Monday, November 29, 2010

13% done

It's day 4 of the inaugural 30-day challenge and I'm hanging in there! Friday was all around easy, Saturday it was extremely difficult to leave the house! I woke up at 9:30 and thought I could hit the Y before the debacle of the Michigan game at noon. Instead it was just after 6:30 when I took my first step. What happened to my day??? Despite the late start, I still got in 30 minutes. The problem, however, is that on the way home I kept thinking about Jet's Pizza and this greasy Mexican dive I haven't been to in months. I had some pork chops instead. Sigh.

Sunday was easy enough until the family visited and got Mexican food. I was quite content with mac and cheese, thank you :) Today was easy enough as well. It was sunny after work so I passed on the Y and power walked outside. Most days once I start exercising I feel like I could easily do a full hour. It's getting started that's so difficult! Likewise the food is easy enough, just takes a little more thought and planning.

A great side effect is how much money I've been saving. On Friday, rather than a $13 Jets Pizza (that would last 3 or 4 days), I had a $2 Trader Joe's noodles and sauce with some baby carrots and broccoli (virtually free). If I can save $25 a week, I've saved enough for 2 massages :D

You're all missing out on this challenge! It's great! (It doesn't hurt that I've lost 1.4 pounds of water weight since Friday. I'm hoping to lose 5 in the 30 days.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of the last of the 2010 Freep marathon related posts

When I first thought about doing a marathon, I knew there would be a few sacrifices I'd have to make. I assumed I would be giving up after work drinks with my girl friends, giving up some Saturday afternoons to run and I was totally ok with that.

Some things arose that were easier, some more difficult. For example, I didn't even blink when invited to the Michigan - MSU football game. I had planned to run 1 hour 40 minutes that day, and spending a long full day in the sun would surely dehydrate me and get in the way of the run, so I immediately said no. Another event, however, was more difficult to pass up - two of my favorite bands, that both factor very heavily into the ultimate 4-hour cardio playmix are Godsmack and Drowning Pool, who were performing together in Detroit. I wanted to see this show like crazy! Yet, it was the night before the marathon and going to a concert would surely interfere with going to bed at 9pm, so I told myself I would be able to see them again at some point. Hopefully.

Something I didn't plan on skipping was my friend's birthday party. She had invited me to Miami for a weekend and I was all set to go ever since she invited me in February. As it got closer and closer, however, I realized I couldn't go, mostly because I couldn't walk and needed to see a doctor asap about my leg. It pained me to tell her I had to cancel, but for twelve months, my blanket excuse was always "I'm training for a marathon." I invoked this excuse for things I didn't want to do, such as....why wasn't I working? Why didn't I have a boyfriend? Why didn't I finish my graduate thesis? The answer was always a shrug, a smile and "I'm training for a marathon."

The last thing I gave up - which I never anticipated - was my hair. Despite having long hair for my entire life, I don't like the feel of hair. When I sweat it gets even worse, the curls turning frizzy and sticking to my back and neck, each piece adhering like glue. Gross! A ponytail didn't help because the hair still touched my skin, so I cut it off and wound up liking it even better short. Cool!

Was the race worth it all? Yes, absolutely, without a doubt!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Announcing....the 30 Day Challenge!!!! (part 1)

The half marathon is April 2, 2011. I'm already in fairly decent shape, which is to say I can run a few miles at any given time, my heart is beating strong and my lung capacity is good and strong. Given my current shape, I don't need to start training from absolute zero, I don't need to repeat the couch potato to 5k program. Having said all this, I reckon I'll start training for the half on January 1. That will give me 12 weeks to prepare and after all, it is only a half marathon :D

To tide me over until then, it's time for....drumroll please....the 30 day challenge!!!! (part 1) Starting November 26 and for 30 consecutive days, I'm going to challenge myself in three ways:

1. no alcohol
2. no fast food - includes all food that you pay for before eating
3. exercise 30 minutes

Why? Because I can. Because I function best when working off a to-do list. Because it's good for me.

So who wants to join me? Brother? This is exactly your kind of contest! All participants will be on the honor system and anyone who successfully completes 30 days (and yes you have to follow my days, which means Christmas day is alcohol free and pro exercise) will get a bottle of Charles Shaw wine - or a Happy Meal if you already abstain.

Subsequent 30 day challenges will surely ensue!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I did it

My boss asked me today how I trained for the marathon, so here is the planning story. Before getting hurt, I had the greatest intentions. I printed a month by month calendar and wrote out the scheduled exercise for every single day. For eleven months. At any point starting in November 2009, I could look at my calendar and determine the scheduled run for any day until the race. When I went to grad school in Ohio for 6 days at a time, the first thing I packed was my calendar so I had no excuses while I was out of town.

Of course getting hurt ruined everything, but I had it organized so well!

Here it is: a 43 week program (yes, 43 weeks) to go from being a couch potato to completing a marathon. Keep in mind that I'm not a trainer, haven't completed a single day in gym class since 6th grade and cobbled together three running program. In other words, it might not be the best plan available, yet it got me across the finish line. As a common sense warning, attempt marathons at your own risk! (Or go to a local running store and sign up for a marathon class, or ask for their training program.)

Click on the picture to make it bigger and readable / printable.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Here I go again...

Running a half marathon isn't on the bucket list, but I now officially have plans to do so at the Martian Marathon on April 2. I'm not generally a fan of out and back running, but it's close to home (so I don't have to deal with traveling) and I know I can do it. This time I'm not going to get hurt and I'm going to train properly and finish in 2:20. I enjoyed the first half of Detroit and even at the time I knew I'd do another half so here I go :)

On a related side note, I attend a church where the average age is 84. There is one other attendee under 40 and we're going to run together to the half/full split. Sweet I have a race partner :)

It's on Hines Drive - anyone want to place bets as to whether or not it'll be flooded???

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Ultimate 4-hour Cardio Playlist part 4

43. Killin' Me - Drowning Pool
44. Someone that you're with - Nickelback
45. Send in the Wolves - Destropy
46. Hero - Skillet
47. The Good Life - Three Days Grace
48. The Good Left Undone - Rise Against
49. Flat on the Floor - Nickelback
50. Disturbia - Rihanna
51. Because of You - Nickelback
52. Another way to Die - Disturbed
53. Animals - Nickelback
54. Come out and Play - The Offspring
55. Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit

When it's all said and done, the ultimate 4-hour cardio playmix is only 3 hours, 11 minutes, 38 seconds. How often do I really need to exceed 3:11 without repeating a song anyway? During the marathon I got to the end and repeated it. After the second complete run through, I shut it off and ran the last few minutes without music.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Done! 34 - Run through Hell

Some of the bucket list items are carefully planned out, whereas others fall into my lap and I have to jump at the chance. Running through Hell was definitely in the latter category.

For the past several years, there has been a 10K through Hell in August on one of the hottest days of the year. The runners, therefore, were both literally and figuratively running through Hell. I assumed I would eventually be one of them, yet while I was running the marathon, an email dropped in my inbox with some upcoming events, including the run through Hell on Halloween.

Not only was the race going to take place after a two year hiatus, it was a costume race! How great is that? My brother agreed to come with me and dressed as Elvis and a Trekkie, we ran alongside a family of Incredibles, R2D2 pushing an X-wing fighter stroller, Ben Franklin, a runaway bride, 2 cosmonauts and the best costume of the day: it was 41 degrees, yet a man showed up wearing a Speedo, a swimcap and goggles, with eight gold medals around his neck and a bong in his hand. Get it? Michael Phelps!

Time wise, my brother smoked me, despite his claim of not running in a solid year. My time was by far the worst I've ever completed, yet I'm pleading I was sick. I've had a horrid cold all week which made it super difficult to breathe, then at one point I got lightheaded and had to walk. Ugh what a miserable feeling. Still fun though! (although at the end I thought to myself "Is that it? I'm done already?") :D

Here I am as a Trekkie....

and my brother as Elvis...