Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week 3 (and part of week 4) Update

This would be all of last week.  Sorry for the lateness!

It's been tricky finding time to run.  I somehow managed to keep it consistent to every other day last week.  My average mileage in a session has made it to just around 5.5 miles.  On Sunday, I managed to make it to 6 before I could go no further.  

I missed my run day on Tuesday.  Which means I have some catching up to do in order to make my mile count this week.  I've also noticed that I'm going to have to change up my strength workouts.  Or find a better place to do so.  While I love our little gym, it doesn't have very much equipment.

I'm feeling more and more reluctant about running outside.  It's been cold and rainy almost every day this week.  I feel like I'm going to have to start using the indoor track at the university, or maybe just run around the basketball court inside.

I definitely need to step it up this week.  Luckily, it's not over yet! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 2 Update

As mentioned earlier, I've decided to update once a week.  I figure the best time is at the end of the week where I can recap everything.

To be perfectly honest, this was not the best of weeks in terms of obligations and stress.  Most of my days started early and ended quite late.  I didn't make my mile count and only made it to the gym a few times.  I did, however, eat pretty well.  I've been loading up on the fruits and veggies as much as possible.  The biggest hurdle I had to tackle was work.  On the days I forgot to pack a lunch, I ate across the street and had salad or soup and fruit.

This week feels like it's going to settle down a little.  I'm so grateful that I get to do so many awesome things and that I have a job, but it definitely wore me out this week.

Week 3's mile count is a solid 20 miles.  Given that I have to have a day of rest, this means I have to run or do a cross-training exercise of three miles each day.  Yikes!  My time is improving, moving down to 9:15ish.  For this race, I'm not so concerned about the time. I just want to run consistently and finish.

That's about all the updating I can do for right now.  Gotta scoot off to rehearsal :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 1 - Days 4 through 7

Okay, I definitely need to be more on top of updating this thing.  I've been keeping a mile count in a separate notebook along with what I've been eating during the day.  I have made Friday my cheat/rest day since something like that is in every plan I have found. 

My first full week of training is complete!  Today is my first long distance run day, something that I will be doing later tonight.  Sundays are going to be tricky because I have a meeting and rehearsal from 1-5 every day, which is when I like to go on weekends.  Oh well, nothing like the thrill of running in the dark ;p

Aside from that, training has been pretty tame.  I think it's just the fact that I'm following a first timer plan when I'm already used to exercising.  For cross-training days, I've decided on the elliptical/stair machine and yoga.  Yoga especially will help with my joints.  For strength training, I've gotten into the habit of working my core and back after I run.  I do my legs, arms and chest during the not-running days along with any cross-training I feel like throwing it.  I'm getting pretty pumped for this coming week now that I've felt my way around to a routine that works.

In other news, I might have a running partner!  I have a friend who is crazy awesome athletic and was totally up for the idea of doing a marathon (again).  More on that later.

Food has been interesting this week.  I've blown through a dozen eggs in a matter of days along with fruit and avocados.  Fun fact: avocados are rich in the good kind of fat your body needs.  That and a little cheese meets my requirements and it's oh so delicious.  Again, I'm utilizing the super awesome recipe site called Skinnytaste.  Delicious and easy recipes that are good for you :)

I admit, I splurged pretty hard this weekend.  Needless to say that splurging is going to quickly be out of the question the further I go with this training. 

That's all I have to report for now.  Can't wait to update you guys with week 2!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 1 -- Days 2 & 3

Hiya everyone!

I've been doing a lot of reading on diet and nutrition for a marathon training schedule. Nutrition is incredibly important to me and I know that my body is going to be taking a beating with all of this training.  Here are some really interesting tips that I have learned:

1) It helps to know what time the actual race is and to train around the same time of the race.  This helps the body establish a rhythm during running time so that it's a smoother transition into running for the race.  (Plus, it helps with letting your body plan for bathroom breaks ;p)

2) The key with diet is to eat carbs around the time that you will be active.  This means fruit, pasta, bread, rice, etc. before or right after training.

3) Don't go too many hours without eating or your brain will signal starvation mode and stimulate your appetite.  This is a factor that I am most cautious about.  It can be very easy for my body to think that it's being overworked and underfed.  Which is why....

4) ....snacks are important!  It's good to eat a little something every few hours to keep your body's metabolism going.  This entails having a piece of fruit or raw veggies, something light and nutritious.

I'm currently getting myself back into the habit of eating 5 times a day (yes, like a hobbit).  I eat something for breakfast, have a pretty significant lunch, a small snack in the afternoon, dinner in the evening, and a small snack at night.  This transition always changes how I go through food in my house.  You'd think that it would be going faster since I am eating more often, but it actually disappears a bit more slowly since I am usually not super hungry when it's time to eat.

I've also discovered that I am already having trouble meeting a healthy calorie count.  Since my meals are consisting of mostly fresh foods, it's lucky if I make it to 1,500 calories in a day.  This would normally be acceptable except I'm already burning between 400-500 calories in a workout.  And those calories that I am burning are only going to increase as I gain the ability to run farther and farther.  I foresee that I will need to find good staple foods that are rich in nutrients as well as filling.

Hey guys, I just have to say this: Bodies are SO COOL.

In other news, I did my first hardcore workout last night.  I ran three miles on the treadmill and then did the most amount of core work I have ever done in one take.  I'm feeling it today, let me tell you.  Since I didn't give myself enough time to go to the gym this morning, I'll be going again tonight.  It's looking like legs, back and arms are on the agenda for tonight along with a light run.

That's all for now!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 1 - Day 1

I just got done grocery shopping and stocked my fridge with veggies and protein.  I also bought a ton of nectarines and some bananas, tomatoes and avocados.  I think food shopping is always my faorite part when embarking on a new adventure.

I ran for as long and as far as I could today to gauge my endurance.  I was actually quite pleased to find that I could just make 4.5 miles in about 50 minutes.  This is great considering I have not been to the gym in 2 weeks -- I took a break because of the auditions for my play and catching up on schoolwork from said auditions.  But I was going pretty regularly, 5 days a week on average, sometimes every day.  I'm saving strength training for tomorrow. It's going to be interesting.  The plan I'm following suggests 45-60 minutes of really good training in legs and core.

--Cinnamon raisin bagel with lite cream cheese
--Black tea with milk

--Pita and garlic hummus
--Huge mixed greens salad

--Smoked turkey on wheat with veggies
--Baby carrots

Tomorrow begins a much more broken down eating schedule.  As I said in my previous post, I'll be eating lightly and frequently throughout the day with a big dinner in the evening.  As far as a training schedule is concerned, I'm going to try to do it in the morning as opposed to the evening.  This means that I'll be waking up as early as 5am to run, shower and get to work by 8am.  Cool! :)

Okay, that's all I've got.  Nighty night!

Deciding To Run

Over the past several months, I have been doing a lot of experimenting with how my body works.  First with diet and exercise, then with sleep (which is still something my boyfriend and I are fiddling with).  I have learned very quickly that my body can do anything I tell it to with proper training and enough food.  And that's pretty awesome when you think about it. 

It occurred to me some time ago that I have never physically pushed myself.  I've gone hiking in the summers and climbed several times, I even tried out aerial silks for the first time this summer.  But I haven't really committed myself to any kind of intense training.  I haven't been much of an athlete.  Sure, I have my workout routine that keeps me in shape (20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes lifting), but I don't often push this awesome machine that is mine.

So, after a few inspirational talks and a blog post from a lovely lady who just completed her first triathlon, I decided that if these people can do it, so can I!

I will be participating in the Lansing Marathon on April 21st, 2013.

Yay!  Whoooo!  All the feels!
Except it's going to be intense.
But the good kind of intense.

The average training plan for someone who has running experience, but who has never run a marathon is 22 weeks.  The average beginner should be running 20 miles/week when they first begin training.  That's about 3 miles a day.  Along with the actual running, it's crucial to be doing strength exercises to adjust your body's joints and tissues for an intense amount of work.  Most of the plans I have read suggest alternating every other day between running and strength training for the first several weeks. Weekends, particularly Saturday, are the long distance days.  This is going to be so crazy.

If I start today, 22 weeks puts me at the end of February.  This give me an extra six weeks between the end of training and the race to build up my body just a little bit more before the marathon.  I'm loving this plan.

The next important thing about training for a marathon is diet.  I've asked my friend Alli, the lady I mentioned earlier that completed a triathlon, for some advice as well as looking up a couple of different dieting plans.  (By the way, check out Alli's blog post about her triathlon here!)  They all said pretty much the same thing: listen to your body.  I should be having a lot of protein along with tons of raw veggies and fruits.  Whole grains and pasta will definitely help in giving me energy.  My basic plan is to eat lightly throughout the day and have a bigger dinner that includes lean meats, eggs, or other sources of protein.  As far as weight is concerned, it is expected that I will lose a fair amount just by these plans alone.  In reality, the smaller you are, the faster you are. 

I'm laying it down right now, as I have in the past when it comes to diet and exercise, that this is NOT about losing weight.  This adventure is about strength, speed, and above all else, discipline.  Though I don't know specifically how I'm going to be feeling, I know that this is going to be challenging.  But I am so ready for it!

So, it's settled.  I am training myself to run 26.2 miles in one race.  Holy. Monkeys.

Here we go!!