Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coming up...

I'm marking my calendar for a 5K on June 16th. I ran this last summer with my friend (it was her first 5K!), and I'm excited about doing it again. There's a chance that some of my fiance's friends will be running it, too, which would make for quite a group.

It's just starting to get really hot and humid here in the northeast, so I have a little bit of time to acclimatize to the weather. I got out today for a brutal 6.5-miler with my running buddy and her sister, and they kicked my butt big time. I had just gone hiking yesterday (see below)

and sweated a couple pounds off and didn't quite replenish in time for the run today, so I started off dehydrated. I've never run a marathon, so I can't really say I know what hitting the wall is like, but I imagine that it's something like what I felt like today. It was in the 80s with high humidity and strong sun. I started off with my legs feeling leaden. I expected them to loosen up, but all they did was fatigue, and with every hill, my steps got smaller and smaller. I realized that I was just shuffling and took a couple of walk breaks, because I expected injuries from poor form to start cropping up. 

Anyway, I am not used to this weather. The 5k is in 2 1/2 weeks, so I'm going to use this time to try and get out for as many warm weather runs as I can. I also would love to hit the mountain or just some single track bike trails again. I love running in the woods, and the mountain running is an incredible workout, and single track running is both a workout and fun. 

Last year, when I ran my fastest 5k ever without doing any running to train for it, I realized how important cross-training is. I had done all of my exercise in the form of circuit workouts with a Wii program that featured upper body, lower body, and core exercises and cardio bursts. Those workouts did more for my running than running did, so I don't want to forget how important the total body training is for me. I also lost a lot of weight and felt better about myself than I ever had before (can I be a spokesperson for the product yet?), so I'm going to try and continue to incorporate those exercises into my routine. 

I'll be focusing a lot more on biking, too. I used to ride much more often than I do now, and I've lost a lot of my comfort on the bike. I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable enough to ride very technical trails, but I want to regain the confidence I had and build up some more so that I can go for some somewhat interesting rides with my fiancĂ©. He owns a bicycle repair shop and is an avid cyclist, and I love being able to share outdoor experiences together. I love biking so much that I want to be able to share that with him - especially since it's such a big part of his life. 

I don't know when my neck surgery is going to be (still need to go for a second opinion), and that will influence my training, but one of my main goals for the summer is to train up for a fall half marathon. Get ready for Sunday, October 14th. The big part is that I'm going to try and run it with my running buddy and her sister, who are very speedy and want to finish in under 1:50. Is that possible for me???? I don't know, but I'm keeping it in mind. I'm going to train with them on most Tuesday mornings and gradually build up my speed and endurance over the summer. In August or September, I might even try running some Yasso 800s on the track or treadmill. 

So these are the major goals right now: 
  • 5K on June 16th with friends (adjust to heat and run a time comparable to my past results)
  • Get more fully fit by training upper and lower body, core, and cardio
  • Regain confidence on my mountain bike so I can actually develop some skills
  • Increase speed and endurance enough over 4 1/2 months to run a sub-2-hour half-marathon on October 14th. 
We'll see how it goes!

Ever on.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back...with the best news!

So I kind of fell off the face of the planet. But I want to come back. There are races I want to run this year, and blogging my adventures on the way there makes the training and the races that much more meaningful.

LOT has happened since I last posted. Mainly, I went to California for an amazing vacation that took me from the desert at Joshua Tree National Park to the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, up the coast through Big Sur all the way to San Francisco and the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument. Best of all, when we stopped off at the gorgeous McWay Falls in Big Sur, my boyfriend asked me the most important question of my life - if I'd marry him.  I said yes - actually, I said "Of course!" There was no question about it. 

The view of McWay Falls from the spot where I said yes!

So unbelievably happy just a couple of days later.

Since then, life has been incredibly hectic. I got in a car accident just two weeks after getting engaged, which broke my heart because I love my car and take such good care of it, and it got very smashed up by an off-duty cop who didn't feel the need to stop at a stop sign and look both ways before pulling out.  Then, a week after that, I found out that I have a large cyst in my throat that needs to be surgically removed. That was further complicated by post-graduate coursework and plans to move out.  

I made some time to run a couple of races, but I'm ready to get more serious about exercising consistently. My neck surgery will impact that a little, but until that time, I'm going to be prioritizing my health and training much more than I have. 

More on the races I plan to run in the next post.