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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 14.

The end of the first two weeks, and I'm just as determined as the day I decided to train for a marathon! It's Sunday, a day for rest. Here's a quote of inspiration for the day:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today is a cross training day. I woke up with a headache and sore shoulders, but after rubbing some Icy Hot on my neck and shoulder area, taking some Motrin and drinking a bunch of water, I got to my workout. My training partner noted in her blog yesterday that the first five minutes or so are the roughest for her, and I have to say that I feel the exact same way. I don't lack the motivation to do the running or the cross training workouts, but some days I feel like my body is not cooperating with my desires. Once I push through the first 5-10 minutes, though, I usually start to get into a groove and then feel better.
So this morning I did a 40 minute Yoga/Pilates DVD, then I walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes, and ended with a 30 minute, high intensity Belly Dancing DVD. Cross training days are great, because it can be fun to break up the monotony of running on all the other days. Now I am looking forward to spending some time with Chris this afternoon at the walking park. While the older kids are at a birthday party, we are going to take Nicolas and go walking. I received in the mail yesterday a wonderful surprise: someone I love dearly sent me a new, AWESOME jogging stroller! A gift of support and definitely motivation, I am so grateful to have a select few kind, loving and thoughtful people in my circle of support.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 12.

Rest day, so no running. I did 30 minutes of Pilates, a 20 minute (seriously butt-kicking) strength training DVD, and then walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. My knee has been bothering me, so I've had to start icing it after my workouts. :(

For added inspiration, I've been reading a story or two a day from this website:


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 11.

3 mile run today. I started out with 15 minutes of standing yoga to warm-up, then 5 minutes walking before starting the run, and another 5 minute walk to cool down. Something I noticed today during my workout: I found myself smiling spontaneously as I ran. That makes me realize I am doing this for the right reasons. Not to say that running is easy, because it's not at all. It doesn't feel like something that comes naturally to me whatsoever. But I do enjoy working out and feeling good, the feeling that I'm accomplishing something beneficial for myself. This new challenge my friend and I have put upon ourselves is one that I look forward to working on and training for. The training hours put in, difficult as they may be, will all be worth it in the end when Jennifer and I cross that finish line!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 10.

Trying to keep an eye on the long-term goal keeps me motivated. 1.5 mile run this morning, with another 1/2 mile walk to cool down. Also a 30 minute strength training DVD.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 9.

Another very sunny, but VERY cold morning (single digits)! So my 3 mile run took place once again on the treadmill. For about the first 10 minutes of my run my legs felt like lead, but as I pushed through it, the rest of the run was better. I haven't been sleeping well because everyone in our house has been sick, including me, and no one is sleeping that great. I'll be glad when we're all healthy again, and I'm still wishing for spring weather so I can get to running outside on a regular basis.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week two, day 8.

On this bitterly cold February morning, my training schedule called for a 1.5 mile run. Still very early on in the training, so I warmed up with some standing yoga, walked 1/2 mile, then ran 1.5 miles. I also did a 20 minute cross training DVD and more stretching.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day seven.

Rest day, so I thought I'd share something I read in my new running book:

"Staying motivated is an aspect of running that you must work at and develop. But there's a flip side to exercising your mental muscle: The mental strength that the sport demands and encourages leads to benefits that extend far beyond the physical. In a way, running gives back as much-or even more-than it takes. As you work to develop your motivation and as you progress with your running, don't be surprised if you find a positive impact on other areas of your life." ~D.S. Barrios

I have found this to be very true, and not just with running, but with regular exercise and fitness as well. When I feel strong and fit, I feel more capable of conquering other challenges in my life, or at least more able to endure them. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day six.

Week one down, many, many to go...and that's a good thing! This morning I did 40 minutes of Pilates, and 40 minutes of moderately paced walking on the treadmill. After this morning's workout, I'm reassured that I've planned my training schedule well to have my long runs during the week, when the kids are at school, and my cross-training and rest days on the weekends. I was interrupted about a gazillion times by them for just about any reason they could come up with, but somehow I got the workout done...before noon! When school gets out at the end of May, I'm probably going to have to rearrange my training days somewhat so that I can always do my long runs outside and on days when Chris is home to be with the kids. One thing I am really looking forward to the summer for, though, is that when we go camping it will be a lot of fun to run in new places, and on different terrain. It will be a great opportunity for me to test my endurance under varying conditions.

My kids and husband are actually being super supportive, though, and it's so awesome! Last week I put a copy of my training schedule on the refrigerator, and when the kids saw it, they were asking all kinds of questions. Then Sophie went to school the next day and told everyone that her mom is training for a marathon! (I guess that helps keep me motivated, too!) Yesterday after we all came back from Scouts, I found Sam and Noah at the kitchen table making their own "training schedules". I guess they want to be in on the action. They said their goal is to be able to do the 5 mile hike at Upper Coffee Pot Falls (in Island Park where we're going camping at the end of May) without getting tired. Last summer we did that hike as a family and they complained the whole time, but were pretty proud of themselves for doing it, after the fact.
Chris has also been a great partner to have, in all aspects of our lives. Right now he is also working very hard to shed some pounds, after having been in school and working full-time for the past 3-4 years, he decided after he graduated that he'd spend some time on himself. I'm so proud of what he's accomplished already. Now that I've set my mind to do a marathon, he's been extremely supportive, helping me with any tips and ideas (from his background in sports from earlier in his life), and it's so fun to talk about fitness and training together, and both be interested in the discussion. He reminds me if I'm not eating enough, and encourages me to go to bed earlier, and is going to get me some mace for when I start doing my long runs outside since we do have mountain lions around here. I am now on a quest to find a reasonably priced jogging stroller so that as soon as the weather warms up, he and I can enjoy running together, with Nicolas.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day five.

Today is a "rest" day on my training schedule. That means a rest from running, to allow joints and ligaments recovery time. Since I am at the very beginning of my training, I've decided to do some strength and cross training on one of my rest days, and leave Sunday as my only full rest day. Later on, when my Thursday long runs become more intense (upwards of 9 or 10 miles), I may decide to also use Friday as a full rest day and only do cross training on Saturdays.

So, this morning I did a 30 minute strength training DVD, then I walked at a moderate pace on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. I am feeling a just a tad sore today, and probably haven't been getting enough sleep this week, so I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow for my cross training. I'm thinking that it will probably be Pilates and the elliptical, but we'll see. I really need to work on getting to bed earlier, because it will definitely be more important later on in my training.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day four.

The sun is shining!! Oh how I've missed you, Mr. Sun. Still cold, though, so I chose to do my 3 mile run this morning on my wonderful new treadmill. My head cold is finally (sort of) starting to subside. I still have some congestion, which was making me feel pressure in my head, and I thought it might be hard to run today. But, once I got moving, it was fine - actually, great! It feels good to have a goal and be moving toward it everyday.

Jen ~ Do you listen to music when you run? You HAVE to put this song on your playlist: "Lift Me Up" by Kate Voegele

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day three.

It felt great to get outside for today's run: 1.5 miles.  It was around 30 degrees outside, snowing lightly and pretty windy, but a mile and half isn't much to push through.  I also did an additional 20 minutes of walking, before and after the run for warm-up and cool down.

I also got my new book in the mail yesterday: "Complete Book of Women's Running: The best advice to get started, stay motivated, lose weight, run injury-free, be safe and train for any distance."  I've already read through the first 5 chapters, and it's been a great help.  A lot of tips and things that I wouldn't have thought of on my own.  Looking forward to reading more today.  I am anxious for the weather to become more spring-like, though I'm not too optimistic it will happen any time soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day two.

I just finished my day two workout: a 3 mile run today.  I again started with 10 minutes of stretching and 5 minutes of a walking warm-up.  I'm so glad I have almost 9 months to train and prepare for the big race.  I'm starting think that the most difficult part is going to be controlling my mind and thoughts.  Last night and this morning I've been researching positive self-talk and runner's mantras online.  More on this later.

The *new* treadmill is awesome!  It's a 200% improvement over my old one.  It is like new, has a much wider treadbelt and a lot more features.  What a blessing that we were given it by some very generous people at just the right time!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day one.

I went to bed last night intent on doing my first day run outside, but wouldn't you know it, I woke up to over an inch of fresh snow on the ground. So, I decided to stay inside and use the treadmill. I do see certain advantages to the treadmill, such as easier gauging of time and speed, but unfortunately my treadmill is dying a slow death. A few weeks ago the tread belt started tearing, big time. I used an utility knife to shear off a few inches from the side of the belt, which has made the treadmill usable, for now. But the motor is also starting to go out now, and the thing has just "died" on me in the middle of working out, and I have to unplug to reset it. Keep in mind this treadmill is about 4 years old now, and I've been using it everyday of those 4 years, and it's also the least expensive model on the market, aside from the manual treadmills.
In a stroke of sheer coincidence and luck, a few days ago one of Chris' friends and co-workers asked him if he'd like to have his wife's treadmill. He told Chris that she'd only used it a few times and that it's too big and they want to get it out of the house. He said we could have it, yes, as in FREE! I can't believe it. He's going to pick it up tonight and I can hardly wait.
So, back to day one of training. My schedule for today had me starting out with a 1.5 mile run. Initially I was thinking that was a little silly, as someone who has been consistently working out 1-2 hours everyday, a 1.5 mile run seemed like nothing. But I'm feeling in my gut that the best preparation for the big run for me is going to include starting small and slow, gradually building and following my training schedule to a tee. I started off with 10 minutes of Pilates to stretch out and warm up, then I did a 5 minute walk before pushing the treadmill speed up to 5.8 and running the 1.5 miles. I ended with another 10 minutes of walking, and then I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.
Since I am starting training for a marathon that isn't even until November, I feel like I'm going to have plenty of time to build a good mileage base before I start doing the long runs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The starting point.

A good friend of mine recently asked me to run a marathon with her, the Rim Rock Marathon in Fruita, Colorado. At first, I thought it was a crazy idea. I mean, I'm pretty fit, I exercise everyday, but a marathon? Come on. Those are for truly committed athletes. But the more I mulled the idea over in my mind, I started to ask myself 'Why not me?', and I came to the realization that I'm the only one holding myself back from going for it.

Okay, so once I made the decision that I was going to do it, I set to work researching online. I've looked up training regimens, beginner tips, common mistakes, equipment, nutrition. I'm still researching. I've bookmarked several websites that I want to return to and delve into a little further. I've also ordered a book that should be coming next week. So this blog will be an expression of my thoughts and experiences along this journey. Using a training schedule for novice runners that I found online, with a few modifications, I will begin tomorrow and have planned out each of the next 39 weeks until race day.

November 13, 2010 ~ Rim Rock Marathon, here I come!!