Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Training Changes

I feel like I have ADD. I had a training plan all picked out and ready to go next week, but I found an awesome book that has a training plan in it as well. So I'm switching. What is this book? Half-Marathon: You Can Do It by Jeff Galloway. For those who have been following me for a while, I'm a big Galloway fan. I really love his approach to running - everyone can do it, it's good to take walk breaks, avoid injuries, and above all have fun! He has a plan in this book for those who are just looking to complete the half-marathon, which is exactly what I plan to do. I'm not looking to set a certain time record for myself because I haven't established a baseline yet.

The other stuff I like in this book so far (I haven't finished reading it yet) are how to stay motivated, diet advice, cross training, health tips, and the easy and clear way it is written in. This book doesn't get too technical or jargony, which keeps me excited. The last thing anyone needs is to feel less than worthy because he/she isn't up to speed on the latest buzz words. Our egos are fragile, especially when trying new things.

On this topic though, Rex is going to join me in training. He won't run the race, but I have made a commitment to him to join him in cross training if he joins me in running. I think we can be successful if we motivate one another in our goals. This is going to be an interesting new year!

New Year's Resolutions

With the holidays wrapping up, I think it's only natural for our minds to focus on clean slates, starting over, or improving ourselves. We have a new year coming up in a couple days, and there's a lot of focus on resolutions right now. I'm terrible at keeping them, so I don't usually make one. What helps me more is having a concrete short term goal like the half marathon I'm signed up for. Once I achieve that goal I can create a new one and move on from there.

Even though this is written for Men's Health, I think it applies to men and women equally. Check out this article that has five secrets to keeping your resolution(s). I especially like the one about getting your significant other involved, but if you're currently single (or your significant other doesn't want to work out) I think finding a friend with a similar resolution is equally as powerful. Just like running buddies, the commitment to meet a friend at the gym or to share a food journal is wonderful.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm done complaining

Remember that whole thing about it being cold here? Yeah, that's so over. When I went running Tuesday, the temps were around 20F. Today's temps when I went running were closer to 50F. That's a freakin' 30 degree change!! Not only was it significantly warmer, but because it rained all day it was extremely muggy too. Here's a major surprise: I actually am getting used to the colder temps because I felt like I was going to drown today. I was hot, had a hard time getting my legs to move, and just felt sluggish. These are all symptoms I feel during the summer, not several days before Christmas.

Coming up for next week: treadmill running. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running in the Arctic

Did you Atlanta was in the Arctic? I didn't. It was colder here today than in parts of New York State. NEW YORK STATE!!! A place used to cold and snow! I'm supposed to be a resident of a city nicknamed Hotlanta for it's hot weather. Get it?

Anyway, this cold snap will hopefully end soon. Unfortunately I'm headed to the frozen north soon to visit family so I am not escaping it at all. I promise I'll quit complaining about it so much, but not just yet.

There's certainly a different way to train in this kind of weather. I was afraid that it would be a bad run because it started out a little rough. Turned out that I really just needed to give my body a chance to warm up some more. Once I got warmed up it went a lot better. It still wasn't a great run, but better than I thought it would be. It's good to just say I finished the run though, and I'm glad Red was kind enough to run with me. Running with a friend is much more enjoyable than running alone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OMG! It is REALLY cold!!!

Holy cow! What happened to the weather here?! It's one thing to say it's cold outside, and it's another to finally get your butt out there and realize that 28 degrees is literally freezing. WOW! I was sooooo cold last night. It was a harsh reminder that I need to layer up, find my gloves, and get some ear muffs.

Because I hadn't run in a while due to my recent head cold and because I hadn't been in the cold in a while (as you can tell by my reaction earlier), I decided to just walk. I was very tempted to run to warm up faster, but I was not in the mood to deal with an asthma flare up.

There was one advantage to being in my neighborhood when the sun had set: Christmas light displays! I have a lot of enthusiastic neighbors. Some have great taste, some don't. The cheapskate in me wonders how bad their electric bills are, but I digress. It was definitely a nice way to spend my evening. Tomorrow I'll head out with Red to tackle 2.5 miles. I hope to run 3.5 miles Saturday with a short recovery run on Sunday.

Speaking of being outside at night, my new safety accessory was awesome. I'll take some pictures and write a better review later. Short version: it rocks! Now I'm gonna go and curl up with a blanket on the couch with my kitties.

Monday, December 6, 2010

When do you like to run?

I've been thinking about this for a while now. Most races are either Saturday or Sunday mornings, and most of my training runs are in the early evening. Now that I've been training off an on for a couple years now, I find that I tend to run best in the early evenings. Races early in the morning are a little tougher for me since I'm just not awake, haven't eaten much, and frankly don't feel like moving.

To combat this for the half marathon, I'm going to need to plan my long runs for early mornings so I can get used to the distance during the same part of the day as the race. We'll see how that goes since it's freezing now!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Men losing weight

Has anyone else noticed that it seems to be so much easier for men to lose weight than women? I have, and I found a cool article that helps women quit beating themselves up and just relax. Sounds like something Rex is always telling me to do, but I digress.

This article gives some really good advice (that I know I myself ought to be following). Do you ladies do a lot of weight lifting? I don't either, but I know it's really good for me. Do you also beat yourself up about not making enough progress? Yup, been there too. About the only thing I do on the list is skip diet foods. Sorry, but they just don't taste as good. I've found cutting back a little on portions helps me more than anything else. So I eat 3 chicken strips at Chick-fil-A instead of 4. I order fruit instead of fries. I cut back on diet soda and just drink more water. Make sure there's a veggie with most meals. Stop eating so much bacon on my Jersey Mike's subs. It all helps.

I'm sick!

Yeah, I had a feeling it was coming. Rex has been sick since Thanksgiving, and stupid me shared a hot chocolate with him Saturday night. I'm pretty sure that's how I caught it since symptoms didn't start until Monday. Oh well. Such is life! It looks like I'll be skipping runs until this goes away. I am not one of those hard core people who runs while sick. This is my time to be lazy!