Monday, July 29, 2013

Week Seven Confusion

So Stylish!{Me before setting off on my long walk.  Hi!} 

Marathon Training Week Seven (Week of July 22, 2013):

Monday: Off (didn’t feel well)

Tuesday: Long walk: 106 minutes.

Wednesday: Treadmill work-out.  37 minutes total: warmed up for 5 minutes, {ran 2 minutes:walked 1 minute} x 10, cooled down for 2 minutes.

Thursday: Off (though with at least an hour of casual walking around during the day)

Friday: Walked 50 minutes to do errands (so hot…so slow…)

Saturday: Bike ride to Kohl’s/HEB

Sunday: Evening walk with Paul (not counting this in my minutes total)

Total minutes walked/ran this week: 193 or ~12-13 miles

A few notes on training this week:

* Somehow I managed to confuse myself with my training plan.  (I so smrt!)  Here is what I was supposed to do in minutes—>followed by what I have actually done for long walks.

~Week 5: Walk 90 minutes—>Walked 105 minutes.

~Week 6: Walk 105 minutes—> Walked 106 minutes.

~Week 7: Walk 120 minutes—>Walked/ran 73 minutes (I did this today.)

The reason I’m so confused is that technically, I’m supposed to do my long walks on Sunday.  In reality, I do them whenever it suits me best, which right now tends to be Monday or Tuesday.  The important thing, I suppose, is that I’m getting those miles done.  This week, even though it’s Week 8 now, I am going to get my 120 minutes done because dammit, I’m not even running much these days, which means I’m doing way fewer miles than I’m supposed to be!

The takehome message: I cannot follow a training plan to save my life.  Send help immediately.

* I’m experiencing some pain in my left foot.  It feels like a foot cramp, except I can’t seem to pop or stretch it back into place.  I noticed it on Friday, I think, and I’m not sure if I should be worried about it.  It didn’t hurt at all today while I was out walk/running, but if I try to stretch it now, I can feel it’s not quite right.  Hmm.

* Today I did 20 minutes of run 1 minute/walk 1 minute, and I felt pretty good!  After two weeks of walking (and NOT running!) outside, letting myself run today made me feel very fast.  Also, the run/walk intervals are a good way to keep me from pushing too hard in the heat.  It is very, very hot here now, and it would be way too easy for me to push myself beyond my physiological capacity for exertion.  I liked the run/walk intervals so much that I’m going to do them again this week for the 120 minute work-out I was supposed to do last week.

* I am starting to believe that I can actually do this marathon thing.  I’m feeling happy that I didn’t bow out of it.

Have a great week, friends!   

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week Six = Done.

Good-Looking Meal

{Marathon Training = Pasta Meals!}

Marathon Training Week Six (Week of July 15, 2013):

Monday: Off, with some push-ups, crunches, and squats for good measure.

Tuesday: Yoga for the first time in FOREVER!  20 minutes of Gentle Hatha Yoga

Wednesday: Medium walk, ~40 minutes (+/- 5 minutes? I left my watch ticking while I ducked into a store to buy some peanut butter.) 

Thursday: Leisurely walk, ~37 minutes with pitstops for a few purchases

Friday: Leisurely walk, ~37 minutes  

Saturday: Leisurely walk, 50 minutes 

Sunday: Bike ride to Target/Old Navy/HEB 

Total minutes walked this week: 164, or ~8-9 miles?

There’s not much to report here except that it is hot, hot, HOT outside.  I am getting a funny sunburn/suntan pattern on my upper body from walking outside during peak daylight hours.  I know, I know we’re not supposed to do that, but sometimes a person has errands to run, you know?  Errands to run and miles to walk.

I’m going out of order a bit here, but today I got on the treadmill, and it wasn’t half bad.  My brother and his boyfriend gave me a tiny MP3 player for Christmas last year, and with some music in my ears and a 2:1 run:walk ratio on the treadmill, I had a pretty good work-out.  The gym was blessedly cool (74 degrees!), and it was a quick enough work-out that I could handle running in place without feeling like a crazy person.  Plus I got to run.  I haven’t done that in ages—it was fun and novel.

The boyfriend is going to be here for dinner in a few minutes, so I won’t ramble on any more.  I’m feeling kinda down today, so I’m hoping his company will cheer me up.

Happy day to you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Running Inspiration, Delivered

Hey guys!  How is your running going?

My running walking is going well, thanks for asking.  Today I got 106 minutes under the old feet on a steamy Texas day.  Plus I now have ingredients to make ice cream, and that combination is a win-win in my book.

As I’m starting to wrap my mind around the idea of 26.2 miles in one day (October 20, 2 months and 26 days from today, not that I’m counting or anything…), I’m hungry for running inspiration.  Fun, uplifting, motivating pieces.  Not crap advice on Pinterest.  (Seriously, am I the only person who feels like most of the fitness “inspiration” on Pinterest is just awful?  Maybe I am.)  So for today, how about a piece by Rachel Toor? 

“The Clarity of the Track”

Stay cool out there, folks!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Regrouping with Caution

Detroit Marathon 7_20_13 JPEG cropped

Let’s talk about my new marathon training plans!

It’s clear that the definition of insanity is signing up for a marathon that requires you to do your longest runs in summertime Texas.  While I am excited to run Detroit in October, I can’t say I’m excited to train in August here.  August has always been an “off” month for me, as far as running goes.  But not this year!  Because I am insane.

My fall, however, has knocked some sense into me, and I am coming back to marathon training with a much more conservative plan.  In a nutshell, the new plan is to walk/run the marathon, with an emphasis on the walk part.  I figured out that in order to finish the race, I must finish it in 6.5 hours or less—the 6.5-hour pace group is the “last chance” for finishing.  If I were to walk the entire marathon, I could finish it in 6.5 hours if I walked fast enough.  Just now, I hopped on the treadmill to see how fast a few walking paces felt.  A 20-minute mile feels like a regular stroll—not too fast, not too slow.  A 15-minute mile is a brisk walk—speedwalking, if you will.  And you can still bump up the speed a bit more and continue walking.  If we do some math, here are the numbers.

26.2 miles at 20:00 pace = 8.7 hours

26.2 miles at 15:00 pace = 6.55 hours

So you’d need to walk a bit faster than 15:00/mile pace to finish in under 6.5 hours (or you’d have to start sooner than the 6.5-hour pace group to get a head start on them).

Knowing my body and my past accomplishments, here is a modest plan that I think I can complete.  If I run 13.1 miles of the marathon in two hours, I could easily walk the rest and finish in time.  It wouldn’t be an impressive finish, of course, but I don’t really care.  What I want is to finish, and to finish without injury or crippling aftereffects.  But let’s do some more math: what is the finishing time for 13.1 miles run in two hours + 13.1 miles walked at 15:00?

2 hours + (13.1 miles x 15:00/mile) = 5.3 hours

Not a super-speedy marathon, but it feels like a goal that I could accomplish with just under three months to reacclimate to Texas and train for the full.

Which brings me to my next point: my primary goal since returning from Colorado has been to reacclimate to Texas.  I’ve been walking outside almost every day, whether it’s to run errands or simply to get outside for a walk.  Last night I had the most wonderful evening walk after dinner!  It was reasonably cool, and for once I didn’t have any errands to do, so I walked one of my favorite running loops and just enjoyed the time alone.  There was a very real part of me that missed running, especially on such a nice evening, so I indulged myself with a few jogs—ten seconds here, 30 seconds there.  I’m still afraid of not being physiologically ready for the Texas heat and humidity, but I decided to test the waters a bit, so to speak, and this time there was no need to visit urgent care.

So it’s with a combined sense of caution and optimism that I have decided NOT to drop out of the marathon.  I feel strongly about meeting my commitments, and even though a marathon falls strictly into the “optional hobby” category, I don’t want to back down.  That was one of the things that made me most sad on the day of the accident: I thought for sure this meant I wouldn’t be able to train for the marathon and that I wouldn’t be able to afford the travel.  Once I thought more deeply about what training for the marathon could mean, I decided that money was a silly reason not to go.  My hope for this year financially is to (more or less) break even—I’ll probably come up a bit short because of my super fun medical bills, but I’m looking forward to a peaceful end of summer and a fall of simple pleasures.  (Also on my financial horizon: I think I’m adopting a cat.  But more on that later!)

Tomorrow two exciting things will happen: 1) I get the stitches removed from my chin!  Yee-haw.  2) I have a two-hour “long walk” on the schedule.  If I’m feeling good and if the weather is not too oppressive, I will try mixing in some running, probably in 1-minute intervals to be on the safe side.  I’m excited, as I have been really and truly missing my runs, and the treadmill is just not good enough.  The imperative to reacclimate to Texas was more important to me than running on a treadmill, so thus far I’ve embraced walking outside to the exclusion of running inside.  But tomorrow, I hope to begin my triumphant return to the world of running.

I hope I’m ready for it.  Detroit, we’re still on.

PS  Good job to my friend JD, who is rocking his marathon training!  I’m happy for you!  See you in October, dude!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shameless Other-Promotion

Lake Plus Mountain{First, a mountain to start your day right.}

I wanted to pop in today for a quickie recommendation: Chrissy’s bittersweet piece on her Texas home/yoga studio, Morning Glory.  I myself am in a bit of a home rediscovering mode after being on the road: five different states in six weeks.  It is joy and sadness to have a home that is far, far from where you live now.  I’ve always loved reading Chrissy’s pieces on yoga (this one is still a favorite), and “Om Is Where the Heart Is” is another reminder of how home is both a place and a feeling, a bond and a bridge.  Yoga, too, has a physical dimension and something more ineffable yet just as real: the feeling inside of coming back to yoga.

I too am coming back to yoga, finally unfurling my mat Monday night after weeks away from it.  It’s nice to begin reconnecting to all the things I left behind in my summer travels: quiet mornings alone, yoga before bed, buying groceries and new basil plants without counting the days until my next departure.  I wouldn’t trade my travels this summer for anything—it was an amazing experience, being able to live so intentionally and so bound by relationships—but I’m happy to be home again.  Or at least in the space that is home for now, nesting softly and happily.

PS  Chrissy, consider your link shared! xoxo

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Feels Like Flying in New Mexico and Colorado

After Our Hike

Marathon Training Week Four (Week of July 1, 2013):

Monday: Off.  Driving all day to Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tuesday: Hiked a trail at the National Petroglyphs Monument (shown in photo above)

Wednesday: Off.  Departure from NM and a long drive up to Denver.

Thursday: Walked around the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.

Friday: Off.  Bummed around Denver.  Read books in a park.

Saturday: Biked from brunch at Mercury to Commons Park and back to Hotel VQ. 

Sunday: Biked to brunch and back before leaving Denver for Routt National Forest

Minutes run this week: 0.

Minutes walked this week: Lots! 

Marathon Training Week Five (Week of July 8, 2013):

Monday: Went for a long afternoon hike.  Was attacked by hungry mosquitoes.

Tuesday: Off.  Lazed about reading all day.  It was nice.

Wednesday: Walked around Colorado Springs.

Thursday: Off.  Long drive from Colorado Springs to Dallas

Friday: Off.  Dallas—>College Station—>BED!

Saturday: Attempted to go for a run…which ended badly.

Sunday: Long walk.  105 minutes to HEB and back.

Minutes run this week: 7.

Minutes walked this week: 110 + all those vacation steps.

Hey, hey!  How about this marathon-length update?  After my Trip of a Lifetime, I have returned to Texas.  The trip was awesome; it was everything I wanted it to be.  It was filled with great food and laughter set against a backdrop of spectacular mountains.  Paul and I got along well for the duration of our 12 days on the road, which is kind of amazing.  We were both, however, really happy to see our friends in Dallas—it gave us a chance to share our favorite vacation stories with new people on top of our joy in seeing them.

You can see from my training log up there that I tossed my marathon training out the window as soon as we left Texas.  I had hoped to do some running while in Colorado, but it didn’t happen.  What happened instead: lots of walking around and some biking in Denver.  I mentioned the bikes on my other blog, so here I thought I’d give a little more info about Denver B-Cycle because we loved it so much.  So much so, in fact, that Paul is planning to get a bike so he can start bike commuting to campus instead of driving every time.  I fully support this plan of his—my bike is one of my favorite possessions.  Riding it makes me so happy!

Here’s how Denver B-Cycle works for tourists like us.  We bought a one-day “membership” for $8 each ($16 total for the two of us).  From there, we could borrow two bikes for up to 30 minutes at no additional charge, as many times as we wanted during that day.  Rides 30-60 minutes in length are $1 each; each additional 30 minutes is another $4 each.  The program encourages shorter rides—$1/bike for a 60-minute ride is pretty great.  Paul and I took several bike rides over a 24-hour period, for the fun of riding and to get from place to place.  We rode from a brunch spot (Mercury) to Commons Park and then back to our hotel.  The next day, we rode to brunch at Duo and back again.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that riding a bike in Denver was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  The weather was great, Paul’s smart phone helped us navigate, and I just loved seeing the city while on two wheels.  I would love to plan another trip to Denver just to pedal my way through the city (with pit stops for delicious meals, of course).

Checking Out Some Denver B-Cycles 

Bike Basket

Denver B-Cycle

The day after we got back to College Station, I had an accident, which I described here.  The score between me and Texas is now Texas 1, Rose-Anne 0.  I’m now pretty scared of the Texas heat to which I am not acclimated at all, so I’m adjusting my marathon training plan to be realistic about the danger of summertime Texas.  The good news is that after some hemming and hawing and—I won’t lie—some internal wimping out, I have decided not to drop out of the marathon.  In my next post, I’ll talk about my recalibrated expectations and training plans.

Until then, ride happy, friends!