February – Short Month – BIG Goals!

So…I’m about one and a half weeks away from finishing up Body Beast! I will definitely be repeating this program. I have REALLY loved it! My only regret is that I didn’t chart my progress very well throughoutbeast_flex the last 3 months. Boo for me! I’m always STRESSING this in my challenge groups, and then I don’t follow my own recommendations! Really dumb move on my part! BUT…I know I’ve made progress! I flexed in front of the mirror the other day and surprised myself! Where did those arms come from?

marathon_finishOver the summer, when I was training for the Chicago Marathon, strength training sort of took a back seat. Being a busy mom of 4 AND training for a marathon takes a LOT of time! But I really missed lifting weights and could ‘weight’ to get back to it! (See what I did there? As you can see…my arms aren’t looking particularly ‘ripped’ in my marathon picture! 🙂 And that’s one of the great things about weight-training, you can really see results FAST! And in a couple of weeks…I’ll be starting my NEXT program…21 Day Fix EXTREME! (More about that later!)

So, now that I am in the ‘off season’, I’ve had time to do Body Beast AND work in some runs each week, too! I truly love to do BOTH!

Back in December, I did a fun little challenge to see if I could run 50 miles during the month. It was such a silly little thing, but it turned out to be VERY motivating! It was fun to tick off the miles as I went! And doing it in such a busy month, while living in Michigan in the winter…well…I was feeling pretty good about it!

So I’m doing it again!!!

Who wants to do it with me?

feb_50

50 miles in 28 days is totally do-able! It’s only an average of 1.8 miles per day!

I’ll have a group on Facebook for the month to help us keep track, stay motivated and cheer each other on until we reach our goal!

Who’s in for this FUN, FREE, FEBRUARY 50 group? Sign up to join me!

 

Week 1= DONE!

So I said that I was going to attempt weekly marathon training updates, so update I shall!

Week 1 is in the books! This is my fifth time training for a marathon, but I’m still just as nervous about it as I was the first time! It’s been four years, but I never swore it off forever – like so many do after their first one. I actually knew I’d do it again, I just wasn’t sure when. When is now! I don’t have any nagging injuries (knock on wood) and except for the asthma, I don’t have anything that will prevent me from at least making it to the starting line (knock on wood)!

I’m following my tried and true Hal Higdon Novice Marathon Plan. Why, you ask, am I using the Novice plan for my FIFTH marathon? Well…all I’m really concerned with is getting up to the mileage I’ll need to run the marathon. That means a slow and steady progression, with a few taper weeks, up to the LONG run, which is 20 miles. That happens a couple of weeks before the big day, and then I’ll taper again until the race.

I don’t actually do scheduled “tempo runs” and “intervals”, etc. My method is very unscientific. If I feel good, I run fast. If not, I don’t. If I get an itch, I’ll pick up and sprint for a spell, if not, I don’t. That’s it. I’m not trying to win…just survive.

 

The other reason is that I don’t want to give up some of my other workouts. I love lifting weights and I love doing other cross-training workouts, especially my favorite DVD workouts. I have been doing The 21 Day FIX workouts, since finishing P90X3. And right now I’m looking forward to PiYo, which is set to be released this week! I excited to pair this program with my running schedule because I ALWAYS need help with flexibility and strengthening. 🙂

Ultimately, I don’t care so much about my finish time, I just want to arrive in Chicago healthy, strong and capable of finishing. If I have a good day…GREAT!

I’m also trying to run this time a little more au natural. I will, however, be wearing clothes. I just mean I’m trying to avoid the fuel of the past. I used to rely on Gatorade and GU shots for hydration and food for long runs, but these days I’m just not that into food coloring and massive amounts of corn syrup. I’m trying out some cleaner, more natural alternatives…so we’ll see how that pans out. So far I’ve discovered that I’m not a BIG fan of the way plain coconut water tastes. I could choke it down, but I might need to doctor it up a bit! I’m looking for ideas on the interwebs!

So this week’s schedule consisted of 3, 3 mile runs (I did 2 of them, and walked on another day). And my long run today was a 6 miler. It’s easy now, the weather is nice and the miles are short…but boy when it gets hotter and the miles get longer…it’s going to be rough!

week 1Today’s LONG Run Report

Weather Conditions: sunny, warm, almost perfect ☀

Injury Report: NONE (knock on wood!) ✔

Nature Sightings: loads of wildflowers ❀ ✿ and 1 chalk drawing of male genitalia (does that count as “nature”?)

Songs that Inspired: “Let it GO” by Elsa ❄

Passers-by: friendly, smiles, though not a lot of “hello’s” 🙂

Chaffing: mild

On a Scale of 10: 8 – Legs felt good, it was a success.

 

 

The Stuff NIGHTMARES are Made Of

So, I had my first (of MANY, I’m sure) marathon nightmares. This one was relatively tame compared to some that I’ve had in the past.

First of all, I’m training for the 2014 Chicago Marathon! Ah! What was Irun_girl_Collage thinking? Yes, I’ve completed 4 marathons, but it’s been 4 years, so I’m feeling pretty nervous about it. My OFFICIAL training hasn’t quite begun yet. I’m in the PRE-training stage of my training. Does that make sense? I’m just trying to get my legs, heart and lungs used to pounding the pavement again. I’m doing about 3-4 runs per week, with a maximum distance SO FAR of 6 miles. That mileage will begin to jump up very soon! It’s going to be a looonng summer!

So anyway…back to my nightmare.

Previous nightmares have been things like, suddenly I get lost in the middle of the race! Or that they’ve decided to throw in some obstacles, like running through buildings, along tight spaces, climbing things, etc… One of my nightmares actually came true! In 2010 (my last marathon), I showed up late and had to sprint across downtown Chicago BEFORE starting my marathon. I was also attempting to pin my bib on myself at the same time. This is not the way you really want to start your marathon. I had to run 26.2 miles after that nonsense!

So last night I had a similar dream. I showed up on time, but realized I hadn’t gone to the Expo the day before to pick up my bib and microchip. The race organizers directed me to a building where I had to stand in line to get my bag, quickly try to attach my microchip and bib, find a place to put my belongings and make my way back to the start. At that point I of course experienced the dreaded ‘running through quick sand’ feeling, where no matter how hard I tried… I couldn’t seem to run! UGH! Thankfully at that point, I woke up and all was well. Crisis averted…for now!

Now…only 138 more sleeps until the race.

I’ve decided to attempt a weekly blog entry to chronicle my training. I’m hoping for lots of nice weather, no injuries and a mild year of asthma symptoms! Is that too much to wish for?

running_momAlso, I started a super cool running group just for moms – or people who have moms – who like to run, or walk, or move briskly from one spot to another! We talk about things like chaffing and running bras and just encourage each other to be awesome! Sounds fun doesn’t it?!


If you’re interested, send a request to join to HERE!

 

PS – I don’t run that fast. It wouldn’t be that hard to “keep up”! 😉