Monday, January 29, 2007

Recap: Week 9

Things are continuing to move along nicely. This week, I ran for 25 minutes and walked for 5 minutes. I've also noticed that my speed is starting to improve, and my runs are starting to head into the low 10 min/mile pace...I'm not really doing any speedwork, but I think that my pace will continue to improve as I keep running.

I've really been taking my own advice on staying hydrated, which seems to make all of the difference. I ran on Sunday - I happened to be mildly hung over from the night before, and the gym was about 15 degrees hotter than normal. I was barely able to make it through my run...but the other three runs of the week were pretty effortless.

This week will be my first week of 30 minute runs, 4 times per week. I can't believe that I'm actually wrapping up this phase. People are actually starting to notice that I'm losing weight, and my pants are fitting me better - which is also keeping me pretty motivated. Let's see how this week goes!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Recap: Week 8

This pre-training program is starting to come to an end...only two weeks left! I feel like I've made a great amount of progress - and have really strengthened my body in preparation for the real training program. I can feel the most improvement in my calves, shins and quadriceps. I've tried to do some stretches to both strengthen my shins and stretch out my calves, and I feel like they are starting to pay off...I haven't really had any pain in either place in the last two weeks or so. Any pain that I do get in my shins, I've been icing, which also seems to help.

This week, I ran 20 min / walked 5 min / ran 10 min / walked 5 minutes, for a total distance around 3.5 miles. I did this 3 times this week, and missed the fourth run b/c I went snowboarding :) - I really felt good about my runs this week. Running for 20 minutes straight wasn't a problem at's just always hard to take those first few steps when starting to run again after a walk break. I guess I'll get used to that.

I'm no longer going to track individual runs on my blog, because they are all captured within my Nike+ website...if I find a way to link them to my blog, I will.

My goal for this week is to run 25 min / walk 5 min, repeated 4 times this week. Given the fact that this is actually LESS running than I did last week, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've started to manage my hydration a bit more aggressively during the day, and definitely feel the results in my runs. There's no doubt in my mind that being properly hydrated several hours before the run is helping me a lot.

All in all - feeling really good, and making a lot of good progress.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I finally FEEL like a runner!!

I just started a new week of training. My goal for this week is to run 15 mins / walk 5 mins - repeated twice, 4 times this week. I just did my first run last night, and had an epiphany:

  1. By running 3.5 miles, I've finally crossed a mental threshhold. I now feel like a distance runner, and feel like I'm actually going to be capable of running the 1/2 marathon.
  2. Running is going to hurt. I'm going to get tired, things are going to hurt, and I'm going to want to stop. By using positive mental reinforcement - I can make myself feel that physical discomfort and fatigue are not bad things - they are part of the process, and I should embrace them.
  3. Pushing myself beyond my limits is rewarding. I know that I am capable of more than I think I am capable of - and that I shouldn't look at new milestones with fear.
  4. I can do things to help prevent injury. By staying in tune with my body, and taking care of small problems as they occur, I can reduce my chances of being injured and dropping out of training.
I've finally hit a turning point in my training, I feel like I'm headed towards the home stretch of phase I (getting to the point of running 30 minutes continuously), and on to phase II (the structured training program for the 1/2 marathon).

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Congratulations Brother Avi!

For completing his first marathon, the Tiberias Marathon in the amazing time of 3:46. Avi continues to inspire me to keep going - and hopefully I'll be able to duplicate this accomplishment too.

Recap: Week 6

Things are moving along nicely. This week, I am running intervals of 10 minute run / 5 minute walk, 2 repetitions. So far, so good.

I ran outdoors this week for the first time - I don't think that I was prepared for it (and didn't have the right clothing) - so it wasn't a terribly pleasant experience. I think I'm going to hang out on the treadmills for a while longer, until the weather is consistently above 50 degrees, or I get some cold weather running clothes.

I also purchased the nike+ for the ipod nano. So far it looks like a pretty cool little tool - I guess I'll be using it more often when I'm able to run outdoors (I'm told it doesn't work all that well while on a treadmill).

I did my third run of the week on Sunday. I don't think I had enough fluid in me - because my legs started to cramp up once I started the second interval of 10 minute run...but I ran through it, and felt good when it was over.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my progress - hopefully, in another 3-4 weeks, I'll start the next phase of my 1/2 marathon training. Sometimes I really wonder if I'll be able to do this...i mean, if I'm struggling to get through 2.5 miles in 30 minutes - I wonder if I'll make it to 13.1 - but I'm worlds away from where I was when I started, and I'm sure that things will continue to improve as I keep to the process.

For now - 3 things to think about:

  1. Stay injury free. Make sure that I keep stretching, and be mindful of anything that hurts
  2. Get enough water - I realize that my runs are SO much better when I'm properly hydrated.