What Have I Done…?

Well, here it is December 2015, and I am just now coming to grips with something I did in September.

In September, I signed up for a marathon. A full, 26.2 mile MARATHON! The thing I said I would NEVER, ever do. I am doing it. While I found the actual process of signing up easy; all I needed to do was give them money – I didn’t actually feel scared about doing it. In fact, I even made fun of the decision:

It started innocent enough. I thought how lonely my “13.1” sticker looked on the back of my car, and how a “26.2” would really liven up the car. Then I asked my brother-in-law, the poor guy I have been dragging with me on this running journey since early 2012, if he was going to run Eugene again this coming spring.

He of course, said yes. Then I asked if he was going to run the full or the half. He confidently answered the full, because “… I want to do one before I turn 40, so now or never.”

My response, of course, was “Yeah, I want to do one before you turn 40 too.”

So, like I said, innocent enough. But now I am TWO months into my crazy 30 week training plan. I hit 100 miles in October, then took one too many vacations and slacked in November. Am I really going to be a non-starter??

HELL NO!!

It is December 2nd, and I have all month to nab another 100 miles! I am signed up for private yoga lessons to stretch the parts of me that running hardened, and I have a new desire to not die in May. I figure another way to keep me accountable to my plan – is to check in here.

So with that, here is my check in for today.

Today I ran 6 miles.

I packed everything I needed in my handy safeway plastic bag (give me a break, it was early) and off to work I went this morning. That was after a morning that included falling into a puddle of laundry soap thanks to mischievous cats and cleaning up vomit, also thank you cats. By the time lunch rolled around, I was ready to throw the towel in and start eating my spaghetti. But, I looked up at the training schedule I posted above my computer and knew I wanted to go.

Midway through changing, I realized I made it to work with only ONE sock. “Nope, that won’t stop me,” I thought. I threw on my work socks, pulled them up to my knees, and rolled my purple running tights over them. Ain’t nobody got time for no socks!

As soon as I started running, thoughts filled my head, as they usually do. They included, in no particular order:

 

My spaghetti

My husband

What my dog was doing right now

If I remembered to feed the cats

Where had I put my car keys

Did I have to pee

Was that guy looking at me

Wedgie

 

Yes, the life of a runner is lovely. After thinking for what felt like hours, the man in my headphones told me I had only five more miles to go.

Balls.

This run was quickly becoming a bore, which is writer’s block for runners.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I do most my running in downtown Portland around the waterfront. You can cross any number of bridges and get a 3 mile loop in. You can do that loop multiple times, or extend the southern end of the run with a relatively small chance of getting mugged. If mugged is what you are looking for, by all means, extend the northern part of the loop.

By mile two, I was on the east side of the loop, running towards my second of four planned bridge crossings – right when the bridge went up. As usual, this means the race was really on, and suddenly I was not as bored. I turned on my heels and ran back the way I came towards the next bridge. The goal with these bridge raises is to see if you can beat the boat to the next bridge, and cross before you get caught. A great way to practice speed work and pretend you are faster than a full-speed boat.

Of course, by the time I got to the next bridge crossing, the boat had long since passed, and I had another two miles to go. But, by now, I had plenty of new thoughts to occupy my mind. Such as:

 

My spaghetti

My husband

What my dog was doing right now

If I remembered to feed the cats

Where had I put my car keys

Did I have to pee

Was that guy looking at me

Wedgie

 

Then, like the sound of Harrison Ford’s voice, the man in my headphones told me I had reached my goal of six miles, and I jumped for joy, and took a selfie. Because, really, if you don’t have a selfie to document it, the run doesn’t really count…

IMG_6135

Until next time, keep your feet on the pavement!

 

Half Marathon Training!

Ah, I love December 26th! Such a fun day to relax after a long holiday of running between family gatherings. I basically spent all day folding clothes and ironing! I admittedly put it off for awhile while I was getting ready for the holidays… so my mountain of clothing needed attended to.

 

I have started a pretty good collection of running clothes, and my wonderful mother-in-law got me this great pair of running tights! I am looking forward to using these suckers soon!

Pants

Which brings me to today’s subject, half marathon training. I have run four half marathons since December 2012, and I really want to double that in 2015! My first half marathon will be the March 2015 Shamrock Run in Portland, Oregon. What attracted to me this race most, is the fact that it is the first time the Shamrock Run has had a half marathon distance, so the medal will say “inaugural” and I sure as hell can’t miss that! I was a little bummed to see the prices had increased so much this year… but the medal is so shiny! J

With a few half marathons under my belt, I have a pretty good idea what works best for me for training. The Shamrock Run will actually have a huge hill at mile 8, so I really needed to get the training going. I have a thirteen week training plan that I selected for this race. I try to keep my longest runs on the weekend, since my weekday runs are done at work during my lunch break. I also like to try to run a 12-mile training run before my race, and I usually convert one or two of my 3-mile training runs to a speed workout, which usually means mile cut downs (basically run a mile as fast as I can, rest for 60 seconds, and do it two more times).

Below is my training plan for my next half marathon. On top of the four runs per week, I am also completing Insanity: Max 30, which runs on a Monday-Saturday schedule, with Sunday as a rest day. Works great to have my longest run on Sunday!Half_Marathon

Half_Marathon

That’s basically it! I am just wrapping up week 2. Looking forward to some personal records this year!