Monday, May 31, 2010

What a way to begin training!

Today is my first day of training for the Disneyland Half Marathon! As it happens, today is also the Dacula Memorial Day 5K! Since my training plan called for 30 minutes of running, I figured I was set! LOL

Here I am before the race... I'm wearing the singlet my BFF gave me for my birthday! In case you can't tell what it says, it's "This IS my race pace." I absolutely love it! I've been waiting to wear it for 2 months! :)

Here is the requisite "race shirt" picture! I am really pleased with how I did today.
My goal was to come in under 30 minutes for the first time ever, and I did! My Garmin says 28:34 and the clock time said 28:52, so either way, I met my goal! My previous PR was 31:45 (at this particular race last year), so I really made a lot of improvement! There's something about coming in under 30 minutes in the 5K that really excites me! LOL

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Off Season Training: Week 9

This week's training was a little more challenging, after having spent the weekend on my feet during my daughters' dance recital! I ended up taking an extra day of rest.

Monday - rest
Tuesday - rest (unscheduled)
Wednesday - run 40 minutes (3.9 miles)
Thursday - bike 4 laps @ neighborhood (31:36)
Friday - run 40 minutes (3.9 miles)
Saturday - bike 6 laps @ park (1:02:40)
Sunday - rest

I've got a 5K race on Memorial Day morning so I will be resting tomorrow! Monday also begins my new training - for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September! I decided to go for the Coast to Coast Medal! If you run a half at Disneyworld and a half at Disneyland in the same calendar year, you get a bonus medal. It is a replica of the statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey's hand and pointing off in the distance. That statue is my absolute favorite so I simply HAD to have this! My husband took an extra gig to make it possible financially, and my Mom is going to go out to CA with me so she can see me cross the finish line (something she was sad to have missed during the Princess Half, where she was here taking care of my children!). The race is Labor Day weekend so it was actually possible to go and my husband didn't need to take any days off! It will be a whirlwind trip, but I'm incredibly excited!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Off Season Training: Week 8

It's hard to believe that it's Week 8... 11 weeks since the Princess Half! That's sort of surreal to consider. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday, but most of the time it feels like it was a very long time ago.

I got some good training in this week, despite it being our busiest week of the year!

Monday - rest
Tuesday - run 40 minutes (4 miles)
Wednesday - swim (8 laps)
Thursday - run 40 minutes (4 miles)
Friday - rest/push ups initial test
Saturday - run 6.6 miles (1:11:43)
Sunday - bike 8.7 miles (44:53)

During my swim this week, I broke it up into 2 four lap segments. The first two laps I did without a rest, then I would do one lap and rest, then the fourth lap and rest. I repeated that entire section to get the total 8 laps.

I got up early over the weekend and got my workouts in before we had to go to dress rehearsal and the recitals! It was a great way to start the morning and clear my head before the busy day!

I have a 5K race next Monday so my training will be a little different this week! And I also have an exciting announcement to make... something big will be starting on Monday! ;) You'll have to wait and see, though!

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Hundred Push Ups

Even before I began running, back in the olden times when I went to the gym or did an exercise DVD at home, I lifted small hand weights for my upper body. In fact, last year for Mother's Day, my children gave me 5 pound weights because I had been complaining that the 3 pound ones were too light. (Thinking about it... I wonder if that was the year before last?)

But having used the 5 pound weights now two to three times a week for a year (or more), they don't really do much for me. I increased the reps, and even that has become too easy. I need to make a change. I have wanted to buy 8 pound weights but something always comes up that takes away my spending money for the week - another race, or gear, or something! LOL

So when I read on the ROTE boards yesterday about the "Hundred Push Up Challenge" I became very intrigued. I visited the website, and decided to give it a try! Because I'm not a glutton for punishment, and because I spend enough time on my toes in ballet class, I'm going to be doing the push ups on my knees. It may be cheating, but I'm good with that! If I can end up doing the hundred on my knees, I can always attempt the challenge again with real push ups! :)

This morning I did the initial test. I was surprised that I can do 14 push ups before my arms gave out. My body must be surprised, too, as my arms are still quivering! :) I looked at the Week 1 guide and apparently that puts me at the 3rd level for the Week 1 training. I'm thinking "ACK!"

I guess we'll see how it goes! I'll be starting the program on Monday, and my plan is to do it on Monday-Wednesday-Friday! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Off-Season Training: Week 7

I may have turned the corner this week. My workouts were hard, but they were also very productive.

Monday - rest
Tuesday - run 3.4 miles (34:04)
Wednesday - bike 6.5 miles (31:56)
Thursday - ballet (60:00)
Friday - swim (10 laps, including one set of 2 laps without stopping)
Saturday- run 6.6 miles (1:09:07)
Sunday - bike 13.3 miles (1:01:53)

I pushed it up a notch with my swimming this week. After I did my regular 8 laps, resting between each lap, I decided to try 2 laps with no rest in between. The last time I had tried this was back in the fall when I had first started swimming. On the last lap, I thought I was going to drown. Literally. This time went much, much better. It was hard, but not impossible. And especially since I had already done the 8 laps I usually do, I think I did quite well! :)

Biking was a lot of fun today, too. I met my BFF at the park and she and I rode together. We did this last week, too, but I was in a hurry because it was Mother's Day and my mom was taking the girls and I to see Mary Poppins the Musical. The park was also incredibly crowded, so it wasn't much fun. Today the park was nice and clear, and the weather wasn't nasty like I was afraid it was going to be (forecast wrong again, surprise surprise!). It was much less crowded so we could really ride and enjoy ourselves. We ended up going much further than I planned, but it was worth it! Tomorrow is a rest day for me after all! LOL It was a glorious day to ride!

This week is one of the busiest of our entire spring, so I hope I can get all of my workouts in! Won't be updating until Monday at the earliest!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Off-Season Training: Week 6

Monday - rest
Tuesday - run 3 miles
Wednesday - bike miles
Thursday - run 3 miles/ballet class
Friday - rest
Saturday - run 6.6 miles
Sunday - bike 8.7 miles (45:22)

I stuck to my plan and didn't time my runs/bike rides for the remainder of the week. I learned that it didn't really matter! LOL That's good information, though. There is something mental going on within me, and I'll just have to work through it. Usually this kind of stuff is reserved for parenting and homeschooling. I guess it has found its way into my training as well! That's OK. I'll use it. I'll conquer it, and that will help me to conquer it in those other areas as well! :)

The weather is getting much warmer here, quickly. And the humidity levels have been higher. I think that may be contributing to the general "yuck" feeling I have been experiencing while I'm running. I'm going to try to run a little slower, and see if that helps. I'm hoping that once my body acclimates to it the different challenges of running in warm and humid (and pollen-filled) air, then it won't be so hard.

The next two weeks will be quite a challenge in terms of getting my workouts squeezed in. This is a very busy time of the year for our family! I'll be glad when things settle back down so I can focus!

I think I'm going to have to give up my ballet class. The reasons are purely financial. If all I did was ballet, that wouldn't be an issue. But I love my running (and biking and swimming) and they all cost money. And our money is getting tighter and tighter. I'm going to think it through a little while longer before I make my final decision.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Off Season Training: Week 5

This week was the first week, I think, that I got all of the training in that I had planned to do! YAY! :)

Monday - rest
Tuesday - run (3.1 miles/31:34)
Wednesday - bike (6.32 miles/30:50)
Thursday - run (3.1 miles/31:39)
Friday - swim (8 laps/15:12)
Saturday - run (6.6 miles/1:09:12)
Sunday - bike (8.8 miles/No timing)

As you can see, I started with the "no timing" thing that I mentioned in my last post. I rode my bike at the park yesterday without timing myself. It wasn't as free as running, because my bike has a little computer on it that measures how fast I'm going. But I didn't have the per mile breakdown or the total time spent. It was good, too, because it was so hot and humid yesterday. It was 87 when I left the house, but the heat index was 91. I was better able to listen to my body, I think, instead of going with what the watch was telling me. I'm also glad I practiced with the water bottle last week, because this time it was absolutely essential that I drink something while I was riding! I finished the entire bottle of water on my bike, then got back to the van and drank half of a 16 oz. bottle of water with a Crystal Lite Pure Fitness pack mixed in.

My mom was here this weekend and went with us to the pool! She took a few pictures of me doing my laps, or as I like to call it, "Glorified Non-Drowning"! :)


I got a few books about biking from the library, and even checked out a DVD about swimming! I hope I'll have a chance to peruse them this week! Hopefully I will be able to glean some useful information!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Who am I?

No, I don't have amnesia! I've been struggling lately with my identity as a runner. One of the blessings I've enjoyed with running has been segments of quiet time to think. Even when I'm listening to my mp3 player on some of my runs, I find that I'm able to do some deeper thinking than I have time for during my day-to-day duties.

So let's go back to this identity thing. When I started running, I was the only one of my friends who really did it. But like in most things, once you start something you find out that lots of people do it, but you just didn't know. It's sort of like when you buy a new car (or just desire a certain new car) and all of a sudden you see them everywhere. It's not that there has been a surge in those kind of cars, it's just that your awareness has increased. So I found that some folks I knew also run. And then a few friends started running because I was running and they figured that if I could do it, so could they. Which is true! But when I started, I was still pretty much an anomaly in my circle... and was ahead of the curve. I felt successful, like I was doing something that was unique and I was succeeding. This was incredibly important at the moment, because I was struggling deeply with autism, and epilepsy, and all the ramifications of those two things. It felt good to be able to control something. It felt GREAT to set a goal and reach it, something that had been such a challenge with kids on the spectrum.

Recently, a number of things have changed. My friends who started running have surpassed my abilities. It's not so much that it bothers me, because I am truly happy for their successes! Honestly! But what has happened within me is this feeling that, yet again, I am a failure at something. Yet again, I try as hard as I can and fail to measure up. Remember how I tried to run faster, to keep up? It didn't work. I still wasn't fast enough, and my knees rebelled.

Reading "The Penguin" you get a sense of reassurance that being slow is just fine. But then you read other running resources, and you find a real bias towards people who are slow. And you find yourself feeling like you aren't a real runner, or that you're not really working hard, compared to other people. And it's not just speed... even distances have been a struggle. I trained so hard for my half-marathon, and when I attempted to share my accomplishment, I was greeted with many people's comments about how they didn't really train but finished in under 2 hours, and stuff like that.

It has affected my desire to get out there and run. Why bother when no matter how hard I push myself, it's never enough?

So this morning, as I got up at 6 AM to get my long run in before my husband and son had to leave for the baseball field, I started contemplating who I am as a runner. I did 6.6 miles today, so I had a while to think about it!

I wish I could say I had an epiphany, but it was a really humid morning and I wasn't feeling too well during the first 2/3 of my run! (It's hard to think deep thoughts when you're tired and feeling like you're going to throw up.) But one thing came to me while I was on the trail. I think I might take a week off from the Garmin. I wonder if it would help if I didn't have the timer and the pacing to give me feedback. I'd just listen to my body, and not really know how slow I'm going. I'd just run. And maybe that will help me to put the focus back on the running and how that makes me feel, instead of focusing on the slow time and how that makes me feel.

So I'm going to give it a shot and I'll be sure to post how it goes! I think I'll do it with my cross-training as well - just try to enjoy the workout! And maybe it'll help me figure out who I am again.