Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Say Goodbye to Negative Nancy!

1st I want to say. Over the past few days I have been Negative Nancy. I want to say thank you to everyone who has told me to shut up and suck it up and thank you to everyone who has sent me encouraging words via Facebook, Twitter, and Dailymile.

I have done a lot of thinking this week and zero running. Whoops. But I was thinking about how hard I have been on myself lately. It stems 100% from me wanting to always be the best/do the best I can and for some unknown reason I threw myself into marathon training when I first started … I got injured … and never really got back into it. I am at the point that I do not think I can currently train with the team … granted I think they would push me, but there is no way I am running 12 miles with the team. SO! I am going to do what I do best. Get back up on the horse and start where I am and bust my butt. I may not finish the marathon with a beautiful world record or even anything to rave about… but I am going to finish and I am going to live to tell about it.

Starting Monday my world changes. I am going to eat.sleep.breath marathon training. Why Monday you ask? Because I am still catching up on sleep/life from being out of town and when I start I want to give it all I can. Tomorrow I am joining Crunch Fitness (they’re giving me a stellar deal to not go back to LA Fitness) and I am going to do classes in the evening. The best part… they’re about a mile or so from the office so I am going to run to Crunch… work it out… and run back to my car. So… starting Monday morning I am going to start waking my butt up and running in the AM before work. Running to the gym after work. Hitting the gym at night -- I am pretty pumped about spin classes and a class called ‘tread and shred’ (a class on a treadmill for 1 hour, varying speeds and inclines). Running back to my car and heading home. On top of all that I am going to start the 200 sit ups challenge and the 100 push ups challenge. Which I will do while watching TV.

From now till race day there are a few races here in Atlanta that I have/am going to register for. Races are a forced way to get miles in. Granted it is only 2 10Ks and 1 5K … every bit helps. Right?

I already utilize but I am also going to start a daily journal to log my miles, my workouts, and my eating habits. Seriously. I am going to take this training seriously… I just hope it isn’t too late! AHH!!
Pray for me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hi. I lack the running gene!

"Good things come slow - especially in distance running."
- Bill Dellinger, Oregon coach -
I have had a pretty hard two days of training up here in VA. The terrain is pretty similar to that in Atlanta. Flat in spots, hills in others. But for some reason I just could not get in the groove, especially this morning. We all know that I am by no means a runner. I never have been. Taking on this marathon was a 'lose my mind' moment... but it is all for an amazing cause. But sometimes I wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into. I am having a really hard time getting over 4 miles and I have to somehow kick out 26.2. I wouldn't say I am getting discouraged because I know everyone has bad moments, but frustrated would be a great word. I feel like I push myself and try to make it as fun as it can be in the heat and humidity that is Atlanta (and Northern VA currently)... but I end up crapping out and throwing in the towel. I guess I am just reaching for some suggestions. I am a newbie here. How in the world do I get to the high miles. I am terrified that I won't be able to do it. I don't want to run everyday because then I run the risk of injury... but in the same breathe... I feel like the more I run the better I may get. Lord knows I was not built with the running gene.

My running/breathing has been all out of sync for awhile now and it is getting frustrating. The side stitches are beginning to get on my nerves. And my ankle where my stress fractures are/were were bugging me today. I wish this all came easy to me.

I wonder if I should re-join LA Fitness and get active in the classes... run there from work... do a class... run back a few days a week. That way I will work on my endurance (?) but then I think that is all well and good, but I will be running not 'hip-hoping' it through San Fran. I feel like I need to get the scheduled miles in more than anything... but then again I am barely following the schedule. (correction: I run when they tell me to run. I just don't always go as far as they want me to.)

I guess my mind is just running faster than my feet .... because I want this sooo bad but I am worried that I won't do well. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I know that even if I do it in 6 hours it was all for a good cause and I can check it off my bucket list... oh well.

On a total side note. Blog to follow: Michael's! -- I have been reading his little spot for a month or so now and he wrote a little something earlier this month that has been my encouragement the past two days. His 7.6.09 post is worth bookmarking for bad training days... I just had to quote it.

"Speaking of first time marathoners; they are an awesome bunch. Deciding to run 26.2 miles the first time can be an exciting, heady experience. Sticking with it, pushing through the pains and progress of training, to the point where one actually "gets" the distance, and then tearfully shuffling across the FINISH line...for me, that's inspiring. That's why I follow so many runners online. I love finding a new person whose profile says "just hoping to finish my first marathon". They get me at "Just hoping...". Then there are those who finish their first marathon...and decide to do ANOTHER. Holy smokes!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Headed home to DC!

So I am in for a much needed vacation, yet it will not be a vacation from training. Just the daily stress of life. I am headed back home to Northern VA tomorrow evening and I could not be more excited. However, I feel like my life will be in a panic trying to fit in running and seeing everyone (my family, Kyle's mom and stepdad, Kyle's dad and stepmom)... but I am hoping to be as consistent as humanly possible. After all... there is only so much time in 1 day.

I am pretty stoked about tomorrow because I took the day off. Other than having a million and 1 things to do before hitting the road, I am gonna check out this class called 'Tighten Up' at a local aerobic dance studio. According to them it is 1 hour to tone the entire body, increase muscular endurance, and help build stamina. 3 things I so desperately want. It's at 10:30 am and since I have the day off... I am gonna try to get a few miles in that morning. After all... I won't have the opportunity to run on Thursday since we will be driving the 2nd leg to DC.

As lame as this sounds... I am excited to run back home. The elevation and terrain changes so much... plus it's a new opportunity to people watch and take it all in. I want to try and hit the high school track/bleachers some and fingers crossed my Dad can/will sneak me into his gym. Anything to get some cardio/movement in while I am gone.

On a happy note -- I am getting back to where I was pre.ankle.injury. My endurance is getting back up... I am still walking a lot more than I would like, but all in good time. I have done about 4 miles on my last 2 runs and I could not be happier. Too bad Saturday is a scheduled 10 mile run and well, there is no way that is happening!! NO SIR! Fingers crossed for 6 miles, fingers crossed. I am also happy to report that the weather here in Atlanta is amazingly beautiful. It has made it so much easier to run for longer distances. However, I do need to get something to carry water with as I run and increase my miles... I do not want the belt... I have heard nightmares about it!!

Well. I hope to keep you posted on my runs in VA! If not, I will give you the skinny when I am back! If anyone is in VA and wants to run with me, let me know! I think I want to run Burke Lake and I would love love love a buddy! (You know in case I keel over and die around mile 5) =)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

4 mile day.

"The journey between what you once were & who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." -Barbara De Angelis

According to my team in training schedule today was supposed to be a 8 mile day. I ran/walked a little over 4 miles. But that is the longest I have gone since having my little ankle injury so I am satisfied. A few posts ago I mentioned how running should be a game {at least for me} and a few days ago I had decided I would make it my personal goal to beat how far I had gone on the prior run. And I have been doing so. So with 4 miles down today... the miles are only going to go up.

I had been struggling with the heat and running so close to home that I have decided to not run near my apartment. I drove to the office today and ran around Buckhead... down Peachtree, onto Roswell, up Piedmont... back to the office. It was a great route and because there were so many people 'observing' me it made me want to run more than walk. I also ran the parking garage and whoever suggested that to me is a genius because of the slow gradual incline. It whoops you. So I will make that a steady part of my training. =)

The weather in Atlanta though is amazing. It is breezy, cool, and great. Let's hope the weather back home in comparable. I am still in love with my shoes and I think I have found a love for Brooks.

In regards to Team in Training... I upped my goal to $5000 yesterday. I am a little over $700 away from meeting the new goal of mine. I figured I would up it since I was at 105% for the longest time and I want to raise as much money as possible for leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma research. Now I am back to 84% -- Think about donating. It is an amazing cause.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

.Seven Traits Award.

So I follow other running blogs to see how other runners are doing… if they have pointers… how their training is going… their hardships (to make me feel normal) and I realized Tammy passed on the Seven Traits Award to me. This is where I share seven things about myself and then pass it on to seven other blogs that I enjoy reading. Well, here I go.

1. I grew up right outside of the Nation’s capital but I was itching to go to the south. Everyone thinks I have lost my mind. I thought DC was boring, overrated, and too expensive. I would tell people to visit there but never live there.

2. I sometimes think I have a small case of OCD. I live by my planner, I have a to-do list, I plan things way far in advance to ensure there are no issues, I tend to like to be in full control of everything. But then I am a total clutter-bug. There are stacks of nonsense all over my apartment and desk at work. It’s so strange.

3. I work in sales for a staffing agency. It requires me to be extremely outgoing and willing to talk to anyone who will listen. I have always been a talker (some would say I love the sound of my own voice) but there are times that I am super shy. Put me in a large group with strangers and I am likely to stand there and make someone else make the first move. It’s so strange.

4. I really want to participate in the ‘adopt a grandparent’ program but I have too many fears to actually do it. I am scared that I won’t have enough time to commit, the grandparent won’t like me, or that I will be a train wreck when they pass away. I know it would make a huge difference in their life, but my fears continuously hold me back from volunteering.

5. I used to have a shopping problem. I would buy buy buy. But ever since I got on my own and it is “my” money I have become stingier with what I purchase. I tend to window shop more than I purchase. Granted designer handbags are still my #1 weakness and I swear I will own a Lexus RX before I die.

6. I feel like I am content with my life and where it is headed, which is a good thing. I feel like by the age of 25 you need to have your head on straight and know who you are and where you’re going. I think it is perfectly acceptable to be ‘lost’ in college and even your first few years out of college… but by 25 it’s time to get with the program.

7. My one big hope in life it to effect at least 1 persons life in a positive way. I do not know if I have already done it or will do it, but I want to. When I do it… I do not necessarily want to know either.

So, I will pass this Seven Traits Award onto the following bloggers

Jenn's Training
Life in Shambles
26.2 Quest
Run Nikki Run
Shut up and Run!
{i * h e a r t * r u n n i n g}

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Atlanta Summers.

I am gonna make this short, sweet, and to the point. It has been a rough week of training. I had been doing 100% of my training on the treadmill and decided that I need to get out and run on the roads. Experience the elements if you will. Well... it is totally kicking me in the butt. I feel like I am back and square one and over the weekend I began to really doubt my ability to do a full marathon, let alone a half. The Atlanta heat and humidity is really starting to take a toll on me and it makes it just that much harder.

Granted. I had a lot of really encouraging words sent my way over the weekend via facebook, twitter, and dailymile. So to everyone who told me to keep my chin up and keep at it. I really really appreciate it. One person told me that I wouldn't be a real "marathoner" if I did not doubt my abilities. I hope that is true.

I am going to my first Team in Training track training session tonight. It will be the 2nd thing I have done with the team since signing up. They're gonna wonder who the heck I am. It's at 6:30 and we evidently get in all the mileage required for the day... which means I will run 4 miles before going to bed tonight and I will have someone behind me shoving me as I want to die. Hopefully the fact that I knock out 4 miles will give me the confidence to keep going and chugging along for the rest of the week. After all... I have 22.2 more miles to go after I complete 4. Oi.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

::Endurance:: Going the distance ::

So. Endurance is still my biggest issue with running. It always has been, ever since I could remember endurance was not holding my hand while running. I think that my two biggest issues with running are 1) my breathing and 2) my endurance. I feel like I need running 101 and a personal run coach... but wait, Team in Training has provided me with a 'run coach'. This is all well and good, but I have yet to make a Track Training session. Whoops. So I have decided to take on the mission of finding solutions and ideas on how to build my endurance online. Going into this, I was fully aware that building endurance is a process... it happens over time... it's a gradual thing.

This is what I have found on how to do it:
1. Go faster.harder.longer every time: I am going to say that this is something I strive for every run. Pre-ankle-injury I was doing this. Now I just gotta go back to pushing myself. Like I said in a previous post, I try to make my runs a game and fun. I just have to find that fun... when I am outside.
a. Course of action: go back to making it a game. Push myself harder everyday. Not too hard though. I do not need an injury. I used to have so much fun seeing if I can go just .10 father.

2.Cross train: I am going to be honest. I do not know why cross training helps. But I feel like I need to get my little butt on the elliptical because that machine kicks me in the rear. I think that if I could go miles... or even 1 mile on that thing it will help a lot. Hmm... new mission.
a. Course of action? Get on the elliptical. I know when I go home in a few weeks I am going to run in the mornings but also hit the gym with my parents. I will do the elliptical there... but I need to do it here too.

3. Hills/incline training: I need to be integrating inclines into my training. Not only because I am freaking doing a marathon in San Fran and their known for the hills, but it also gets your heart rate up. So I read... getting your heart rate up helps build stamina.
a. So... my course of action? There is a big hill in front of my apartment and I am going to run it. Run it back and forth. My plan is to run that 1 road for about 1 mile. I think it will kick me in the butt. I also want to find a high school and run bleachers. I remember doing that in high school... it was a killer work out. And lastly, Piedmont Park. The terrain changes so much - I think I am going to try and incorporate it into my training. Sunday mornings maybe?

4. Soda/Carbonation: evidently soda decreases your ability to fully breathe while working out which does not help proper breathing.
a. course of action: ugh. 1 soda per day. at the most 2. If I am dragging at 3pm then I can have the 2nd. But I have to have total self control.

Like you can image I hope to just build my endurance. Like everything... patience is a virtue. I know it will come in time. I know if I just keep working and working hard I will get back to where I was 2 weeks ago before my injury and I will also get better than I was. I just gotta stay positive and I gotta keep looking forward. I want to start running in the morning... and I am going to start that on Monday. Wish me luck, I treasure my mornings.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Barbie is Back! And it feels great! =)

running song of the moment: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" ~Miley Cyrus (don't judge me!)
"Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent" --Joan Beniot Samuelson
Yesterday was my first day back running after basically two weeks off. Sure I did a little bit of low impact work, but not nearly enough to stay active. I wouldn't call the run "rough" but I would call it "tough". I barely got over 2 miles, and I do not know if it was the lack of working out, lack of sleep, lack of food ... or a combination of all 3, but I felt like total and utter awfulness at 2 miles yesterday. I know, slow and steady wins the race and it will come back to me quicker than I think, but it still is frustrating. Here I am barely making it to 2 miles on a scheduled 4 mile day... Saturday is a 6 mile long run day... and I'm not panicking, but I am looking at the training calendar saying 'you want me to do what?'. Granted, Kyle has been more than supportive and told me that it was my 1st day back and maybe I won't be able to do 6... but I should try and get as close as I can to it. I am not going to lie though.... I am seeing people who are consistently running 6+ miles per day and I feel like I am an "inadequate" runner. I feel inferior in comparison to them; the worst part is -- I know they don't care & they are not judging me or mocking me. More than likely, they're stoked there is 1 more person in the world who has decided to start running and is finding a love for it. I know I should not push myself that hard till my body is 110% adjusted and acclimated to the sport of running and distance running, but still. I want to be like those people. I guess it is good to have goals in life though, right? I guess I just want to run with the big kids too.

I really wish I could get my lazy bones out of bed in the morning (on days other than Saturday and Sunday). The Atlanta humidity and heat makes it so hard to run outside and I have done 85% of my training on the treadmill. I always say I am going to run outside, but I always fall back to the apartment gym (hmm.. comfort again). I know that I need to hit the hills and the different pavement surfaces, but I wish it was just a tad cooler and tad less heated.

My shoes, they rock. I don't know how I ran in Asics for so long. Maybe it's the fact that I am a total creature of habit, but this is one habit I am glad I broke out of. In comparison to my Brooks they're clunky, stuffy, and not as supportive. My Brooks are like heaven on my feet... they're so much lighter, I feel like my feet are breathing rather than being stuck in a Sauna, and there is zero pain in my feet/ankles/knees nothing. So to the Brooks people: if you continue to thrill me, you have a life long supporter. Don't let me down!

Monday, July 6, 2009

:: new shoes :: new week ::

Today was the day I have been waiting for all week... the day I get to start running again. And I didn't even run! As much as I talked about how pumped I was to get back in the groove of training, I did not do any sort of training! However, I did get a new pair of running shoes so when I do go back to it [tomorrow] I will be all set. They're obviously not the pink asics that I have eyed for weeks... but I learned that those pretty little things are not the best for my feet. According to the smart little runner man at Big Peach these bad boys will be good for my mild-pronation. I will keep you posted on how I like them.

So I follow this guy on twitter and he posted an article today listing '27 Way to Run Better' -- and I agreed with a few of them, so I wanted to share them with others.
  • Keep a log: Since joining Dailymile & starting this little place to write it has been a way to really track my training. And like my team in training site the encouragement I get from people is insanely motivational.
  • Run with others: When I run with my team in training team it is a totally different experience. I have people pushing me farther and farther, while encouraging to be the best I can. Granted, I love the solitude of running alone, jamming out to some tunes, and clearing my mind from the day to day stress.... running with a group is always a good time!
  • Enter races: I had never run a formal race until this year. For me, it is 100% a sense of total accomplishment. It shows me how far I really am coming in this world of running and marathon training. When I first started I was at a 14 min or so mile and every week I am improving and getting better.
  • Get your clothes ready: This is key for me. After working 9 hours, talking to mean people who do not want me or my company to help with their lack of staffing... running is sometimes not something I want to take on. (Granted, it is an amazing stress reliever) Having everything out reminds me that I have to hit the pavement.
  • Don't obsess about it: When I first started this journey to completing my first ever marathon I was freaking out about getting all my training in. Now I just make sure (well... try my best) to get in 5 solid days of running, 1 active recovery day, and 1 solid rest day. The more I pressured myself to stick to the team in training schedule... the more I failed. Now, I run on my time and it is great!!

On... the topic of "entering races" -- I am thinking about doing a half marathon right before my full marathon. And when I mean right before... it is on the 4th of October and my full marathon is on the 18th. The only thing holding me back from signing up right now is being scared of injuring myself right before Nike. But... I really want to see how it feels to run 13.1 in race form. So to all the running pros... do you say 'go for it' or 'heck no do not do it'?!

....So a bit of exciting news. Totally unrelated to Team in Training but 100% related to running. I am thinking a lot about signing up for The Disney Marathon in Orlando this January. It is about 65% full so I need to make a decision fast. But I think it would be another great experience and heck it's only 6 hours away. Road trip anyone?!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

posterior tibial tendon - you pain me.

We can't always control the how and why of situations that come along on our journey. We do however, have a choice in how to celebrate, cope, or just breathe during them. Keep dancing through it all.
==Diedre Goodwin, Broadway actress ==

So, I emailed everyone probably a little over a week ago rejoicing in the fact that I had met my fundraising goal and all I had to do was train, stay healthy, and make it across the finish line. ...Well, I am minorly "broken" -- injured if you will. I started having pain in my left ankle area around the 20th of June. I really could not figure out why, since I did not feel myself roll it or twist it. I stayed off it for the most part [as much as I would let myself], but every time it started feeling better I would go right back at it and the pain would come right back around the 1 mile mark. I caved. I finally went to a doctor (and if you know me, something has to be wrong for me to go to the man in the white coat). After walking back and forth a bit and some xrays it was decided that I have itty bitty stress fractures (nothing to worry too much about... but I do have to go back in 3 weeks, right before coming home, to ensure they're still itty bitty but hopefully non existant) and "posterior tibial tendonitis". I have to stay off it until Monday and then I am allowed to walk all of 2 miles. 3...if my ankle is feeling well. So when the marathon team is running 6... I am walking 2, maybe 3. Great. Thrilled. I thought the goal was to get across the finish line, you may be fishing me out of the bay. ...Jokes aside. I know being healthy is way more important than running a full marathon. So I will be on my best behavior.

What is posterior tibial tendonitis:
"Posterior tibial tendonitis is an uncommon problem of the foot. When this tendon is inflamed in posterior tibial tendonitis or if the posterior tibial tendon ruptures, it can cause serious problems. Most commonly, patients with posterior tibial tendonitis complain of pain in the inside of the foot and ankle, and occasionally have problems associated with an unstable gait."
So! I am off it for a few more days and then I have to ease back into the training slowly. However, I am going to focus on strength training and building a solid core. Anything to keep me fairly active. BUT! I am now terrified of my 7.25.09 long run - 10 miles. Hopefully I can do it without dying.