Marathon Training: Week One (Did I Really Just Say That!?)



AHHHHH!  What have I done?

Something awesome, that’s what.

A few weeks ago, I registered for a full marathon scheduled for April 12, and this week has been my first official training week.  Hal Higdon’s half marathon plan worked well for me, so I’m following his Novice 1 Marathon plan.  This week I have run three 3 milers.  The first two runs were r-o-u-g-h…rough, an the third run ended up being a 3 mile walk, so I went out for my third real training run tonight.  The weather is nasty.  I always feel kinda bad ass when I run in the rain.  I feel even more bad ass when I run when it’s cold.  Tonight run: cold+pouring rain=(bad ass)2!  I was soaked to the bone, but I wasn’t cold after I got going.  I’m not gonna lie…I LOVED when cars passed.  I’m sure they all thought I was crazy.  If they knew I was out there punishing myself with a cold, wet run in order to train to torture myself with 26.2 miles, I’m SURE they would think I was crazy.  I, on the other hand, love it.  I doesn’t feel like punishment or torture…it feels amazing.  I love that all these small steps will help my achieve a huge goal.  It’s kinda how I live my live these days!  Anything is possible! 🙂

At 1.2 miles, I was passing my neighbor’s house, and disembodied voice growled (good-naturedly, I think!), “Why are you runnin’ in this rain?”  I just laughed in the general direction of the taunt since I couldn’t find the owner.  I run in the rain because I’m hardcore.  Or at least, I keep telling myself that.  I run because I love it, and because of this:

run in the rain

I’m going to crosstrain for 60 minutes tomorrow.  It may just end up being a brisk walk, or possibly some elliptical/stationary bike.  On Sunday, I’m due to run 6 miles.  I just hope my shoes dry in time!

Squish, squish!

Squish, squish!

I’m pretty nervous about it, but I’m sure it will be fine.  I’ll be rested up and ready to go.  I just need to remember to pace myself and not run out of energy toward the end.  6 miles doesn’t seem as daunting as it did 6 months ago when I started training for my half.  I’m not worried about my runs until I hit double digits again.  Even then, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

I’m also doing this squat challenge for the month of December.  The last month has not been kind to the scale or my boot-ay!  Time to fix that!

I’m off now to cook some chicken breast and green beans, and then take a hot bath and drink some coffee.  When I got inside and cooled down, the chill hit me.

Happy running! 🙂


It’s Tuesday: Quick HM Update


I’m a tired, tired lady.  Some of it is from all this running.  The rest is because I’m a teacher.  I love what I do, but boy, is it exhausting!  I’m also doing a lot of writing on the side…a novel maybe?  But it’s just for fun…Bucket List fun.


download (1)


I’m also a hungry, hungry lady.  Again–all the running, I’m sure.  I’m keeping my calories in check, but Lawd, have mercy, I wanna eat the world!





I ran after school with a co-worker/half marathon training buddy.  We’ve only run together twice during our training.  That wasn’t the intention, but it’s the way it worked out.  That’s fine though, she’s much faster than me, and I hate feeling like I’m slowing her down.

I’m tapering this week.  I ran 12 miles on Saturday, and then took Sunday and Monday off.  Today, I only ran 2.5 miles.  I’m planning on 5 tomorrow, 5 Thursday and 6-8 Saturday.  Next week I’m thinking I’ll do 5 on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 3 on Thursday, and then rest Friday and Saturday before the big race.  I’m so excited.  I feel very prepared.  As long as I’m healthy, rested, and injury-free, I’ve got this!

Happy running! 🙂  Enjoy every step.

5 Mile Run…Scratch That…5 Mile Walk!

Tonight sucked, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I knew as I was teaching my 4th hour class, and my legs began aching and tightening up, that tonight’s run would be crap.

I still don’t know why my “short” runs during the week are so….weak.  I killed my 10+ mile run on Saturday.  I walked a few miles on Monday, but I thought I’d be “rested” enough by today.  Nope.  Negatory.  The legs just wouldn’t go.  I ended up interval running the first few miles walking the middle mile and interval running the last mile.  And by interval running, I mean lots of walking and a weeeee bit of jogging. :/

I will be trying another 5 tomorrow on my tired legs.  This is mainly because I want to do some crosstraining on Thursday, rest Friday, and run my 12 miles on Saturday on fresh legs.  I have a few weeks in between the end of the Hal Higdon training plan and my actual half marathon, so I’m doing 12 this weekend and 13 next weekend. After my 13, I will taper per Hal and run my half on the 5th!

Also, my scale is a b-word.  It WILL NOT MOVE (except to fluctuate…in the WRONG direction!).  Is it from all my training?  Is my body holding on to weight for some reason?  Am I building a little muscle?  Surely some of you runner peeps have been through this!  I’m holding at 164ish (so I obviously have a little more to lose…it just won’t come off).  My lowest was 157.  Last week, the scale crept up into the 170s!  I ate a little extra that weekend, but not 10 pounds worth of food!  Any ideas from my veteran runner friends?  I’m not beating myself up over this either.  I know my calories and food choices are in check.  I also know that even though I haven’t lost anything since I started training, that my body is actually smaller.  Much smaller.  So something is happening!  I guess we will see what happens when training is over.

I’ll be back tomorrow to cry about another bad run!  🙂

Fly Like an Eagle: Long Run (10.6 miles) Update

Today was my long run. Again, it was amazing.  I swear, the long run is my favorite run of the week!

I did my 5 mile runs on M and W and did some crosstraining and/or walking on off days.  Today I had 10+ miles on the agenda, so I got up at 7, ate, drank some coffee, and got ready to head out the door.  It was cold, so I wore my hubby’s pullover over my tshirt, since I have no cool weather gear.  Honestly, I don’t really have any “gear” at all.  I own one pair of (much needed) compression pants and 3 moisture-wicking tanks. The compression pants are a large and don’t do much compressing anymore.  I ditched the pullover halfway through, and was fairly warm for the rest of the run.

I felt like I was flying for most of the run.  At one point, I saw three bald eagles soaring above me which is pretty rare.  I just kept thinking that that’s how I felt: Free, soaring, proud.  Here’s a pic I tried to snap of the eagles.  I was running, and I couldn’t see what I was photographing. See that teeny-tiny speck?  That’s an eagle. You can barely see it, but Lord have mercy, what a beautiful day!


I saw two other runners, both men.  They looked like “real” runners, and they were running FAST.  Someday, I will be fast. That day is not today.  Even though I felt amazing, my overall pace was 12:33 per mile, but the first 4.8 was a 10:45 pace, which is pretty amazing for me!  I can’t imagine hauling myself around 140 pounds ago at a 10:45!  In addition to that, my long runs just a few weeks ago were coming in at around a 13-14 minute per mile pace. I have noticed a big difference in my abilities these two weeks!  My goal for the half on Oct 4th is to finish under 3 hours and to run the whole thing (except for bathroom breaks if needed!).  I no longer foresee any problems hitting that goal!

During mile 9 I saw a man walking toward me.  He actually scared me because he looked around and seemed to be gauging his surroundings, and then veered straight toward me.  Luckily, it was a false alarm.  We were at an intersection, and he was crossing in front of me.  It still scared me though!  I said good morning, and he said something about needing to dig out snow boots soon (it was super chilly this morning!).

I passed him again after I made my turn around.  He said, “You’re slowin’ down!”

I wanted to strangle him.   I wanted to say, “Yep!  I sure am!  I’m now working on mile 10 of my run and the wind is blowing against me now.  Of COURSE I’m slowing down!”  But I just laughed and picked up my pace a little.  He was just being friendly.  No need for harsh words. Or murder.

During the 10th mile, my hips and knees started to hurt.  It lasted a while, but then subsided.  They are still a little sore now, but everything feels better after a cool down walk and some hard core stretching.

I used granola bars for breakfast and Gatorade and Skittles on my run again, and it seemed to work fine.  It’s also pretty cheap, so…yay for that.  Hopefully it will keep working these next few weeks leading up to the half.  I’m still dreaming of that full Marathon in April.  It’s almost all I can think of on my long runs.  Dream big, right?

Happy running.  Happier stretching.  Have a great weekend!  I’m heading to my friend’s outdoor/barn wedding.  Here’s to hoping I don’t freeze!

I’m a Fartleker! (What’d You Call Me?)


I had my first date with speed work for half marathon training tonight.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again, but our relationship is off to a rocky start.  Today was a crosstrain or two mile run day.  I opted for the two mile run with the hubs.  I was going to go ahead and do strength today too, but I’m pooped after all the fartleking I did.


So, mile one:  We ran a mile loop around the park.  We (I) did a negative split.  Hubby, (a faster runner) did the exact opposite of a negative split…whatever that’s called…a positive split, I guess.  Ha ha!   Anyway, I led the way to the halfway point at my comfortable pace.  On the way back, hubby, who naturally runs faster, led me back at his much faster pace.  It was rough, but doable.  I liked that I had to work to keep up.  I don’t usually push myself very hard during a run. I usually feel like it’s a win if I get my miles in and don’t die in the process.  I HATE being uncomfortable, but as a runner…a real runner…I’m getting used to the feeling.


Mile two: We went up a gradual hill to the end of the road and back.  We did a little walking, a little jogging, and some sprints/fartleks sprinkled in.  I like fartleks.  I like picking a point to run to, giving in my all, and knowing that when I get there I can walk or jog again.  The problem with farleks is that I feel sloppy.  I feel like I’m all over the place. I have along torso and super short legs.  It’s freakishly ridiculous.  So, when I run fast, I feel like a cartoon character with blurry windmill legs.


Beep Beep! (Is what other runners say when they are behind me).

Beep Beep! (Is what other runners say when they are behind me).


I’m sure it will begin to feel more natural as time goes on and as I build more muscle to support fast running (#thickthighlife!), but for now, I feel like an idiot.  I guess I felt like an idiot the first time I cranked up the treadmill past a brisk walk too.  And i felt like an idiot the first time I ran outside in front of real-live people.  And I felt like an idiot running with my husband for the first time: “Get in front.” “Don’t look at me.” “Quit watching!”.  But once I adjusted, I felt awesome.  I guess everything feels awkward in the beginning, like a relationship.  Am I doing this right?  Did I do something stupid?  Am I wearing the right outfit? Does my butt look fat.  The same awkwardness applies to me and my new love: running.  Just because our first date didn’t end with me inviting it in for a nightcap doesn’t mean we won’t be going out again.  I mean, gawd, I’m not that easy, and neither is running. There is a spark there, and I’d like to work on this relationship to see where it leads…awkwardness and all.


Set a goal and stick with it.  Run happy, people. 🙂