Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 1: Check

Woohoo! Week 1 of training, check! See, I even checked off the days on my color-coded training schedule. 

So what did I learn from Week 1? This training schedule is awesome. There is nothing on it that I can't handle, and yet it is definitely a big step up from what I've done in the past. Pace runs? Brand new to me. Tempo runs? Usually done by accident in the past. Actually XT'ing? Haven't done that since 2007. I'm also slowly learning to be more disciplined about time management + training. It's hard! But there is something alluring about the discipline it takes to cram everything into every week. 

I should be able to get off the 'mill this week. My neighborhood still has patches of snow and ice, but closer to work things are basically clear. Time to re-test the Garmin, which last I checked was still misbehaving. 

But then I had a nice long conversation with Garmin support (in which the tech support guy openly admitted to keeping his VCR so he can watch 80's sci-fi. Nerd.) that gave me new hope. So check back for that...and also, my first giveaway! Coming soon to a JoannaRuns near you. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On Training Eve

So here I sit, on the eve of my spring training cycle, with some concerns and some things to admit. 

Concerns--that I don't have the time necessary to train for a full marathon. That the pain where my left hammy attaches to my butt bone will get worse (the doctor wrote "buttock pain" on the MRI order. I can't make this stuff up. And I'm skipping the MRI). That other injuries will surface--which every, every runner worries about. 

Things to admit--I love my job. LOVE it. But I'm also pretty overwhelmed with my current workload. I am more than a little bit stressed out. And I hate to even blog this because I hate not to be upbeat. Negative Nancy I am not. But it's what has kept me from blogging here recently. I definitely need you guys--to tell me that no one hits their training plan perfectly, that I *can* get through this. Even, and this is my real hope, that all the running will help me deal with the stress. 

On a lighter note, my brother had a job interview here last week. He flew in a day early so we could hang out and I could show him the city. We had lunch at a fantastic place in my neighborhood. He liked his sandwich so much that he wrote down its description from the menu to read to his wife. While on the phone with her he says, "If we move here, it's pretty much going to be for this sandwich." 

And to answer a question from The Black Knight, no, I am still on the dreadmill! I am super impressed by all you Michiganders and Canadians (wait, what's the difference??) who are running outdoors still. Y'all are crazy. This was my street this afternoon. Completely gorgeous, but since the park rangers don't shovel or salt the paths through the park, I'm inside for a while. 

Two last things to leave you with before training starts tomorrow. First, I joined sparkpeople about a month ago and am quite proud to announce that I've lost 4 pounds! Six more to go to reach my goal. I am *so* excited to get back to a race weight I'm happy with. It makes me feel better, look better, and will help me lower my race times. Updates to follow.

Second, a while back I said that a goal of this training cycle is to re-incorporate XT into the week. Well, I signed up for an hour long PowerFlow Yoga class on Tuesday mornings. I am pretty excited about it. Can't wait to get some flexibility back and work on core a little bit.

I am so much better positioned to beat the hell out of my training cycle than I ever have been before. I'm more experienced, I'm not pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding, I'm not defending a dissertation, moving, or starting a new job. And for the first time, I have a training schedule that I put together with help from RunningFirst that's personalized for little old me. Are you ready? I'm as ready as I'm going to be. Let's do this thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wish lists and creepy men

After hitting my mileage goal last week I decided it was time for a well deserved week off. I did enjoy the down time and today, for my first run of the new year, my legs were happy and rested and ready to run. Too bad The Vengeance wasn't.

Maybe a tenth of a mile from the house I looked down to check my pace (I thought I was way fast) only to find that The Vengeance still thought I was standing in front of the house. Yep, "30 seconds in and you haven't moved one inch," she scoffed at me. S.O.A.B. So I stopped. Found a new satellite signal. Get 'er all started up again. Ran.

At the far end of the park I ran past a bright blue Hummer. All the doors were open and the person responsible for it was standing on the other side, so all I could see were his boots. Guys are probably thinking, "What's this dude doing with all his car doors open?" Ladies are probably thinking, "did you run away as far and as fast as possible?" And yes, yes I did! Crap like that completely creeps me out! What, did he have bad car stench, like that episode of Seinfeld? Was he taking pictures to list it for sale, and if so, why in the middle of the park? Was he just driving around town and on a whim decided to sell his car? The only explanation I could come to was that I should be scared.

So here's my truth: I'm a big scaredy cat. There is nothing in the world I'm more afraid of than burglars. Creepy man and his Hummer are a near cousin of the burglar, as far as I'm concerned. Something men don't understand about women (and I generally hate blanket statements about the genders) is that we think about personal safety a LOT. For some women, it's a few times a week. For some, it's every day.

Which brings me to my point (I DO have a point, wait for it). Since I started endurance running in April of 2007, I have virtually never run with ID on me. Only when it's cold enough to wear a jacket, and even then it's only sometimes, and it's a driver's license zipped in a coat pocket. You know, super convenient for EMT's to find (yes, that's sarcasm). And somehow, despite my concern for personal safety, this never bothered me. My mother, yes. She nagged counseled me regularly on the need for ID.

I can only imagine her delight when she found the Runner ID on my Christmas wish list. Last week it occurred to me that even though I was running on treadmills, I should probably still go ahead and put it on my shoe. I mean, if I fell off the treadmill (again) and knocked myself unconscious, how would anyone know who I was? Did I put it on my shoe? No. So before my big return to outdoor running today, did I put it on my shoe? Still no. Until I saw creepy open Hummer man in the park. And now I have Runner ID.

Thanks, Mom.