Marathon 2: Week 6 – DOING IT.

The decision has been made. I won’t be running the Athens Marathon this year. But, I WILL be running the Athens Half Marathon this year. In the wake of my IT band issues and in the interests of coming back … Continue reading

Marathon 2: Week 5 Training Recap

Week 5 started on a not so great note. My last long run had me discouraged and frustrated that my legs didn’t seem to be handling marathon training very well… at all. It was clear that my body was telling … Continue reading

8 More Under My Belt

I’d like to thank my wonderfully strong and toned leggies for this success. You’ve carried me so far, but I never thought you could carry me this far at one time.

Today, I did my first long run since my half marathon training re-commenced. I dutifully prepped the evening before – laid out my clothes, drank lots of water, got to bed early, and visualized success. Of course, the t-shirt and heat gear pants I set out ended up being not so useful after the 40 degree drop in temperatures overnight, but I thought quickly and adapted.

I practiced goal setting on this run. I set 3 possible goals for my 8 mile run:

1) Finish. End of story.

2) Keep my average pace under 12:00 min/mile.

3) Keep the pace around 11:00 min/mile.

I implemented a 10:1 run/walk strategy that served me very well in the first 4 miles. In fact, I was on target to smash all 3 goals, with the pace for the first 4 miles just under 11:00 minutes. Rock it out, baby!

Just after hitting the mile 4 marker, I walked for a bit longer and chomped down my Shot Bloks. On my long runs, I carry (Ian’s) camelbak, so during each walk break, I was making sure to get water in my system. This mile came in around 13:00 min/mile, but with a cushion built in from the first 4 miles, I wasn’t overly concerned – besides, I was cruising along, feeling strong.

That strong feeling kept on keeping on until about mile 6.5, when all the sudden my legs got tired. My hips ached, my knees ached, my calves ached. Not injury ache, but the typical “you’ve been running for an hour+, dummy!” kind of ache. I won’t lie, I kinda enjoyed it. It told me that I worked hard and didn’t let myself slack.

The last mile ticked by in just under 12:00 minutes. When I looked at my watch, my total time was 1:34:01 –  a pace of 11:45 per mile.

2 outta 3 goals ain’t bad, and to top it off, my foot NEVER even twinged, I never felt out of breath, and my legs ached with that sweet feeling of a job well done.

Part of the reason I set these 3 goals was to practice goal setting for Race Day. I’m starting to think that a 2:30 finish time would be a good HOLY MOLY, I’M FREAKIN’ AWESOME! goal – definitely a challenge, but not out of reach, at an average pace of 11:27 – and yes, i borrowed your math, Book Worm – thanks!! 😉

I wish I could run 8 miles everyday – perhaps, someday…

She’s BAAAACCK!

For the first time in  25 days, I ran.

Like, for realsies went for a run.

I’m calling it the Inaugural Does Janene Still Have It? 5k. I started out by walking .8 miles at a 6.0 incline on the ‘mill, and then let it rip.

And, how.

I ended up running 2.3 miles in 25:08. For those of you who are math challenged –

That’s a 10:55 pace.

But here’s where the real fun happens…

IT WAS EASY. Like, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Piece of cake. Barely-broke-a-sweat kinda easy.

Let me now remind you that when I got injured my “comfortable” pace was around, oh, 12 – 12:30 minutes per mile.

Today, I felt like I was running a 12:30 mile. I could have kept going indefinitely at that pace. If I wasn’t mindful of not pushing my foot too hard on the first one, I probably would have.

Instead, I hopped off the ‘mill, and proceeded to ride the wave of the runner’s high into a solid 30 minutes on the bike and an intense upper arm circuit. I was simply unstoppable today.

5 words:

CROSS TRAINING FOR THE WIN!!!!

——

Right after I got off the treadmill, I headed over to Ian, who was stretching it out, lookin’ all cute and sweaty. As we stretched together, I looked out the window and said “Aww, it’s so pretty out there!” Ian looked at me like I had 4 heads and 13 hands.

All I could do was grin sheepishly and say…

I love running!

Mmm, yeah. About that…

Hey, strangers. It’s been awhile, I know. But in my defense, life hasn’t been the picture of excitement around these parts lately.

Wake up.

Eat breakfast.

Go to gym.

Stay for a couple hours. Ellipticize, Bike, Stairmaster. Weights.

Come home.

Blog stalk.

Shower (…sometimes).

Hang out with Ian.

Eat dinner.

Watcha  moooovie.

Go to bed.

Repeat.

I know. You’re all jealous of my oh-so-glamorous lifestyle. 😉

In all honesty, it is actually kinda fun being unemployed. Minus the whole no paycheck thing, of course. But, there is a job lurking on the horizon, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, and for the meantime, I’m focusing on myself. Getting into shape, eating well, and basking in the absence of stress. I’m also re-visiting my Masters research in the hopes of presenting and publishing it later this year. You know, now that I’ve had a few months of space to let the memories of all-nighters and torturous stats sessions fade to a tolerable level and all.

There have also been a few GLORIOUS days that hint at spring, which we took full advantage of.

We recently did a wonderful 17 mile ride. And by “we,” I mean me and my bf, Gary. Okay, and Ian, too. Ian pretends he’s not  jealous, but I can’t deny our love. We go way back, and if anything, Ian’s birthday gift has rekindled and solidified our relationship. If only he didn’t hurt my crotch so much…

Anywho, I haven’t really and truly run in 22 days, but who’d keeping track? I’ve become one of those “gym rats,” spending at least 2 hours in the gym 4 or 5 days a week. And let me tell you… I’M SOOOO BORED. I ran 3-4 times a week AND cross trained 2-3 times a week for almost 10 weeks, and boredom never even flitted across my vocabulary. 3 weeks in the gym, and I’m soooo over it. BUT, the Flying Pig is in 8 weeks, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to give it my best shot, foot or no foot. So, cross training and weights are my new best friend. Good thing the Pig is a walker friendly race! 😉

Even if I have to crawl across that finish line, I’ll cross it. Until then, I’m choosing another half marathon in July to set my sights on, too. Feet be damned, I WILL run 13.1 miles. And soon.

What have YOU been up to lately??

What Being Injured Has Taught Me…

It had been 8 days since she last went for a run, and before that, it was 5 days. She tried to run again, and the first 3/4 mile was glorious. But then, the twinges came back, and of course, better safe than sorry. In the past 4 months, she hadn’t gone more than 1 or maybe 2 days without running. It has become a part of who she is in these short months.

So what is a runner to do when she can’t run?

The same things she does when she can run. Bike, walk, hike, lift. Eat well. Live well. And, most importantly, when it’s 50 degrees and sunny, and all she wants to do is run, but she can’t… she should remember that it’s not the end of the world. She will run again someday soon. And until then she can still bike, walk, hike, lift. Her body can still do amazing things, and she is lucky that she has such a wonderful life. Half a year ago, she would never had dreamed that running 5 miles or getting on a bike and spinning for an hour would be routine, even an easy workout. And even when her foot aches, she is reminded that that same foot once carried her 7 miles, which is about 7 miles more than it could carry her half a year ago.

So, when she gets discouraged, and feels like she might never be able to run again, she can either throw herself a pity party and drown her sorrows in a gallon of ice cream, like she would have half a year ago…

Or, she can scarf down her egg and toast, hop on her bike and see how many miles her quads can take her today. Because she is runner.

And being a runner is about more than just running…

… it’s about living life, even when life makes you ache.