Half Marathon “Training” Plan and Hip Update

I’ve been averaging about 18-24 miles a week for the past month or so — but I unofficially kicked off half marathon “training” (for the Lighthouse Loop Half I am doing October 25th) last Sunday with a 10-miler. What you don’t run 10 miles when you kick things off?

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I put training in quotes because I have a hard time training for halfs. That sounds so ridiculous, but in the past half-marathon training has consisted of me running a lot and then making sure I get at least one 12-miler in before the race. Or in the case of the Tomoka Half in March, don’t do any long distance running for an entire month and then feel disappointed when it sucks.

This time might be a little different, thanks to my running crew. Not only have I been regularly running, but I have regularly been doing speed work, tempo runs, and “hills.” I see small improvements when it comes to speed and the hills feel easier every time I run them. It’s amazing how that works, huh? I guess the experts ARE RIGHT.

My biggest challenge is getting my butt of bed during the weekend to do a long run. I remember when I hated running with other people and now here I am worrying that I would have a hard time finding a new running buddy now that Tyler moved far, far away. I’m happy to say that I have found people equally as crazy as me – if not crazier. So the long run continues!

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As I said, I kicked off with 10 miles. Chances are my mileage will slowly go up — and I might even run a few higher mileage long runs with my friends running marathons (no more than 16 though — that’s kind of my cut off– until I write that post “The time I ran 20 miles when I wasn’t even training for anything”). It’s too hot right now to really focus on goals for this half marathon, but I would really like to get back into running sub-2:00. I feel like if I keep pushing myself (and stick to a quasi-plan) throughout the disgustingly humid Florida summer, I will do well. Maybe. Kinda. Don’t quote me on it. Here’s my current plan. I expect it to change, so this is really the rough draft. Note that the next two weekends won’t include long runs, so the REAL training doesn’t start until the week of the 23rd — so I have 11 weeks to find my speed! LighthouseLoopPlan World’s  smallest font. You’re welcome. As for my hip… It feels better than ever! I’ve been diligent about doing my exercises and my Dr. has been killing my hips and hip flexors (in a good way). I’ve actually been in NO pain since my 10-miler on Sunday – and I even ran 6 miles of hills today.

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In case you ever questioned me when I say I am 5’10 — here is your proof.

I also switched to running in Hoka’s, so they might also be contributing to the improvement in my hip. The verdict is still out on them, but one thing is for SURE — they are like fluffy clouds to my feet, even if they are completely fug.

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Yes, my sock is on inside out.

So far, I’ve decided to alternate running in them and my Mizuno Wave Riders. I don’t think I can sprint in these beasts, but they are good for hills and longer runs. I actually wish I had tried these last year for marathon training – but I’m dumb.

And that’s pretty much what’s going on here… anything think I’ll actually stick to my plan??

Starting Over Sucks And Other Random Stuff

1. I’m running again.

It’s been gradual, and despite the fact that 6 months ago I ran a marathon (at a relatively decent) pace, it’s been hard. I honestly feel like I’m starting over.

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I ran a little over 3 miles last week and I thought I was going to collapse when I got home.

It’s weird though because even though it’s a huge strugglefest, and I want to punch someone the entire time I am running – it’s the most excited I’ve felt about running in LOOOOOONG time. I am really excited about the runs I have planned later this week. I even had HUGE urge to run last night after a day at Disney. WHAT?

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I’m slow as balls, but I know that I can concentrate on speed once I build up that endurance again.

2. I’m an ambassador for Best Damn Race!  This means I get to represent a race I’ve  really enjoyed racing for the last two years – and I have a $5 coupon to share with you: CRAZYRUN.

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I’m definitely running the Orlando Half – but there may be others. Join me!

3. Evan turned two. How? Did we just got through a time warp?

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Boyfriend ate a LOT of cake/cupcakes on his big day.

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He is definitely hitting his terrible twos and letting his presence be know (he’s like a shrieking animal at times), but he is still the sweetest, calmest, and most patient kid. And I refuse to cut his hair.

4. Not related to anything posted above… Is it weird that I find skinny Chris Pratt less attractive? I mean, he’s still attractive… obviously. But… why so skinny? And why so photoshopped GQ? Did he just get his eyebrows done or something?

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BTW – Can somebody please read the article and tell me when it’s OK for a man to cry? I didn’t realize their were rules. #lame.

5. And finally… I am super obsessed with The Desired Effect right now. Dan is about to throw my computer/phone/iPod out the window because it is constantly playing.
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In case you have no idea who Brandon Flowers is — he’s the lead singer of The Killers (PS – he’s also gotten way too skinny. What’s up with this trend?). I kind of miss his eyeliners days (when we were young…), but kind of love him graying (which apparently he is covering up — not that I would EVER do the same.)…

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So back to the music… I really can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to listen to an entire album from start to finish without skipping through at least one song. Check out Can’t Deny My Love, Lonely Town, and I Can Change.

Bonus: They are all great running songs!

Which leads me to…. what’s on your playlist right now?

What Nobody Told Me About Parenting (So Far)

When I first found out I was pregnant with Braeden many moons ago (umm… almost 10 years ago!), I was scared to death. And I was so, so, so focused on ME and how my life was going to change, what I was going to do with a baby, how I would be a better parents than so many of those “bad” parents out there. You know, the ones who suck.

HA.

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Did I mention HA?

In the past 9 years I have discovered they write a million and twenty baby books BECAUSE THAT IS THE EASY PART. You can write for days about typical baby behavior. You can solve sleep issues with a little patience, a lot of white noise, and  little crying (both you and the baby).  Keeping a baby alive? Just read about it in a book and follow the directions. You can do it! As long as you feed, change, and hold that baby — you are the BEST parent in the world. Ahhhh… sweet bliss. I’m still enjoying it with Evan. Kinda.

You know what’s really kicking my ass? Everything past age 5 – especially with my oldest.

Yeah – it’s that’s time of year when testing is over, the teacher’s patience is gone ,and the kids are acting a little wilder than usual. However, third grade has been particularly difficult and we are finally going to see a specialist about B’s behavior next month (who knows if it will help, but at least someone can listen to us). Thanks to his amazing teacher this year, we’ve actually been able to pinpoint his issues (opposed to just hearing “Braeden’s behavior is horrible.”) He’s constantly in his own little world at school — drawing or ripping up pieces of paper or playing with erasers. Nothing motivates him. He couldn’t care less if he has to sit out of recess (hey – at least he has it this year!) or move his “clip” down in class (in fact, I think he actually like the attention — PS behavior charts are the devil when your kid doesn’t care about them). He’s passing (and I’m sure he did fine on his FSA tests), but his grades are mediocre at best and there’s really not an excuses. This kid — he is SMART. Smart enough to be an A student. He just doesn’t want to do the work or care about it at all. AND I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES HIM TICK.

Truthfully, this is a side of him that we rarely see. To me, he’s a great kid. He’s sweet, he’s fascinated by learning, and he’s FUNNY (he loves making people laugh). At home he does his homework with little issue, he loves reading, and he loves playing outside with friends. Although he doesn’t always admit it – he loves spending time with his brother and sister. We limit the electronics/technology. He doesn’t have a phone or an iPod. We don’t watch much TV during the week, and we encourage both play amongst siblings and alone time.

SO… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Why isn’t there a book on THIS? Or at least one that tells me EXACTLY what I need to do.

In addition, I’m raising a little lady who LIVES for telling me how good she is being when he brother is in trouble (a lot). I have to admit, she’s really good. She does well in school and rarely gets in trouble (and when she does it’s mostly for talking). She’s also sassy, headstrong, charming, dramatic, and she scares the hell out of me. And she’s ONLY 6. I’m happy I’m raising such a dynamic little lady who is so the opposite that I ever was (I was definitely a lot more like Braden), but I have a feeling I’m in for it.

And then there’s E. Oh man, I am smitten by him. He is forever my baby and truly still a baby (for another 6 months — GIVE THOSE MONTHS TO ME), but how spoiled is he going to be? I rarely say no.

So yeah, I really DO love being a parent. Their happiness is the world to me and there is nothing better than making them laugh or smile — except maybe a hug, a kiss, and an “I love you.” But, there are so many things I didn’t expect to suck at — and I’m sure this is just the beginning.

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Good thing they’re cute.

Yay parenting!

What do you struggle with as a parent? No struggle is too small. In fact, it’s the small stuff that frustrates me the most.

It’s Hard To Get Faster… When You Don’t Run

Ugh.

Remember when I proclaimed my big, bad, 1:50 half marathon PR dream?

This is how I’m feeling about it right now…

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johnhamm yeah right

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Yeah, my training is going well.

I could offer you a million excuses (and there are TONS) – but I’m calling bullshit on all of them. Yes, I am EXTREMELY busy at work, superbly busy at home, and it’s cold season (I am about to rip my sinuses out of my face), but I’ve trained in similar circumstances with great results. I think it just comes down to this… I’m burned out.

And I’ll say it, as hard as it is to say, I’m not really into running right now. Which is kind of a bummer because this is best time of year to be into running! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

Instead, I’m really enjoying short(er), intense workouts — especially kettlebells. I’m also enjoying sitting on the couch drinking wine. I heard that’s the new workout?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running – but it’s maybe three times a week (max) or maybe just once a week (more likely) and it’s never fast like it should be to obtain these dream PRs.

I’m actually trying to figure out why these PR thoughts even came out of my brain in the first place?

And guess what? There’s a secret to ALLLLLLL of this…. If I want to run faster — you know what I NEED to do?? Well, for starters I actually need to run – but I also need to push myself to run FASTER. I know. The logic is so shocking.

Then there’s this…

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Probably not happening any time soon.

So in summary these are the things currently going on in my life right now:

  • I’m a whining like a little bitch,
  • I’m tired
  • I’m slightly stressed
  • I’m always worrying
  • I’m possibly attempting my own medical procedure to rip my sinuses out of my face
  • I’m putting my PR dream is on hold right now

I’m still running Best Damn Race at the end of the month, but the pressure is off to be awesome. It’s totally ON to be mediocre. I feel like I need to get my ducks in a row, or my panties out of their bunch, or something productive like that.

Speaking of productive, I AM growing my bangs out, so that’s something…. right?

I’m Alive! 2014 Space Coast Marathon Recap and Other Ramblings

Hey there – remember me?? I’m still alive! Barely. Life has been insane — between endless events, the holidays, and being busy beyond belief at work, blogging has obviously taken a backseat. I thought about quitting this blog about 20 times, but then realized that I missed it and here I am.

Let’s get this out of the way… I survived the Bad Idea Marathon. Obviously. It wasn’t easy and I wanted to quit about 800 times, but I got it done — and I’m SO HAPPY IT’S OVER!

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Worth it.

I also surpassed my goal (which was officially “Don’t quit/die.”) and I also beat my 1st marathon time, which I have to admit surprises me immensely. It really just goes to show that my conditioning/training for Chicago was so much more effective than it was for Savannah.

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Looks like someone else is happy I’m done.

I finished in 4:20:07. The most impressive (to me) part is that I ran/walked the last 5 miles because my heel hurt SO badly. Kinda makes me wonder what I COULD have done if I wasn’t haven’t plantar fasciitis issues. Damn heel.

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Looking entirely too happy – bonking at mile 21.

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Pretty much the view the entire time. Not horrible.

I would do a full recap of this marathon, but to be honest, I have mentally blocked the misery out of my mind. I will say that I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half and that I will never do Space Coast as a marathon again (I haven’t ruled out the half though!). I’ve also decided that I DO want to run more marathons, but one a year is sufficient. Half marathons are more my thing.

Also, I am incredibly proud of both of my running buddies – Paula and Tyler.

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Paula was in the same boat as me — she just did NOT want to be running this race and kicked ass anyway.

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At one point we lost Tyler and took selfies.

As for Tyler — he was aiming for sub-4, which I KNEW he could do as long as he didn’t go out too fast. Not only did he sub-4, but he came in 3:54!!

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Tyler just loooooves this picture. 

I’m going to guess that he trained with someone even faster (not me!), that he would be able to many, many minutes off of that time. I’m not ready for him to quit me yet though. I have some serious spring half marathon PR goals and I need him to push me! #selfish

Oh, and another person I’m INCREDIBLY proud of? Victoria. She’s speedy.

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As for what’s next — well, my heel is STILL bothering me, despite taking a month off from running. It’s definitely better than it was, but I need to get back into higher mileage (or any mileage) very slowly.

I AM running ZOOMA Florida (you should join me — use my code to save!) in January – probably the 12K (insta-PR!), and I have Best Damn Race Orlando February 28th where I have a major A+ goal — a 1:50 half. In order to hit that goal though I need my heel to be better AND I need to do some serious speedwork training. Ugh, I’m already dreading it. 

I have zero intentions run a marathon in 2015, BUT it’s still early. I could be talked into it. Maybe.

I do need to find some more half marathons to run in the next few months. Taking this month off of running has been great for my mojo, I definitely MISS it.

So here’s to 2015 – a year of running and other fun challenges, little injury (*fingers crossed*), and lots of fun. And maybe a little blogging.

Also… From my family to yours… Happy Holidays!

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