Just Live Your Life, No Telling Where It’ll Take You
I am amped. I just came off running my first half-marathon relay and, as of today, I am officially and publicly a member of the Eat.Blog.Run. team.
In many ways I can’t believe I’m here. A year ago I was twenty pounds overweight and getting my only exercise half-assing it at soccer once a week on a co-ed team. Thanks to my friends Kristen and Bill and all of the other Shredheads, I’m a fit (though still about eight pounds from my ideal body weight), energetic runner. Who would have thunk?
Let me explain. I don’t really like running long distances. It’s boring. It hurts. It’s going to give me arthritis some day (I already have it in my neck thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping and bad posture. It SUUUUUUUUCKS). It’d be a complete lie if I said it was my passion, and yet I do it multiple times a week for tens of minutes at a time. So far, I’ve best been motivated to stick with my running regimen by having an upcoming goal. (No surprise there. I’m an unabashed to do list maker.) So as I was nearing my most recent race, I was looking for something in May that could “take me to the next level.” How excited was I when Danielle, who I ran the BlogHer 5K with last year, said she was looking for a blogger to run in a relay in California?!?!?!
But, oh my gawd, have you read about this race? Seriously, if there were ever time to check out the links in a post, go to The Race page on here and look at what these women have committed to do. It is absolutely amazing. And for me, slightly horrifying. (I admit I have had dreams about it already and we’re still six weeks out and I committed, oh, about a week ago. And, yes, I said “dreams” plural.) As they say, however, practice makes perfect and that same personality trait that compels me to make to do lists is also very fond of calendars. I’ve modified a Hal Higdon 15K training program to serve as a guide for my training.
Below are my five goals for this endeavor.
- Improve my “normal” (read: flat) pace by adding speed workouts to my regular runs. I was averaging about 11:45/mile in my training runs prior to this weekend’s race, yet ran it in 10:54. Then tonight I ran (only two miles) at a 10:35/mile pace. Clearly, I can and should be running faster than I have been in my training.
- Introduce “hills” into my workouts. Um, I don’t know if you’ve checked out Leg 35 of this bad boy, but, yeah, that’s mine. Three miles down and then three miles up. At elevation. This is what I’m most afraid of. We use different muscles on hills (both up and down) as we do on flat surfaces so I need to work on that…most likely on my elliptical because it’s what I have.
- Overtrain on distance. “Conventional wisdom” is that you never need to train as far as you’re going to run. But “conventional wisdom” a.) doesn’t live in my head and b.) isn’t being asked to run 3 moderate distance runs with less than six hours of recovery between. When I’m on mile 4.7 of my last 6.2 miles through the Santa Cruz Mountains, I need to know that 6.2 miles is nothing. So I’m going to be training as if I’m going to be running 10 miles. Because 7.1 x 3.7 x 6.2(mountains) = 10, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?!
- Prepare my body for “recovery.” See that strategic use of quotes there? That’s because six hours is not recovery, to any normal person at least. Twelve hours after I run, I hurt. Yet six hours after running 7.1 miles I have to run 3.7. In the middle of the night.
- Improve my Diet and diet. It’s a long story but April 30th (the day before the race) is a very significant day for me with regard to my weight loss (thanks to a bet with a colleague with a lot at stake). Beyond that, however, I also have *ahem* learned *cough* that when you force your body to run long distances, what you are asking your body to digest is kind of important. Apparently. So this weekend, I’m going to do some research into the kinds of things that long distance runners should eat while they’re training and racing. And I’ll definitely be sharing that knowledge with my teammates.
I can’t wait to cross that finish line with these eleven women for whom I have so much respect.