Monday, February 22, 2010

New York Half Countdown: 6 weeks to go

Last week was okay. It was kind of lame not running in the beginning but I've learned that it's better to baby your injuries in the early stages so they don't take you out later on. I'm glad I took it easy because my shins felt 100% better and after our long run on Saturday I didn't have any troubles at all.

The real trouble I'm having is food actually. I put on a few pounds during the holidays; no big deal, except they're not coming off. I'm running again and exercising but I actually gained weight last week. The reason why is no mystery, I just can't seem to get a handle on my portion sizes and sugar cravings. I'm also a social eater and it seems that we always have something going on where there's lots of food and I'm like a cow in the pasture, grazing all night long till I come home ridiculously stuffed.

So my goal for this week, along with getting my training in, is to be more conscious about what I eat. I'm going to try to do all the things I know are good for me, eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean meats. Go easy on the sugar, watch my portion sizes, and ignore the fact that the girl scouts are out with those dang cookies.

Here's how last week went:

Weekly Goals:

Mon: 4 miles
Tues: 2 miles of cross
Wed: 4 miles
Fri: 40 min cross
Sat: 6 miles


Tues: 45 min strength DVD
Wed: 45 min strength DVD
Thurs: 4 miles
Sat: 6 miles

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Breaking in the new shoes

My shoes finally got here and I was so excited to take them out for a test run today. It was the first time I've run all week since I've been trying to recover from shin splints. The rest really helped and my legs felt awesome!

It was very refreshing to run outside. Today was beautiful, 40 degrees and sunny. Definitely not the freezing cold February I was used to in Minnesota! It was also so nice to be able to run during the sunny part of the day. With little kids I'm usually stuck with running in the wee hours of the morning, late at night, or inside on the treadmill. As fate would have it though, we moved in across from a family with a daughter who's in 6th grade, just took a babysitting course and wants to be a mother's helper. We've worked it out so she'll come over once or twice a week for an hour so I can run outside. Teya loves her and it's comforting to know that if anything happens, her mom is just across the street. So yeah, totally sweet set up!

Anyway, the run went great. I did 4 miles and finished in just over 36 minutes. I hit a few good hills and really tried to tackle them at full speed since hills tend to give me a huge mental challenge. When I was done I stretched for a long time and so far, 5 hours later, I have zero shin pain. I think the shoes did the trick! I'm looking forward to running outside again on Saturday. Good to be back in the game!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New York Half Countdown: 7 weeks to go

So last week I said my top priority was to get new shoes since the ones I was running in were "expired," having had more than 250 miles put on them. I wanted the exact same shoes, because I LOVED mine. They were my second pair of the same and why change when you know what works? Problem is, I couldn't find a store that carried them. I spent two days going to store after store with no luck.

I finally got online and found them but no one had my size! It was really frustrating but after surfing through several different sites I finally found my beloved Nike Zoom Elite 4 Trainers in a size 6.5! Whew!

So the good news is I bought new shoes. The bad news is, they aren't here yet. Without good shoes I knew I was at risk for making my shin splints worse but I wasn't thinking like a smart runner and decided to train as usual in my old kicks. The first few days were okay but after my long run on Saturday the pain is back. Dang it.

The good news is my shin splints aren't as bad as I've had them before. I mean, I could still run on them if I had to, but I'm forcing myself to stop running so they can get better. Rest, Ice, and massage is my plan for now. I'll cross train to strengthen my legs and hopefully by the time Saturday rolls around I'll have my new shoes and my legs will be ready to go.

On a happier note, I found a running buddy to train with! Her name is Becca, just like me, and she ran her first half marathon last fall. She signed up for the New York half and we did our first run together on Saturday. It was a 6 miler and she took us out on a course with some pretty decent hills! I had a great time though, having someone to chat with makes it go by so fast! She is awesome and I'm super excited to train together.

So here's how the week went:

Weekly Goals:

Mon: 4 miles
Tues: 2 miles or cross train
Wed: 4 miles
Fri: 40 min cross
Sat: 6 miles


: 4.5 miles
Tues: 25 min strength DVD (squats, lunges, abs, and arms)
Wed: 4 miles
Friday: 45 min strength DVD (squats, lunges, abs & arms)
Sat: 6 miles

Monday, February 8, 2010

New York Half Countdown-8 weeks to go

My friend Natalie keeps tabs of her marathon training with a weekly countdown blog post. Anyway, I liked the format so that's what I'm going to do.

Last week went pretty well. I got all the miles I needed, but I didn't do a lick of cross training and I know I'm going to pay for that if I don't get on track. After my 5 miler on Saturday I was starting to feel shin splint pain coming on. I stretched really well, ice massaged and didn't run the next day. Still, I know I really need to get my cross training in to prevent injuries.

I'm also thinking the shin pain could be a sign that it's time for a new pair of shoes. I'm still running in the same ones I wore for my marathon last June. So yeah, new shoes are a top priority for this week. Anyway, here's how my training went:

Weekly Goals:

Monday: 3.5 miles

Tuesday: 2 miles

Wednesday: 3.5 + Strength

Friday: 40 min cross training

Saturday: 5 miles

What I actually ended up doing:

Monday: 3.5 miles

Tuesday: didn't get my run in

Wednesday: 3.5 miles + wall sits and planks

Friday: 2 miles

Saturday: 5 miles

I did all my running on the treadmill but I played with the speed and incline to make it feel more like an outside run. This week if it gets warmer I'm hoping to at least do my long run outside. My pace is still slower than I'd like, I'm averaging a 9:13 minute mile. (6.5 mph on the treadmill) But I'm trying to not worry about it and just be happy that I'm running again and building my cardio back up.

The one thing I do feel like I need is some fresh music for my playlist. My old songs aren't quite doing it like they used to. If anyone has any great running songs please leave some suggestions in the comments. : )

Happy running!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Boost of Confidence

My first few runs on our treadmill were rough, I'm not gonna lie. I was huffing and puffing and really struggling to finish 3 miles. The second run I did I seriously had to stop 3 times to catch my breath. It left me with some major doubts about tackling a half marathon in 9 weeks. I hung in there though and last week I made myself get on there and run every other day. I slowed up my pace and took it easy and by the end of the week the 3 mile runs weren't so bad.

Then on Saturday I attempted my first "long run" which was only 5 miles, but more than I've run in a very long time. I loaded up my iPod with the soundtrack to Wicked, hopped on the treadmill and steadily jogged along as I listen to the witches of Oz belt it out. I stayed at a nice 10 minute pace for the first 3 1/2 miles then bumped it up to a 9:13 pace to finish off the last mile and a half. It was a really great run! I felt good the whole time and definitely had energy left when I finished. It was a huge boost of confidence to know that I could do that run without any trouble, and it made me realize that if I scale back to the novice training schedule I'm still totally on track for the New York Half Marathon on April 3rd.

So, with my new found confidence and motivation I got online, registered for the race and booked a hotel right where the race headquarters are set up. It's officially ON! and I'm really excited to have something to work towards for the next 2 months.