January 25, 2013

Pricier does NOT mean better...aka Stick with what works

So half marathon training is trudging on and has been quite interesting with the weather here lately. Today I was scheduled to do a long run and mother nature decided to dump some snow on us. I usually try to do my long runs outdoors and since I was trying to keep my weekend open, today was the day. Needless to say I ended up going to Kids America and using their track...and let me say that 7.6 miles on a track is not a barrel of fun. The first 4 miles were kind of tough, but after 4.5 miles I kind of found a groove. Surprisingly I was able to do my run with mostly negative splits, the last mile being my fastest so I'm pretty tickled with that.

Now those who know me know that I am a huge Mizuno fan. Ever since I got my first pair of Mizuno Wave Precision 13's this fall I have been in love with these shoes. Now I know this is a shock but I'm already through about half the life of these precious babys so I have been on the lookout for their replacement. Now I know...once you find something good you should stick with it...but I like to explore a little bit so I went for the gamut...I decided I would use my Amazon gift cards and some money I got at Christmas to buy myself the ultimate pair of Mizunos...The Wave Prophecy.  These were the most expensive pair of shoes I had ever bought myself...despite the fact I paid with it mostly with my gift cards I still felt guilty about it, but I just had to try them, especially since I read the reviews on Amazon and they got such glowing reviews. Well I just received them this week and today was my first test drive with them. And honestly all I can say is that I'm terribly disappointed. I wanted to like them. Ran a full mile in them, but they just made my shins and knees hurt and they were just so rigid and stiff...now before you go on a soapbox, I very well know that these are new shoes and they may need a bit of breaking in, but these were nothing like my precious pink beauties. Even my Precisions didn't need this kind of breaking in or feel this rigid and stiff. Needless to say these puppies are going back and I will most likely exchange them for another pair of my precious hot pink kicks. I could almost buy 2 pairs for the price of the others...so needless to say, just because a shoe has a bigger price tag doesn't mean that it's a better shoe. I had the same thing happen when I used to wear Asics. My most expensive pair of those feel apart in three months. So I think it's a definite lesson learned. Sometimes it's truly better to stick with what works and not go with the notion that bigger price tag means better product. Now I'm not saying these weren't made well or anything like that, these just are not comfortable and not the shoe for me.

So after my 7.6 mile run around a boring track, I think I'm going to give myself a little weekend break...may go for a small walk tomorrow with the hubby, but that's all. Let's just say that I can tell that I've begun ramping up my training and I think a little break would do me a little good :)

Have a great snowy weekend!!

January 18, 2013

Music Matters

Motivation...sometimes I have it and sometimes I don't...you feeling me?? You know those days when you know you have something big looming on the horizon and you honestly are just dreading it big time?? That was me this morning. I usually try to do my long run on the weekend, but because of things going on this weekend I opted to do it today....and I was dreading it....and here's why:

First of all, while I'm posting on this blog I'm going to be honest with my feelings...post how I'm feeling at the moment. That being said, I have to honestly say I have been struggling with the thought of doing this half marathon the last couple days. I know my last couple runs, though good runs, they weren't great. I struggled...and I think my main problem was and is going to be more wrestling with myself than anything else. When I signed up for the Cap City Half Marathon I was really excited. Now that I've officially started training, I'm half scared and wondering if I can pull this off. I know some of you are thinking, "whatever", but when I struggle to get through a 4 mile run, the thought of pulling out another 9+ miles is daunting to say the least. Forward to today's run....I was struggling to get out the door. Though it was cold out and a little windy this morning, (27 degrees at 10:00 a.m.) the sun was shining bright, yet I literally was dragging my feet. But I finally got out there...I decided to go my normal "long run route" and to be honest those first 2.5 miles were tough...for me those first miles usually are. But I trudged through and kept going...though I was keeping a pretty decent pace even though I felt as if I wasn't. It wasn't until I hit about mile 4 that I started to feel "Ok, I can get through this." That's where in my opinion MUSIC MATTERS!! I almost always run with my iPod and play some sort of motivating music to get me going. Today, at mile four, my motivating song was "Running Down A Dream" by Tom Petty. I started picturing in my head running the half marathon....chasing that dream. I got caught up in the music...before I knew it I was making my third lap around the campground. Was doing pretty good by this point. I knew there was a pretty big hill ahead...next motivational song to come on, "Renegade" by Daughtry...got up the hill and around with no problem...was feeling good at this point and into a groove...this is about mile 5 - 6.5 at this point. My last motivational song was "Eye On It" by TobyMac....my new powersong...love this song! If you listen to the lyrics, it is the PERFECT running song. This got me through mile 7.5...after that I could tell I was struggling. I began praying hard at this point because I was roughly about another mile and a half away from home. I prayed and ran...I told myself that if I could get to a certain spot I would allow myself to stop...I made it slightly past that spot and was hoping to go a little farther, but I had to stop for traffic and just didn't have it in me to start up again. I had to walk approximately another half to three quarters mile home...longest walk ever. But I was able to make it home....now guzzling lots of water and a Vita Coco to hopefully ward off any muscle soreness tomorrow. 

Needless to say, despite the fact that I really didn't want to go out there and I was dreading it I was able to (with God's help of course) pull off a nine mile run...no stopping...which is honestly a God thing because lately I've been struggling to get through a simple 5K without stopping. Maybe it's being outside instead of inside...who knows. Fact is, I made it...and if I just push myself and talk positive over the negative, play some really good motivating music, and ask God for help when I desperately need it...this half marathon can become a reality. It's just going to take time, practice, diligence and honestly....a little smidge of insanity. My motto I've told my husband is, "There is a fine line between dedication and insanity". Here's hoping I don't go too insane these next few months.

Have a great weekend all!

January 16, 2013

Training Day 3

So day three of my 16 week half marathon training plan is complete and to be honest I am sore...not overly, but I'm feeling it. Not sure if it's the cross training I did yesterday...which by the way I AM feeling...mostly in my arms and neck. I can see this training isn't going to be a walk in the park...it's going to be a challenge for sure.

Today I did my second set of speed intervals. I decided to stay with a 400m distance the whole time...don't want to overdo it. I'm not sure if it was just the fact that I was tired and sore from yesterday, but this set I seemed to struggle a little more than last week's intervals. I did 7 sets of 400m like last week, though I only took one lap to recover instead of 2. On intervals 5 and 6 I was bottoming out for sure, but for some reason interval 7 I didn't feel too bad...maybe it was because I knew I was about done...lol. Regardless I did it and I was able to keep a pace (even with my walking recovery laps) of 9'54" which isn't too bad for a not so young thing. I'm hoping that this training will get me to where I need to be by May...completing my first half marathon. That's the goal and that's all that matters. Blood, sweat and tears are part of the package...but hopefully there will be sweet victory in the end.

My biggest challenge....pacing. Learning to pace myself properly. A 5K pace is far different than a half marathon pace. Learning that running a race is not just physical, but there are a lot of mental components that go into it as well. My biggest challenge is making sure not to give too much too soon. Learning that going slow at first will benefit me towards the end...saving some of that energy for when I'm at mile 12 where I'll be tempted to give up. That will be my biggest struggle I can see. Hopefully these next 16 weeks of training will help me work that out.

On another note...took my middle son Brennan to Freshman scheduling orientation last night. Honestly I'm in shock...how did this happen??? I struggled with Austin becoming a Freshman, but I knew for a while that was looming over the horizon. With Brennan I feel like it just snuck up on me. Where did my sweet big hearted Brennie Gene go?? Wasn't he that shy little kid I just took to Kindergarten?? Wow...when they said that once they start school it goes by fast, they weren't kidding...especially when they get to Jr and Sr. High. Geesh!! They all are growing up to fast and it make me incredibly sad. But so proud of what they are becoming.

So tonight I am taking another cooking class at The Village Pantry. If you have not taken a class there, you need too...they have great recipes and are so very gracious. The owners Chris and Jenny Wilson are great and work so well together. You can tell that this is their passion. Tonight's class also includes Ed Kiefer of Kiefer's Florist giving some great decorating tips. Took a class with him last week...very informative. I was relieved to know that I'm obviously on the right track with the redecorating of my house. Tonight Ed is going to talk about texture and more decorating tips. I'm not sure if tonight's class is sold out, (they usually sell out pretty quickly) but you can give The Village Pantry a call if you are interested.

Well I'm going to leave you today with a picture I put on my Facebook page for my 365 day photo challenge...today's photo was to do with a good habit. The best good habit I can say I have right now of course is running...best thing I've ever done for myself. But a good habit is even better when shared. This is a pic of my friends Lori Varns, Leslie Warner and Juanita Welch after our CCMH 5K this past October. It was a miserable rainy day that day, but despite that I think the majority of us beat our own PR's that day. A memorable day indeed.

Have a great day everyone!

January 15, 2013

Time for a revival...of sorts.

Considering it is a new year, and I see many great new things on the horizon for 2013, I figured it's time to revive this old blog to document it if for no one else, at least for myself. 

2013....New Year...new beginnings...a time to reflect and a time to re-evaluate and start anew. As in several years past I have chosen a word for 2013...My One Little Word for the year if you will (as given by the great scrapbooking icon Ali Edwards). However, let me digress for just a moment...

When I came across Ali Edwards' idea of choosing a word for the New Year I thought "What a great idea!" So when I started this journey my word for 2011 was TRUTH...and a great word it was! Between things that happened that year and taking the Brave Girls "Soul Restoration" Class, I found out so many great things about myself...things that were holding me back, things I never realized and the strength to push forward...great word! For 2012, the word was PREPARE...which again was a perfect word for that year. That year we did quite a bit of remodeling to our home...Kevin's bathroom, my bathroom, our living room, redid our hallway with new drywall and a new kitchen floor (finally!!). A lot of preparation and stress went into all that, that is for sure...I think that word also helped me prepare also for this year. This year my word I've chosen is DISTANCE. Which honestly has several different meanings for me. The main one being that I'm preparing for my first half marathon this May...which is also the main reason I'm reviving this blog...I want to document my journey to the half marathon. I think "distance' is a word that will serve me well this year and I'm hoping you will join me on my journey.

So most of my posts will probably be about my running journey and my preparations and struggles with preparing for my first half marathon. Now I'm no young pup anymore and my body tells me that often, but I'm determined to do this and to do it with excellence. As my hubby says, once I get my mind set on something, better just get out of the way...I guess I can be a stubborn one...go figure :)

So my first post for this new year, I officially began my half marathon training yesterday. I'm signed up to run the Cap City Half Marathon in May. I've looked over several "training plans", and so far this one I found on Runner's World seems to be the best fit for me...it's called the FIRST Half Marathon Training Plan and it uses only 3-4 runs a week and 2 days of cross training...I like the idea of not running every day...this body is not up for that...so this plan intrigues me. Started yesterday with a good tempo run at Kids America...went in the evening which I have never done...luckily it wasn't too crowded...much better than the mornings at 9 AM...great bobbing and weaving training during that time...lol. Felt pretty good. 

Today I did my first bit of cross training....don't really have a set "plan" yet, but looking into a few things, but thought I better start something so I decided to use this app I found on my Kindle called Daily Workouts..(I have the free version)...only did 20 minutes today, 10 minutes on abs and 10 minutes on arms since those are what I consider my weakest areas...and can I say I am right!! Especially my arms! I never was big on upper body strength so here's hoping that this year I will go the distance and change that...I guarantee I'm going to feel this arm workout later!

On another note, I am also doing my best to give God the first part of my day...I've been reading a devotional by Joyce Meyer called "Battlefield of the Mind".  So far it has been really good. I do miss days...weekends are harder than through the week...but not beating myself up over it...God knows my heart and I know He sees my efforts. It has been the most consistent I have been so far and really gleaning something from it, so I am going with it...I am also reading another devotional, but don't want to share it just yet...you'll understand later, but it also is changing me and working out well...though it truly isn't easy.

So, thus begins my journey into 2013....going the distance and setting goals. Hopefully seeing positive results. May you also go the distance in your life in 2013!! Have a great year!