October 16, 2017

Annapolis Half-Marathon Training: On Making Time to Run

At my last job, I used to be wildly creative about how to get my workouts in during the day. I would often run the 7 miles to or from my office or get in 4-5 miles at lunchtime either outside or on the treadmill. I had a running group with a couple of coworkers and we would get together for 4-6 miles a few afternoons a month to knock out our training miles.

I remember the constant barrage of comments from people asking how on earth I found time to run every day! The answer was short - I didn't find time to run, I made time to run.

That hasn't been the case in the last few months. I've found it really hard to make time to run. Part of it is my work schedule, which is wildly different every day. I carry my laptop to and from work so on the days I do go into the office, I can't run there or back and early mornings have been more of a struggle than ever this last year. 

Over the last two weeks though, I've really tried to make running a priority, making time to run whenever I can, and trying to plan out my running in advance.

I've done pretty well with getting in 4 runs per week. I thought about trying to bring that up to 5 but I usually only do that for a marathon or if I'm aiming for a certain time. I want to run Annapolis to run. I know I'll eventually set at time goal when I get closer (I always do), but for now, I'm just trying to see where things take me and I'm pretty happy with where they've gone. 

My longest run was yesterday - 6 miles at an average pace of 9:18. Considering I couldn't run more 2 miles without stopping just a few weeks ago, this is pretty significant, especially since I didn't feel well yesterday.

I was better at cross-training my first week of training than this past week. I made it to yoga and a barre class. This past week, I didn't do anything. I've felt a cold coming on and opted to rest more than I normally would have so that I could get all of my runs in without wearing myself down. 

This week is Week 3 and it's a relatively normal week. My long run will be 7 or 8 miles and I'd like to get some more cross-training in but I have a few busy nights with some Junior League stuff so we'll see. It's about making time though and that's the plan! 

The good thing is that that 6-mile run really made me feel ready for Annapolis. It's been a long time since I've really trained for a half and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do next month!

October 3, 2017

Half-Marathon Training

At the peak of my running fitness, I could easily head out and run a half-marathon without much thought. My PR was just under 1:55 and it seemed every time I ran the distance, I could chip away at my previous PR. I went through a stretch where almost every time I ran the distance, I would PR.

I haven't taken the half-marathon distance seriously in almost five years. It's crazy because it doesn't feel that long. When I got injured in 2013, I set my sights on bouncing back to the full marathon. See, I was happy with my 13.1 race time but I was itching to get a sub-4 marathon under my belt. I think my push to get back to the full marathon distance is the reason it took me so long to get back to running and why I kept getting hurt. 

I used to run 2 or 3 half-marathons every time I trained for a full but for a number of reasons, I haven't run any 13.1 races while training for either of my last two full marathons.

This year, I set my sights on a spring marathon and, for a number of reasons, that didn't happen. I haven't run anything since Disney this year (which feels like a lifetime ago) but I'm itching to run a strong race. I know it might not be smart to jump into training for a half when I've run so infrequently this year but I feel like I need that distance to stay focused. I hate the 10k distance and the 5k is too short. I need something to train for that will challenge me and make me feel like I'm back to running.

I've decided on the Annapolis Half-Marathon. It's a course I've never run which is fun, it's close to home, and you get oysters at the finish line. What could be better?

Last week was the first week I consistently ran in a long time. I did two 3-mile runs and two 2-mile runs. I was hoping to get more cross-training in but honestly, I was really tired last week and didn't make it a priority. I definitely want that to change moving forward so my plan for this week is 4 training runs, and one class each of spin, barre, and yoga.  

We'll see how it goes! I'm excited to actually be training for something. It's definitely motivating me to get out the door and run when I'm tempted to lay under a blanket with a book in the mornings!

October 2, 2017

September Recap

Yesterday, I went to my first yoga class in about 2 months. I haven't regularly practiced yoga in awhile and I've missed it but I've also made up a dozen excuses to skip class.

I woke up really early before my alarm, made some coffee and curled up with a book and a blanket before making a quick breakfast and heading out. 

When I got to class, I realized the class was being subbed by an instructor who I had taken a class with before and didn't like. Immediately, I wished I could just go home. Then, as I was settling into the first posture, a guy showed up late and decided to roll out his mat in between the 3-inch space between me and the girl next to me, even though there was plenty of space behind me. I had to move my mat and was super irritated about everything and then as I was settling into my pose, I decided to be open-minded about the class.

This entire year has been so hard. It's been full of exciting things that have all fallen apart, causing disappointment, grief, anxiety, and unbelievable stress. 

I think it's fitting that my experience at yesterday's class fell on October 1. I always love the 1st if the month because of how much opportunity there is, I especially love when it falls on a weekend!

So, with that theme - open-mindedness - I'm walking into October with no hope or expectation with my shoulders a little heavier from this year, and I'm going to try to just be. 

I'm mixing up this post a little bit and talking about the month ahead rather than the month behind, but I'll get to that.

This month, I have a lot of travel planned both personal travel and for work and I hope that all of it gives me the feeling that travel always does, waking me up and shaking me up, and giving me a fresh opportunity to see the world in a different way.

I'll also be training for a half-marathon (more on that later), and scheduling in a lot more yoga because yesterday's class was everything I needed. I hope to read just as much as I did last month, and I hope that I can find some semblance of peace among everything that has been so hard this year.

Here's a look back at how September went:

Miles Run: 29

Books Read: 7 (way more than I've read in any other month this year!)

Blog Posts Written: 3

Trips Taken: 1
  • I spent a week in New Jersey in between weddings in New York and New Jersey and stayed at my mom's.
Highlights: Spending the week at mom's and having her make me coffee and breakfast every morning and getting to spend a day in New York with Carolann!

Lowlights: Peyton needing emergency surgery last week. She'll be ok but she's in a cone and is pretty mopey right now. On top of that, the surgery didn't come cheap.

The Month Ahead: A lot of travel...not all of it is planned yet but I'm looking at a long month of time away.

How did your September shape up?
What are you looking forward to in October?
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