I WILL run a Half Marathon this year

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It’s time to find a balance. I struggle with finding a good combination of lifting time and running time. How does one become both a body builder (of sorts) as well as an accomplished distance runner?

I love a challenge – it’s when I perform my best. During the month of February, my goal was to run 35 miles. That won’t sound like a whole lot to the average distance runner, but for me it was a challenge since I spend just as much time – if not more – doing strength training. I met that goal and have set my next at 40 miles during the month of March. 

Somehow, it’s only the 6th of the month and I have already run 11/40. Off to a good start, I’d say!

First of all, I have upped my warm-up distance. I used to do a mild .3-.5 mile on the treadmill or the elliptical to get warmed up before lifting. However, I recently started to run a mile as fast as I could. This week I have accomplished some of the best mile times I ever have! Yesterday I did it in 7:29, which is a little less than a minute faster than my best mile time from just a month or two ago. Running the distance at a faster pace – whether it’s just the mile warm up or a longer run – is becoming easier and easier by the day. Even though a mile isn’t too long, the speed will help with conditioning and being able to last longer distances.

Usually I do the bulk of my running after I have lifted (unless it’s just a running day). By the time I get through with strength training, the majority of my energy is drained and I can’t put as much into my speed and mileage. This is why I need to find a balance. I need to find a way to give both types of workouts my best, rather than feeling exhausted for one or the other due to pushing it hard on the first.

I truly want to try running a half marathon at some point this year.

There is a race in Hartford, CT in October that has a great course according to some of my runner friends. I am confident that I can get there if I can find the right balance and training routine. My fear is focusing too much on one thing and losing on the other. I know that to an extent, my strength training will likely suffer during the heavier running months, but I guess that comes with the territory.

Another struggle will be pushing myself to increase my distance appropriately over time. The other day I ran 4.53 miles and felt like I could have gone further – I haven’t run that far since track in high school! I was getting so used to – and too bored with – running a certain distance on the treadmill and then telling myself “ok, that’s enough”. You can only cover so much distance on a treadmill before the feeling of not going anywhere just gets flat out boring. However, it’s too cold out and icy for me to get back to running outside.

A friend of mine sent me a suggested half marathon training schedule where you add a mile to your “big run” each week up until race day, and my brother told me that I need to be running 15-25 miles a week when it comes down to the serious half marathon training. So, while my goal for the month is currently 40 miles, I’m thinking I may need to reevaluate and set weekly goals instead.

Any suggestions?

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27:23

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27:23 Time; 8:49 per mile pace; 1002 place out of 3522 runners.

I’ll take it!

The Hot Chocolate 5k for Domestic Violence has come and gone and I am pretty satisfied with how I did. Considering the hills and how FREEZING it was (about 20 degrees I believe), I was hoping to come in under 29 minutes and surpassed that by more than a minute and a half!

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For weeks I had been telling my brother (who runs cross country and completed the race with 7 minute miles last year) that if he felt like I was going too slow for him then he shouldn’t feel like he has to stay with me. However, he made the decision to run with me the whole time despite the fact that he could do better, which I was very grateful for.

He talked me through the whole thing and was an awesome coach! Whenever I felt like I was getting tired, he would motivate me to go faster. When I was running a good pace, he would tell me I was doing a great job and to keep it up. When we passed the 1 mile and 2 mile marks, he would let me know whether or not we needed to pick up the pace in order to break 30 minutes. Little did I know, we were well below 30 and he was just trying to help me do my best!

I planned to run with my ipod to keep track of my time using my Nike app, but I was convinced not to so that I don’t obsess over my times throughout the race. So glad I didn’t! I was able to focus on my stride and pushing myself without freaking out if the Nike lady came on in my headphones to tell me that my average mile was higher than what I wanted.

After the 3rd or 4th hill (I was told there was only one. Lies!), I had a brief moment when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish well. My brother told me how close we were to the finish line and we BOOKED it. I have no idea where that last burst of energy came from, but we sprinted the last .3-.5 mile like nobody’s business.

I felt so great after the race, and so proud that I beat my last 5k time by probably 6 minutes. Now to register for another!

Running, Running as Fast as I can

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The Hot Chocolate 5k For Domestic Violence is this weekend! I have just one more serious practice run before my second road race ever! I’m excited but also a little anxious because I am running with a 17 year old cross country runner…

Since I got my new sneakers, I’ve covered just under 30 miles – not a lot but exciting to watch it add up. It’s amazing to me that some people do marathons, the majority of what I have done, in just one day! Loco!

It feels like I have run a lot more than I apparently have, but that’s probably because I run with higher frequency than I do distance per run. I have been running pretty regularly on the treadmill, always doing at least a mile, but unfortunately have not made it outside as much as I would have liked. Before I go into work, it’s dark. When I get out of work, it’s dark. Not a huge deal but also not the biggest fan of running at night by myself.

It’s December and I live in New England. I expect the race to be cold, and because I have not run outside enough, that makes me nervous! I don’t run well in the cold and I haven’t been training myself to get used to it. I did a short run over Thanksgiving break outside with my brother, and it was freezing and extremely windy! While he ran along like a gazelle, I was wheezing like a maniac at his side. Any tips on cold/windy weather running?

I would love to be able to give a 10K and Half Marathon a shot next year. I just need to find a way to balance serious strength training and serious running. After I ran the Color Me Rad 5k over the summer, I fell off my running routine because I was anxious to lift again. I have lifted less the past few weeks so I could focus on my running, and I am very much looking forward to starting again after this weekend’s race.  I don’t want to lose any progress I make with either!

 

My Precious

20131010-135122.jpgLOVE LOVE LOVE. New sneakers, finally! 

I have been on the hunt for new sneakers for about a month now, and I finally decided to get the pair that I came back to over and over again. I was pretty certain from the start that I wanted Nike Free 5.0. My real dilemma was what color?! There are so many options, I just couldn’t take it! I finally went with the pair that first caught my eye and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since.

Ok, I have only used them twice (I got them less than a week ago and I have been recovering from a nasty cold, OK?!?!), but so far so good!

I have only been able to use them at the gym, though.  The real test will be when I can finally get these babies out on the road for a good run. I’ve done a couple of miles on the treadmill in them but you just can’t tell until you are outside.

I still haven’t registered for my next 5k race in December, but I look forward to training for it in these bad boys!

5k Success!

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This past Saturday I ran my very first 5k race and had a blast!

My friend (left) and I were on the road for the Color Me Rad 5k outside of Boston by 4:45am, and were running by 8:10. The course was on the Brockton fairgrounds and was AWESOME. During the run, there are “Color Bomb Squads” that throw/squirt you with paint as you run by. You start off in white and end as a multi-colored awesome mess.

We signed up for it about 3 months ago, and the experience alone was SO worth the $40 donation to the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. In addition to a good time, you get an awesome blue t-shirt with the Color Me Rad logo, a pair of fluorescent sunglasses to keep the paint out of your eyes (super smart idea), a “RAD” tattoo, a paint packet and the race bib.

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There were about 10 heats and hundreds of participants in each. Prior to your race time, there was a stage area set up where a DJ would hold contests, play music and throw paint bombs into the crowd to get everyone hyped up.

During the race, there were 5 “Color Bomb Squads” set up at different points, where they would throw handfuls of powdered paint at you or squirt you with dyed water as you ran by. I went out of my way to run directly in front of the hoses to cool off.

Though I had been training for it, I was still nervous that I wouldn’t do well or that maybe I wouldn’t be able to run through the whole thing. I tend to start too fast, ruining my pace. I surprised myself by running the whole thing and feeling like I could have kept going!

I actually ended up running most of the race on my own, jogging the first half so my friend wouldn’t lose sight of me when she needed to walk, and then finishing a little faster about 1.5 miles in once I did actually lose her. I finished at 34 minutes and some change, which I think I could probably have cut down to about 30 if it weren’t for the jogging or the color stations (where the crowds tend to slow down a little). My brothers, who are both avid runners, told me that 34 was a great time for a first time 5k themed run. Nice to hear!

I am so happy with how I did. Feels good to meet a goal!

I am already thinking about which race I am going to sign up for next! I need something else to train for!

Color Me Rad 5k – Boston

20130425-101509.jpgThe Color Me Rad 5k is in Boston on July 27th and I am officially registered! I have not run a race in 6 years.

Eeek!

Check out the race page here, it looks like a lot of fun! You wear white and spectators throw paint on you as you run. By the time you hit the finish line you are multi-colored. Yay!

I have 3 months to get back into running shape. I’m excited to have something to train for!!