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my attitude about half marathon training

20 Apr

I’m going to be in another musical soon, so my life has gone back to:

  • wake up at 6am (been slapping snooze for about 20 minutes lately)
  • leave for work at 7:30am
  • work 8:30-4:30
  • get home at 5:30
  • stuff food in my face
  • rehearsal 7-10pm
  • try to find some social time, get home way too late on a weekday
  • pass out and drool

Sometimes I’ll be able to squeeze a run in at lunch, but the weather has been so craptastic and I’ve been so busy with work that it usually just doesn’t happen. Have I mentioned that I haven’t done a single long run yet? The half is a little over a month away now. I might have to work a bit on Saturday, so womp womp don’t know if I’ll be able to do a 9 miler. Maybe I’ll drop it down to 6 or 7? I definitely want to do well in this half. I just need a couple more hours in each day to adequately prepare. But for real, I need to crack down and get serious about my training so I don’t get hurt.

In other news, I have some fab photos from mile 26 of the Boston Marathon… which I’ll post as soon as I receive a few more of those hours in the day. Hopefully tomorrow, if I have enough time to do a bit of tweaking and uploading tonight.

Finally, I need to figure out what the eff is going on with my right shin/calf. It’s tight to the max and feels fatigued all day long. Maybe because I ran the BAA 5K in my old shoes? (it was pouring when I woke up, and I didn’t want to destroy my new shoes in a downpour) Maybe I need to just stretch some more? A massage? Unsure. It isn’t hindering me from doing anything, but it’s definitely an annoyance when a wild leg cramp appears.

Did I just make a Pokemon reference? I did.

I went there.

Squirtle out.


airing my dirty laundry

24 Jan

literally. there it is. yes, that is The Muppet Show Season 3.

That about sums up the past few days. Crazy crazy mess. It’s clean* now. I did a crapload of laundry this weekend.

*replaced by a laundry basket of yet-to-be-put-away clean clothes. Better than the alternative above.

I’m in a bit of a wintry rut. Today’s glorious high of 12°F kept me wishing for a big bundle of blankets all day long. A giant coffee worked, too.

Continue reading

From Sick to Super

3 Jan

Yesterday ended up being a big old dud. When I woke up at 3am feeling terrible, I knew a bad day was ahead. Lo and behold, when my alarm went off at 6:20 so I could get ready for Tabata, the energy was not there. Tight chest, congestion, difficulty breathing… yeah, I was not about to give my first shot at HIIT in that condition. So I whined in bed for a while, convinced I’d go to yoga later. When it became apparent that the proverbial elephants were not about to stop jumping on my face every time I looked down, I conceded to the fact that this was to be a day of nothingness. Oh well, I needed the rest. New Year Goal #2 in action.

Today I felt quite a bit better, but not 100%. Thankful today was supposed to be a rest day anyway. I am much less reliant on a box of tissues now. Wonderful sign.

Last week, my laptop did something rather unpleasant. I was working on it, when the screen became all skewed and suddenly this rainbow prism-like shape spread across my screen from the upper left corner. What. Ungood. Royal Rainbow.

So I left my computer at work to be diagnosed and ohhh boy it’s weird not having my laptop. However, I became the most ultra-productive without it. In the end, I’m counting it as a big win. Not only did I pack my lunch for tomorrow, I also laid out my athletic clothes for the week and picked tomorrow’s outfit. And did a load of laundry. And cleaned my whole room. This hardly ever happens on a weeknight and I love it.

Here’s to tomorrow morning, when my chest will (hopefully) be totally clear. And to the glorious return of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report tonight. I’ve missed those wonderful gents in the morning.

So Fresh and So Clean

1 Jan

A new year, a clean start. In general, I don’t believe in “resolutions” because if something is important to you, you should start trying to make the change immediately. A new year ain’t nothin’ but a number. However, I do like trying to set measurable goals over a set amount of time. Most of my goals are things I’ve already been working on, but now it’s time to up the ante and boost them to goal status.

So what are my goals for this year?

1. Run in at least 12 races in 2011.

I have already signed up for 7 races through the end of June, so I figure what’s 5 more in the last 6 months? Right now I’m signed up for 3 5Ks, 2 10Ks, a 5 miler, and a half marathon. Woop woop. The first race is just over a month from now, and it’s the very first 5K I ever ran. I really want to obliterate my PR.

2. Get to the gym at least 4 times per week.*

An asterisk? Already? Yep, gotta be realistic. Right now, I have a fitness plan that involves me going to the gym 6 times a week and includes two yoga classes (new yoga mat and tank <3 ), two muscle classes, an interval class, and time on my own. Ambitious? Yes. That’s why my goal is to regularly hit 4 out of those 6 days. Ideally I’d be able to go to every class all the time. But muscles get sore, late nights happen, social events pop up, and sickness happens. I’m not going to beat myself up if something comes up and I miss a day and only make it 2-3 times one week. Heck, I didn’t do a lick of fitness today because I have quite the cold.

Chugging Cold Season tea and green juice. Hidden: my totally hot BreatheRight strip on my nose.


3. Stick to my monthly budget like a pro.

I recently revised my monthly budget, putting even more money towards paying off the money-hungry student loan monster. I moved some numbers and came up with a pretty reasonable spending allowance. If I can stick to that schedule in 2011, I’ll be in pretty good shape.

Quick Tip: If you guys don’t already use Mint for money management, I highly highly recommend it. It’s owned by Intuit, the makers of Turbo Tax, and it is completely secure. You can import as many bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, etc as you’d like and see them all in one place. I set my budget through Mint, and the chart on my home page shows how well I’m doing each month and if I’m reaching the top of my budget too early. It’s also what helped me pick a better credit card and savings account to earn more money. I’ve been using it since 2007, and I wouldn’t use anything else.

4. Plan at least 3 homemade meals per week.

It’s no secret that cooking at home is often cheaper and healthier than eating at a restaurant or getting take-out. Over the last few months, I lapsed pretty hard in setting a weekly menu, which left me eating a few too many microwave dinners on super busy nights. This morning I organized all my cookbooks on some new kitchen shelving, and tomorrow I’m going to spend the morning flagging recipes I want to try. When the time comes to plan a meal, I can just reach for a book, flip to a flagged page, and yay there’s a recipe.

5. Organize myself for the holidays.

I completely forgot to send Christmas cards this year, and I really regret it. I’ve set up a system so that I can send cards for each birthday and major holiday and not flake out on it. Super important that I stick to this. I’m also going to take a lead from my mother and start buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas. In January? Yes. My mom already has at least 50% of this year’s Christmas shopping done. I’m not that ambitious, but I hope to have a few things picked out by springtime.

6. Drink more water.

Dur. I bought a water bottle holder for my purse so now I have no excuses. Water wherever I go. Always.


That seems like a pretty good list to kick things off. My Cold Season tea is done and it’s time to move on to TheraFlu, which may or may not knock me the eff out. I need a good night’s sleep to get ready for my first Tabata class early tomorrow! So excited.

Happy new year!


Treadmill Time

14 Dec

I’ve been able to do a lot of thinking about my training in the past year, and it hasn’t always been up to snuff. Whether it was neglecting strength training (hardly did any to get ready for my half, but I have a solid plan for it now), neglecting cross training (also neglected for my half, and wasn’t fully committed to it in marathon prep… again, a pretty solid plan now), or just plain being scared to run because I wouldn’t always perform as well as I envisioned (okay, that still happens sometimes. working on it). The treadmill doesn’t help that last part too much. How well can you really expect to perform when you live in a giant snowbank of a climate in the winter, and you’re running on something that keeps a pace for you?

Then, I found a few treadmill workouts in Runner’s World (video) that might just help break the boredom cycle, at the very least. If you can’t watch the videos, here’s a summary of each treadmill workout (again, via Runner’s World and Jeff Galloway). All workouts are measured in time, not distance.

Treadmill Hill Climb Workout

If you live in a snowy/icy area in the winter, this is a great alternative to slippery hills.

  • Warm up for 3 minutes, gradually increasing the pace to an easy run
  • Raise incline to 2% and run for 1 minute
  • Raise incline to 4% and run for 1 minute
  • Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
  • Raise incline to 4% and run for 2 minutes
  • Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
  • Repeat the last two as a set as many times as you wish

Treadmill Distance Workout

This isn’t really a “distance” workout, since it clocks in at 4-7 miles, depending on your pace and number of intervals.

  • Warm up for 3 minutes
  • Easy run for 2 minutes, walk* 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
  • Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
  • Run for 4 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
  • Run for 5 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
  • Increase intervals as desired
  • Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)
  • Run for 1 minute, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)

Pace Booster Workout

  • Warm up for 6 minutes, alternating a jog for 30 seconds, walk* for 30 seconds
  • Repeat this interval as many times as you wish, increasing the run speed each time

Fast 15 Workout

Great for if you only have 15-20 minutes of time and still want to get in a run.

  • Easy run for 3 minutes
  • Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
  • Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
  • Short walk to cool down

*Why walk? Well, besides the face that it’s a Galloway workout, walking will change things up on the treadmill and keep the workout from becoming stale. If you don’t think walking will give you any good fitness benefits, you can probably take it down to a jog or easy run instead.

Last night I warmed back up to the treadmill by doing the Fast 15 workout. I originally planned to stick right to the program, but I felt so good that I extended a few intervals to 4-5 minutes with a 30 second walk. I was tempted to just jump right in and push the pace through the remaining time, but I felt a small twinge in my right IT band, and knew that I needed to take it easy. I’ll get there on the speed and distance. One day at a time for now. In the end I hit 1.63 miles in 15 minutes, including 60-90 seconds of recovery in there. Stoked.

I was beaming as I ran on that treadmill. It just felt so, so good to be back in my sneakers. It also helped/was amusing that the guy next to me was trying to show off and told his buddy he was going to do “just a mile.” He bumped his pace up to 7.4, increased the incline to what looked like 6 or 7%, and maybe made it 30 seconds before he had to jump off and take a breather. It’s cool, dude. I wouldn’t judge you if you were doing a 5.8 pace at 0%, or maintained 7.4 at a high incline.

Side Note: Be Careful

This has nothing to do with treadmills or anything else in this post. This past weekend, an old friend of mine and his wife were in a head-on collision and are both in the hospital with multiple injuries. Please, be careful this season, both in your cars and out on the sidewalks/shoulders. It’s almost impossible to not run in the dark, so wear lots of light-colored clothes with reflective accessories. Drive slowly. Be careful.