Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick Wrap-up

173 Days To Go
I just realized it has been over a week since my last blog post so although I am dog-tired and ready to face plant myself in the bed after a long holiday weekend, I wanted to post a quick summation of my last week's running efforts.
Last week I tried to mix up my running a little by enjoying one run minus the stroller and my running buddy (my time improved, but I missed my adorable constant), ran on a track one day (can we say snoooooze), and made a trip to the gym to run with a friend on the treadmill and take advantage of the gym's child care (for the first time I might add and didn't take my eyes off that daycare door while I was running).
I started my training plan today! Although, I admit, today was a rest day - hey, that's what the
schedule said.
Lesson of the Week: Don't run behind airplanes - even if they appear to be parked. You heard me right. One of my routes takes me right past a small private airport and just as I was running by, a small plane was preparing for departure and blew me and the stroller off the sidewalk...literally. Thank goodness I had a good grasp of the stroller and it didn't tip! While a funny picture to imagine, it was a frightening experience. So there you have it, if you gain nothing else from reading my measly blog, take this lesson with you - again I repeat, never run behind airplanes.
Highlight of the Week: We assisted a small turtle attempting to cross the street and saw a family of rabbits on one of our early morning runs. I felt very Snow White-ish the entire day.
Power Song of the Week: Where Are We Runnin'? by Lenny Kravitz. This song kept me going even when my adrenaline failed me.
Wish me luck on following the training plan this week! Day one was successful thus far (smile).
Until next time (which will be sooner rather than later).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Good and The Bad

181 Days To Go

The last seven days have consisted of some great and some not-so-great progress to report.

Let's start with the not-so-good. This past Friday marked the official six-month countdown until the half-marathon. After another week of unexpected circumstances including an impromptu trip with Hubs and the little monkey to New Orleans (long story), I clocked only 16 total miles this week. It's time to spring (or sprint) into serious action...and fast!

On the flip side, I have had four more fabulous friends join me in committing to run the half-marathon in November. That makes six of us total! And there are still a couple more out there contemplating taking the plunge. To think this just started as me wanting to prove I could achieve this personal bucket-list goal is becoming an even more inspiring journey of friends joining together to empower each other to achieve a common goal together!! I love it.

On another note, I have had a few questions asked about the training plan I am using for this run (Notice I said run, not race. Let me make it clear, if I run the whole thing, I win.) so I thought I'd share my training goals for each week...and then compare them to what I actually run. Here we go with that accountability thing again.

I have researched many training plans and found one that I feel is personally appropriate for my level, schedule, and goals. It is an eight-week plan that I am basically extending to 24-weeks by repeating each week 3x which gives my body that much more time to become conditioned to the longer distance progressions each week.

Beginning Monday, May 31 this is what my week will consist of:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2 mile-run, 1-mile walk, 2-mile run
Wednesday: Cross-train
Thursday: 1-mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 2 mile-run, 1-mile walk, 2 mile-run
Sunday: 2 miles

Completely doable, right? I think so. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Motivation On The Rise!

187 Days To Go
Wow! The last week since I published this blog has been tremendously inspiring. I knew I had a great support system within my family and friends, but the blog comments and messages from those I have never met have truly been encouraging. I have already "met" two other runners who are also planning on running the Women's St. Pete Marathon and heard success stories from others who recently completed their first half-marathons. All of the input has reinforced just how important this journey is.

Speaking of motivation, there's nothing like a little schwag to get my motor running. As you see in the pic, over the weekend I received a Women's Half-Marathon visor. Who knew a little piece of head gear could get me so pumped? Okay, I did. I am a sucker for chic apparel of any kind (just ask my husband who has been banished from our closet and forced to compact all of his clothing into a few dressser drawers). Seriously though, this visor is excellent for running. It's designed like no other visor I have seen - with an elastic band and terry cloth interior rim to absorb forehead sweat. Hmmmm, come to think of it, maybe this is how all running visors are made? How would I know? Okay, enough about the stinkin' visor (told you I get carried away when it comes to these things).

After some excellent runs this weekend I was feeling a bit sore and contemplated taking a rest day. I then remembered how last week panned out and realized I better let the little monkey decide what days we rest. I put on my new visor and opted for a 4.6 mile walk. It felt good and my muscles are recouping nicely. Alright, I'm going to close this post and hit the hay...5:30am comes too quickly.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back on Track...or on the Sidewalk

190 Days To Go

What a difference a couple of days can make. This past week my little monkey was fighting a terrible stomach virus. Needless to say, I knew I couldn't strap him into the stroller with a fever and head out in this notorious Florida summer heat. This made for a skimpy week of running that I felt the repercussions of this morning. After a two-day hiatus (my goal is to never miss more than one day in a row) we hit the pavement and immediately the last 48 hours of idleness became painfully obvious. The first half of my run, okay honestly, fast-paced walk, was a screaming reminder that I have to stay steadfast in this goal I have committed to.

Now, I realize this is going to sound a bit extreme, but while I was feeling sorry for myself I suddenly remembered the words of my doctor when I was going through labor. "Push through the pain," she repeatedly told me. "Why the heck did I stop going to the gym?" I replied at the time (edited response). With that memory fresh in my mind, I put things into perspective, picked up a light jog, and repeated my new mantra, "Push through the pain, push through the pain..."

At the end of my run Tiger Woods told me that I had my best mile yet...really, he did. (Thanks to Nike+ and my IPod). And yes, I too wondered if he had ulterior motives (smile).

Point being, somehow feeling my worst thus far in the 200-day countdown I managed to push through and actually excel. Wow, just typing that sentence reminds me of how applicable it is to so many situations in life.

"He conquers who endures."


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Welcome Aboard!

196 Days To Go
Earlier this week I was talking to a longtime friend of mine that lives in South Florida. We were catching up on life..sisters, husbands, babies...the usual. I let the cat out of the bag that I had decided to run the Women's Half-Marathon (the more people you tell, the more committed you feel. Since you are reading this blog, I suppose that me and this half-marathon are beginning to hear wedding bells). I explained my reasoning: the cancelled run of 2009, my overdue need to jump back in the fitness saddle, my sweet monkey man, etc. She paused for a minute and then told me that she had the chills. I couldn't get the words out fast enough..."Do you want to run it with us?"

One day after I sent her the information, she sent me a message letting me know how much she ran that day. I did the same. Wow, this accountability thing actually feels good. For the last week, we have swapped stats on how far and where we have run. Not only am I thrilled about the opportunity to have one of my oldest friends on board to travel with me on this empowering journey, but it's also been a surprisingly unique way to keep in touch with a dear friend 500+ miles away on a daily basis. Most of all, it's been added motivation to tie on those running shoes as soon as I stumble out of bed each morning, knowing I will be reporting my progress.

For those interested, check out and for online training logs, running maps of your area, and opportunities to share your progress with friends and other runners.

I am so glad to have 'Divalicious' on board! To my surprise, when I have told a few other friends about my new adventure, I have noticed an interesting reaction. There has been an intrigued and tempted look in their eyes. They have asked for more information and I can see they are contemplating the possibility of running too. They haven't quite committed, but have left the door open to consider it. I won't name any one in particular, but you know who you are. And I say, let's do it!

"Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And so it begins...

199 Days To Go

Today I officially signed up for the Women's Half-Marathon that takes place in November 2010 in St. Pete {big gulp}. I have planned on training for this since last November, one week after the birth of my baby boy. Now that the challenge is official and the work begins, I thought I would start this blog to hold myself accountable and have a hard copy account to remind myself why I decided to do this. I also hope it can remind, not just mommies, but all women that may stumble upon this, that we can still achieve big goals while balancing life's sometimes overwhelming current obligations and duties.

With that said, I should explain why it is I decided to take this challenge.

Reason #1. I actually set a goal to run a half-marathon 1 1/2 years ago as a pact with one of my very best friends. I live in Florida and she's in North Carolina. We both had began to discover a love for long-distance running. This wasn't marathon distances (or half-marathon distances for that matter), but long distances in our novice minds. As we began approaching 4, 5, and 6 miles we realized we could continue to strive for larger goals if we continued to hold each other accountable updating each other during our daily gossip sessions. We learned about the 2009 New York City Half Marathon and decided this would be our goal...together (and an opportunity to finally convince our husbands to let us take that girls trip to the big city we had been trying to plan). We began our training, kept each other posted daily, increased our distances and then...well, you know what they say about what God does when we make plans? He laughs.

After a year of fruitless trying, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant (insert applause sound here). Needless to say, the half-marathon goal feel aimlessly to the wayside, as well as any ambition to keep fitness in my life for the next 9 months...errr, make that 14.

Moments after my best friend squealed on the phone with delight when I told her I was expecting, she immediately paused, thought for a second, and the scolded me for not keeping my commitment (in a hilariously-loving way that only your best friend could do). Now it's my chance to make it up to her. Two years later, St. Pete, here we come - husbands and baby in tow to cheer us on.

Reason #2. You have now probably realized I have a new light in my life. My chunky monkey was born last November. While he was worth every single ounce of that 50+ lb. weight I gained, I am realizing that as I approach his six month birthday I can no longer declare, "I just had a baby" as my guiltless excuse for still holding on to this extra 20 lbs of mama love that hangs off my hips (and legs, arms, booty, etc.).

Reason #3. Last and most importantly, this endeavor is for my son. That may sound perplexing considering he is only six months old and I think it's safe to say he likes mommy's bouncy belly, but let me explain. For monkey's first birthday (the same month as D-Day...the half-marathon) I want to give him a strong, healthy, be-all-she-can-be mommy. It's not to say I don't possess those traits now, but I want to be able to explain to him one day that I had a colossal goal I wanted to achieve in honor of him. I want him to know I worked hard and profusely and I accomplished it. I want him to know he was my motivation. It is his little face I keep picturing at the finish line. Need I say more?

Now, to close this introductory post I want it to be known I am starting this training from scratch. No professional training, no six miles under my belt any longer, no time records I am trying to beat. What I do have is an incredible support system, a snazzy jogging stroller, and the most inspiring little running buddy one could ask for (although he sleeps through most of the run). I say this because I want to invite anyone out there who might be considering a similar challenge (or any challenge, for that matter) to travel with me through this process and let's show those around us we can turn these aspirations into reality. Your goal may be extraordinarily larger than a measly half-marathon, or it may be a small check off your to-do list. Hey, it's all subjective and it's all relevant.

More to come shortly! The plan is to keep this blog updated on a regular basis to not only hold myself accountable, but also provide a record of my personal bucket list accomplishment.

Okay, I'm going to hit 'Publish Post' now....there's no looking back. Here I go.