Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Easy Week

This week ended up being quite an easy week in my half marathon training, due to a skipped workout (oops) and another shortened one (oops). Here's what I did:

Week 3 Training

Monday - yoga
Tuesday - (should have been 4 miles, actually skipped because I waited for 10 hours for the Suddenlink guy to show up to install my office phone. Not cool, Suddenlink.)
Wednesday - 2 miles intervals (fast and fun!)
Thursday - 3 miles tempo (this should have been 4 but I was short on time)
Friday - Blissful rest
Saturday - 9 beautiful KSF miles
Sunday - 4 miles easy pace

My 9-miler this morning was awesome! The weather was perfect, the trails were perfect, and I had one of those elusive good runs. I felt strong and bad ass running hills, even with my dorky water bottle fanny pack thing. I borrowed Brad's iPod because mine isn't holding a charge for some reason, and it was great to hear something different than my normal running playlists. He has great taste in music, and today I heard everything from Lil Wayne and Jay-Z to the Decemberists and Grinderman. It was a welcome change.

Off to enjoy this beautiful Saturday!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Training Week 2: Electric Boogaloo

Today Brad and I looked at the ominous weather forecast (storms all day) and decided to go back to the furniture store we went to last Saturday to look at some living room furniture. We found some couches that we want to buy, but we left empty handed again! Brad wants to think about it some more -- it's a big investment, and one that we will have to live with for a long time! I think we will be going back to buy them, though, because we both really like them and we seriously need new living room furniture. The small, uncomfortable, dog-stained hand-me-downs just aren't cutting it anymore.

Anyway, I was planning an 11 mile run today, but decided to push it back until tomorrow because of the forecast. Wouldn't you know, it ended up being nice and sunny all afternoon. When we got home, I put on my running clothes and went for a very easy 2 mile run. I am running my 11-miler tomorrow, and I normally take the day before my long runs off completely. Just after I got back home the wind started blowing like crazy, and the skies are all black. Brad is out there on his road bike -- I can't imagine how he could be riding in this wind!

Also, I received a box of Easter candy in the mail from my mother yesterday, including Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs, two of my absolute favorite things in the whole world.

Wow, this is all very stream-of-consciousness.

Week 2 Training:

Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 3 miles steady
Wednesday - 4 miles, with 4 horrible, hellish hill sprints at the end
Thursday - 3 miles steady
Friday - Blissful Rest
Saturday - 2 miles easy peasy
Sunday - 11 miles

Friday, April 15, 2011

32 Going on 13(.1)

After weeks of quietly training, I finally signed up for the Decker's Creek Trail Half Marathon. The race is on June 4th, and I am simultaneously excited and terrified. 13.1 miles is a long distance to run, but I feel confident that I can do it. I just hope I don't win the caboose award for bringing up the rear.

Of course, I will be completing, not competing. I do have a goal time in mind, but that is plan B. Plan A is just to finish. I read a lot of runners' blogs, and I can't help but compare my slow running times to their much speedier ones. Not to mention all of the seriously fast runners who will be running the half marathon that day, who will probably be showered and on their way home by the time I finish. It's going to be very hard, but I'm going to try to only focus on myself, how I feel, and the goal at hand -- just to do it.

Brad, who has been sidelined for the last few weeks with a knee injury and is missing the beginning of his race season as we speak, helped me set up a training plan for the 8 weeks leading up to the race. This week was week 1 of his plan, and so far I've been doing well.

Week 1 Training:
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 3 miles intervals
Wednesday - 3 miles steady (I actually ran intervals this day instead)
Thursday - 3 miles intervals (I actually ran steady / tempo on this day)
Friday - Blissful rest!
Saturday - 9 miles
Sunday - 3 miles easy / recovery

You will see that this plan has me running 5 days a week, and before I had been running 3 or 4 and taking at least two complete rest days per week. It's going to be hard, but everything in life worth doing is hard.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Best / Worst Run Ever

Yesterday was the day that I have been thinking about with simultaneous dread and excitement for weeks now. It was my very first 10 mile run.

I have been covertly training for something that I'm not ready to talk about yet, but it has involved running distances that I never thought I would be physically able to run (see above: 10 miles).

It's been well documented here that I was a fat kid / fat teenager / fat college student, and I grew up almost completely sedentary, using my energy to smoke and be angry at the world. I've never been athletic and I still don't consider myself an athlete, a runner, or even particularly fit. Just last summer, I thought running 5 miles was something I'd never be able to do. Now, 5 miles on nasty / lovely KSF trails is a great way to spend a weekend morning, or decompress after a rough day at work. It's still not easy for me, but it's fun and challenging in a good way.

Yesterday, I woke up and looked at the weather forecast. It was supposed to rain, and then not for several hours, and then rain again. So I hung out and drank coffee until about 10:30, when all signs of rain seemed to have passed. Brad taped up my knee for me, I packed some jelly beans, water, and my Uggs (for the drive home), and headed out to the state forest. I was wearing my new Brooks Cascadia 6's for their first long run and would be using this water bottle fanny pack thing that Brad bought for me. I was set.

I parked at the back of the forest and headed out. Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill, pass some mountain bikers, eat a few jelly beans, 5 miles. Easy peasy. I was at my turn-around point and feeling pretty good.

Then it started to rain. I was wearing knee-length tights, a tank top, a light jacket with thumbholes, and a running hat. I was warm enough, until the hail came. With it came wind. I was on the top of a ridge, and the wind blew right through my wet lycra and into my exposed ears. I was freezing and I had 5 miles to go!

I saw the mountain bikers again in another mile or so, they called me "fucking crazy" for running in the hail storm.

But it did end after a short while, I did make it back to my car, I did live to tell the tale. Of course it all seemed very dramatic at the time, but it was kind of awesome. I felt pretty bad ass.

I was freezing on the drive home. I was also starving, but I can't really eat for a few hours after a long or difficult run. All food is unappealing and I get sick to my stomach if I do eat. So I took a hot hot shower, made a smoothie and sipped it, wrapped in a blanket on the couch while watching Project Runway.

And today it is 65 and sunny. Ah, the irony.