Sort of Organized

So the good news is that I have, in fact, put together a training plan for both my half marathon in May, and my triathlon in July.  The bad news is that I am very worried about it.  I also have a tentative race schedule mapped out, but a lot of it is going to depend on how much extra money I can scrap together. These triathlons are expensive!

Let’s start with the race schedule:

St.Patty’s Day 4 Miler on 03/10/12– this one I am already registered for. I am going to see just how many different shade of green I can cram into one outfit.
Hoover Hustle 10K on 04/15/12– a friend mentioned this one, and I hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounds like it could be a good time.
Cap City 1/2 Marathon on 05/05/12– this is the one I’ve been working towards. And with this being a bicentennial year, the celebration is going to be even more out of control!
Redlegs Run 10K on 06/02/12– it was a ton of fun last year, and maybe this year we’ll actually get to finish on the field in the stadium.
World Famous Pig Run 5K on 07/20/12– for whatever reason they didn’t do this race last year. I know because I was looking for it. Fortunately this year it’s making a comeback. There are only a few better ways to recover after a race than with ribs and beer.
Giant Eagle Sprint Triathlon on 07/29/12– a reasonable set of distances for my very first triathlon!! Can you tell how excited I am about this?
Emerald City 1/2 Marathon 09/12– it was a great course and a giant inflated shamrock at the finish. Yes please.
Deer Creek Fall Challenge Triathlon on 09/23/12– provided that the first one goes well and I totally fall in love with triathlons (as I am suspecting will be the case) I will try to sneak in one more.
Columbus Marathon on 10/21/12- This year is the city’s bicentennial so most events are going to reflect that, which usually makes for a pretty good time. The questions will be, do I run the half marathon or make a go for the full? Part of me thinks there’s no need to push it, the other part thinks that it may be better to keep pushing as long as I’ve got the momentum.  I suppose it will depend on how my other big races go.
Dead Celebrity 3 Miler 10/12– running while dressed in a costume = instant good time.
Flying Feather 4 Miler 11/12– this may become an annual tradition. I know Mom had fun too. And running Thanksgiving Day morning helps me to feel less guilty about having extra dessert.
Holiday Run 12/12– I didn’t make it to this race last year, so I am going to make a better attempt this year. Mostly because I have cute holiday socks that I didn’t get to wear.

I know, that’s pretty ambitious race schedule. I’m even a little intimidated by it. My main goal was to try to have something nearly every month so that I always have something to look forward to next. That was there is always motivation. Otherwise I get lazy. However I am still mostly poor, so some of these may go to the wayside if there aren’t enough funds. I’m pretty sure the Hubby will not approve of me spending all of our money on races.  There is also a looming possibility that I might get to squeeze in a Disney race during vacation this year. Those bitches are even more expensive than the triathlons! But it’s Disney, what do you expect?  If that plan works out, some other races will definitely get bumped.

The training plan.  Dang, yo. This triathlon training is no joke. I may not actually survive it. Take a look:

Thursday looks so lonely. I'll have to find something to cheer it up.

The running part of the schedule is being provided by MIT, which I have finally been able to join. Now I have to make the decision whether to keep running with the walk/run group, or jump up to the 13 minute pace group. I would really like to be able to run my half marathon. Maybe I’ll just bounce back and forth for a while and see what agrees with my knees the most.  I got the swim and bike portions of the schedule from BeginnerTriathlete.com. That website is packed with loads of information and training plans and articles to answer most any question.  So far I have found it very helpful in trying to get myself organized.

This past week has been all about trying to get up earlier in the mornings because, let’s be honest here, there’s no way those workouts are going to get done in the evenings. I’ll let you guess how well that’s worked out.

This is me, pretty much every day.

And I found out today that people do, in fact, want you to succeed.  Even people you don’t know. Today I went to the gym to do a test run of my upcoming swim and bike workouts. To properly plan my mornings, I needed an idea of just how long these things were going to take me, drive time and all. Once I got there, I did the bike first, no big deal, and then went and changed and went to the pool. Which was occupied. By 5 other people across 3 lanes.  I hate sharing a lane because I’m not a great swimmer and I already feel very awkward and I don’t really want on display in front of a bunch of people. But damn it, I need to get my swim on! So, I head into the pool to the lane that only has 1 person, and stand a bit off to the side fussing with my swim cap and goggles. You know, desperately trying to look like I have any idea what I’m doing.  Next thing I know, the woman swimming stops and says “Do you want to share the lane?”  I look up, somewhat startled that she’d bother talking to me, and reply “Umm, yea, if you don’t mind… that would be great.” Her response, with a smile, “No problem, I’ll just stick to this side.”  Thank you Stranger. I didn’t get your name, but thank you for making me feel welcome when I was considering just leaving since I obviously didn’t belong.  Moral of the story? We all have to start somewhere, and those people that seem to be naturals have probably put in a ton of work, and at some point have started out at the beginning like that rest of us.  They know the joy that success has brought them, and they want us to feel it too.

My swim coach, however, was not particularly impressed with my efforts… (source)

So if you’re on the fence about some big goal, go for it! You know you want to. Stop looking for excuses to not do it.  No one can do it for you, but you’d be surprised how many people will help you along the way.

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Return to Slackerville, New Year’s Style

Sorry for the horribly long delay. I’ve been desperately trying to get myself organized and not being terribly successful at it. Too many adjectives? I think not.

Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh right, telling the New Year and it’s resolutions to suck it because I got a head start. Well, I didn’t quite hit the 5 pounds lost that I was hoping for, but I was still under where I started. (Note to self: do not drink an entire bottle of champagne by yourself the night before you’re going to weigh-in. It’s not going to turn out well)

Original weight -11/20- 221 pounds
Week 1-   11/27-   220.2 pounds
Week 2-   12/04-   222.8 pounds
Week 3-   12/11-   220 pounds
Week 4-   12/18-   219.2 pounds
Week 5-   12/24-   217.8 pounds
Week 6-    01/01/12- 218.6 pounds

Every little win helps. And since then, even though my workouts haven’t been what they should be, I’m down even more…

My best friend or that bitchy friend that lies to you and makes fun of you behind your back? Only time will tell...

I made the Hubby stand on it too, because I felt like it was lying to me. Although, I suppose if my scale is going to lie to me, at least it’s telling me happy lies. Hmmm, maybe it’s been talking to MapMyRun (which also frequently lies to me).

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge put on by Amanda at Run to the Finish finished up. My points weren’t great (finished with under 100), but the motivation to be able to add something each week (once I figured out when the weeks were. I’m such a dumb ass sometimes) kept me going. So a HUGE THANK YOU to Amanda for all of the time, money, effort, and encouragement that she put into setting this up. It was a wonderful experience and has enabled me to meet some new bloggers! Win-win. If you’re looking for continued motivation, go check out her site, she’s setting a 30-day challenge every month.

New Year’s Eve was spent by getting up early to run 14 miles with the girls. That’s right, I said 14 miles. Now there is no question in my mind that I can finish my half marathon in May.  My knees, unfortunately, weren’t quite so happy with that revelation.

Hubby takes his job as photographer very seriously. At least I got the ice bags first.

A bottle of champagne and some sleep later, I was at it again for M3S’s First on the First 5K. As always, they put on a wonderful race with a relatively gentle course that was well staffed with supportive volunteers. Extra bonus- a New Year’s Day feast-lunch! Yay for real food! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some bananas and bagels and chocolate milk, but I will never turn down pulled pork sandwiches. Yummy in my tummy. And Hubby was grateful for being fed too. It’s hard work being the photographer. Ask him, he’ll tell you.

Now, usually I go into each race with some sort of goal in mind.  For this one I had hoped to get under 40 minutes, which would be a full 2 minute improvement from my last 5K back in July.  Under normal circumstances I would consider this a perfectly reasonable goal, but I was a bit concerned with how tired my legs still felt from the 14 miles the previous day.  Apparently, I didn’t need to be concerned. Guess who picked up a new PR of 37:04! That’s right, this girl! What better way of feeling like you’re truly making progress than to set a reasonable goal, and then shatter it by a couple extra minutes! Next stop, sub-35.

Pre-Race shivers. Of the cold variety. No really, it was kinda cold that morning.

Barreling towards the finish line in triumph! Complete with Rock Hands! Aw, yea!

My goal for 2012? Coming up with as many goofy-ass picture poses as possible.

Strength training has been going alright, I’m still only getting in about twice a week. I’d really like that to be three times a week, and running 3-4 times a week. But now I also need to start working in some triathlon training and things are just getting complicated. These are things that I really want to do, but I don’t want to have to sacrifice having a life for all this training. I’m working out a training plan and a race schedule, and will hopefully get it posted here soon.

Anyone else out there training for more than one thing? Any tips on getting all of it in and not losing your mind?

Moving Forward

11/20-221lbs-original weight
11/27- 220.2lbs
12/4- 222.8lbs
12/18- 219.2lbs

This week was much better. Much more consistent and organized. I took the battered remains of my best-laid plans and got it together. Mostly.

Tuesday night- Personal Training. That kicked my ass. Badly. Not only could I not hold a plank position for 30 seconds, by the third rep I couldn’t actually get up into it. And I nearly died. Really. The trainer was very concerned. First he was all like “Get Up! We haven’t even started the timer yet- C’mon, get up!!!”   And then when I turned pale white and started seeing bright lights, he was all like “Are you ok? Good job, that was some very intense stuff we did. Do you need some gatorade? You sure you’re ok? No, no, I  think we’re done for today.”  Only Jillian truly wants to make people puke.

You don't want to make her angry. You wouldn't like her angry...

Wednesday- Had my annual eye appointment, and guess what? There’s my gym right around the corner. How convenient! So, with eyes fully dilated, I went in and went around the track for a while. The only way I could keep track of my time was to watch the large clock on the wall that I could only get to come into focus when I was on the other side of the room.

Kinda like that. But less fuzzy.

 Thursday- More Running! 4 night miles. Because night miles count for more than regular miles. It’s true.

I finally got some decent HBBC points, 21 for the week. I have also met my goal of having more points than the week before, and I’m on track for another good week.

Just Christmas and New Years to get through…

Finally! Making progress the slow way

Last night I finally had a decent run. It wasn’t very fast, still hanging around that 15 minute/mile mark. But it felt better than the last few that I’ve done. And I think I know why.

I’m a pretty competitive person. Ask anybody who knows me. Somehow, even though I’ve never really run before, I feel that I should be able to train like I’m a professional. I can remember actually being athletic, and good at sports. It quickly becomes very discouraging when I can’t do what I think I should be able to do. It’s the same thing with strength training. I actually really like lifting weights, there’s just something very satisfying about the way I feel doing it, and being able to do it.  But I want to go right back to the weights and reps that I used to be able to do, and I inevitably get down on myself when I can’t. This leads to spiraling down into knowing that I’ll ultimately feel better if I put the time in, but getting discouraged every time I try to start again. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s really hard to get out of.

Last week, my plan didn’t finish out the way I had planned. Most days went ok, I did get in 2 runs, a walk during lunch one day, but I only did a strength workout once. That’s disappointing for me. That’s the part that I think will benefit me the most. I get the muscle building, which makes me stronger, burns more calories, and ups my metabolism. And I just feel better when I do it. I’ve got a handful of dvds to choose from, but my favorites are Bob and Jillian’s. Not the actual Biggest Loser ones, but their own videos.  When I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I went with Jillian. Even in dvd form, she is merciless. The video I used at that time “30 Day Shred” has 3 levels that you progress up. I did that work out almost everyday for 5-6 weeks and I never made to level 3.

I love Bob and Jillian from the Biggest Loser. They are my kind of crazy, and I just can’t get enough of them.

I’ve also tried doing workouts found in magazines. One of the better ones for me was one I got from Muscle and Fitness Hers. It’s a magazine specifically for body builder types, but still had a lot of good all around information. They were doing a weight loss competition and had a beginner’s workout that ramped up after a few weeks. That was a good workout, but like everything else, I derailed after a couple of weeks when I wasn’t where I thought I should have been.

Lately, I’ve been going with Bob. The video that I have from him is specifically strength training. It is not the high intensity interval training that Jillian mostly does. It is straight up lifting weights, but you are moving the entire time. Only a couple of water breaks, otherwise you are moving from one move right into another. I love it when I do it. Here’s the thing. This dvd has 2 levels, the beginner level and the “you’re going to cry blood” Big Boy level. I am hesitant to admit this out loud in case Bob somehow hears me, but … I’ve done the beginner level a few times now, and even though I am sweating quite a bit by the end, the next day I hardly feel like I’ve done a workout. This tells me that it’s time to move up to the serious level. he first level is 20 minutes long, the Big Boy version is an hour.

All of a sudden, 60 minutes worth of lifting weights sounds like an awful long time….

Really though, the actual hard part is not continuing to quit just because I can’t currently do what I used to be able to do. Knowing that I because I used to be able to do something really just means that I can do it again if I put in the effort.

When I truely need a proper ass-kicking...

When he says he isn't really the nice one, he means it

 

 

 

 

Or something like that.

Decisions, Decisions…

After some consideration, and a little looking at my calender, here is what I have come up with as my plan for the next week:

Monday night (last night)– Last softball game- This is usually workout enough as it is, I always come home feeling wiped out.

Tuesday night– Strength night- this is something I have been neglecting as it is, so I’m going to try to do at least 2 of these each week.

Wednesday daytime– I have to work that evening, so early in the day (early for me anyhow) I will put in a 3 mile run.

Thursday night– Since I’m working wednesday night, there will not be any early morning anythings, so instead I will try another strength training night.

Friday morning– Here it is. Time to retry the “get up at the ass crack of dawn and go run” plan. I will consider anything faster than a 15 min/mile pace acceptable at that time of morning.

Saturday– Saturday is an off day. No work or other responsibilities.  Right now the plan is to get up somewhat early to go check out the race course for the Columbus 1/2 Marathon 10k that I’ll be doing in 2 weeks.  On my birthday. 

So that’s the plan. I’ve put it out there for everyone to see, so feel free to give me hell if you find out that I didn’t do it.

I’ve also had to make some decisions about races. Specifically about the Columbus Marathon in October. I had seriously considered trying to do the half marathon. I’ll have done a couple quarters, a couple 10k’s, and a handful of 5k’s by then, so I was thinking that I could probably do it. I’ve had some friends also tell me that they think that I could do it no problem. That’s very encouraging, but I had my doubts. I was thinking that I would wait and see how Emerald City went. If I put in a good showing there, then I would feel a little more confident about tackling the half in october.  Seemed like a good plan.  Except that I am a cheap bastard. As I got to looking at the registration fees, if I wait that long, I’m going to have to pay more than I really want to for something that I’m not 100% sold on. Had I registered early on, it’s not so bad. The registration fees for the Columbus Marathon are very resonable compared to some others that I’ve seen (like Disney). I’m just a little too not-convinced that I can do it and have fun, instead of hating myself about half way through. Plus I need more time to actually train properly. Therefor, the new plan is that I am not going to do the Columbus Marathon, and instead am going to focus on training for the Capital City 1/2 Marathon in May. That’s the one Mom and I started on this year, so I think it will be appropriate to upgrade to doing half marathons there.

But first, I’d better get that whole training thing under control…

 

Have you seen my time?

I’m not really sure where I misplaced it, but I cannot seem to find time.

Time to run. Time to clean. Time for a strength workout. Time to walk the dog. (don’t worry, they have a backyard to play in, but it’s not quite the same is it?) Time to read the book that was loaned to me a few weeks ago. Time to watch my shows. Time to play my video games. (the new Batman is going to be out before I know it!)(Yes, I’m a geek.)( Deal.)

Do you want to know just how much running I’ve gotten in this past week? 2 miles. Not very good ones either. And guess what else? I have a 5k tomorrow morning. Not ideal.  I mentioned to my hubby that I didn’t really train before deciding to do the Capital City 1/4 Marathon. His response? “I don’t think that’s the way you’re supposed to be doing it though.”  And, damn him, he’s right. It’s not. I haven’t exactly trained for any of the races I’ve done. Maybe a day or two of 3 mile runs each week. Nothing particularly thought out, just I should get out and run on this day or that day. But I haven’t really made that happen. Not the best way to be doing this. Not very good for my sense of accomplishment. Sure, I’ve gone out and run some races, which is more than most people will ever bother doing, but is it really such a big deal if I’m just kind of half-assing it?

I just don’t know.

Every week I say I’m going to do better. But I have such a hard time making solid plans and then sticking to them. That’s the hard part. Things come up, I don’t feel like it, I’m tired, I have to do other things (which also generally don’t get done). Today was ‘clean up the bedroom’ day. As I was going through my clothes, and pulling out the things that don’t really fit anymore, I came across all the workout clothes that I bought about this time last year that no longer fit. Some of them my husband doesn’t remember ever seeing.

What an epic fail is that?

So tonite, I’m going to bed early. Tomorrow I’m getting up at the ass crack of dawn and running the Ohio State Fair 5k. I’m going to go to work afterwards (after showering of course). I’m going to come home, and I’m going to take a long hard look at my calender for the next week.  And come Hell or high water (and it’s Ohio, so I’ll probably get both) I am going to get in 3 proper training runs this week. The Columbus 1/2 Marathon is in 2 more weeks, and the Emerald City 1/4 Marathon is 3 weeks after that. Making it up as I go just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

It’s time to get on it, and track down my time.

Not so much a morning person….

Monday night, I had a plan. That plan involved getting up the next morning at 6am, take a quick shower to wake up, go for my 3 mile run, come home, eat breakfast, shower properly, pack my lunch, and be at work at 9am.

The problem is…. there are a number of problems with The Plan.

1. I don’t do mornings.

2. I have an addiction to the snooze button. This means that on any given day, I will not actually get out of bed until 7 minutes 15 minutes somewhere around half an hour past when I should have gotten up.

3. See number 1.

4. I had a softball game on Monday night. That did not go well. That I came home from feeling like I’d been hit by a truck and the 3 trailers it was pulling. I had a bad slide that left one knee scraped up, and the other knee bruised. Not to mention the previous 2o-some years of playing softball that have left my knees in a state of disrepair to begin with.

5. See number 3

 

I am, and have always been, a night owl. I love working second shift- I get to sleep in, and I’m going to be up until the early hours of the morning anyway, so why not? Except that now I’m back to a first shift job. If I’m the early person, I really need to be up by 5:30-6:00 am, but get off work around 4:30pm. If I’m the late person, I can sleep in until 7 am, but don’t get out until 6pm or 7pm, followed by a 25-30 minute drive home.  Oh boy (insert sarcasm here).

My dilemma then becomes do I get up at the ass crack of dawn and try to get a run in, or do I wait until the end of the work day when I am frequently (a) already sleep deprived from the previous night and (b) worn down from the day’s activities. By the end of most days, especially the ones that don’t end until 7pm, I can (and usually do) find any excuse to not go run. Sometimes my hubby can brow-beat me out the door, but not always.  The thought behind The Plan was if I get up and run first thing, then it doesn’t get put off. Common sense, frequent recommendation, something that everyone knows they should do, or at least try.

This did not go well.  For anyone involved. It went something like this:

Alarm goes off 6am, hubby gets out of bed, I roll over, doze for another 20ish minutes before actually getting into the shower. Out of the shower, groggy, cranky, not really wanting to run, but now I’m up. Go downstairs, slap on peanut butter on an english muffin to eat on my way to the park, trying to find mp3 player, headphones that are lost in the bottomless pit that is my purse, trying to figure out if my phone will actually fit in the pouch on my new amphipod water bottle. Meanwhile, the hubby is using the dinning room table as a temporary office, is trying to be chatty asking me questions or trying to talk to me, I’m tripping over dogs trying to get out the door.

I make it to the park around 7:15am. My park has a walking path around it that is a 1.1 mile loop. My usual run is to go around 3 times, essentially doing a 5k.  It’s shaped like an oval, so there are 2 long sides, 2 short sides.  I have been jogging the short sides, walking the long sides until I build up some endurance.  That morning, I decided I was going to jog the long sides, and walk the short sides. I’ve now done a handful of races, and running(walking) 1-2 times a week (dedicated, I know), and my last 5k race, which was 3 days before on saturday, went really well with a PR pace of 13:51. So I figure I’m ready to kick it up a little.

Right.

So I trudge off up the long side, I’m able to continue running for the entire length, walk at the short side, head back around,  rinse and repeat. It’s early, it’s humid, I’m still grumpy, now I’m sweaty and grumpy, but I keep trudging along. My knees are killing me, my ankle is throbbing (collateral damage from that bad slide on monday night), and sweat is pouring off of me.  By the end of the second lap, I throw in the towel. 2 miles is better than no miles at all I figure, and since I did not get up when I needed to, I was out of time if I was going to get to work on time.  As I limp towards my car, I pry my phone out of the pouch, and check my time on the mapmyrun app that I’m trying out.

Distance: 2.2miles  Duration: 34:04  Average Pace: 15:29 min/mi

Are you kidding me? I nearly lost it. 3 days out from my last race, and I am running almost two whole minutes slower????

If I was grumpy before heading out, I was teetering on the edge of bitchy by the time I got back home. My hubby is frustrated over the dogs (somebody made a mess), can’t find the cleaning supplies, and is trying (once again) to engage me in conversation. I snap at him, needing to leave for work, not getting my proper shower, just a change of clothes and some more deodorant, need some breakfast (which Husband did kindly make for me), packed a quick lunch, off to work. Traffic sucks, people are stupid, and I’m still sweating somehow.

Needless to say at this point (but I’ll say it anyway) The Plan did not go very well. Some things are going to have to be worked out before attempting it again.

1. Not going to happen the morning after a softball game. I’m already too beaten up.

2. Need to lay down ground rules for appropriate interactions that early in the morning with the husband. Support and encouragement is great, just not at 7am.

3. Need to break up with the snooze button.            That one’s going to hurt.