Monday, January 9, 2012

“Welcome back,” said the road.

Week of January 1, 2012:

Saturday: Long walk with a friend

Week of January 8, 2012:

Sunday: Long run!

So.  It’s January of the new year, and I am sitting eight weeks out from a half-marathon that I just committed to running.  I’m excited and nervous!

I’m excited because I miss running regularly.  My commitment to running over the past six months has been sporadic, and while that may be frustrating, I know that I’m responsible for my own flaky behavior.  Now, with a race on my calendar and a friend to run with me, I know that I’m on the right path toward a more disciplined running routine.  That makes me happy.

It also makes me nervous because the most I’ve run in the past month has been about six miles (with my speedy friend JD!), and a half-marathon requires twice that distance and then some.  My running buddy Christy is recovering from some injuries, so we need to tailor our plan for her running ability.  I’m happy to do that.  In fact, I have a question for all of you, my blogging/running friends.  I’m thinking that for Christy and me, a run/walk plan might be good for the half, something like this:

Run 4 miles.

Walk 1 mile.

Run 4 miles.

Walk 1 mile.

Run 3.1 miles

Finish victoriously!

What do you think?

I think the run/walk plan might be more forgiving of our injuries/short training season.  I have two goals centered around the half-marathon: 1) complete it with my friend, if she’s able to enter the race and 2) use the half-marathon training season as a way of re-establishing a running routine that gets me into my sneakers 2-3 times a week.  I have a habit of not running much at all after finishing a half; this year, I’d like to keep running outside until the end of May, if I can take the heat.

Yesterday I headed out for my first serious post-illness run, and I decided to jump right into it.  I’m never really sure how to get back into my exercise habits after an illness, so I decided that I would try to run 4-5 miles, with walking breaks if necessary.  I ran about 12 minutes to my favorite park, dropped off my sweatshirt near the kids’ play area, and felt a little dizzy, so I sat down for a minute.  Then I felt better and ran about 3 miles (26 minutes) around the park.  Then I retrieved my sweatshirt, walked for 5 minutes, and ran another 10 minutes toward home.  I cooled down by walking another 10 minutes or so, figuring that if I’m following a run/walk plan for the half, then a longer walking cooldown is really part training, part cooldown.

I felt really, REALLY good after this run, and that happy feeling stayed with me all day.  I’m feeling upbeat about establishing a new running routine for the new year, and I’m hoping the positive momentum from running will spill over into the rest of my life.

And on Sundays, this is what the rest of my life looks like:

My Sunday Office

Here I am in my Sunday office.  I love Sundays.

Have a good week, my dears!


  1. I think your plan to run/walk sounds just fine! I know people who run/walk and finish faster than me, and I generally run the whole time, so it's definitely effective. You're clear about your goals - run with your friend and establish good running habits again. Which means the race is a means to an end, so however you can get to that finish line - get to it!

    I'm glad you had such a good run, as well. I love the way a good run can make any day 100% better!

  2. Me too! I really feel like that's the magical thing about running: it makes you feel amazing. Of course, that's when it's not crippling you or sending you to the doctor ;-) Oh, I kid!

    Yes, I think the focus on a running habit will make this year quite different from last year. Last year I was rather obsessed with a PR, and this year, I just want to find a better balance between running and the rest of my life. It's going to be a good year!

    Happy running to you, Chrissy!

  3. I think the run/walk plan is great. You can always adjust the distances to fit the day. I bet by the time you have walked a bit you will raring to go.

    In order to beat that post race, I just want to sit on the couch feeling, there really is only one solution. Enter another race! I hear the Detroit one is pretty darn snazzy.

  4. I know of a woman who did 9:1 run-walk intervals and completed two sub 4 hour marathons this summer that way. I don't have a problem with walking intervals so long as they are planned and part of my strategy. For example, I usually plan to walk through water stops so that I can actually drink and not just throw gatorade on my shirt.

  5. Ha! You know I'd love to run with you in Detroit, JD. The half-marathon sounds amazing...except for the part where I have to train for a half-marathon during a Texas summer :-)

    Raquelita, wow! A sub-4 marathon?!? She must keep up a pretty fast running pace when she is running. And I've definitely done training and races with planned walking intervals, so I don't doubt that it can be done. I guess it just feels a bit odd to me, after learning to NOT walk during my training for the half last year. Oh well--new year, new plans.