Friday, February 29, 2008

chicken or egg?

I've been struggling with a sort of chicken or egg dilemma with this project. Specifically, whether I should train a few more months and then choose a marathon (because I'm not sure how quickly I will progress), or if I should choose a marathon NOW so that I have a goal and time frame. Which would be better?! Well, I got a call from my uncle Jed this morning and he suggested that I choose a marathon so that I have a goal in mind (plus a lot of registrations fill up quickly apparently) and then we'll start our training (we had scheduling difficulties this week). Now that I've thought a little more about it, I think he's right - it makes a lot more sense to have a date in mind so that you can plan accordingly and stay motivated. I spent some time today researching marathons and made notes on some of the ones that I like. I hope to have made a decision by the end of the weekend. Our move to TN and starting a new job doesn't exactly help with things but oh well. Everything will work out.

I just finished my 3rd training session of the week. yay! My legs felt kinda heavy, and my right calf was bothering me a bit, which wasn't fun but oh well. And getting things going on the jogging intervals wasn't quite as easy as it was Wednesday. I feel really good now though, so I can't complain. My workout was similar to Wednesday's: I did a 5 min warm up, then 6 intervals of 4 minutes jogging/1 minute walking, then a long cool down. I found that my music made a HUGE difference in pacing. I started out listening to Kylie Minogue. I liked it but it didn't get me pumped up enough. So then I tried Madonna's "Confessions on a Dancefloor" (I think that's the name anyway - you know what I'm talking about, it's her most recent cd). The cd begins with "Hung up" and the first line is "Time goes slowly" and I'm thinking "girl, you are not lyin'. This friggin jogging interval is never going to end". During these jogging intervals my pace was slower than on Wednesday; not by much, but still. So then I'd had enough of Madonna so I turned on Lenny Kravitz's Greatest Hits. I absolutely LOVE this cd. I know some of you are probably making fun of me right now but I'm ok with that because I'm secure in my love for Lenny. I think I'm doing to have to buy another copy because mine has a few scratches on it (I'm a cd's worst nightmare. They ALWAYS end up scratched) As soon as I heard the electric guitar and heavy drums in "Are you gonna go my way?", my pace picked up. All of a sudden I was pushing myself to sub 10 minute/mile paces and was loving it. Pondering my delight in the electric guitar rifts made me think of the Dave Chappelle episode where he and John Mayer prove that it's not that white people can't dance...we just have to have the right music. So they sneak into a board meeting a a company with all white employees and John starts playing the electric guitar and everyone goes nuts. Bras go flying, whities start swaying and getting their groove on. So this scene plays out a few other places with the same result until they try it at a barbershop. It turns out that at the barbershop, which is predominantly a black hangout, drums are the chosen instrument. It's very funny. How did I get on this tangent?! Good lord. Anyway, if you haven't seen that episode, check it out. I think it's in Season 2. It's good stuff. I think this post has gotten way out of hand so I'm going to ride out. Happy Leap Day!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

3 miles

I did another workout last night. I hopped on my treadmill (weather's been rainy...I was about to write "and nasty" but I love the rain so I'm not gonna dis it. It's just not the best weather to run in) and warmed up walking for 5 minutes and then began intervals of jogging (10-10.5 min mile) 3 minutes and walking 2 minutes. I did 6 intervals and then cooled down for 6 minutes. I was only shooting for a 30 min workout, but as I approached that mark, I felt really good and wanted to make it to an even 3 miles, so I continued. My workout was right at 41 minutes. The intervals make the time go by quickly since you're thinking about the time in much smaller increments.

My aunt Jenise told me about Jeff Galloway's website and suggested using his training schedule. I just watched a mini video on him today that I found on CNN. He has been referred to as the "Marathon Man" and has completed almost 120 marathons during his 50+ years as a runner. The plan seems simple and very easy to follow:

I think I will do another week or two of my own little intervals and then begin his program. He said that if you've been walking/running for a few weeks before starting the program that is cool. So that's what I'll do. I'm still really excited about all of this. I was very eager to get home yesterday and get my trainin' on. I hope this feeling lasts for a while. I really wish I could just bottle it up for when the going gets rough. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First official training session - shaaa zaaaam!

So, I had my first training session yesterday. It was pretty easy but I moved my butt nonetheless. Dave and I walked for about 30 minutes and had 3 light jogging intervals. The jogging actually felt great and loosened my thighs up quite a bit (they had been aching from a measly mile long run Saturday and bike ride on Sunday).

I need to get new shoes, which I'm pretty excited about. What a typical female response - "I can't wait to go shopping for all the gear I need!" Sheesh.
I talked to my uncle Jed and he agreed to jog with me so we're in the process of setting up some kind of schedule. It will help a lot to have an experienced runner/marathoner to train with, and running with a partner certainly beats hopping on my treadmill.

At this point there are many unknowns with this project but I have decided on a few details of my training:

1. I will jog/do intervals at least 3 days a week
2. I will cross train (bike, walk, swim) at least 1 day a week
3. I will sign up for at least one 5k and one 10k this year prior to the marathon
4. I will keep a log of my workouts and how I feel
5. I will give my body 1 full day to rest per week

I should probably modify my diet somehow but I love food (particularly bad food) too much to think about that right now. Maybe I'll tackle that later.

I'm still deciding which marathon I will complete. I think as time goes on, I might pick a few and then create a poll on my blog for peeps to cast their vote. How fun does THAT sound?!

The training is difficult because I'm so psyched about it that I want to get off to a running start (literally) but I know I need to pull the reins back and focus on doing things a little bit slower so that I don't injure myself or burn out and lose interest. It's frustrating because I don't know how slowly to start but I'm guessing I should just listen to my body...or maybe some of the experienced runners in my family. :)

I want to thank everyone that has read my blog and left comments or emailed me. Your support means A LOT and has somehow managed to make me even more excited about this awesome project. I didn't realize that was possible because I'm totally stoked! Woo hoo!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Life List

Life list as of 3/12/08:

Learn a foreign language
Bungee jump
Visit all 50 states
Ride in a hot air balloon
Visit at least 3 other continents
Learn to play a musical instrument (piano) (Done, sort of. 2/07)
Take a pottery class
Take a kickboxing class DONE 2007
Take a yoga class
Skydive again
Get a professional massage
**Run a marathon
Be in a play (even if it's a small part)
See a Broadway play
Climb Mt. Rainier (or comparable mtn)
Go ice fishing
See the Northern Lights
Visit Stonehenge
Buy a house
Stand in the 4 corners of the UCAN states
Go white water rafting in stronger rapids than a class 1
Go Rappelling
Live in at least one other state (Will do this in 2008! Tennessee here we come!)
Create a fabulous "signature" recipe and keep it a secret
Go hanggliding
Go muddin' in an atv
Scuba dive
Learn how to surf
Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center
Go to Oktoberfest
Go to a pro hockey game (Yay, I did this about a month ago and loved it! 3-16-07)
Go to an Arena Football Game
Take a ballroom dancing class
Go kite surfing
Take flying lessons
Ride a 2 person bike (tandem bike?!)
Take a zip line canopy tour

Decision '08...No, not THAT Decision '08.

Hello. I am not quite sure how to start this (I wonder if this is how everyone starts?!) but here we go. Last year, on my 25th birthday, I decided that I was going to start doing a "birthday challenge" every year on or around my b-day. I figured it would be an easy, fun and surefire way to slowly chip away at my "Life List". Last year I decided to start taking piano lessons, as learning piano (or guitar) was on my list. I've been taking lessons since May of last year and have been really enjoying it. As far as measuring success though, I'm not quite sure how I'd define the experience. I've learned how to read music (well, very basic music, but still). I can play a several songs (well, snippets of them at least). I'm having fun doing it. I guess that is one of the most important things. And I LOVE my teacher, she is fantastic! I hope that it is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life but we will see. It's a bit early for that.

So that brings us to the present. On Saturday while I was on my treadmill, I started thinking about what my challenge could be this year. As I was walking along suddenly it hit me like a flying fish (this is a reference to my bf Kim getting whacked in the head at Pike's Market during our trip to Seattle a few years ago. If you haven't heard the story it's a good one. That entire trip is a great story. But I digress). I thought, "since I will be turning 26 in March, what is something significant (numerically, if nothing else) that I can do?!" And then it hit me: I can complete a marathon: 26.2 miles! Ta Daaaaa!

All of a sudden, I was more psyched than I have been in a long time. Sure, it's going to be pretty difficult (understatement of the year perhaps). But I think this will be really, really great for me. Of course, I've already been plagued with my moments of doubt - "But you can barely run 2 miles right now!" "But you hate running" "Is it possible to train and complete that in a year?! Maybe you're biting off too much". I am trying my best to acknowledge those thoughts and then argue against them. I think right now, the most important thing is that when I start training - this week, that I do it super slowly. I don't want to burn out. I have several runners in my family so I will definitely be taking advantage of that. As far as hating running...I don't think I've really found my groove. I decided that I hated running a year and a half ago while doing a 5k for the Susan G Komen foundation. In retrospect, I think if I had actually trained (and passed on all the free food and drinks vendors were giving out prior to the race), I might have enjoyed it.

I've long been of the opinion that our bodies are capable of truly incredible things in the fitness realm, and have sooo much respect for people who push themselves and achieve things they had no idea were possible. I hope to be one of those people sometime in the next year. Wish me luck! :)
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford