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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