Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Joys of Winter Running

I did 6.75 miles yesterday in the cold, and I will admit, the masochist in me rather enjoyed it. The temps were in the 20's, but with wind chill it was more like teens-ish... And since I lived in the south for the last 2 years, it was rather a shock to the system. :O However, I quickly acclimated to it, which is easy to do when it's not windy. And bundled up with a furry hat. The miles at first went by slowly, but then accelerated at a speedy clip. The scenery was great, and I saw fellow nutzos out there (including one runner who was wearing shorts!). Sometimes I just get into a really good zone on my jogs, and roll with it; yesterday was a fabulous illustration of that occurrence. I'm one of those folks who are successful at achieving Zen through running, and not yoga. Some of you will know what I'm talking about reading this!

Anyways, yesterday's workout had some speedy segments thrown in for good measure, but it was overall a pretty conservative effort. I can't believe how racing can impact you even a week afterward. I'm still feeling a wee bit tired, and my legs aren't quite fresh yet. Granted, I did a freakin' marathon, so I know it's exhausting business, but it's still a little jarring to feel the way I do right now.

Hope I'll be able to squeeze in some good runs while I'm in the northeast during the holidays. It'll be a great stress reliever, not to mention penance for eating all those cookies, and drinking all those hot chocolates with Baileys.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A 2-Hr (or less) Half, Here I Come!!!

Let me preface this post with a mini-ramble of how training for Marathon #2 (Palm Beach Marathon 2010) went. Basically, most of it sucked. I felt tired a lot, got sick around key workout times, and essentially felt stale about the whole affair. I'd get occasional flashes of potential and awesomeness on certain runs (e.g., running an 8:35 split on the last mile of a 20 mile training run - how the fuck did THAT come about?), but that was all. Not a lot of meaty substance, but plenty of malaise to go around.

So while I felt adequately prepped going into Palm Beach, I knew that it would be very unlikely I'd reach my goal time of 4:30. I just didn't have the strength and endurance to hack it. But I still set a new PR by 9 minutes. That was extremely comforting for me. However, it also confirmed that I need to rejigger the way I approach training, not to mention that busting out of my comfort zone has to happen in order for me to meet my new ambitions.

Goal #1: I want to run a half-marathon in 2-flat or under
Goal #2: I want to run a full in 4:20 or under
Goal #3: I want to lose 5 lbs. (which will help me reach the first two goals, so actually, this should be the first thing on my plate, but weight loss is never a fun thing)

How will I attain these? I'm still fishing around for a good training program to follow, but I have a few things up my sleeve that will help me on this running journey of mine. I've been reading, and re-reading, Matt Fitzgerald's Run, and will continue to pay close attention to my body's messages, a point that he hammers home in his latest offering. On a more specific level, I also need to up the amount of weekly mileage. I peaked at 40 miles/week for this recent marathon training cycle, and that wasn't sufficient enough in my opinion. So instead of running for 40-50 minutes 3 days/week like I usually do, I'll extend my runs to 1 hour or more twice a week. THAT was really the culprit that led to my OK-but-not-that-great performance on December 5th; I paid too much attention to the LSD runs, but not enough to my tempo and recovery ones.

As for losing weight, the obvious answer is to eat less and move around a lot more. But that's easier said than done. ;) However, if I buckle down and set my mind to it, I'll do it. But as I said earlier, weight loss just isn't fun thinking or discussing.

Back from the Dead

Ok, not quite, but I haven't posted anything in here since October, and now we are waiting for Christmas, not to mention the close of 2010. Yikes!

Since October, I have done the following:

-Ran the Waddell & Reed Half Marathon in Kansas City with a 2:10:38 time
-Did the Palm Beach Marathon on Dec. 5th, and PR'd. Chip time was 4:42:07

Lots of things have been going on with me, so it's been pretty tumultuous for the last two months. I don't want to elaborate on it now, but when I'm ready, maybe I'll talk about it here. But I've always had the hardest time expressing personal life-related matters, and I feel protective of my loved ones.... The latter part especially explains my reluctance in "sharing" my current stressors - I just feel a bit weird and hesitant in disclosing things that are mostly affecting my family.

I also have a few running-related goals I want to (and WILL) achieve next year... Will discuss them at length in my next post!