Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Schedule Update

I have to update my running schedule again...

Due to some peer pressure at work, I have no signed up for the 20th Anniversary of Donald's Half Marathon during marathon weekend at Disney World.  A bunch of coworkers were signing up so I ended up signing up with them.

I turned the peer pressure around and convinced my roommate to sign up as well.  This is definitely a bit more of a social event now more than anything.  It's going to be fun!  That's for sure!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Caught Back Up

It seems as though I'm always trying to catch up to where I used to be or where I've been trying to be.   Last month with the visits and illness and just plain old busy life I fell off.  I'm happy to say that I've kind of caught up to where I used to be.

This morning I ran a strong 6 miles that made me feel accomplished and proud of myself.  I felt good with my biggest complaint was that i could feel a blister trying to form on my foot.  I can attribute that to my new socks though.

I'm definitely a little tired, but overall feeling good.  I'll be headed out to try some stand up paddling for Earth Day today.  We'll see how this goes!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April Catch Up

This whole month has felt like I was just trying to catch up where I was last month.  My training fell off my plan because I had friends over and I got sick.  Since then my body has decided it likes being lazy and my diet has had great weeks and terrible weeks.

Luckily over the last few days I had a few reminders about why I was doing what I was doing.  First, I received my run3rd medal and t-shirt from that virtual race and then I was able to watch a part of the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 10k this morning.  Between the two a sense of motivation was renewed within me.

The good news is my schedule has gone back to a 5 day work week with real days off again (some weeks I work all 7 days... making training a bit tricky) and I should be able to pick up my training again until my parents get here for their trip.  Even then, we're staying at one of my favorite running resorts so I'm actually pretty excited about that when it comes to my running.

So yes, I've only run about 11 miles this month and will be hoping to run about 10 more before the month is done... whether or not that will happen, who knows, but I'll definitely be trying for it!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Time To Buckle Down

There has been some controversy this week when runDisney delayed the registration for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon by 2 weeks.  The talk online was that something was changing because of the lack of announcement and there were rumors going crazy about what those changes could be.  Well today we finally got some answers...

Two of the ideas that were swirling around online have ended up coming true.  runDisney has added a 10k race, and thus added a 2 race challenge, and then it has gone from a night race to a morning race.

A lot of people seem to be madder at the fact that the race was switched to the morning, but I'm happy about it.  The weather in Florida in the fall is so crazy and the last two years worth of Wine and Dine races has had issues with the weather so the change to the morning should ensure a full race and hopefully a nicer race.  Plus, I love running in the morning a lot more in the evening.  The late night is what actually made me the most nervous about this race.

I will be running Lumiere's Two Race Challenge with the 10k and Half Marathon.  So I guess it's time to really get down to business and get ready for the challenges to start...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekly Report 4

 There really wasn't a theme to this week's runs or workouts.  It was just a week of get the workouts done or get through it.

Towards the middle of the week I started getting sick, thus started taking some Nyquil and DayQuil. While both of those do a wonderful job getting me back to feeling like my normal self; they also mess me up while I'm taking them.  So I didn't do much the first day, just focused on sleeping and feeling better.  The second day I focused on a circuit which was tough, but felt pretty good considering how I was feeling.

I spent yesterday just stretching, which was relaxing and made me feel really good, especially today on my run.

The run today felt mostly ok, until the end when I got a little shaky.  It seems like I'm not totally over this cold yet.  However, the craziest part was my running is getting faster and faster.  I've dropped almost a minute on pace, but just for the first two miles and then I get back closer to my original pace.  The fact that I'm getting significantly faster and stronger is making the fact my endurance is stalling perfectly fine.

It's kind of funny... trying to find the perfect blend of strength training and endurance training, and rest for that matter.  They never really seem to be working together, and yet there are signs that one helps the other.  Just have to keep pushing both and eventually, together, they will get me through the Dopey...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

4 Days 4 Runs

The three biggest challenges of running the Dopey Challenge are:

  1. Mileage
  2. 4 Consecutive Running Days
  3. Early Mornings
The mileage I'm working on with each run, both short and long.  I've been building up my strength and endurance in the last few weeks and the changes are starting to show.

The early mornings I'll push through and help with naps the weekend of the races.  Luckily I'm used to early mornings for work and also from morning practices still.  Unfortunately I suffer from the inability to sleep in.  Seriously, sleeping in for me is like 7:30AM, maybe 8:00 if I'm lucky.

So the consecutive days of running.  That's the only challenge I haven't really faced yet.  Well hadn't until this week.  Friday through Monday I made sure to get some sort of cardio in. 

The first two days were on the elliptical, one after a killer weight workout and the other just focused on the elliptical run.  On Sunday I hit the pavement and felt ok.  My knees weren't the happiest, but I got through the few miles I needed to before work and then made it through the rest of my day.  I was still feeling positive from my run by the end of the day, that I had decided to run again on Monday morning before work.  So I set my alarm and got out there for a slightly longer run.

As crazy as it sounds the last run, my 4th day, felt the best out of any of the other runs.  That has probably made me the most excited about what I had done.  The mileage was no where near what I'll need it to be for the actual challenge, but I haven't done that much running in that many consecutive days ever really.  It made me pumped for my training and my success with the Dopey Challenge.  Yes it's still two years away but I'm taking these minor wins because they'll add up to the overall win!

What I've decided to do now is for the rest of 2016 I am going to do a 4 day/4 run mini-challenge every other month.  In 2017 I'm looking at boosting it to every month.  It should make sure I'm as ready as I could ever be for the Dopey!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Report 3- Recovery

I'm still quite content with my 6 mile run last week and wanted to focus more on strength and recovery than I did distance.

Recovery... funny word when you're an athlete.  

When I was swimming in college we would get so excited about recovery days and then remember that recovery was more so active recovery. We still had a few sets, some of which were definitely not easy by any sense of the word, but it made sure we stayed in shape while not completely exhausting ourselves.

While I may not be swimming anymore, I'm still following some of the habits I picked up as a swimmer.  So that's why I focused on strength and even though I had a recovery week, I didn't just sit around.  I can actually say I'm sore, but it's more so my shoulder and chest region due to some time in the gym, including time on the rowing machine.

When I look back at the last two weeks I like the routine I'm setting up.  Pushing myself farther and farther one week and then working on strength the next week.  I need to work on both endurance and strength if I'm going to achieve the lofty goals I've given myself and I honestly think these alternating weeks may be the best.  Especially once summer and the humidity return in full force...

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Came In 3rd

No I didn't have a race this weekend and got some amazing super power to run a lot faster than I already do.  Instead my friends and I engaged in some friendly virtual competition through the Nike+ app.

Apparently when I wasn't running, a few of my friends started running and started to use the Nike+ app to make it a bit more social.  I connected with mostly everyone and quickly realized this was going to be bad for me because I'm decently competitive.

Now Nike+ allows you to see how far you've run by month and week compared to others in your social group.  So that made it competitive enough for me, but we recently decided to have a challenge.  The challenge was simple, and friendly enough... Run 29.9 miles in February.

Of course I wanted to get there first, but I was at a disadvantage as a few of my friends had 10k races this month and others were training for a half marathon next month.  I was ahead of those training for the 10k, but behind those training for the marathon.  Every time I thought I was catching up to one of the half marathon trainees, they took off again.

So those running the half marathon ended up reaching the 29.9 mile goal about a week before me.  It drove me insane, but also helped push me to get out there and run on some days I didn't want to.  It helped push me to my 6.2 mile marker yesterday.  I could have easily stopped at the even 6.0, but needed that extra bit to ensure my 3rd place finish.

Currently, I'm 3rd overall for the month and will probably finish third.  I'll keep trying to catch up to #2, but she is ahead of me in training and I have to remember to train smart rather than train to beat someone.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Weekly Report 2- Back On Track

Last week my knees, legs, ankles, pretty much everything hurt and just felt off.  This week, I was sore, but not to the point I needed to stop my runs.  I was a bit smarter this week about how I trained and what I trained on certain days.  I didn't use the treadmill at all, but spent some time on the elliptical.  I had a few smaller runs and then my one long run today.

I usually work on Sundays, but had the rare day off so I took advantage of the free time and perfect weather to try and get 6 miles in.  Even though my knee wasn't the happiest about the distance, I was able to get it done, and in doing so I have found some exciting new routes.  Ok, the only reason they're exciting is that they're new and mean I don't have to do loops strictly around my neighborhood.  Still, the run felt good for the most part and I'm just happy I was able to get it done.

I have also been focusing on walking during my rest periods in my runs.  I didn't want to lose the momentum from running and just start walking slow.  In the last few weeks my body has already gotten used to "power walking" through the rest times and now I don't really have to think about it.  My main goal through the walking segments is to keep it under a 16 min pace, the minimum pace for runDisney events and I'm happy to say that I have kept to that goal.

After my run I made sure to stretch (something I'm trying to get better and better about), and spent the rest of the day walking around Brevard Zoo.  The rest of the day felt good for the most part, I was a little sore, a little tight, but nothing was throbbing, which I still saw as continuing good news.  Plus I found a spiffy new shirt with a fun running saying at the zoo!

I'm really proud of myself for my run today, and this week.  I got out there, some days when it was tough, and never looked back.  I just need to keep looking forward.  I'm planning to keep 6 miles as my long run through next month (which is incredibly busy) and then start pushing it again in April.

Plus, I have 1 year until I compete in the Glass Slipper Challenge during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Events are coming... the reasons I'm training are coming...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekly Report 1- What A Mess

Life has been catching up to me again, and catching up to my muscles and joints.  Where I was tired last week, now things are just starting to hurt or I'm just feeling off.  Then there were other complications like weather... lots and lots of wind this week.

The day I was planning on doing one of my shorter maintenance runs the wind decided that it wanted to wreak havoc with everything.  I work outside and I was barely able to stay on meet feet at times it seemed.  That just turned me off from running because I really didn't need a 5k resistance run.  I realized very quickly that while I love running in rain and thunderstorms, enjoy cold runs, and will tolerate hot runs... windy runs I just don't do.

So once postponing my run, my social life decided to actually have plans for once which means it took me a few days to get back into a workout.  Finally got on a treadmill yesterday which was interesting.  I forgot the challenges that go along with running on treadmills, finding my pace, keeping my pace, etc... I got the hang of it, but it didn't make my knee all that happy.  Or my ankles for that matter, but that was my fault as I wore my old running shoes which don't have the best ankle support.

Today I got up and started on my run.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a maintenance run or a long run so I just starting.  Very quickly I realized a few things... My muscles were sore from the treadmill run, but my pace was faster than ever before.  Of course just over a mile in I also rolled my good ankle.  The athlete in me kept running, but my brain reminded me not to push it because the last thing I need is old ankle injuries mixing with new ones and causing issues.

So I guess the theme this week was trying to cause issues when last week I was overcoming them.  I'll take these hard weeks though, because they make the good weeks that much better.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 Mile Done... A Lot More To Do

My long run this week was only 5 miles but it felt really good!  I'm really happy with how the run went.  I felt strong, there weren't a lot of pains during the run, and the weather was great.  Now I'm going to say it was cold, but pretty much everyone is going to say I'm nuts since it was about 50 degrees today when I ran.  However, I love running in colder weather (as long as there's no snow... I don't do snow...)

I set out to run the full first mile, walk .1, run till 2, walk another .1, run to mile 3.1, walk .2, ran to mile 4, walked another .2, ran until mile 4.5, and then finished strong!  Then had a nice .2 cool down.  All my walking was under 16 minute mile pace and that has been getting easier and easier to do without focusing on it.  My running pace was anywhere between 9:15 and 9:45, which I'm also super pleased with!

Probably the thing I'm happiest about is that my knee did really really well.  When I ran 4 miles for the first time a few weeks ago, my knee was throbbing at the end, even forcing me to walk eventually.  Then yesterday at the gym my knee hurt in the middle of my workout, but I pushed through it and it felt fine eventually.  So today I was expecting for my knee to kill my run at some point and it never did!  So excited about that because that just means the strength training, run training, and stretching is all working!

All my new gear is doing awesome!  I'm loving the pants and different shirts and I'm obsessed with my new Nike jacket (one of the thin, long sleeve ones).  I wear it whenever I can and I ran in it this morning and it was great.  I think I might have to suck it up and go get another one... My shoes have also broken in really well.  The combo with the new compression socks can get a little hot at times, but eventually I forget about it and I'm feeling great.

So other than being really tired last week, I've been feeling great!  I made sure to stretch and roll out today after my run and I'm still feeling great.  We'll see how tomorrow goes, but I feel right on track for 6 miles next week and then a rest week after that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Forcing On The Shoes

I know that what I feel right now isn't true exhaustion.  It's just a mix of getting back into real training and the fact it reached 80 degrees this week!  Between the two my body has just decided it wanted to wallow away the nights in bed, streaming different shows on Netflix.

The good news is that I've been drinking a lot more water since the new year so I'm not nearly has dehydrated as I have been in the past.  I guess you could call it a resolution...  The main resolution was to drink less soda and so I replaced that with fruit infused water and normal water.  So far I've only had 2 Dr Peppers this year and a lot more water.   It hasn't been nearly has hard to switch, but has been totally worth it.

I let my body rest on Monday, and then yesterday I did about 30 minutes of Yoga.  Today I finally forced myself to get up, put on my shoes and get out there for a run.  I thought I would only do 2 miles because that was a struggle to do on Sunday.  Yet while I feel worse in real life than I did on Sunday, my run felt a lot better.

I ended up doing a 5k and accidentally discovered that when I add on a new community they're building next to mine makes a perfect 5k loop.  I'm sure that info will come in handy when I have to start figuring out my long run plans.

I probably could have run more, I almost thought about doing 4 miles, but decided to stop instead.  I might go for another run tomorrow, I haven't quite decided.  I still have my normal weights workout on Friday, elliptical run on Saturday, and then a real run on Sunday.  I'm hoping to get in 5 miles on Sunday before I enjoy all the wonderful and unhealthy foods that come with the Superbowl!  Plus the temperatures are dropping starting tomorrow and it should be some great running weather next week!

Part of the struggle this week was mental, it was me fighting with my body and letting my body win.  Luckily, I finally decided to push through it and I'm really happy I did.  I guess that saying about regretting missed run, but never regretting a real run is true...

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Shoes!

I think the best part of getting back into training is getting new gear.  I've had most of my current gear for years, and I'm talking 3 or 4 years.  It's still good and I don't plan on getting rid of any of my stuff, but sometimes you just need an update...

The biggest issue for me was my shoes.  I love my Asics shoes.  I've been running in them for years and while New Balance and Nike both have some awesome designs, I can't give up my Asics.  I've had my current shoes for a few years now and they still have quite a bit of life left in them.  However, my heel has been slipping and I could tell that I needed some smaller shoes.

So I went to my local Fit2Run store and got resized... my feet have shrunk by almost a full shoe size! This seriously explains a lot... Asics apparently run a little small so I only needed to go down a half size, but the change was instant.  My heels weren't slipping, my feet were snug yet had some space... it was just great.  And even though I don't usually like pink, I do like the coloring on the shoes!

Of course, since I was there I also had to look for some other running gear.  Socks, shirts,  a pair of new capris and a really nice running jacket that I'm really tempted to wear just in general.  I also picked up one of the blinking lights I can clip onto my gear for when I run at night to stay visible to drivers.  The end receipt hurt a bit, but through joining the store's VIP club (I have a feeling I'll be back) and other discounts, I actually saved quite a bit- totally worth it!

Training gets so much more exciting when you get new gear!  Can't wait to get back out there and start breaking in my new shoes!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Race Schedule

When I decided to run the Dopey Challenge, I also realized this meant that I was going to need to sign up for some other races building up to the challenge.  The main reason is that I'll need a seed time for the Dopey.  I really don't want to be placed in the last corral just because I don't have a start time.  That's a little too close to the pace line than I need to be.  The easy part was deciding this years race, but the hard part was deciding next years races.

This year all I can sign up for now is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  It is a night race, which isn't my favorite, but doable.  All the other options were already full (these races seem to sell out in minutes nowadays) and were just too soon.  So I have until November now to get ready for this.  Still gives me some time to breathe and train at my own pace, but that also means anticipation is going to build for a lot longer.

2017 was the challenge, mainly because there are so many options.  I figured on the Wine and Dine Half again because it would be like my last practice race before the challenge.  I still wanted to do something earlier on in the year so I was debating between the half marathon during WDW Marathon weekend, Princess Half Marathon, and Star Wars Half Marathon.

I decided on doing the Glass Slipper challenge during the Princess Half Marathon next year.  It will be good for me to get some practice doing a back to back race and challenge since it includes a 10k and half marathon.  Plus, I have such history with the Princess Half Marathon.  I've run it 3 times now, and each run has left some sort of impact on me.  The first one was my first race at WDW, the second was with a close friend of mine, and the last time I ran on a healing, but still painful sprained ankle.  I just wonder what will happen during the next one...

There are a few 5ks I'll run throughout the year.  Mainly Run for Wildlife 5k at Busch Gardens in Tampa at the end of November, a run at Sea World Orlando in December, and a virtual 5k for Run3rd foundation which is going on right now.  I constantly keep my eye out for other fun runs, but so far none of the others have really caught my attention.

So my schedule as of right now is:
November 6th 2016- Wine and Dine Half Marathon
February 2017- Glass Slipper Challenge
November 2017- Wine and Dine Half Marathon
January 2018- Dopey Challenge

Monday, January 11, 2016

Step 1- Talk About It... A Lot

It's only been a day since I really decided on my goal of the Dopey Challenge, but the training and the preparation started as soon as I told myself I could do it.

I had already started running again because the weather has been so nice recently.  It's a bit on the chilly side for me, but that makes the runs that much better.  Considering I know that the summer will be here soon and the heat and humidity will be back with a vengeance, I'm trying to get my base runs back to a solid 3-4 miles before the weather becomes an issue.

However, right now the physical part of training is not the most important for me.  Right now, the most important part is getting the word out there and telling people that I'm going to do it.  I've told family, friends, coworkers, and other people I've met and struck up running conversations with... really anyone who would listen, I've told.

It's important to me, and I think anyone who has a challenging goal, to get the word out there.  It gives you a sense of responsibility to the goal, more so than just a personal one.  Now people are waiting to see you complete it.  It's a little bit more pressure, but it prevents you from creating excuses to yourself and quitting when times get hard.  It also sets up a support group to help you get through those tough times.  That's part of the reason I went back to writing a blog about this process... to make sure I finish it and find support along the way.

Most people have been encouraging and supportive.  A close friend of mine, who inspired me to complete the challenge by completing it herself this year, told me she'd be my cheerleader this time. She's also someone I'll probably lean on quite a bit as a I train for advice and opinions.  A few coworkers are also trying out some 10Ks and half marathons this year so we're all getting together and supporting each other for whatever our goals are.

Some friends are definitely thinking I'm crazy though, which I have to agree with.  Of course, you have to be a little dopey to do the Dopey Challenge... that's practically a requirement.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2 Years Till Dopey!

2 years...

That's how long I have until the 2018 Dopey's Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

I never thought I would be able to run long distances.  Then, in 2010, I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I thought that would be it, that I would be done.  I definitely wouldn't run a marathon.

Three years, 7 half marathons, and a number of 5ks later I ran my first and what I thought was my last marathon at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.  I thought that was all I needed.  I had fun, I finished, that's all I needed.

Apparently not.  I thought I had retired considering I haven't run a race since the marathon.  But the itch became unbearable and I finally had to scratch yesterday.  I have to do it... I have to do the Dopey Challenge.

I've had a few friends compete in the challenge, and finish, and I knew I could do the same.  I think a piece of it is the endurance athlete in me as well telling me I could do it.  I just have to be smart about it.  Which is why I'll be doing my challenge in 2018.  It'll be the 5 year anniversary and it will give me plenty of time to get my body and mainly my knees in shape to survive the challenge.

Join me as I train and get ready for this challenge.  I'll post about the successes and the challenges.  The pretty and not so pretty.  Overall, this should be another interesting challenge, that's for sure.

731 Days...

I can do this...