Monday, August 1, 2016
The Road To My First Half Marathon
It's been many weeks since my last post. My plan was to blog more often this summer, but our travels got in the way. Over the past few weeks I have started getting deeper into my training for my first half marathon. At the beginning and middle of the summer I was starting to lose motivation in my training. Since it is so hot in Texas, I've moved my running to the treadmill or dreadmill as some of my friends like to call it. It was starting to get monotonous. It's also been somewhat of a juggle to figure out how to get my long runs in. Then, one of our trips this summer took us to visit one of my Disney-loving, running friends. We talked about the Disney races and watched YouTube videos of runDisney events. Being with my sweet friend, Cori was just what I needed to get me back on track and excited about my training again.
As of today, I now have 55 days until my first half marathon! Agh!!! I will be running the Plano Balloon Festival 5k and then the Half Marathon in September. Over the past few weeks I've been evaluating my training and prep for my first half marathon. I've started reading articles and books on running and I've begun to make a plan. Here are a few things that I am focusing on.
1. Spiritual & Mental Well Being
I know that before I do anything else, I have to make sure that my head is in the right place. Starting each day reading my Bible and meditating on His Word will not only help me as a mom, but as a teacher, and as an athlete (that's right folks...I said it...I am an athlete now!). I can't do anything that lies ahead of me on my own strength. I have to start each day with a quiet time. I am who I am and I have what I have because of Him!
2. Physical Training & Well Being
With the half marathon being about 6 weeks away, I really need to focus on my training. I began training for this half marathon in April by using Jeff Galloway's program. I have two days of running for 30 minutes and then day 3 has been walking for about 30 minutes. The 4th day alternates every other week. One week I am supposed to run 4-5 miles and the other week have been the long runs. Today's run brought me up to my longest run so far...11.30 miles. I have 2 more long runs scheduled before the half marathon. I'm not going to lie...it is definitely getting harder. My legs are hurting today. The hardest part of the long runs are trying to figure out what to do with my girls while I run. It's been a challenge juggling the single mom life and training. Fortunately I have been so blessed to have friends that will let my girls have a sleepover so that I can beat the heat and get up and run at 5:30/6:am. Today, my babysitter was willing to get up and be at my place at 5:30 am so that I could get my 11 miles in. I've learned that I have to plan ahead for my day 4 runs. It is also important to make sure that strength training is part of your training schedule. I have been mixing it up with some workouts from 21 Day Fix Extreme, Hammer & Chisel and Body Pump. It is also encouraged to have a day of cross training in your schedule. I use cardio workouts like Body Combat, Cize, and some from Beachbody on Demand. Since I love my Beachbody workouts, I do some sort of strength training 4 to 5 days a week. This is the new training schedule that I have come up with:
Day 1 - Hill Intervals on the Treadmill
Day 2 - Speed Training (when I go back to school, I'll do it on the track)
Day 3 - Walking
Day 4 - Short or Long Run
I've added the hills because my half marathon course has several inclines. I am also prepping myself for my runDisney races. I am working on my speed because I want to have a faster pace. As for physical well being, it is very important to make sure that your body gets enough rest. Running helps with stress and your health. If your body is exhausted, all of that work will be for nothing.
I did really well in the spring with my nutrition. Unfortunately my nutrition has been all over the place this summer. Over the past few weeks I have realized that my eating can’t be about losing weight, but about properly fueling my body for these longer runs. For the first time, I am using MyFitnessPal to track my food, calories, carbs, etc. In the spring I tried Carb Cycling. I liked it very much. The only problem is that the author doesn’t recommend a lot of cardio. Well, that doesn’t really work for the runner. I have a few people that highly recommend the Keto lifestyle. I am about to start reading about it. I’m not really sure where I stand on this yet. If I try it, I’ll probably wait until after my 4 half marathons. I don’t want to screw up my system too much this close to my races. It is more common amongst doctors and other runners that we need carbs to fuel our bodies for running. I am now trying to find the happy balance with not overloading on my carbs but making sure that I properly fuel my body. My body has also been “yelling” at me over the past two weeks when I haven’t eaten clean. So now I am also making sure that I cut the junk out.
The next 6 weeks should be interesting as I add being a good teacher in the mix. I’ve laid out a plan and that is the first step. Be sure to follow along on my road to my first half marathon. I’d love for you to share your nutrition or any other tips!