The PLAN

Ok, sooooo….. you decide to run a marathon right? Next step? You gotta come up with a PLAN. This plan will be your teacher/torturer from day 1 until you finish that darn race. It’s kinda important.

Last year, when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon I went with tried and true, and used Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan. And ya’ll, it worked. However, when I finally decided to throw myself into the fray this fall I wanted something a little different. Last year my one and only focus was to finish the marathon. DONE. But, I had some trouble early on, which led to a much slower time than I had wanted. And I didn’t do any of the recommended workouts (not that there were many in that plan) – I just ran the distance and called it a day. Now that I’ve had that experience, I want to take it up a notch. I want to really focus on training. And hopefully get my finishing time down to 4 hours. It’s a far cry from Boston qual times for my age bracket [3:10 if you’re curious *UPDATE – that’s actually 3:40 ha! I was looking at the male times… Pssshhhttt I could TOTALLY qual for Boston one day (bwahahaha)], but would be a huge improvement.

So, along came the Hansons Marathon Method. It’s intense, it’s specific, it’s different. For instance, the longest run is 16 miles. However you do, like, three of those suckers. Also you run 6 days a week, have several different types of workouts and focus on cumulative fatigue. The idea being that you train for the last half of the marathon, not the first.

Hansons1For more details, check out this article. I think this training method will better fit my running personality. I pretty much have to be all or nothing when it comes to these things. If I am not all in I will absolutely slack off. And you really can’t fake a marathon. At least I can’t!

Like I said earlier this week, training starts Thursday. I unearthed my running watch the other day and plugged it in – it still seems to work. Next up, I need to buy a new pair of shoes and revive my Daily Mile account…….

As for the vegan portion of my plan… just a few days left to eat up all the chicken and cheese in the house. Come Thurs it’s GAME ON!

The PLAN

Hoo doggy

So, here I am. Out of shape and feeling the itch. The itch to RUN!! But not just to run a few miles outside when I feel like it (sadly, as that would be so much cheaper than the alternative). Noooooo…. apparently I’ve become one of those people who needs a goal – a big goal.

And suddenly I find myself signed up for the Anthem Richmond Marathon! I seriously have no idea how it happened, but here I sit…. with a bib ordered for home delivery (extra charge) and an official announcement already made on Facebook (so now you KNOW it’s real).

Which means, this blog is about to come back to life. Rather Frankensteinish. Yeah, I just made that word up. But you know what I mean right?

Therefore – onto the goals. The big goals. The nearly unacheieveable goals. Training starts next Thursday, one full week from today. For the next 18 weeks I will:

  • TRAIN to run the marathon (I’ll elaborate on my training plan in another post)
  • EAT a fully vegan diet (like I’ve been meaning to do since……forever)
  • BLOG every training day, at a minimum (since I failed miserably during last year’s training cycle)

I mean, why not?? Let’s DO this!

Hoo doggy

Back to Basics

11018101_10155627423260602_279686761704750057_nSoooo… running. Yeah. It’s high time to get moving again! I’ve been struggling with analysis paralysis lately. What’s the best diet? What’s the best exercise? Etc, etc, etc….. And then the other day I had an “ah ha” moment in the car….

2009 was the year I was in the best shape of my life. *WOW that seems like forever ago* How did I do it? By not really meaning to! I was in Cuba (GREAT running weather there) and had a stressful job. And so I ran to relieve stress. I ran a lot, but not as much as most people thought I did. I did some of the basic strength stuff I had to do to pass the Army PT test (sit ups and push ups basically) I ate a lot of beans and rice because the galley was always closed before I could get there.

That’s it. And folks – I looked great! I was muscular, lean, had ABS….. Dude, that’s the best! And I didn’t do crazy things like attempt to stop drinking or only eating salads. I wasn’t stressed out about it. It just happened.

So there we have it. The key to success. (ha) And this is how I plan to live my summer. Run every day, eat beans rice and veggies, drink water….. chill out already. Stop over-thinking every single darn thing!! Stop being ridiculous!

GET READY FOR THE FALL MARATHON!!!

Back to Basics

Back in the Saddle

Oh hi there! Bet you thought I totally forgot about this here blog, huh? Absolutely not! Let’s just say….. winter was not kind to my workout/running/healthy living routine. Not one bit. Hooo boy I hate the cold!

But it’s May now – and supposed to get up to about 80 degrees here in Northern Virginia today. Time to start kicking my arse back into shape. I’m pretty sure my feeling are gonna be super hurt for a few weeks, but it has to happen. I’m doing a little prep work today and start in full boar tomorrow. Because I apparently always always feel like you can only start new things on a Monday. Not sure what’s going on with that, but there you have it.

Soooo…. while I meal prep and write out my new workout schedule tell me how you’re doing!! Anyone out there in the same boat that I am? What are you doing to get back into shape for the summer/fall racing season?

Back in the Saddle

Winter fitness

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Alright – all races for the year are done. It’s late fall out, and the mornings and evenings are dark and cold. This time of the year is hard for me, running-wise. I just can’t make myself get motivated to run on a treadmill much, and it’s so dark out my regular running routes are mostly out of the question. Usually at this time of the year I find myself adhering to the couch until sometime in the spring.

But, not this year! I’ve decided put a different spin on things this winter and to work on mah fitness….. like in that Black Eyed Peas song?? Please tell me I’m not a million years old for knowing it! Ha!

Today I’m starting (well, re-starting actually – but that’s too boring of a story to bother you with) Beachbody’s PiYo program! It’s a full 60-day program with a bunch of workouts and a diet plan and everything, based on a mixture of Yoga and Pilates. According to the website, “No matter your age, no matter your body type, PiYo will help give you dramatically visible, incredibly beautiful results.” Here’s hoping!

Oh yeah, and I’m trying on their Shakeology stuff for size as well. Had one for breakfast this morning, as a matter of fact! It’s not the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, but it’s not bad. And apparently it’s got all kinds of superfood stuff in it….. All I know is I need to get a handle on my diet and hopefully this will help!

To be frank, I think I’ll almost certainly see good results if I manage to actually stick to the program. I’ve not been really great nutritionally and I tend to imbibe an awful lot of wine. The diet plan should fix that right up! And, I’m a weakling. This whole year I’ve focused on running and neglected everything else, meaning I have almost no real muscle these days. So, even a little change should prove pretty helpful.

Has anyone else out there tried this program? I’m currently addicted to googling “PiYo results” to see all the neat physical transformations folks have been sharing!

Winter fitness

The race NOT forgotten

10678680_10154640607055602_5494139514039884053_nSo, I’m sitting here today, doodling around with the blog…. trying to find a format I like that new a fresh and all that. Not sure what it will look like by the end of the day….. but hey! It should be different!

I’m at that point in the year where I am ready to make some changes. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a rut and am ready to bust out. But, more on that later. Before I do move onwards and upwards, let’s take a quick look back to a race I COMPLETELY skipped over on here!

Over Labor Day weekend, some friends and I made our way down to Virginia Beach for the Rock and Roll half marathon! (sorry, the link here is for the 2015 one, but you get the idea right?) My friend Dmitri and I decided to also add on the “Mile on the Sand” the day before, and so it was a weekend of fun running. Now, this was the second time I’d done this particular half – the first was in 2012 and a friend and I walked the whole thing together. Yes, yes it did take forever, but it was totally worth it!

Again, without boring you with too many details – here’s my take on the thing:

Pros:

  • Ya’ll, it ends on the beach! Nuff said. Beaches are always a plus in my book
  • The course is not hard, being mostly flat
  • The Rock and Roll series, well, rocks
  • You got THREE medals for running two races! Oh yeah!!
  • The crowds all along the course were so awesome

Cons:

  • It only ENDS on the beach. Most of the run is actually nowhere near the coastline and is pretty boring
  • HOLY COW is was so humid!!! And my shirt didn’t breathe well. I was so miserably hot at the end
  • It’s at the beach, on the last weekend of the summer. It’s suuuuper crowded

There you have it in a nutshell. My time for the half (I guess the last one of the year for me) was 2:02:50. I truly thought I was going to PR this sucker and get under 2 hours, but did I mention how miserably humid and hot it was? At the end I was so happy for that cold beer!

It looks like I may be doing this one again next summer with the same group of friends. Bring on the PR!! (a gal can hope right?)

The race NOT forgotten

At long last

Sooo preeettyyyyy
Sooo preeettyyyyy

Well helloooooooooo………You remember how I said I was going to write more? Like the last three times I’ve written? Yeah. Sorry dudes. Apparently I have just let the latter portion of this year just slip right on by without so much as a “hey, how’s it going?”

But It’s winter now – and I am NOT going outside much if I can help it. So, I’ll be chattering on here quite a bit more.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way – can I pick up where I left off? (Why yes, Emily! Please do! – OH, thanks guys!) Let’s talk about the Marine Corps Marathon!!!!!!!

I loved it. Really loved it! I don’t want to bore you with a long race report, but here’s a few highlights from the race.

  • Coolest start line/start line activities EVER. So cool.
  • At the start line I realized my hip was feeling really tight, which it had been doing on my long runs for a few weeks, but never until about mile 15. Weeeellll…. it started hurting so much at mile 8. And kept it up for the rest of the race.
  • Which resulted in my time of: 4:45:07. Ouch. I mean, I’m still pretty happy with my performance, but that’s definitely a time to beat!
  • Despite that – the race was so much fun! I never really hit a wall, I actually really enjoyed it and the feeling of accomplishment at the end was so worth it!

And that leads me to where I am now. Trying to find the next race. I had one chosen, but then realized there was no way I was gonna run as much as it would take over the winter to run the full marathon in March. Sooo.. the search continues.

Lessons learned from the whole process:

  • Marathons aren’t that hard. They aren’t easy, but they really aren’t that HARD, if that makes sense.
  • 18 weeks is too long for training. I’m doing 16 from here on out.
  • Pick a race you WANT to run. Not just a random one. It’s so exciting to finally get there!
  • Schedule the HECK out of your runs. Otherwise, you’ll skip. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

Alright ya’ll. That’s my long winded, “back on track” post for the day! More to share! Coming soon!

Quick question – does anyone know a good marathon, that takes place in late spring, that is in the DC/VA/MD area?? If so pleeeeaaasssseee share!!! We can run it together!

At long last

What’s a Gal to Do?

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I had a realization as I was running yesterday morning. It was 6:30(ish) when I left the house and it was pitch black out. I was be-bopping along and realized – I was going to have to pull some fancy footwork in order to get all my miles in on lit  paths/streets! Oh MAAAANNN! Crap, I guess it’s time to come up with some winter running routes that are safe enough for little old me to run in the dark, alone, early in the morning. Bummer. I also realized it’s time for me to hit up a running shop of some sort and get some better reflective gear – and maybe a flashlight of some sort. I really don’t want to get run over by a car or a bike. That would seriously put a cramp in the whole running thing.

I’d totally welcome any suggestions for good gear! It’s not cold yet (knock on wood), so I’m not worried about layers and all that for now. Just stuff to keep me safe! And I guess this weekend I’m going to need to go out and scope out some running routes that I can start incorporating next week. For now I just run down one side of the street and up the other. It’s boring, but it works. It helps that I’m tapering for the marathon, so don’t have to run very far right now….

Ugh. Running in the dark. Good times.

What’s a Gal to Do?

MCM is still a go!!

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Doo, dee, doo, dee, dooo – oh hi there! Don’t mind me, just dropping in after a MUCH longer than planned siesta! How’s everything in blog/running world?? Turns out this summer was super busy, and I have to admit I’m not even sure why. I haven’t forgotten about this little blog and the fun we have here, I just got caught up in “stuff” and never sat down to tell you about it! I know, right? What kind of a friend does that??  But anyhow, lets move on.

Running has NOT fallen by the wayside. Well, to be completely fair, I am a teensy bit burnt out at the moment, but I feel that’s normal when training for a marathon. Right? I hope that’s true!

THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON IS IN TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve spent months now thinking about it, fearing it, worrying over it. But, you know what I realized the other day?? I’m no longer afraid of it. Sure, it’ll hurt. But I’m pretty darn sure I’m going to finish, and hopefully finish strong. OH YEAH BABY!

But yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to a few weeks off of running in all my spare time. I have some fitness plans for after the race that I’ll elaborate on more at a later date…. After the marathon I’ll be in a better spot to gauge how I feel and what I want to do next.

For now, however – IT’S ALL MARATHON, ALL THE TIME! Prepare for annoying updates on marathon tapering, expos, you know.. stuff…

Also, we are going to need to talk about how dark it is in the mornings these days too. Another post…. enjoy the photo of an early morning run this past week (above).. It’s seriously cramping my style.

MCM is still a go!!

Just keep running, running, running

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Is it already August?? How did this happen? I just don’t understand!!!!!!!!!!!

It must be that I’m getting old. It’s something I’ve claimed for some time now, but not really believed or meant – just mainly for comedic effect. But ya’ll time passes faster every year and I’m not sure I’m ok with that! At least not on the good years. You know how you have those years that are fantastic in every way and then there are THOSE years… the ones that are harder than they really should be for whatever reason…. yeeaaahhhhh

But, this is a running blog right?? YES, yes it is. So, let’s talk running. Dudes, despite the fact that I’ve been quiet here I’ve been running my tail off! (literally, my pants are all loosey goosey and I’m too cheap to buy new ones) Marathon training is about mid-way through and I have to tell you – I love it! Sure, I’m at the point where I feel a lot more tired than I am used to, and where I’m not completely thrilled for every run (I even had about two weeks just now of not quite meeting the mark), but here’s something that’s fascinating me so far: I think I may actually be made for this shit. For reals. While I am tired, I am not feeling any crazy soreness or pain or anything. The long runs are starting to get a little tedious, but other than that…. my only issue has really been a scheduling thing – you know, balancing life and running. I think in the next few weeks there will be more running, less life lol

One thing I started doing, and that ended up being kind of my “thing” these days is to carry my iPhone and take a photo on every run. I started doing it at first because it was way more fun for those who actually look at whatever silly things I post to Facebook than those darn running updates that annoy everyone. But they started being a part of keeping me entertained on all these runs.

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Turns out my “Facebook fans” (my parents) really love them! Who knew? I’m not viral yet, but at least it seems to be inspiring folks or at least not pissing them off!

This weekend my long run will be the first of the series of runs where I officially go further than ever before. 14 miles this weekend. Shit’s about to get real. I’m excited, scared and well… ready to see how it goes!

How is your summer training going? How on EARTH do you schedule these darn runs in so you have time to do anything else????

Emily

Just keep running, running, running