Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It's been well over a year since I've worn a watch.  When I walked away from teaching for a year, I took it off and haven't looked back.  Until I decided to run a half marathon last May.  And then I realized that the battery was dead and probably had been for months.  One would think that I would be tempted to buy a new battery or replace the watch, especially since  I just started working again.  Didn't happen, though.  I bagged the marathon, racing, (and running for that matter); which meant that I was not pressed to buy another watch.  There are clocks in the school and I usually carry my self phone, which can display the time.  Works, right?

But then.... I decided to train for this March marathon and I've recently discovered that I really need/want a watch for training.  I know that there are those fancy Garmin watches out there, but I think knowing the exact mileage would drive me crazy.  Or, maybe it wouldn't? (Who knows.)  Truth be told, I also couldn't stand the thought of parting with that much money for a watch.  I haven't needed a watch for at least a year and a half, so to switch to something that can track workouts, pacing, roads, etc would be a little drastic for me.

Today I finally picked up a cheap little Timex with a canvas type band.  I'm so excited to wear it in the 5k tomorrow morning!  It's been ages since I've raced with a watch!  Maybe I'll run faster?  Or, maybe I'll at least know my time at the end?  (Both would be very good things, right?)

I'm on week four of marathon training right now.  So far, so good.  I've incorporated weight training into my training again.  I completely quit lifting anything after my leg/back issue.  It feels great to be sore again.  This week's long run is only six miles-  piece of cake!  Next week is eight, which is completely do-able.  I think I'm ready for some longer runs now.  It feels so good to be back!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A little of this, a little of that

Training is continuing to go well.

Unfortunately, someone stole my planner at school (they're like gold because of hall passes), the planner had all of my workouts written on the calendar.  SO! I've got to get on the ball and find something else to record my training sessions.  I like to write down every workout, even though I rarely add detail, and then look back at my training in the weeks to come.  I'm strange, I know.

So, this week is kind of like a rest week.  Today I was supposed to run for about 45 minutes, which did not happen.  I stayed up past midnight writing an IEP and then got up at five.  Not enough sleep for 45 minutes, in my mind.  So, I'm torn about tomorrow.  Cross train or run?  I really don't care- I just can't wait to get out there tomorrow!

On Saturday I did the long run, which was supposed to be about seven miles.  I added a few miles to that distance and incorporated a little weight training afterwards.  My muscles were sore, but thankful. After my morning workout, the family headed out for a little Turkey Trot  run/walk.  It was an absolute blast!  We did the two mile course and enjoyed every minute of being together.

This week, in addition to getting back on the training plan tract, I hope to race/run in a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.  It should be lots of fun! I have not ran in this one since well before Mr. MB was born.  It's just a 5k, so it'll be quick and painful. It's my first race "back" since LAST MAY.  How crazy is that?  May!?!? It's about time, I say!

Race report/training report coming one day soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marathon Training: Week Two!

Today wrapped up week two of marathon training:  eighteen more to go!  Yippee!  This week went well overall, though I did miss one 40 minute run.  Surprisingly, though, I did fit in two days of cross training and the "long" run.  And, really, I think I was okay with missing the 40 minute run because I did not take Sunday off, which is supposed to be a rest day.  So, it's all good.  I'm most definitely still on track.

I'm really feeling like I need to run this marathon and get back into shape.  Taking so much time off because of the back/leg injury set me back quite a bit.  In fact, I felt so weak in the pool yesterday.  It was ridiculous!  Other than feeling out of shape and flabby (yuck!  can't stand that feeling!), post injury-wise, I'm doing just fine. The mileage is so easy right now, though, so it's been a nice, gentle, steady incline.

Even though the training is going well and I'm feeling like I can handle the challenge of the training; I'm so afraid to register!  I DO NOT want to back out of another marathon again.  So, I'm going to wait just another month, or so.  Just to be sure.  Because I don't like the idea of giving up on a goal and throwing money away.  At the same time, though, I definitely don't want the race to fill up!  That would be crushing, to say the least.

What to do?  What to do?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cross Training while Marathon Training...

Today I went to the gym! For the first time in over a month!  Acck.  Not something I'm proud of, by the way....

Just last evening, Josh and I had a conversation about the ole' gym membership.  I feel like I should go ahead and cancel it because I don't think I'm going often enough to justify the cost.  He disagrees.  (How I love him...) We've had a few blips here and there over the past six weeks, so it has been difficult to get to the gym for one reason or another.  I truly don't want to give up the membership because I love the wellness center.  It's so nice and clean- the steam room is reason alone not to drop the membership.  And, I'm always in the best mood when I leave that place.  The people there are great, particularly the receptionist.  It would be hard to part with that membership, but if it doesn't make sense financially, then I will.

The marathon program calls for two days of cross training a week.  One workout is just a half an hour and the other is about forty minutes.  Both are completely do-able.  I'm just trying to figure out a schedule so that the cross training interferes as little as possible with Josh and the kiddos.  It's going to be a challenge, but I think I've got things figured out for the moment.  In addition to the cardio workouts, I would like to add a little weight training.  (Which, was going well until I messed up my back!)

So, as it stands Week 2 of marathon training is going great.  I'm really excited about having a goal and focusing on something positive.  I have to admit that I'm praying that the training continues to go well and that I remain injury free.  : )

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Special Treat.

This morning I was able to sneak away for a mid morning run.  This never, ever happens!  Once the kids are up, it is so hard to peel myself away from home.  The baby took a morning nap, which he rarely does these days. Our other little one is really under the weather, so he just wants to vegetate.  The house was a disaster, when is it not (?), but I managed to give myself permission to head out for about forty-five minutes.

The run was fabulous, I ran a route that I normally don't get to try during the week.  The change in scenery always helps.  While the route itself was fabulous, and while I enjoyed the quiet mid morning time away, and while I enjoyed the beautiful weather:  I STRUGGLED through the run!  It was so much warmer than my past few runs, and for some reason my body always has a hard time adapting to the temperature change.  It's very strange, I can almost count on having a bad run (struggling) if the weather warms up unexpectedly.

Throughout the run I thought more about the spring marathon.  Random thoughts that crossed my mind were, "how am I going to fit in a twenty miler during tax season?"  I even went as far to figure out the course, what we could do with the boys, whether I should try to run on Saturday or Sunday, and so on.  It's crazy to let these thoughts consume me already, but it will probably make things easier in the long run- preparing for the crazy, hard marathon training weeks ahead.  I'm still completely serious about running this marathon in March, and running a PR.  It's the perfect time to try.

The rest of this week will be interesting. I'm thinking that our little guy might have the flu.  And, I'm feeling kind of icky today- very tired.  Naturally, there is a fear that I'm going to be under the weather by the end of the week. Hopefully not....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

5, 10, Who's Counting Anyway?

Today was supposed to be my long run according to this new training program.  Of course, the program starts off gently with the long runs being 5, 6, or 7 miles depending on the week. This week the long run was supposed to be about five miles. Hmph.  I've been running five miles all week!  So, I decided to go ahead and do a suitable long run.  I started off just wanting to do seven miles, or so.  But!  I felt so good and my house was so dark and quiet that I decided to keep going and going.  Instead of sticking to the plan (like I should do!)  I ran about ten miles instead.  Tomorrow is supposed to be an "off" day, but I'm thinking about squeezing in a seven miler and then possibly taking Monday off, or Tuesday.  It feels so good to be injury free again and healthy, that I am finding it really hard to take days off or slow down.  I know I need to, though.  Twenty weeks is a long time to train and I know I'm going to be tired by March.  So, just for this week, I'm going to go a little over in the mileage.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week One of Training and My Marathon Dreams

The first week of training is almost done, so that's what? Nineteen to go?  : ) No problem!  It feels so incredibly good to be running consistently again, I don't even care about the long weeks of training ahead.  This morning, while on my glorious five mile run, I thought to myself "no wonder I have been so down for the past twelve weeks- I haven't been out the roads and I haven't watched the sun rise over the mountains in ages."

While running this morning, I also thought a little about my goals for this marathon. At this point I have three.  The most important goal is to complete the training and to complete the marathon.  Goal number two is to break 3 hours and 50 minutes.  (My PR is 3:51.16 - just a few seconds shy of 3:50.  )  And, of course, there's the classic, never ending goal of qualifying for Boston, which would require a 3:40, or less. I thought a lot about how I am going to get there this morning.  At most marathon expos, you can find these handy little bracelets with your goal time and the pace required to get you to the goal time.  Those never work for me.  It's too much math, too much pressure, they always make me feel like there is no lee-way.  So, I did a little calculating in my pea brain, and figured out what I want my twenty mile time to be, and then I figured out how much time I would have to finish the last six.  Then, I broke down the 20 mile time into two 10 milers.  So,  from my calculations, I think I need to run the first 20 in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.  And then, each ten miler should be 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That sounds do-able and a little less stressful.  With 2 hours 40 minutes, I would have at least an hour to finish the last 6.2 miles.  And, if I go over the alloted hour, which is likely, then I will still be very close to breaking the 3:50 goal.  (It's funny, all of this planning is a perfect example of "chunking"- a term that special ed teachers LOOOVE to use!)

I then checked out my 20 miler times from a race that I like to run in the fall.  Those times range from about 2 hours 45 minutes to 2 hours 53 minutes.  So, I'm going to have to run stronger and harder and faster, but I think it's quite possible.  In fact, I know it is!  : ) Winter running is my absolute favorite, which is crazy, right?  I think the temperatures are going to be just perfect to chase those dreams that are floating around in my head.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I think I can...

The seed has been planted.  I'm convinced that I can run a spring marathon.  Right now I'm feeling pretty good - the aches and pains have subsided for the moment.  And, I found a new plan that I am pretty excited about trying.  I like that I am not familiar with this plan, which I can't say for the Hal Higdon novice program.  The one piece of this program that is very interesting to me is that there are actually rest weeks.  The mileage gradually increases, only by 10%, for the tough weeks.  After increasing the mileage, though, then it goes down a bit.  I kind of like that!  So instead of running a 20 miler one week and a 16 miler the next, this program would call for a 20 miler and then an 8 miler.  That may help with recovery.  Who knows!  I just can't wait to give it a shot.  Provided I can stick to the plan, it should be interesting to see how it pays off in the end.  Instead of being 16 weeks, this program is 20, which probably accounts for the dips in mileage.   I just may go back to Higdon's novice I for next year's Marine Corps Marathon.  We'll see, I guess.

I've also started to contemplate whether I should run in the Colonial Half, which is towards the end of  February.  It's one of my very favorite races, but I'm not sure about two weekends dedicated solely to a race within one month of one another.  The Colonial Half is fun because it's a wonderful FAMILY weekend for us, and it gives Josh a tiny break during busy season.  I'm leaning towards not running that one, sticking to the plan, and running a great race in March!

I added a couple of my favorite running blogs to the links section!  Check them out.  They provide me with the inspiration that I have been lacking lately.