Friday, October 7, 2011
I'm the kind of girl who likes to go all the way.
Like all the way.
But before your mind gets permanently stuck in the gutter let me clarify that I'm talking about running here and not, ahem, you know. I'm a married lady, after all. With a baby. Those days are long gone and were very short days at that. Just kidding.
Anyway, back to the all the way and the running thing. When it comes to training for an event, I like to run as close to the distance as possible. I don't believe in a 10-mile long run to get me through a half-marathon. Just don't. Sure, the adrenaline of the race might carry you through the last 5K but a big part of success in running is confidence. I just don't feel confident that I'll run 13.1 miles if I've only tackled 10 miles a couple weeks before.
So it was with that mindset that I looked for a training plan for my next BIG race - the Huff 50K relay - on Dec. 17. I started out looking at 15K training plans as the 9.3-mile distance is comparable to to the 10.8 miles (I think?) I'll be running. Hal Higdon's novice plan is 10 weeks, which is perfect, but has the longest run at 8 miles. Another plan, this one 12 weeks, topped out at 7 miles.
No good. No good at all.
I want - no, I need - a plan that takes me to the 10-mile mark as this will be the farthest I've ran in more than a year. I considered crafting a plan myself but I feel rusty in terms of scheduling and still lack a strong base at the 5-mile distance, which I use as a marker of my fitness.
And then I remembered something: Half-marathon schedules often top out at 10 miles. Huzzah!
I went back to my buddy Hal Higdon and looked at his half plans. I opted for the Novice 1, which seemed to be an overall good plan for me at this juncture. It offers a gentle increase in distance, cut back weeks and the option of 4 days a week. (I like 4-day-a-week plans as the fourth day really helps to build a base.) It does not include tempo runs or speedwork - something I'm not quite ready for just yet.
And the longest run? 10 miles. Yep, I'll be going all the way.
What do you look for in a training plan? Do you like trust that you'll be able to add a few miles to your longest run come race day?
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I used to be all about Twitter. Under the name redheadrunswild, I would tweet about training for my first half-marathon and then my second and anything else related to running. I found it to be fun and mildly amusing, or at least a way to pass the time. It also allowed me to connect with other runners and feel apart of a community.
For about 5 seconds.
Then, after those 5 seconds, I felt like I was in high school again. Ostracized and definitely not part of the cool clique. Instead of it being the girl with the red Ford Probe and her followers, it was the #runnerds and seemingly everyone who was training for the 2010 Chicago Marathon (#cm10). I began to tweet less and eventually stopped.
Occasionally, I’d get a direct message from a pal or log on to tweet a giveaway I really wanted to win but I was no longer a part of the Twitter community. It just wasn’t a big deal to me.
And it still isn’t.
Of course, it didn’t stop me from downloading Tweet Deck on my phone. I blame boredom … as if I could ever be bored. My new username/handle is healthy_strides if you care. It’s OK if you don’t. Getting pooped and peed on pretty much cements the fact that I’ll never be cool. But, today, I’ll be posting What I (Really) Ate Wednesday as opposed to showing you what I ate Tuesday on Wednesday.
So what did I eat Tuesday?
Bowl of pumpkin oats (photo so crappy I refuse to share) and egg white omelet with turkey sausage.
Leftover Sloppy Buffalo Joes on a bed of romaine with blue cheese and ranch dressing
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
Skinny Cow, rice cake with sunflower seed butter and a hot chocolate
What are your favorite snacks? Do you use Twitter?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Of all the things in my pillowcase at the end of the night on Oct. 31 each year, I hated Smarties the most. They are chalky and flavorless and rather unpalatable to my child-self's discerning palate. I preferred chocolate. More specifically, I preferred full-size candy bars ... or at least the fun-size ones. Mini candy bars are for the birds and just one bite.
My overweight child-self, though, didn't really need more than one bite. One bite would have done me just fine. Actually, an apple would have done me just fine but even in the so-much-safer 1980s, my mom still had to inspect my candy for razor blades and an apple could have chock full of 'em. Or something worse. Like brandy.Nowadays, if someone tried to handout an apple, a homeowner would probably have to duck as a screaming mom chucked apple while pulling out her pink Taser.
What's a well-meaning, health-conscious Halloween goodie distributor to do?
One could suck it up, acknowledge that Halloween is just one day a year and be the cool lady on the block who hands out full-size Reese cups (that she had to hide from her peanut butter-loving kleptomaniac husband).
She could plan ahead, risk getting her house toilet-papered and pass out something non-food related. Like erasers. Or pencils. Or those Silly Bandz thar are not nearly as cool as slap bracelets. I found some pretty affordable stuff on the website Oriental Trading - "fun bands" for 99 cents (50 count); glow-in-the-dark fangs for $5 (72 count); erasers for $5.25 (144 count); spider rings for $5.25 (144 count); or mini yo-yos for $2.39 (12 count).
Of course, there is another option. One could offer the child candy or a prize, teaching them that health and fun are a choice. (Yes, I just implied that candy is not fun. Go ahead and TP my house. My address is ... )
What are your thoughts? Are you handing out anything this year?
I hope you aren't mad that I didn't invite y'all. You see, when we party, we party at 3 a.m. and my grandma said it's impolite to call someone after 10 p.m. (though 9 p.m. is a more preferable cut off). Last night's soiree started at 3:30 after his 3 a.m. feeding and lasted until 4:45. I think. After that, I got him quiet enough to lie next to me on the couch so I could go to sleep. Or something like it.
As much as I despise this prolonged interruption in sleep, I like to think of it as making me a better runner. I'm tired in the morning - heck, let's be honest, all day - and I still manage to wake up, feed both of us, put dinner in the slow cooker, function at work (sort of), go for a run before dinner (hopefully) and have semi-coherent conversations with my husband. When it comes time to do that marathon next year and I want to take a nap in the grass at mile 18 (want to join me, L?), I will have full confidence that I can push through the fatigue. I will not only be able to push through the fatigue but I will be able to run another 8.2 miles, make dinner, do dishes and read "Llama Llama Red Pajama."
And then fall asleep in the ice bath. Take that sore muscles!
Are you able to combat fatigue during a run? What are your tips and tricks?
By the way, if you need a daily dose of cuteness, Miles and I had a chat this morning - and I dared to bring up his party habits. Lord knows we don't want to send him to rehab at age 7 months.
Monday, October 3, 2011
This post will be totally not health-related and will be a blatant blogger abuse to showcase photos of Miles (and me).
We went to Cincinnati this weekend.
My brother was getting married.
It was a bit hectic because Grandma decided she wanted attention.
She went into the hospital on Monday.
She had a pacemaker put in Friday.
And she still made it to the wedding an hour early.
I lit the unity candle for her.
I also did a reading.
Until the priest started to do the offertory blessing.
I hobbled to the back of church to nurse him while sitting on the toilet (not using it, I must clarify).
I got back for the end.
I hobbled to the back of church again.
My brother asked me to stop at Grandma’s to pick up jean shorts for him to change into at the wedding.
I conveniently forgot.
But not to switch out of my 3.5-inch heels into some ballet flats.
I went to the reception.
I ate a plate of fruit and veggies.
I ate cheese … and chicken … and pasta … and green beans.
And three of the most delicious cupcakes on the planet.
They were mini-size of course.
I played the mommy card and the “I’m babysitting Grandma tonight” card and left early.
And then I waited forever for Pacemaker Granny to decide that she was tired.
Then I slept.
My grandma doesn’t have much to say about running except that I might do it too much. She just doesn’t get it. She respects it – even cracking a joke once that a 10K is barely worth putting your shoes on for - but doesn’t understand it.
If she did, though, I bet she would have some rules. Grandma’s rules of the road.
Rule No. 1: Wear pearls. If you dare wear shorts on a run (because you’re too cheap to buy a running skirt), you must wear pearls as a display of femininity.
Rule No. 2: Put your best face forward (aka wear makeup). No one wants to see your sleep-deprived self and the dark under eye circles that go along with it. Put on some powder. Some rouge. A little mascara. Or, you could be lazy and not wash your face after your brother’s wedding and have the gorgeous day two mascara look. Just be sure to take a cute tip and wipe the smudges under your lower lash – no need to make your under eyes darker than they are.
Rule No. 3: It is always advisable to wear a colored bra under a white tech tee. A blue sports bra, especially, adds a pop of color to your ensemble as you sweat through your shirt on an afternoon 4-miler.
Rule No. 4: Afternoons are advisable as your beauty sleep is of utmost importance. Plus, it gives you time to put some cucumber slices on those dang under eye circles.
Rule No. 5: Take your time and slow your stride. You don’t want to intimidate men by running like a gazelle as they slog along the path – especially if you have a jogging stroller. Plus, a slower pace will keep you from breaking a sweat, which would make your mascara run, which would make your undereye circles worse. Seriously, do something about those tired eyes!
What are your rules of the road?