Tag Archives: Races

Staying Tough, Mentally

It’s almost August – I really don’t know where July went. I suppose I spent it logging miles, nursing my little hound, and teleworking a lot.

As of August 4, I have exactly a month until my Half! I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. The miles we’ve been logging (seven last weekend, six the weekend before, and five the weekend before that) have bolstered my confidence. Yet, I’m also scared out of my mind. 13.1 miles is a long way. I felt so accomplished last Saturday when we finished our seven mile run. As I cooled off and walked home with Hubs, both sipping our iced coffees, I realized that we will be running 6.1 MORE miles on the day of the race. Right now, that feels inconceivable.

I know I’ve come a long way during training. Where I am now, two miles, three miles, even four miles don’t seem like long runs anymore. These are no longer “stretch” workouts for me — instead they’re my evening runs. It’s what I do when I get home from work. I love that feeling and it’s so nice to see what my body can do. Around Memorial Day, I was worried about finishing a 5k. A month before that, I could have maybe run one mile (if chased). I really love the level of fitness I’m working toward. I love that I’m healthy enough to get out and sweat after a long day at work. It’s nice to know I’m pushing myself again.

I’m trying hard to stay positive and motivated. I try not to think about the mileage increases each Saturday. I just think about the next mile. However, I do catch myself sometimes thinking about Saturday’s long run in “how in the world am I gonna do that?!?!” terms. But, I get out and I do it. Having Hubs with me is super helpful and really spurs me on to keep running. I really enjoy the time we get to spend together on our runs. Even when we devolve into grunts and panted questions about which direction we’re going next, seeing him running beside me motivates me to keep going.

Have you trained for a distance race? How do you stay mentally tough during training? On race day? I’ll take all the advice I can get!!

Also, y’all, I am suffering from the worst planning mistake ever! My passionate love of college football (especially my alma mater, the University of Georgia) has collided with this race I’ve been planning for the past seven months. I failed to look at a football schedule. 😦 Georgia’s season opener, at the Georgia Dome, Saturday night prime time, on ESPN, is the night before my half. *Insert huge sigh here* I anticipate struggles sleeping anyway, so maybe it will be nice to have the tv on in the background as I try to fall asleep? Or, there’s always the chance I get sucked in, get worked up, and get little to no sleep the night before I run 13.1 miles. If that happens (and if we lose) I will be VERY, VERY cranky. All right, I’m done being melodramatic. It’s one football game, but I’m committed y’all!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Win Some, Lose Some

Win: Ran another four miles (on the dreadmill) on Wednesday. Less nervous and more excited about this weekend’s four mile race.

Lose: It is hot, like face of the sun hot, here. I’m afraid the heat may take a toll on me/result in a poorer performance than I’d like to see this weekend.

Win: Book club was AWESOME last night! I love these ladies, I love cooking food for people, I love drinking wine and talking. I also love that whoever hosts has full reign over book selection. It has encouraged me to pick up books I wouldn’t have on my own.

Lose: I’ve been AWFUL about putting book reviews up here. I’ll see if I can crank one out about our most recent book club read (my pick): The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.

Win: I ordered a wireless USB adapted to fix our laptop problem.

Lose: When the wireless adapter showed up, it either didn’t work or at least it didn’t solve the problem. I’m back to square one. If I had the money, I would just say eff it and buy a new laptop.

Win: I finally finished all but one of my library books (my bed time book) so I took my Kindle for its first commute yesterday. LOVE IT! I’m reading The Good Soldiers right now. People have hailed it as a modern day version of The Things They Carried (about the Vietnam War) which is one of my favorite books. I have high hopes for The Good Soldiers and so far have NOT been disappointed.

Lose: I still have not managed to get a job that pays me to read books in my PJs.

Win: Buddy was surprisingly well-behaved last night.

Lose: He still peed on the carpet once. So frustrated with house training him. Hubs and I are resolute that we’ll get this straightened out before he turns one in July.

In other news, my last remaining grandparent (Nana) fell in her kitchen earlier this week. She hit her head and her hip. Luckily she had no head injuries — not even a concussion. However, she did break her hip. After a day and a half on morphine, while waiting for an operating room to open up, Nana had a full hip replacement yesterday afternoon. My Aunt Pegs described her as a “happy drunk” after surgery; I am without words to describe how relieved I am that her surgery went well. She starts her long rehab process today. She is also 85. She has always been a “tough old lady” and I’m hoping she keeps her spirits up and sticks to rehab. It also makes me increbily thankful for my mobility and ease of movement. It makes me want to stay healthy throughout life in the hopes that I don’t end up at 85 stuck on the floor after a fall. Oh, and if you pray, could you send some thoughts Nana’s way? She and I would appreciate it!

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Mid Year Resolution Gut Check

I’m a little astounded that we’re halfway through the year already. It feels like Christmas was a few weeks ago — how has the summer gotten here so fast?

I figured it was about time to give myself a little look in the mirror and see how I’m doing with my resolutions.

1) Re-introduce weights.
I could be doing so much better with this. I love lifting. I just need to remind myself of that. This month, I’m re-introducing it in manageable, baby bite sized chunks. Then, next month I’ll add a little more. I want to be toned and feel great come September for the half (more on that in a minute) and our beach trip.

2) Run a half marathon. 
I signed up for this race! Yes, I actually did it! And, to boot, I got my husband and two good friends on board as well. I’m registered, we have a hotel room, I’ve got a training plan, and dammit I am going to do this!

3) Vary my reading.
I’ve been doing pretty good with this little goal. I’m realizing that I’m definitely better at knocking out non-fiction as opposed to classics. That’s a pity because there are so many classics I want to read. I’m hoping that having a Kindle (and free access to a lot of these books) will improve my classics record.  Don’t forget to add me as a friend on Goodreads! I love stealing book ideas from people. 🙂

4) Write letters.
I did pretty well with this for the first few months. Then, I got a few letters back and saved them with the intention of responding. They are still sitting in my cubby of the living room table. Whoops! I’ll work on sending some post cards from my trips this summer!

5) Get student loans under $X.
This is going very well. We are chugging away. I did some calculations yesterday about how much we’ve paid off in the (just under) two years we’ve been paying on the loans. I am astounded by how well we’ve done. Definitely on track here to meet my goal and pay off the loans before this time next year!

6) Cook!
Doing very well here too! Hubs and I have definitely been entertaining a lot. I’ve been picking a lot of our recipes for our meals and am generally starting to feel very at home in the kitchen!

7) Stop wasting time.
I gave up Facebook for Lent and that helped with this for a while. Lately, I’ve found myself killing time again lately. Refreshing facebook, twitter, and news sites. Re-checking blogs that I just looked at. Mindlessly watching TV that Hubs has on. I’m trying to avoid these time sucks but by the time I realize what I’m doing sometimes, I’ve wasted half an hour! Must stop wasting time! 

I’m satisfied with that. Looks like 3 goals could use some improvements and 4 are coming along swimmingly! Thankfully no huge failures on the horizon here! How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I Love June

Why is that? Because June brings my Birthday! It’s today, in fact! 🙂 I love birthdays and 26 is not disappointing!

It’s also a new month (and the halfway mark on the year). So, let’s see how I did in May…
1. Create half marathon training plan.
Check! I’ve been just about on pace with my long runs, but my overall weekly distance is NOT where it should be.
2. Complete six strength training work outs (2/6)
Obviously I, once again, slacked off here. I’m finding it very hard to make time in my workout schedule of runs to strength train, but I know it’s key to a successful race and fitness program. Sigh.
3. Read six books (6/6) 
Check! I’m reading about five simultaneously right now…
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (2/1) [Bossy Pants, The House on First Street] 
Okay, so I didn’t read two classics and one non-fiction. Instead I read one classic and two non-fictions. I think that counts!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k.
Going into this race, I was worried about finishing. But, I actually PR’ed! My new 5k best is 34:39. Onward and upward!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants (3/3) [Lincoln – DC, Captain Billy’s Crab House – Southern MD, Eventide – Arlington]
While I visited three new places, I only had a drink at Eventide. I’m still gonna count it though!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (4/16) 
Toot toot! Here comes the fail boat… I suck at blogging lately. I think this is because my laptop doesn’t recognize the wireless in our apt anymore. I have live writer on that computer too. Our desktop is slowly dying and takes FOREVER to load pages. The combo = very little blogging motivation.

On Deck for June:
1. Get my mileage up! (0/4)
Right now, my training plan has me running 15 miles a week in addition to my long run. I’m definitely not there and I need to work on it! I will be aiming to run 10-15 miles each week.
2. Weight train (at least once a week). (0/4)
This is totally doable. If I don’t want to weight train and run on the same day, all I have to do is get myself into the gym or in front of the TV with my kettle bell ONE TIME a week. Do it, Anna. You will thank yourself.
3. Read three books that are non-fiction or classics. (0/3)
Again, trying to keep my reading varied. Hubs got me a Kindle for my birthday and I’ve downloaded some of the free classics. Hopefully that will help!
4. Get Laptop fixed. Seriously, Anna. 
I just need to take that sucker to best buy or something and get someone to tell me why the computer knows the wireless is there but refuses to connect to the internet.
(While I’m there, I should probably buy an external hard drive to back up our failing desktop…)
5. Make a savings plan for summer fun trips.
Hubs and I are fortunate to be going away for at least a weekend in July, August, and September. Super stoked for that, but since money doesn’t grow on trees we need to figure out how we’re going to pay for all this.
6. Make four new recipes. (0/4)
I cooked up a storm last month and want to keep that going! Being in the kitchen is becoming more and more relaxing for me.

Well, that should keep me busy for a month… especially considering everything else that’s going on!
– My 26th Birthday!!!
– Awesome friends (Dan and Kelly) move into our building
– Crawfish Boil with the Louisiana State Society
– Husband in Boston for a week
– Hosting book club ladies
– 4 Mile Twilight Race (my first four miler ever!)
– Finishing one project at work and simultaneously starting another

Hold on y’all! I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good month!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Intimidated

Hi friends,

Let’s have a truthful moment, shall we? I am scared out of my mind about this half marathon in September. I mean, I am excited, but I feel woefully unprepared.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not good at not being good at something. Got that? I struggle with running, or really getting back into running, because building up to three miles is hard. I huff, I puff, I turn red, I get tired, I sweat prolifically. And, a lot of times I just quit. This is not a good way to train for a half marathon.

Husband and I met up with our racing buddies: Thea (who has run countless full and half marathons) and Nick (one of our groomsmen who has agreed to take on this challenge as well). Over a nice brunch, Thea mapped out (via crayons on a paper table “cloth”) a training plan for us newbies. It’s very gradual and builds a great base. Each month we increase our weekly mileage and we have a long run of 12 miles three weeks prior to the race. It is a wonderful training plan and I am excited to complete it.

Starting on the other hand, that scares the bejesus out of me. After hurting my back (and re-hurting it on Friday) and not running for two weeks, I am petrified. I am going to suck. I need to accept that. It’s gonna be hard. But, I need to get myself into a good head space. I need to harness some positive thinking and bolster myself up to keep pushing when it’s hard and not just stop to walk. Training isn’t supposed to be easy so I need to accept that challenge. I don’t want to keep coming back here week after week and blogging about how I’m going to start training next week, the week after, on Saturday, next Sunday, whatever. The race is less than four months away. I could probably run a mile straight right now. Maybe a mile and a half if I were chased.

Training starts now – no matter how hard it is!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

MAY-jor Disbelief

Please insert my problems with grasping the fact that it is already May here.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… You know that new months bring new goals!

A quick look back at April:

1. Be ready to start half-marathon training (aka be able to run three miles with minimal walking breaks). Sadly, I can’t report a lot of excellence here. I did get my 5k time down to where I wanted it — but that was with a lot of walking mixed in. I’m happy because I know my time will decrease as I run more but I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t make this more of a priority. I’m putting together my training plan this weekend and know that I need to get serious fast or I will be woefully unprepared come race day. 

2. Complete 6 strength training work outs. (3/6) [Modified KB workout from Women’s Health, Abs and Arms on 4/15, Arms and Shoulders on 4/20] Obviously, another work out fail. I need to get on track with all this — no wonder my weight loss progress has been stagnant. I’ll definitely be revisiting this for May.

3. Make 3 more new recipes, including something to share. (5/3) [Spanish Egg and Potato Tortilla, Lentil Stew, Kelly’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry, Homemade Stovetop Paninis, Emily’s Surprise Muffins] I excelled at eating and cooking this month! I wish I was as good at sticking to work outs as I was about cooking! Stovetop Paninis were probably the biggest winner here — so many variations to make delicious, easy dinners. Very pleased that we finally got to use ANOTHER wedding gift (stove top panini press).

4. Read 5 books, for real this time! (6/5) Another success! Nice to make up some ground from last month.

5. One of these books should be a classic. (1/1) I gave up on finishing Mansfield Park in April and focused on Anne of Green Gables. Success!

6. Stick to our weekly budgets. (2/5) Perhaps not so great here. We did better than March, but I’d like us to be a lot better about sticking to our weekly budget.

 

What’s on tap for May? (So glad you asked!)
1. Create half marathon training plan – Meeting with my “team” this weekend to put a training plan together!
2. Complete six strength trainin work outs (0/6) – No excuses. Half Marathon training means I need to build some muscle in order to carry my body more efficiently!
3. Read six books (1/6) – I have SO MANY library books out right now that I need to plow through!
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (0/1) – This should go fairly easily since I finished one classic at the start of the month and our book club pick is non-fiction. Hooray for working toward my goal of diversifying my reading!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k – My first 5k was run in absolutely horrid conditions. I’m hoping to do much better this time!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants – slightly counterintuitive to following our budgets, but I’m tired of being stuck in a rut getting Chipotle or to go from Whole Foods. Then, at the end of the week it feels like we didn’t really enjoy our meals out even though we had a few of them. I’d rather eat out less and try out new places!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (1/16) Self explanatory! I love comments and reading other blogs, etc so I need to post more and be consistent!

In other news, I think my back is really on the mend! I was able to touch my toes last night without wanting to scream so that’s a huge victory. Hopefully I’ll be able to go for a little run this weekend and start weight training again as well.

What are you aiming to do this month? Do you have any races or big events coming up?

Oh, and if you live in the DC area — anyone want to help me try some new restaurants?! 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pulling the Trigger

Because, you know, signing up for smaller races wasn’t getting me motivated…

That’s right folks, I pulled the trigger and registered for my half. I’d signed up for a 5k at the end of May and a 4 miler at the start of June and I still wasn’t getting out to run. I was reading Runner’s World and thinking about running, but when it comes to actually running I’ve been a huge slacker. So here’s to hoping I can change that.

I need an outlet right now and I’m hoping running can serve as that. There’s a variety of not so wonderful things going on in my family/personal life lately. It’s nothing I’m really willing to share on the blog, but it’s not fun – let’s just put it that way. Running, here’s to you! May you take my mind off of all this nonsense.

Hoping for some good progress and consistency. I don’t want to flounder horribly come September.

What do you do when you need to get your mind off of something?

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized