(besides injuries)

The hydration belt!

I finally caved and bought one because 1) I’m pretty sure running for extended periods of time without hydrating is a really bad idea, 2) the trail I usually run on has no water fountains in sight, and 3) on the weekend group runs they set aside paper cups for Gatorade and water, but this is much less waste for the environment.

I’ve come to terms that I can’t make a water belt look good, but at least when I was out today, there were tons of other people wearing one too. Solidarity!

All done with Week One! (that’s the only intentional rhyme you’ll get out of me…ever.)

I did say last week that I want to hold myself accountable over these next few months and so, if I’m going to be honest with myself and with everyone else, Week One did not go well. I had it all planned out and almost none of it went according to plan.

Tuesday (3 mile run)

After writing my last post, I was very excited for the first day of training. I didn’t get up with enough time to run the 3 miles in the morning, so I decided I was going to do it after work. Immediately after getting home from work, I changed, put on my running shoes, and went out the door. About a half mile into the run, I started to feel an ache between my calf muscle and Achilles tendon in my right leg. This area has been bothering me for the past couple weeks, but I thought I could push through it just as I have been doing.

Unfortunately, after another half mile, the pain got to a point where it couldn’t be ignored and I had to stop. I tried to stretch, walk it off, and keep running, but I kept having to stop. 2 walking breaks later, I stopped altogether and walked the rest of the way home.

Because this is an issue that has been going on for a couple weeks and I didn’t want it to get any worse, I decided to call NovaCare‘s injury hotline, a number I had only just gotten a couple days before at the Super Clinic. The physical therapist who called me back the next day gave me some stretches and exercises to try. She also suggested I go back to the brand of shoes I was running in before after finding out that I switched to an entirely new pair of shoes about a month ago.

Wednesday (3 mile run)

Apparently, Wednesday was National Running Day, which is a little  ironic considering I didn’t exactly run. The physical therapist gave me the go ahead to keep running, but I didn’t want to chance it, so I decided to do 45 minutes on the elliptical instead. I try to avoid running inside if at all possible, especially since it’s so nice out these days. I just don’t like the feeling of moving and not actually going anywhere. Still, I finished and I was at least active, even if I didn’t do the activity I was intended to do.

Proof (personal pic)

Thursday (3 mile run + strength)

I woke up with every intention of doing the 3 mile run this day. I even set aside my old shoes to run in until I had time to exchange my shoes for a different pair.

I stopped in the hallway of my building to readjust my sock and stupidly left my keys on the ground. Of course, I didn’t realize this happened until after the front door shut behind me and I realized I had no way of getting back into the building. By the time I got back inside (by hitting random buzzers until someone answered the door and let me in), I had to get ready for work. I couldn’t fit the run in after work because of dinner plans. Excuses, excuses…I know. So, neither the 3 mile run nor the strength training happened on Thursday.

I had Friday off, so I went back to the Naperville Running Company where I bought new shoes last month. When I went there the first time, I tried on 4 different pairs of shoes- including the newer model of the pair I was running in before (Mizuno Wave Alchemy, in case you were wondering) and the ones that felt best were these:

(Brooks Ariel. Image found here)

Unfortunately, what felt fine in the store didn’t translate into the runs that followed. Luckily, I didn’t have the shoes for too long and the very nice people at the Naperville Running Company let me bring them back. Now I have these:

 (source)

Fingers crossed that these work out!

Saturday (6 mile run)

Screenshot from the RunKeeper app on my phone

This was the first run to go right all week. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t exactly been keeping up with the training plan in the days before this and 6 miles is the longest distance I’ve run in awhile. All things considered, it went extremely well. I didn’t have too much pain anywhere and kept up a good pace. To top it off, this was done before I left for work. This is why I love morning runs- I feel accomplished before the day even starts!

Sunday (cross training and strength)

My plan for cross training is to swim. With this plan in mind, I bought a membership to my town’s Aquatic Center after calling to confirm that they have a lap pool.

This was my vision of a lap pool:

(source)

And this was reality:

 

(source)

That’s not my pool, but you get the idea. When I asked about this supposed lap pool, one of the lifeguards told me that they haven’t been opening up lanes because of how busy it’s been on the weekends. She said if I asked, they would open one up for me. I decided against it because the strap on my goggles broke. I know I have an excuse for everything, but if I’m going to swim laps in a public pool, I want to look more like an experienced swimmer and less like a child learning how to swim for the first time, flailing around with eyes shut, trying not to get water in them. I left and went home to do strength exercises instead. I’ll be back next week with goggles in hand. I’ll be the weirdo swimming laps in the one lane by herself if you want to join me!

While Week 1 didn’t go as planned, I don’t want to let it get me down. Week 2 is coming up and is almost the same as Week 1, just with 7 miles on Saturday instead of 6. This Saturday I’ll be able to make it to the group run and I am very much looking forward to it. Here’s the schedule for Week 2. See you next Monday!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Total

Rest

3

3

3+Strength

Rest

7

Cross+Strength

16

(Found here, as always)

Happy Monday and Happy Start of Marathon Training! I’m going to post an update on my progress on this day every week to hold myself accountable and to keep people who have donated to my cause or who might be interested in donating informed. Also, I think it will be nice to look back in October and read about all that I’ve accomplished. These posts will go up every Monday for no real reason other than that I enjoy alliterations, even partial ones. With that said, this is what the training schedule looks like for this week:


Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Total
Rest
3
3
3+Strength
Rest
6
Cross+Strength
15

(found here)

This is partially what I’ve been doing in the weeks leading up to the start of the training program, with a few exceptions. One of my training goals is to stick to the schedule as closely as possible, so, I plan to have fewer exceptions from here on out.

I work alternating Fridays and Saturdays and I won’t be able to join my CARA group this Saturday for the first long run. I’m disappointed about this because it would’ve been great to meet everyone right from the start. I’m trying to decide between doing the long run by myself on Saturday, or cross training on Saturday and  joining the Montrose Beach CARA group on Sunday morning. Considering that I would have to be in Chicago before 6:30 (read: 33 mile drive) in order for that to happen, I’m leaning towards just running by myself on Saturday.

I’ll have more to report back on next Monday after I get these runs under my belt, but for now the question is: How has unofficial training been going? To be honest, it’s been a little sporadic. I took a few weeks off at a time, twice, after almost breaking myself trying to learn how to snowboard over the winter. I would skip out on runs here and there due to lack of motivation and not feel terribly guilty about it because I knew I still had some time. Now that I actually have a set schedule to follow, I’ll try my best to avoid skipping days so I don’t have to deal with overwhelming guilt.

I found this fun flow chart during my lunch break today and I taped it to my front door, along with a printout of my training schedule so I can see it every morning before I leave. Motivation with humor is always a good thing!

(sorry for the atrocious iPhone picture, I guess the lighting isn’t great by the front door)

See you next week!

Are you training for a race of any kind? How is it going?

Yesterday I had the great fortune of attending the Chicago Area Runners Association (hereafter abbreviated as CARA because that’s what everyone calls it and who wants to type out Chicago Area Runners Association every time?) Super Clinic.

Brief back story: I joined CARA after raising $250 for DetermiNation last month (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Crossing that fundraising threshold allowed me free membership to CARA, which I definitely wanted to take full advantage of. Running can be a very individual sport, which I like, but I was also looking for the support of a group, which is why DetermiNation and CARA were both so appealing to me. I got an e-mail about the clinic about a week ago and had been looking forward to it ever since. C made a little fun of me for being so excited because in his words, “You just run.” Maybe so, but for me, it’s not that simple. 26.2 miles is a big deal and there’s a certain amount of preparation that has to be put into it otherwise it’s just not going to go well.

Image

(L: Carey Pinkowski, executive race director- Chicago Marathon, R: Tom Moran, CARA board member)

The clinic was designed for novice and advanced marathoners alike and split up so that the novice runners would be in one group and the advanced in the other. We had a jam packed agenda that covered the basics of CARA marathon training, an overview of the Chicago Marathon, training methods, running injuries, injury prevention, strength training, nutrition, and running form and efficiency. Sound like a lot? It was.

I’m really glad I took the time to go because I feel like I came away with some really valuable information, including ideas I have never thought of before- things I will definitely be incorporating into my own training. Plus, I got to hear this guy speak:

Hal Higdon has run 111 marathons and has written a few editions of a guide to marathon training. It makes me shudder to think of even running half the amount of marathons he has, but I think he’s incredible.

Overall, the clinic was a great experience (even if it did take me 25 minutes just to get out of the parking garage and another 40 to get home). Although it didn’t really make me any less nervous about this whole thing, it got me really excited for what lies ahead. The 18 week training program officially starts this week!

I’m blogging again! I really don’t have any good excuses for neglecting this blog for 4 months, so I’m just going to throw you one of these and move on.

Image

(source)

Not only am I blogging again, I’m running again! With the marathon a little less than 6 months away, I decided it was time to kick training into high gear and start getting serious about it. I’m using Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 18 week training program, which doesn’t start until the beginning of June. So, for the time being, I’m working on building up to a base of being able to run 3-4 miles fairly easily. Once the training program starts, I plan on posting about it in the form of weekly updates. Until then, you can look for fundraising updates, random thoughts like how I desperately need to buy new running shoes, or maybe I’ll post about the book Hal Higdon wrote about marathon training. Yes, I’m reading a book on how to run a marathon. I figured this is my very first one, I need all the help I can get.

More to come!

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