Half Marathon: Looking for some guidance

Back when I said I was planning to do three half marathons this year, I hadn’t realized that #2 on my list was exactly 2 weeks after my first half marathon ever. For some reason, I thought there were 3-4 weeks between those dates.

So last week, I made the tough decision NOT to do the half marathon in Chicago with my friends.

But now, I’m not so sure.

I’m really struggling with this decision for a number of reasons:

  • If I did it, I would be a total badass
  • Will I be ready for a second half marathon in 2 weeks?
  • I know a BUNCH of people doing the Chicago Rock N Roll Half Marathon and I wanna do it too.
  • While I’ve promised to be there to cheer, honestly, I will be sad if all I do is cheer. I want to race.
  • If I complete Chicago AND Vegas, I will get a HEAVY MEDAL from the Rock N Roll organization (See right). The Musical 26.2 miles medal is awarded to people who complete 2 half marathons in a calendar year. I’m not gonna lie. I want this medal. I want this medal REAL bad.
  • I could potentially affect my training for Vegas by jumping into another Half Marathon so soon.
  • Just because I probably COULD do it, SHOULD I do it?

I am seriously struggling with this people. Please share your pros/cons with me. I need to make the decision soon, because space is running out.

I ran a mile today

So today I fell asleep when I got home from work, waking up around 3:45. I had acupuncture at 4:45 so I knew I was screwed as far as getting in 3 miles today.

So, I decided to make the time I had count. I changed into my workout gear and headed off to Bay View and parked across the street from my acupuncturist.

I started the garmin and off I went. I walked for about a quarter mile, and then started doing some running. I felt good, so I kept going, only stopping to walk for 30 second intervals. As I was nearing the 1 mile mark, my lungs were burning, but I was DETERMINED to finish that mile in less than 15 minutes.

I was talking to myself (yes, out loud) but I doubt anyone noticed. It was raining and no one was outside. I kept saying, “Do it… keep going… Amy just do this… one more block… to the next driveway… you can do it.”

And I did. Official split: 14:50. HOLLER!

My knees held up beautifully!!! Now, I just have to get my lungs in gear.

Baby steps.

Help me plan my workouts this week

I need some suggestions on getting the the rest of my training in this week.

Schedule:

  • Mon – active recovery (1mi easy walk, DONE)
  • Tues -3mi walk
  • Wed – 30 min crosstrain
  • Thurs – 3 mi run/walk
  • Fri – rest
  • Sat – 30 min cross train
  • Sun – 70 min fast walk (which I know is really going to be 6mi, so more like 90-100 min fast walk).

Problem(s):

  • Sunday’s walk/run won’t be happening because I’ll be in Rockford cheering friends at the half/full marathon. I’m gonna count Sunday as a cross training day, as I’ll be walking all over to cheer my friends at different points of the race. So, do I swap Saturday/Sunday training?
  • I have a group workout planned for Friday, which will be approx. 4.3 miles of walking. Not sure of the pace just yet.
  • Ideally, I need to get approx 12-15 miles of walk/run in, with at least 1 long workout of 6 mi. I’d also like to get at least one 8mi bike ride in this week for crosstraining. And, I’d like to avoid the treadmill/stationary bike if possible.
  • Today is TUESDAY CRUNCH, which means for each $ donated here, I’ll do a crunch. That could potentially be my crosstraining, depending on today’s donations.

So, how should I rearrange my workouts this week to accommodate my schedule? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Going the distance

Today was the family and friends Team Challenge practice, so I invited my parents and sister to join me. It was so cool to have them there because I got the cork award today!!! The cork award is a necklace made of wine corks. There’s one for each week of training, and each week someone is chosen as the cork award winner… sometimes its for raising lots of moola, other times it’s for something training-related. Well, I got the cork award today because I’ve been faithfully coming to practices every week and I’ve been dedicated to following my training schedule. That was pretty freaking awesome. I got to write my grandma, uncle and aunt’s names on the cork (you’re supposed to write who you’re running for on your cork). The cork necklace will go with the team to Napa!

Anywho, the schedule called for 60 minutes today, but Anne decided to kick some butt. She had us do the 2-mile loop three times. Yikes. I mean, I needed a good kick in the pants this week, but wasn’t expecting 6 miles of it. I tried not to push too hard on my pace because I wanted to make sure I made it all 6 miles. I didn’t even try running today, although I probably could have for a few intervals here or there.

My parents told my sister and I to just go at my pace so we walked on ahead of them at my pace (which varied between 15-19 min miles according to my garmin). I knew there was no way my parents would do 3 loops, and figured they would do the first loop and then chill. They told us to walk at our normal pace and they’d see us at the end. Well, my parents ended up doing the loop twice! I’m so proud of them!

Overall, it was a pretty decent walk. I generally kept a good pace, even though it took me a while to warm up and feel comfortable walking at the speed I was walking.

It was such a beautiful day for some outdoor exercise, so I’m glad I got out there and owned those miles.

Lankle is doing much better now… but righty and lefty were not very happy after I got home from practice. They took a little beating today. I did a bunch of stretches, iced them and relaxed most of the afternoon, so I hope they chillax a bit. They bothered me a bit while I was walking today, but not that kind of “you need to stop right now” kind of pain. It’s funny how I can now tell the difference between my knees being whiny li’l babies and actually needing a break. It’s hard to describe, but there’s a different kind of pain. Whiny knees are just achy. But needing-a-break knees are painful. Right now they’re just whiny. 🙂

I got super cold again today after this workout, so I am totally understanding why they have those space blankets at races. I can’t seem to warm up, so I’m gonna hop in the shower and hope that does the trick.

I’m not wowed by my pace today, but this was my longest distance (non-bike) to date, so I’m pretty stoked about that. In just 10 weeks, I’ll be participating in the Wine Country Half Marathon. OMG.

BTW, I have got to give a shout-out to Coach Anne (@bananza to many of you). Even my sister saw how great she is with the walking team. She makes sure to spend time during the training run/walk to go at whatever our pace is and makes a point of talking to each of us. She even walked a good mile or so with my parents, which was pretty cool. It’s made quite the difference to have that kind of support and encouragement at practice. She makes sure we’re not alone. It’s pretty special. Ok, enough #lovefest. 😉

Deets for this workout: 6.12 mi / 1hr 46min / 17:16 pace

Longest. Non-biking. Distance. Ever.

Someday, that will be me

I went with some of my DailyMile/FitMilwaukee/Twitter friends down to Kenosha early Saturday morning to cheer on the bazillion people I knew who were running either the half or full marathon.

I can’t adequately put into words what Saturday was for me. I saw friends complete their longest runs ever. I saw my friends triumph. I saw children looking at their parents with such awe, you’d swear they thought mommy or daddy was a superhero. I cried watching people I didn’t even know cross the finish line. I cried when my friends turned the corner for the last 30 yards to the finish. I cheered for people who struggled to finish the race. I cheered for people successfully completing their races. But most importantly, I saw what hard work and determination can produce. I could see on all my friends’ faces the pure euphoria they enjoyed when they finished the race. I’m no where near the end of my own personal race. But, step by step, race by race, pound by pound, inch by inch, I’ll get there. I’ll cross that finish line. And I’ll be thinking of how lucky I am to have people in my life who pushed me to finish this journey to a new me.

And now, a few shout-outs:

  • Krista, the way you run looks effortless. It looked like just a quick jaunt in the park for you. You are going to be absolutely fabulous at your upcoming races. You inspire me.
  • Tracey, you are a rockstar. You came floating down to the finish line with such a beautiful smile on your face. The fact that you didn’t even look tired is baffling to me. I can’t wait to cheer you on in Rockford! You inspire me.
  • Rochelle, I am so proud of you for rocking this half marathon. You’ve bounced back from your knee injury and showed that setbacks won’t keep you down. You inspire me.
  • Anne, I know I’ve told you this a million times, but you are such an inspiration. Your journey, your story, pushes me. I know that if you can run half marathons for fun after having been overweight, that one day that WILL be me. You make me want to push harder, go faster and be a rockstar. Because that’s what you are. You didn’t let your knee injury take you out. You showed it who’s boss. #lovefest You inspire me.
  • Sarah, I am so freaking proud of you. You bolted down to the finish line like a fiend. Your focus, your determination and your drive make me feel fortunate to call you a friend. You inspire me.
  • Cheryl, you were so determined to finish strong and I’m so proud of you for that! You are setting such a great example for your kids. They’re lucky to have a mom who’s so dedicated to staying fit! You inspire me.
  • Tony, you finished so strong! I know you’ll do many more of these in the coming years. You and Rochelle are so lucky to share something like this! It was great hanging out with you today. You inspire me.
  • Lindsey, I could see the pain in your face as you turned the corner. I admire your determination and the fact that YOU DIDN’T GIVE UP. You finished what you started, and even though you didn’t get the time you wanted, you finished with a great time. Didn’t you JUST start running like 3 days ago? 😉 Take care of your knee and rock it at your next half. You inspire me.
  • Marty, I am so lucky to call you a friend. Your determination, your speed and your smile at the end of the race were so inspiring. I’m so proud of you for crossing that finish line and showing it who’s boss. You inspire me.
  • Mike, your smile at the end of the marathon was infectious. You looked so happy and so proud of yourself for what you were about to complete. I’m so proud of you for rocking this race. Your hard work paid off and now you’re a marathoner! Your journey encourages me to push myself to one day run 26.2 miles. You inspire me.

The people listed above (plus the ones I know I’ve forgotten – Joe, Erica, Matt, etc) showed me what is possible if you work hard. For some, it was their first long race. They made the race their bitch. I’m lucky to call these people my friends. Seriously, I thank God I have them in my life – to inspire, to push, to encourage.

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I really didn’t think I was going that fast

For the past week, I watched the family dogs while everyone was in Minnesota visiting our extended family for my cousin’s confirmation (I had calendar complications i.e. I thought it was next weekend). 

I took the dogs on walks daily, occasionally doing 1-2 block running intervals. Usually, though, I felt “weighed down” by the dogs… like I could have gone faster if they weren’t with me. But, I cherish every minute I have with them (they are my babies).

Yesterday, I took them on a 4 mile walk. Our pace was by far not my best… but not my worst, either. I received the following e-mail from my dad tonight:

Amy:

I can really tell that YOU have been “walking” the dogs at a much faster pace than me and Mom.  I took the dogs for a walk after supper and as soon as we went through the gate it was off to the races.  Or were they talking me for a walk?

Dad

Teehee. I really didn’t think we were walking that fast!