Tag Archives: running plan

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. ūüė¶ 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!

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Onto the next one

Better late than never! It’s time to welcome July with a quick look back at June.

1. Get my mileage up! (2/4) I did pretty well with this for most of the month. Even though my mileage wasn’t as high as it needed to be, I was pushing for long runs and running more often. The last week in June definitely suffered after Buddy’s accident. I’m looking forward to really kicking up a notch in July.
2. Weight train (at least once a week). (4/4) They may have not happened once a week as planned, but I did get (at least) four strength training sessions in. Sometimes it was just arms, sometimes it was the P90x “Ab Ripper X” dvd, sometimes it was both. I can’t wait to continue this and see my running and fitness continue to improve.¬†
3. Read three books that are non-fiction or classics. (4/3) I crushed this pretty much. Books: The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, The Good Soldiers by David Finkel, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
4. Get Laptop fixed. Seriously, Anna. I did get an external hard drive for our fading desktop computer and I got a wireless USB thinking that might fix our laptop connectivity problems. But, unfortunuately, it still doesn’t recognize our home wireless even though all our other electronics do.¬†
5. Make a savings plan for summer fun trips.¬†Hubs and I knocked this out pretty quickly. We’ve been following it successfully as well.¬†
6. Make four new recipes. (3/4) Again, I think I could have nailed this if we hadn’t spent the past week in a daze/frenzy after Buddy’s run in with a car. Still, three new recipes isn’t shabby! Quinoa salad for lunches, pound cake, and Thai Chicken Soup — I would make all of these again!

Time to look at July!
1. Try out four new recipes. I already have at least one in mind for next week! If we’re staying in with the hound for “house arrest” we might as well eat some good things!
2. Run 45 miles in July. After my Saturday run, I “only” need 42.5 more miles!
3. Read six books, three non-fiction or classic.¬†The Kindle has been spurring on my reading. And with “hound house arrest”¬†I should be able to read even more.
4. Share at least two book reviews. I’ll aim for our current book club pick and something perhaps a little fluffier.
5. Complete six strength training sessions for the month. I like seeing my body get stronger and my running get better.
6. Post at least 10 times this month.

What are you up to this month? Any suggestions for books to read or recipes to try? I’m all ears!

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Oh, so that’s what it’s like…

I remember what a good run feels like! 

After my blog post about intimidation and my bad mindset when it comes to running, I chatted with a few of my runner friends and Hubs. Basically, the jist was — if you’re not going to enjoy it, why do it? Hubs reminded me that I need to think of running as fun and enjoy what I can push myself to do.

Tuesday, I came home to a sweaty Husband — fresh off 3 miles from our training plan and the treadmill. ¬†I knew I needed to run, but decided that outside was the way to go. I set out with the aim of running 2 miles. I finished those two. They were not easy, but they were definitely not as hard as I had thought they would be. I decided that, after a half mile walking break, I was going to finish another mile. Hubs was not going to “beat” me!¬†

And, I did it! Granted, the last .4 mile was spent in the large parking lot across the street from my house. Cops use it for motorcycle training so it’s ¬†closed to traffic. I’m sure I looked like a loon — jogging slowing back and forth across the parking lot. I was BRIGHT RED and at the point in my run where I didn’t give two damns if I even looked like I was running. My level of effort was a run in my mind, so I trekked around that parking lot until my trusty Garmin said it was quitting time. Proud doesn’t cover it!

Perhaps I needed the element of competition. Or, maybe I just needed crunch time? I had another pretty good run on Thursday. That time I stuck to 2.25 straight and walked it out to three miles to complete my mileage. After two recovery days (my poor, sore legs), I hit the treadmill this afternoon. (It was a little warm and sunny ¬†for my pale skin outside.) This time, I ran intervals to keep myself from getting bored. 2 minutes at 5.5 and a minute at 6. With half a mile left, I increased my speed by .1 mile every minute until I finished my 2.5 miles. (Much speedier than normal too!) It sucked, seriously, but I made it happen and I’m pretty pleased with myself. I walked another mile to meet my mileage. (Cannot wait until I can run the full mileage for the week!)

So yeah, here I am, less than a week later, with three (for me) fairly strong runs under my belt. Our families are coming into town this week for Hubs’ graduation, but I’m going to try to still get my three runs in this week! Hooray consistency and double hooray for finally enjoying (for the most part) running again!

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Enjoying Marathon Monday

It’s tax day — but more importantly it is also¬†Marathon Monday!


I subjected husband to two hours of runners and compulsively updated the race tracker for my boss. I went down to the gym intending to use the race as motivation for my training run of the day. Sadly, our gym’s cable receivers are undergoing maintenance so I was stuck to local news channels. ūüė¶ No race finish for me. Instead, I focused on pushing myself through today’s run.

Let’s say this, I’m very glad¬†I’m starting my training for this half now — because I am going to need every second¬†of the time I have left. I’m running intervals right now because that’s so much more attainable and less intimidating to me. Thankfully, today’s run was better than Friday’s! ūüôā¬†

I am, h0wever, currently famished. The problem with that is I finished an extra large lunch (left over chicken curry and quinoa) about two hours ago. WHOOPS! Going to chug some water and hope that tides me over a little? Husband gets out of class at 7ish so that means we’ll eat around 7:45 or 8. Eeeek!

Two quick side notes: (1) Chicken Curry went well! Hooray! And I did it all by myself. It’s so fun to have a meal ready for husband instead of the other way around. (2) Husband has, after today,¬†four¬†classes left before he gets his masters! Now, if only all his work was almost done and he was stress free! I guess you can’t have it all.

How did you celebrate Marathon Monday? 

Do you get insane post work out hunger? (Or am I weird in wanting to eat my arm sometimes?)

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Back in the Saddle

I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from toughing out something you really didn’t want to do in the first place. That’s what I did yesterday. I didn’t want to run — still sore from Tuesdays Kettlebell attempts. But, I reminded myself that (a) I was going to HH/needed to earn my beers and (b) the half marathon wasn’t getting any farther away. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m so glad I did it. I’ll be lacing up my running shoes again tomorrow (either before or wayyy after my brunch with a few friends).

What I don’t love right now is the pollen. Ugh! I can’t breathe and my throat is sore. I love spring time and the arrival of temperate weather but it really wreaks havoc on my ability to suck in oxygen. I guess I can properly appreciate today’s nasty, rainy weather since it is hopefully washing away some of my nemesis!

I’ll be packing in an early lunch today before heading out to meet up with Aidan and head to Nicole’s baby shower. I’ve got my gift (which I may wrap in a garbage bag to keep it from getting soaked in transit) and I’m excited. I’ve never been to a baby shower before! I’ll have to try and control myself when it comes to finger foods and drinks. My weight has been falling again and I don’t want to mess that up. (This is one of those times when the struggle of giving up cheese for Lent comes in handy – it keeps me from eating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING ¬†I want.)

Speaking of cheese, I have a hot date with Noodles and Co for a huge plate of Mac and Cheese in a week and a day! Anyone want to join me for that? (Or for the run I’ll be doing in an attempt to try and counteract some of that?)

Do you suffer from pollen like I do?

What’s your favorite party finger food?¬†Mine is probably pot stickers or cheesy dips!

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Pulling the Trigger

ÔĽŅBecause, 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?

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Snow Envy

Y’all, half my work team is in Boston where they are getting copious amounts of snow. DC has some cold misty drizzle. I would like to trade? I know they’ll probably be stuck in an airport for a while, but still… I like to read, I love magazines. I’m pretty sure I could post up fairly comfortably at an airport watching it snow (and getting paid for it) as long as I had something to read.

Okay, moving on from my serious case of snow jealousy! I had a serious reckoning moment yesterday morning with the scale. One-five-five showed up. Eeeeek! I keep writing in here about how I don’t like the number creeping up, I’m going to do something, yadda yadda yadda. But, why don’t I actually do something about it?

There was some serious grocery shopping done and I re-acquianted myself with sparkpeople. (I’m¬†AlsoAnnaBanana if you want to look for me — my profile is super sad currently.) I adjusted my calorie intakes and work out schedule on there to realistic goals and ranges. And, taking some serious inspiration from Brie, I dove back into calorie counting and weight loss. I’m eating clean, eating less, and moving more again — and I already feel better. I’ve socked aside a little extra money for some new work clothes, so I plan to reward myself when I drop some of this pesky post wedding weight.

I also sat down with awesome co-worker Thea and started putting together a training plan for a half marathon. Since my goal race isn’t until Labor Day weekened, we’ve got some time to play with. Given my previous issues with my knees, a slow start is a good start. My current plan is to be comfortable running a 5k again by March 4th (six months from my race date). After that, for March and April I’ll be uping my runs from two a week to three a week with mileage ranging from 2-5 miles for each run. Then, come May we’ll sit down to map out my real training plan. I’m excited to enjoy running again. And, hopefully since I’ve aired all this out here, I’ll have some accountability.

I still need to talk about that awesome blogger badge that Kelly gave me, but my work computer doesn’t play as nicely with wordpress as my home computer, so that will have to wait for a few more hours. However, I did want to share with you two of my current favorite things (on my new eating plan)! They were on yesterday’s lunch menu and will feature again today – all I can say, is holy yum!

Up first: Pacific’s new “hearty carton”¬†soups! I’ve had the Chipotle Sweet Potato and the Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Lentil, so yesterday I tried out a third new soup:


Lemongrass is one of my favorite ingredients, so I was immediately won over. The perfect amount of spicy heat, yummy flavors and little chunks of sweet potato left me very satisfied. Also awesome – these soups come in two serving cartons. They’re perfect for bringing to work. Use one serving, close it up, put it in the fridge, and use the second serving the next day. I bring my lunch to save $$$ and calories, but I hate all the prep work and hauling stuff in every day. This soup just made my life a lot easier!

My other love is something I’ve had before, but it has been a few months. Annie’s Organic Dressings are all around pretty tasty, but I have a profound affection for the Goddess Dressing.

This is definitely the perfect way to spice up a boring salad in my book. While the $3.99 price tag (for 8 servings) makes me flinch a little, I know I’ll eat my greens with this on top of it. So, I’ll pony up the money in order to keep my taste buds happy.

Okay folks, I’ve got a few clementines calling my name. I hope you’re having a snowier Tuesday than me!

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An October Friday

Two of my favorite things combine: Friday and October. What a recipe for a wonderful day!

The past few days have been busy! My boss took some vacay in Spain leaving me and¬†coworker C to prep for our next job and train up our new staff member (coworker T). After a little doubt, it turns out we’re incredibly capable and that perhaps we even work harder when our boss isn’t around? Who would have thought? Hopefully he’s properly impressed when he returns to work on Monday!

Busy Anna = no time for posts (or much cooking, or many workouts). So, I’m here rectifying that! I actually went for my first “run” in about two months on Tuesday evening. I did circuits (cause this girl needs to ease back into running) after a five minute warm up: 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. I increased my speed every other circuit and covered 3.2 miles in 40 minutes. Hopefully I can get enough work done before lunch that I can squeeze in another “run” during my lunch break. My body doesn’t really seem to enjoy running but I love the feeling when I’m done. No other work out I’ve ever tried leaves me feeling the way I do after a run. I also have some race goals and other running related desires so I need to get back on the horse. No more excuses about the heat because fall is settling in nicely! Also, new coworker T¬†co-leads a running group and keeps inviting me to join. I need to not embarass myself when I go!

I cooked yesterday too! So that Hubs could have some dinner (we were all out of leftovers), I put together Kelly’s Enchilada Bake that I mentioned a few posts back. Two servings were frozen immediately — hello lunch next week! Hubs said it was yummy for dinner and I’ll be trying it out for lunch. This weekend we have plans to put together some soup (pumpkin, lentil, veggie??) and poppy seed chicken.

Other things? The third disk of Glee arrived for me yesterday! I can’t wait to find a minute or two to watch an episode. I love that show! I also love finally getting my money’s worth out of Netflix again. I’m so guilty of just letting a movie or disk sit here for a month or two. Oh, and I have a million shows I need to catch up on! The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl! So, moving through Glee makes me happy and speeds me to more lovely tv.

The cold weather is leaving me with crafty urges. This always happens. October arrives and BOOM someone needs to take me to a craft store ASAP! Blair has promised to teach me to knit — we’re talking knit, pearl, cable, and socks! (Socks will be key as Hubs and I often don’t use our heat in the winter. We live in a high rise apt building so it never gets ridiculously cold but a soft, fuzzy pair of socks could definitely help!) Some of the girls at work have also been talking about beading classes. There’s a cute little bead shop down the street from me in Old Town that offers classes on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, you name it. I could use some more jewlery and if I get to make it myself and socialize while I do it? Even better!

Oh yes, and books — my always obsession. While I’ve been plodding through Anna Karenina (still 250 or so pages from the end – ah) I’ve found about a billion new books I want to read. I keep hearing about Hunger Games (on hold at the library) and Operation Dark Heart (newly edited by the Department of Defense). My to-read list on Goodreads is ALWAYS growing. I’ll read a book or two and feel good about taking them off the list — but by that time I’ve added about ten more. ūüôā I need to figure out how to sneak more time into my day to read (work out, cook, bake, knit, catch up on tv). Can someone clone me?

This early October has me excited! Tomorrow I’m headed to meet up with other DC area bloggers for delicious salads and froyo. I’m a little nervous about it (please like me!!!!!) but I’m also looking forward to meeting some amazing new folks. There’s delightful football (and hopefully a Georgia win) and friends coming over for dinner as well on Saturday. Next Friday ushers in a four day weekend (and our trip to VA Beach) so I cannot wait. Cannot wait! Also, highs this weekend won’t get into the 70’s. Hellooooo Fall Weather!

Do you knit? Crochet? Craft it up in any way? What is your favorite? (And, do you wanna come teach me how to do it?!)

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Over-ambitious?

I’m starting to wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Saturday I had my first run in a month or so. This is my fault, fully. And, because I have slacked, I made it 1.89 miles before I stopped. It was not pretty.

I gave myself two days to slough off the soreness. Today I took advantage of the fact that I’m on an 8-hour schedule (more on this in a minute) and off at 3:30. I beat the apartment gym rush and secured myself a treadmill. This time I made it 2.3 miles in 22 minutes or so according to the Nike+. Granted, this is much faster than I normally run but I was still sorely (meant in many ways) disappointed that I’m struggling like this.

In light of my struggle, I came upstairs to have a good look at a calendar and the number of days I have between me and the quarter marathon that I signed up to run. Keeping in mind that I probably want to give my legs a few days off from running, I need to have my last run on Wednesday, May 5th. That’s 22 short days from now. Oi! That means that if I run every other day, I need to add .4 of a mile for each run. I need to really lay the hammer down and make this happen.

Throwing a wrench in my plans is a hearty dose of work travel. Tom and I head home for a wedding (not ours this time!) this weekend. Sunday night we return and Monday I head out for a week of work travel. I’ll return that Friday only to spend Saturday and Sunday moving into our new apartment and running the GW Parkway Classic 5k. Monday I’ll head back out again and return Friday. That first weekend in May will hopefully harbor my longest run to date and at least 6.5 miles (so I know I can complete the quarter marathon). I’ll also be traveling the week prior to the race. Yes, that’s right, three weeks of work travel in a row.

That means I’ll be spending a LOT of quality time with the hotel gyms. I want to finish this race — that may mean getting up early for runs or running when I really don’t feel like it. I need to make this happen!

Anyone have any tips on how to cram training into a work travel schedule?

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Re-evaluating what I’m doing…

This weekend was a run-fail. I had a great time doing wedding assorted things but there was absolutely no running. :o( My biggest stumbling block was the weather. It was rainy and nasty the morning I really wanted to run. However my carry on bag didn’t hold the proper gear for a run in the rain and I was not up to facing the treadmill of death in my parent’s basement.

I came back to my Nike+ goals taunting me with my failure. So, I did something I don’t normally do. I threw in the towel, reset the goals, took out a calendar and got realistic. I realize that I was just running when I felt like it and hoping things would get better. I love schedules though and even though I’m not training for a long race, I thought it might be a good idea to put together a rough goal (realistic too) for the number of times I’ll run and how far I’ll go. So, I scribbled all that on a sticky note and slapped that bright yellow reminder into my planner.

This evening, in the spirit of honoring my shiny new goals, I went for a quick two mile run and even threw in some weight lifting. (My arms, back and chest will look amazing for the wedding – dammit!) I’m working on increasing my speed currently. I also want to run 3.5-4 miles 2-3 times before my next 5k in three and a half weeks. I want it to seem easier than the first time around!

Other things I’m doing? De-lurking from all the fitness blogs that have motivated me for the past year or so! Just reading has been great motivation so I can’t wait to see what inspiration actual interactions will bring about. :o) I’m also experimenting a little with my cooking. My MO in the kitchen is pretty simple and standard — however there are many, shiny, amazing wedding (kitchen) gifts coming soon. I’m already daydreaming about the things I’ll do. So — recipes are welcome!

Time for a shower. I can smell myself and that’s never a good thing!

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