Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another post about running

I am at a bit of a crossroads with this whole training thing.I haven't run since my long run on Sunday. EEEEEKKKKKK!!! In my training this seems like about the worst thing ever.

90% of the reason is my knee. I have been having knee pain for almost two weeks. It's not unbearable, but totally there. I made the decision to lay off after reading a few things and talking to a couple other runners. I was actually going to squeeze in a quick run today right after work, but I forgot my shoes and didn't have time to go home to grab them and squeeze in a run before all the other stuff I have to do tonight.

If I were to be totally honest with myself though, the 10% is pure laziness. I took some "me" time this week, and it has really made a big difference in my sanity.

I don't think it is going to be hard to get back on track, but I am a little scared about my knee. I am going to continue on, and I really hope I won't be getting off the schedule again between now and the race.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just so no one is thinking the worst

I'm ok. Nathan and I are ok. The last few days have been really tough for me, but life is slowly starting to return to normal. We are starting to get on the same page, it's just a slow process.

Lots of things are going on with me and I think that the amount of stress I am under is ridiculous. It has been effecting every part of my life and I think that it did nothing but make the situation worse this week. I am not oblivious to the fact that I am one of the world's worst stress handlers.

The new few weeks are jammed packed with appointments, meetings, half marathon training, etc. but I am really going to make an attempt to slow down and start appreciating the little things that I am so lucky to have. Life is short and can end at anytime so I really need to get out of my constant, stressful, funk.

Thanks for the comments, emails, and phone calls this week. I am lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just a hard day......

Did you ever have one of those days that just out of nowhere it becomes completely unbearable? I had one of those days today. And unfortunately, it was because of a fairly large fight I had with my husband.

I am happy to say in the almost 4 years that Nathan and I have been married we've had a handful of what I would consider serious fights. Actually, I can only think of 2 off the top of my head. But less than 24 hours ago we had one of "those" fights. Every other time we have been able to resolve the issue within a few hours but last night was different. I went to bed upset, Nathan didn't sleep. We both went to work saying not much to each other.

I didn't know where we stood, and I was so concerned about what had happened and where we stood, that I actually glanced at some apartment websites, thinking I should have some information ready in case I had to move out of our home fairly quickly.

Tonight we talked more and now things are better, but to say that everything is great would be far from the truth. I'm not going to go into what happened, because I don't think it is really fair to Nathan and I know that everyone will have opinions (and frankly I don't want to hear them right now) But I did want to just blog something because well, it makes me feel better. And because I don't feel like anyone should ever be embarrassed when things in a relationship aren't just perfect all the time.

As silly as it may sound to some, I used to be ashamed if Nathan and I would have a fight and someone heard about it. I guess I figured that really happy couples didn't have big fights. I wish I could erase the events of last night, but obviously, I can't. I can only move forward and work towards a good situation remembering that I still love my husband more than anything else in this world.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How I got started running

A reader (Kelli) posted in my comments a few questions about how I got started running. Rather than make a HUGE response in the comments, I thought I would just write a post about it. Kelli, this is maybe be more information than you want to know, but I would rather give to much information than not enough. Also, this is just my experience, I am by far an expert about running.

To start, I never in a million years ever thought I would start running. I have always felt like I had major physical limitations that would prevent me from running. Specifically, my weight. I have never been comfortable with my size, and I felt that because of that, their were many activities I just would never be able to do, especially running.

Last summer, I joined a gym wanting to start working out regularly, which I had never really done, at least not consistently. I started going two to three days a week mostly just getting on the elliptical. I liked the gym but it was because of the combination of doing the elliptical, people watching, and having my own personal TV. I began to set goals for myself on the elliptical. I would keep trying to speed up and go longer distances everytime.

I am not sure what made me feel like I should start running (besides continuing to try to lose weight). I had friends that were starting to run, so I think maybe I just decided that it would be something good to try. I knew that I just couldn't start running without a plan though, so I did some searching online, and ultimately started using a plan that a few friends were using... Couch to 5k. The first weeks I sailed through and I was really enjoying myself. At Week 3 I hit a real hurdle. I was having problems running for 3 minutes straight. I lowered my speed and ended up making myself a kind of week 2.5. I continued with the program, making adjustments as I needed them and also frequently repeating weeks. It's a 9 week program, and I thinking it took me well over 4 months to even get to week 8 of the program. Right around that time was the Race for the Cure, which I had my heart set on running. I completed the race, but didn't run the entire time. Even with C25k training, I still wasn't running 3 miles without at least walking part of it.

However, I was feeling a big sense of accomplishment so I decided to stick with the running. With C25k training pretty much over, I felt like I needed a new plan to follow. And even though I wasn't super happy with my first 5k, I felt like I could start a bigger challenge. It was also very convenient that there was a half marathon that was roughly 12 weeks away which was a pretty reasonable timeline to start half marathon training. Currently, I am in week 5 of Hal Higdon Half Marathon training.

As of right now, I am very happy with the way training is going. I follow the schedule as best I can, but I often cut out a cross training day if I am sore or just can't dedicate time that day. I also do a lot of walking during my runs. This bothered me before, but I am getting over it. For this plan, you are supposed to be able to run 3 miles easily before you start it, but that wasn't the case for me. Therefore, I am realistic about my performance. If I am able to make it to the half marathon without injury, I know I won't run the entire 13 miles. I am hoping to run the majority at a comfortable pace, but there will also being a decent amount of walking during the race.

This realization leads to my biggest piece of advice for anyone beginning running: Your training is about you and no one else. As I said before, I have several friends that run. They all run a lot faster than me. The fact that I can't do what they do (at this point) used to discourage to no end. I had to keep telling myself that my accomplishments have zero to do with them or anyone else. I have gone from struggling to run 3 minutes straight to now running 30 without having to change my pace. I am proud of that. So just know, it doesn't matter if you run a 10 minute mile or a 13 minute mile (or even slower) the important thing is that you are making the effort.

A book that has really helped me is Running for Mortals. I am only in the first few chapters and it is already a great resource with great beginner information. I wish I had found this book months ago.

I hope this is all helpful, like I said I'm not an expert, this is just my experience. I will be happy to answer any questions.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's talk about half marathon training

The other day I had someone close to me ask if I was going to continue to talk about half marathon training excessively until it is over....the answer is yes. :)

I am Week 3 of Half Marathon training and surprisingly, I am feeling good. I am running my 3 days, doing a day of strength/stretch, and 1 to 2 days of cross training every week. It's a very busy schedule but I am really enjoying the structure and feelings of accomplishment that are coming with the training. The runs are tough and I always end up doing at least a little walking during them, but I am still completely the distances that are on my training.

The training doesn't come without it's challenges though. I am having a little foot pain on one side of my right foot. At rest it feels good, but I had a pretty rough pain in my foot today during my run. I am also having problems with my pace. Because of this, the majority of my runs have been inside on a treadmill. I know I need to change that soon, but right now I am just more focused on getting used to running at a consistent pace.

By far the biggest challenge of my training is mental. I am really having problems with getting my head in a good space during this training. I have this awful, terrible habit of comparing myself to runners. I have to keep telling myself it is ok if I run slower than them and if I walk during my runs. I am really trying to focus on my accomplishments, but it is really hard. I want to get excited that I ran 2 miles without taking a walking break, but it just seems so minor compared to what others that are training for the half marathon can do.

I desperately need to get over all that, but it is really, really hard. I mean, I am slow. In fact, I don't even know if my pace is considered running or jogging. I guess it doesn't really matter, but in the back of my mind I always have those kinds of thoughts.

Anyway, if anyone has any words of wisdom or advice for me (especially on the foot issue) I am all ears. I've gotten some awesome advice from a good friend that has totally helped, so lay it on me!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A blog update!!!

If you have noticed I have been pretty MIA from the blogging world. While I have been reading many blog posts, I can't remember the last time I commented on anyone's blogs before today. And I seriously hadn't written a post of my own in a month? (I don't think a Blueberry Lemonade recipe counts) Wow. I blame two major factors: Twitter and my iPhone.

Yes, I joined Twitter. It has filled my random blogging fix for a little while, but now I am a little over it. I mean, I will continue to check and probably update, but I was really expecting more interaction through other uh...Twitters (?) But whatever.

And It has been so convenient for me to lay on the lay on the couch and page through Google Reader on the iPhone. Problem is it isn't easy to post a comment. So I just pretty much stopped.

I expect most of this to change though because I am now the proud owner of my very own (first) laptop! It was an early birthday gift from my ever so lovely husband, that got a killer deal on a Toshiba. It is pretty basic, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So now I am reclining in the living room, watching the dogs nap, tuning out the crappy movie Nathan is watching, and blogging. I am very comfortable and totally happy that I am not secluded it our tiny office in an uncomfortable chair.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that you can expect another post or two in the near future. I am hoping I didn't lose too many of you dear readers in my blog hiatus. Feel free to say hi!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Raspberry Blueberry Lemonade!

I've had a few requests to share this recipe, it is completely refreshing and fabulous for a gathering in the summer.

Raspberry Blueberry Lemonade
Blueberry syrup:
2.5 c. Blueberries (or 1 bag frozen)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
splash lemon juice
Simmer all ingredients together for 12 minutes. You can puree it when finished but it isn't really necessary. You will have extra, but it is a great topping for pancakes!

Then Mix:
4c. Lemon Juice
4 c. Sugar
Stir until dissolved

1 bottle Raspberry Rum (I use Bacardi Razz)
1 bottle Blueberry Vodka (I use Smirnoff)
about half of slightly cooled Blueberry syrup
about 10 c. of Water (add this last and just do it to taste, you can add more or less depending on how strong you want it)

That's it!