to love running... a bit of that love went away when I had to stop because my knee was bothering me senior year of college. I think I forgot how much I loved it and how great it felt... after I got away from it.

I almost don't know how I would be handling my life right now if I weren't trying to train for a half marathon. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. All the runs during the week are relatively short. One long run a week is doable. Now I'm off to sleep so I can get up and run 3.5 miles super early before going into the office!

Week 3 Down

I got up and ran 5 miles. I always seem to have more energy/productivity in the morning. I know I'm weird... thankfully I mesh well with the business world.

I just never knew HOW early of a workout I would be doing. I got up at 5:20 AM (and really that is late) because I am working at a closer office today.

Just wanted to post quickly that I am done... and when I said I was going to get up and run it actually happened. Hope that is inspiring!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Running Solo

So.. I signed up for the Shamrock Half Marathon...thinking my friend was doing it in preparation for her marathon in April. I now learn she is "looking into it." OH MY FREAKING GOSH. What have I done? My brother doesn't want to run the one in March either because he would rather be snowboarding.

I thought this was a good idea... it still sounds like I will have friends coming to support me. My parentals too. But I might be running solo. I emailed my cousin this weekend to see if she would be interested. That was Sat. AM., I still haven't heard from her.

Do people even run half marathons alone? I think its always a group thing. I'm kind of freaking out here!

In other news, this week training has taken prescedence to sleep. Yay?

Today I was just too tired from running 3.5 miles and 3 miles the past two days to try to do a 5 mile run at 10 P.M. I ran one mile and will be getting up tomorrow to run. It may turn into 4...since I have that pass from last week. We will see.

I'm not letting this hiccup stress me too much because I traveled this weekend. And fully intend on completing every run on this schedule. I'm thankful that I have extra time, so little things like this totally fit (and would not if I were actually trying to do this in 12 weeks. I would be soo stressed right now. My stomach would be in knots.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Cannot Tell a Lie (or Keep a Secret)

George Washington would be proud of me. And Pinocchio's fairy too. I, however, am annoyed at my inability to keep a secret.

Within 48? Yes, 48 hours of signing up for the Shamrock Half Marathon it has already come up and out in conversation with a good friend who has run a MARATHON. Wait that's my ONLY friend who has run a marathon. So much for secretive and personal motivation. I think my running patterns were a dead giveaway that I was training though. And I brought up running on the treadmill... so I'm totally to blame. He's just intelligent.

I had anticipated a bit more time for the personal 'sink in' before announcing the news to anyone...

but whatever. Running is fun :-)
(Or so I say now.)

On the positive side, Running 2 miles this morning was nothing. And running 3.5 miles last night was also pretty easy. I love that my body is starting to go into auto pilot. I just pace myself and rock out to the iPod. I'm excited to go for the longer distances. 6, 7, and 8 miles. When I can run 4 miles with ease this should be doable.

Snaps for Hal... my faith in his plan is gradually increasing!