Run to Remember

In 2011, I dreamed of running a half marathon.

I’m not sure when this dream started. It might have been when I crossed the finish line of the Trail to Ale 10K and I was still standing. Or after reading other runners’ inspiring accounts of finishing their own half marathons.

I tend to be slightly self-deprecating when it comes to ideas like this. To me, running a half marathon was more of a dream than a reality. I could never run 13.1 miles.

But my dream grew as my runner friends asked me when (not if) I was going to sign up for a race. My response? “In 2012.”

Well, it’s 2012.

And this year, I am going to prove myself wrong.

I stumbled on this race a couple months ago and shared the link with my favorite runner friend, Kassi. We had both chatted about wanting to run a half marathon and I knew she’d be very interested. She suggested that we register immediately (that’s why she’s my favorite). Unfortunately, the timing was bad for me and I knew I’d have to wait until January to be able to afford the registration fee. We didn’t mention it again until she posted this message on my facebook wall:

So I checked my email and found this:

And on May 27th, 2012, I will be running this:

Let the training begin.

Resolutions

I used to think that making resolutions for the new year was cliche and purposeless. What was the point in making the same promise every single year to “lose 15 pounds” and “exercise more”? I created these vague goals for myself but obviously lacked the motivation to follow them through. I have heard and read and seen countless stories about other people who’d make themselves the same promises that I did and lose steam around February or March (I don’t think I ever even saw my resolutions through to the end of January). Obviously, there is a right and a wrong way to make resolutions.

My first rule: my resolutions would have nothing to do with numbers. No weight goal, no calorie-counting. I’ve tried both of these strategies more times than I can count and neither has worked for me. Being healthy to me involves changing my lifestyle, not the number on a scale. That being said, my health-related goals might just help me lose the weight I’ve gained this winter.

My second rule: my resolutions need to be specific and attainable. What does “eat better” actually involve? What am I eating? How can I achieve that?

I know that these two rules seem to contradict themselves but stay with me.

I decided to make goals in three categories: personal, health, and professional. It’s only the 3rd, but so far I’ve found them manageable and valuable. These are my resolutions for 2012:

Personal

Walk the dog every day

Stop texting and driving (a horrible habit, I know)

Read 1 book a month (doesn’t apply to the “no numbers” rule)

Health

Run a 1/2 marathon (more on this later)

Set weekly fitness goals

Plan meals

Keep a food and exercise journal

Eat more vegetables (not specific, but this is just a general rule I try to follow on a daily basis so I added it)

Professional/Financial

Get a job

Build up my savings account

Get a new car (eventually)

 

I wrote my goals on the first page of my journal to remind myself of them. I left room to add more if I think of any.

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Keeping a journal and recording the food I eat and my workouts has been very helpful in encouraging me to be mindful of what I eat. It also makes planning what I eat and what I do for workouts much simpler.

And have been very honest in recording what I ate.

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While I’ve only walked Cash once in the past three days and haven’t done any reading yet this month, I am very happy with these resolutions and hope to see them all through to 2013.

Excuses

I’m the queen of excuses and I have plenty to explain my lack of blog posts lately. Don’t get me wrong, I think most some of them are pretty good. The almost 100 degree weather…working a lot…and not having my computer for the past week or so (someone who will not be named decided that my charger looked like a chew toy). Not blogging because I haven’t been running…now that’s a terrible excuse. It finally cooled off enough/I finally woke up early enough to fit a run in yesterday before I went to work. It’s amazing how running made me feel like a human being again! Of course…I haven’t found the motivation today yet. I did manage to drag myself to the nail salon down the street for a shellac manicure though…it matches the “Cajun Shrimp” nail polish on my toes!

This week I’ve really been trying to eat less at work. Working in a restaurant can definitely be difficult sometimes, especially when there are plenty of extra french fries, chili cheese nachos, and chips. I’m determined that this Summer won’t be forever remembered as the Summer that I ate my weight in french fries so I’m making a conscious effort to bring my own food to work from now on. I still occasionally snack at work (and I will never say no to a couple bites of cheesecake) but bringing my own meals and snacks means that I don’t leave at the end of the night feeling bloated from eating too many chips with bleu cheese dressing. Last week I made a delicious curried tuna salad with granny smith apple, fresh cherries, and almonds over spring mix that was inspired by a recipe in the Whole Foods flyer. Yesterday, in a moment of genius, I created the hamburger salad. Grass fed beef, Farmers Market tomatoes and spring mix (amazing), red onions, and dill relish with a little mustard on top. I decided not to take a picture because it looks very a little weird, but it’s definitely delicious.

Blogging has also been difficult because I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of anything other than a previously mentioned little monster.

He’s a pretty cute excuse though.

Goals

I love making lists. I make lists for the grocery store…I make lists of things I want when I go shopping……I make Christmas lists…I make to-do lists…but I’ve never made a list of my goals. Writing things down and then crossing them off helps me stay organized and motivated, so I’m not sure why I haven’t done this yet. One goal I’d like to realize this Summer is to become a “runner.” Currently I run…but I don’t consider myself a runner. Every run is an easy run. I don’t challenge myself to run faster or longer and I avoid hills at all costs. So, after a sweaty and exhausting four mile run the other day (I wasn’t running that hard, it was just humid and I was a little dehydrated), I decided that I need to work harder at achieving this goal.

So I found this race:

Old Port 5k (not the half marathon…I’m not that ambitious yet)

And a training schedule:

Hal Hidgon Intermediate 5K Training Schedule

And a cool website that uses these Hal Hidgon training plans to create a schedule in iCalendar based on how long I have to train before the race:

YourTrainingCalendar.com

This is my iCalendar:

I don’t plan on sticking to this 100% because that would mean a pretty significant jump in mileage compared to what I usually do.

I did a speed workout today like the schedule suggests but I only did 4x400s. I ran to the track for a warm-up, which was around 1.7 miles. In between each 400 (1 lap around the track or 1/4 mile) I walked an additional lap.

By the time I got home I had run about 4.4 miles.  Thank you motivation.