Thursday, January 28, 2010

Set a Goal for the ING Georgia Half Marathon

Run as often as you can, for as long as you can, as fast as you can.

That’s my training plan. One size fits all. Used it for every race I’ve run in the past 10 years.

For sh!ts and giggles, I played around with the Smart Coach Tool on to see what type of training plan it thinks I should be following. I used my time from the half marathon in October as the reference, and ran it a few times adjusting the variables slightly. I got the same predicted finishing time whether I selected the 26-30 miles/week plan or the 50-55 miles/week plan. So Smart Coach validates that I can run half as much and still get the same results as long as I amp up the intensity of my workouts. Efficiency, I like that. I don’t have time for messing around.

The suggested 26-30 mile a week plan isn't much different than what I anticipated my training schedule to look like anyway. Saturdays will be long run days with the stroller. Some of the longer weeks I'll double up the easy runs, so I’m only running 4 days instead of 5. I’ll continue to use the elliptical 1-2 times a week for cross training. I think that’s a reasonable range to shoot for.

So my goal for the race…..

1:43:00 or under

I put it out there. No taking it back now.

It sounds crazy. My best time ever for the half marathon is 1:43:07.

If I’m going to dream, then I might as well dream big. 

You see I suffer from Mommy Fitness Dysmorphic Disorder (or MFDD for short and something I totally made up….don’t bother googling). This condition makes it impossible for me to believe I can ever be as fit as I was prior to having E. No way will I ever beat my old PR’s.

What do you think about this theory? Assuming no other changes, the 8 pounds I’ve lost in the past couple months should automatically shave an extra 2+ minutes off my time.  Two minutes seems rather dramatic.  I'm not counting on it making a big (or any) difference, but to think I have a slight advantage would be nice.

Runners if you wouldn't mind sharing your feedback. Do you have a specific training plan that works for you? Any tips or words of wisdom to share?

Monday, January 25, 2010

6:04 pm


6:04 pm on Sunday

So, that's when the first wave of the stomach flu hit me. E was feeling better by Saturday morning, and I thought I was in the clear. Now I know these buggers have about a 48 hour incubation period. This one was as intense as the last one, but the duration was only 12 hours long. Here I sit sipping my Gatorade. Solid food sounds a bit ambitious yet. 

The weekend was good otherwise. More on that later.

Friday, January 22, 2010

How Many Times in a Month

Can you get the stomach flu? I thought we just did this.

They called me at work to come pick up Miss E a couple hours early. She was sitting in the swing wrapped in a towel when I walked in. She had gone through all 3 changes of clothes I had in her cubby and was wearing the "loaner" clothes they keep on hand. Two other toddlers in her room were sent home early too.

She only goes to daycare a few days a month, and yet she brings home so much funk from other kids. Gah.

Well, they say it's good to build up their immune system....

I've been cleaning up after my poor little boo all night. She finally fell asleep.

Counting down the hours 'til I'm hugging the trashcan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mom's Night Out

It ain't easy being blonde.

Just like everything else, it's taking more effort every year. I went from popping in a few face framing highlights during the winter in my late teens and early twenties, to needing full highlights every 3 months. Since having E, the texture of my hair has changed as well. It's growing in with a slight wave now. SIL warned me this happened to her. But just like going up half a shoe size after pregnancy, I brushed it off as another thing that certainly wouldn't happen to me.

I always have to coordinate my salon trips around M's schedule. So after this latest boys weekend, it was my turn for a treat. I spent the evening getting a cut, color, mani, and pedi.

I'm probably the only customer that warns the pedicurist not to make my feet too smooth. It took a lot of work to make my feet this ugly. Make them too pretty, and I'll end up with blisters again on my next run.

It felt good to get a little TLC. I've been feeling so raggedy lately. I remember when mani's and pedi's were a weekly thing. Oh sweet memories. Having the time for that seems so distant now.

Of course I came home to a disaster. Sink full of bottles, toys everywhere, M asking me what's for dinner. Um, the food I left for you in the refrigerator with instructions on how to reheat. Anywhoooo, seeing E smiling up at her daddy helped defuse the situation. How could I get mad at him when he was on the floor playing with his little girl?

He redeemed himself later by helping me with the chores after E went to bed. And he told me he liked the thing I did with my hair.

He means well. I gotta love him :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kitchen Contradictions

I have good intentions when it comes to feeding my family. However taste convenience, and price are also influential factors. Which brings me to this list. The irony in some of my choices:

* I always choose whole grains, brown rice and sweet potatoes instead of white...but when it comes to salad only iceberg lettuce will do

* I buy organic chicken and wild caught salmon for dinner.....but often eat sliced deli meat and canned tuna for lunch

* I avoid refined sugar whenever possible....but have no problem dumping a few packets of splenda into my plain yogurt

* I drink at least 64oz of plain water a day....but I also drink about 20-30 oz of black coffee every morning

My friends got me thinking about this recently. They've started milling their own organic grain to bake into homemade bread. One loaf lasts 2-3 days. They keep trying to sell us on how much healthier it is and how we should be doing it too.


Maybe in a perfect world. We're lucky I have time to get to the store to buy a loaf of bread. My store bought Ezekial bread will have to do. However, I will grind my own almond and peanut butter so I can get it in it's purest, freshest form.

So what do you make a priority when it comes to choosing foods? Where do you cut corners or contradict yourself?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Snowboarding in Tahoe = ING Georgia Half Marathon for Me

M has a friend Josh who doesn’t do anything on a small scale. The two of them have been friends since childhood. Josh was a groomsman in our wedding, and M is going to be one is his. It didn’t come as a surprise to me that his Bachelor party would be something over the top. FIFTEEN of his friends will be flying out from NY with him. That’s just the kind of guy he is, people seem to flock to him.

A WEEK of snowboarding (and partying) in Lake Tahoe, emphasis on the snowboarding. Right up until he left, M kept asking me if it was ok to be going. I’m not too concerned about the bachelor party antics because:

A) It’s laidback Tahoe, NOT Vegas
B) M is all about the snowboarding and doesn’t get the opportunity very often
C) I trust M, and he’s got a good head on his shoulders

He didn’t have to pay for a plane ticket, and a hotel room split a few ways isn’t expensive. He left a couple days early to do some backcountry snowboarding with another pilot friend of his, then he’s meeting up with the rest of the group when they fly in on Saturday. He’s only staying for a few days, not the whole week.

Not only am I okay with him going, I highly encouraged it. M doesn't get out much with his friends. Plus, he owes me one now.

Since he bid around having off for the bachelor party, it means I won't get to run the half marathon this weekend I was so hoping to do. I'm pretty bummed and he knows it. I searched, but couldn't find anything that will work next month either. Looks like my next race will definitely be the Georgia ING Half-Marathon. I officially registered for today. Something definite to focus on.

Note the new sidebar ticker :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Homage to the Elliptical Machine

Turning in my gym membership to purchase a home machine last spring was a wise decision. Due to the weather and my need to squeeze in workouts at odd hours, most of my workouts for the past week and a half have been on the elliptical machine. I still think it’s a great machine and have logged many hours on it. Eventually I’d like to get a home treadmill too (how convenient would that be!), so I could get more miles in per week. However, I believe in the merits to cross training, and think the variety makes me a stronger runner.

Even though the M.O. is the same, it’s never same workout twice. I go for a total of 70 minutes, playing with the incline and resistance buttons throughout to keep myself occupied. I’ll throw in sprints to coincide with the music I’m listening to, and reverse the direction intermittently to work different muscle groups. Occasionally to practice balance, I’ll let go of the moving hand rails and pump my arms like I’m running.

Some runners argue that using the elliptical machine isn’t a “real workout”. Yes and no. To be good runner, you still need to run, but the elliptical can be a decent substitute if do it right. I wear my Polar F6 heart rate monitor to ensure I’m staying over 155 bpm (I ideally like to keep it around 160-165, my average heart rate for a steady-state run). During the sprint portions I’ll push to get it up to 170. I aim to workout for at least 60 minutes in my target heart rate zone, and takes me about 10 minutes of warming up to get there, hence 70 minutes total time on the machine.

To keep my heart rate up that high, I have to stay pretty focused. It’s easy to slack off on the elliptical if you don’t maintain your cadence and use enough resistance. I feel it in my quads and bum afterwards, and it makes me stronger running hills. My total burn usually comes out to ~600 calories. I try to get in a good protein/carb snack shortly afterwards to rebuild muscle. Yogurt (especially greek-style, although it’s a bit more spendy) mixed with granola or trail mix is my favorite.

So until the longer days and warmer temperatures allow me to bring the jogging stroller back, I’m all about the elliptical.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year, Back to the Same Old Stuff

Back to reality last week as we returned to work. M and I were both off from Christmas through New Years. He’s been working weekends for the past few months, so it was a lot of fun spending all that time together.

It was wicked cold all last week in Atlanta, but I managed to get in 5 workouts for the week. Only one was outside though, the rest were on the elliptical. I made time for a run on Thursday before picking E up from daycare. It was only 6 miles, but in the SNOW. I miss snow. It wasn’t sticking to the ground yet, but was coming down hard. I bundled up and hit the road with the limited amount of time I had.

I flew up to NJ with E this weekend were it was actually a few degrees warmer than Atlanta. Crazy. It was for the engagement party/bridal shower my parents threw for my brother and sister in law. My mom didn’t think it was right they should have to miss out. Remember they got married back in October in a courthouse ceremony, so they're doing things out of order. SIL in the final stages of receiving her citizenship. They still plan on having a formal reception later this spring to celebrate once it’s all complete.

It’s amazing how different travel is during the “off season”. We were already cleared by the time we reached the gate and had bulk head seats (next to each other I might add!) both ways. No stress at all. Sometimes these weekend trips can turn into a fiasco, especially when I’m traveling alone with E and the 1,000 pounds of requisite baby gear.

M’s getting ready to leave for his friend’s WEEK LONG bachelor party in Lake Tahoe in a few days. More commentary on that situation to later this week….

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My New Garmin & Looking Ahead to 2010 Races

Meet my new running gadget, the Garmin 305 Forerunner. I've wanted it for months, but resisted the urge to buy it for myself. I knew M was giving it to me as a Christmas present ( I told him where to buy it, lol), and the anticipation made it even more exciting to finally receive it. I've run with it the past week, but haven't played with all the features yet, like programming it to guide me through my own interval workouts.

Being able to track my mileage, pace, heart rate and calorie burn is cool, especially for a type-A person like myself. The watch syncs with the computer to store the workout data, complete with a graphical analysis of each stat. Knowing myself, this tool has the potential become a burden if I let it. Each workout will turn into a race to beat my previous runs' stats. After I establish a few new running routes, I think I'll limit myself to wearing only once or twice a week. It's pretty friggin' sweet though. A more in depth review still to come.

Well, I'm at my "fighting weight" again. I'm happy to say between Thanksgiving and New Year's I lost 8 pounds. Part of it was being sick (which I really could have done without), but I also attribute it to rushing around to get holiday stuff done, eating well, and exercising consistently the rest of the time. The baby weight came off quickly (it was gone, plus an additional 5, by my first post-partum appointment), but the remaining 15 pounds I put on during our fertility treatments was a BATTLE. This was the last little bit I had to lose. I feel better and all my clothes fit again. A good way to start off the year.

So there are no excuses why 2010 can't be a year of PR's. As I've mentioned before, I still plan to focus mainly on 10k's and half marathons. My formal resolution for the new year is to do at least four core workouts a week. I've been doing one or two a week, if that. If I hit the snooze button one less time in the morning, that's all the time I need to accomplish this goal.

I don't foresee running any full marathons in 2010. I still have the "been there, done that" feeling about it, so the necessary desire isn't there. Many marathoners will set a goal of qualifying for the Boston marathon. I've done that twice and have experienced the thrill of running Boston. I feel like I've already conquered 26.2 to the extent my capabilities will allow, so I'd be running another marathon just to say I did. Not really a motivator anymore. When me and the kid(s) are older, I'm sure I'll have a renewed interest to try it again. For now, it's not worth the time I (we) would have to sacrifice in order to train for one.

2009 was good to our family, and I pray the upcoming year will be as well. Welcome 2010!