Happy New Year!

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2015 is here and it’s time to reflect and readjust and reset my priorities.

2014 was a year that I crushed some goals. I got out of my comfort zone – like wayyyyyy out – by starting this blog and running my first half marathon. I was able to finally push past my run/walk 2-3 miles rut and run longer distances. I learned that I really enjoy running 6, 7, 9 miles at a time. Those endorphins cannot be underestimated. The feeling is fantastic! Not only that, it keeps me sane and relatively pleasant to others, which is important if I want to keep my job and husband.

I fulfilled a dream of running a half marathon, which took a lot of courage on my part to turn that idea into a reality. It was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot about myself: that I’m stronger than I think, that I can keep going even though I’m tired, achey, lazy, or just don’t want to keep running anymore. I can keep going. And that I can commit to a goal months in advance, work toward accomplishing it and actually follow through. No one forced me into this. I could have quit at any time, and wanted to, tried to, and did once or twice. But that was just fear. I overcame the fear and did it. No one can take that away from me. I proved to myself that I am not a wimpy baby. I’m a runner, baby.

So I ran all of 2014 – January to December. Yay! And although I didn’t stay true to my half marathon training plan (partly because I lost the dang thing during the kitchen renovation, and partly because I wasn’t that crazy about it). I slacked off some weeks. I didn’t do as much strength training as I wanted to. I skipped runs in the middle of the week. I have a way easier time when I don’t have work to deal with. But I have a job and I love my job, and I need my job, so I have to deal with it as an immoveable object.

I like the idea of running more consistently during the week as well as improving my pace. That means strength work, running after school even though I’m tired, and perhaps getting a coach.

But for now my focus is on the Hyannis Half in February. My short term goal is to stick to the training program (that I really like, by the way) and have another strong finish. Or just finish. I mean I have no idea what the weather will do…in New England…in the middle of winter…but I know I can run 13.1 miles in the rain! Please don’t rain…

In 2014 I ran a total of 421 miles. A respectable number if I do say so myself. I also ran 4 races. I plan to crush all that in 2015, starting with this week.

I’m currently in week 6 of Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training (Intermediate):

  • Monday 12/29/14: Stretch (yoga video) and strengthen
  • Tuesday 12/30/14: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday 12/31/14: rest
  • Thursday 1/1/15: 3.1 mile run plus strength (and a yoga video)
  • Friday: 1/2/15: 3 mile intervals on the treadmill
  • Saturday: 1/3/15: 10K run
  • Sunday 1/4/15: rest
  • Total for the week: 16.3 (12.3 for the year)
My view from mile 3 of the 10k yesterday.

My view from mile 3 of the 10k yesterday.

Check out the view from my run yesterday. So this view + listening to “Serial” on my phone = 1 very creeped out chiquita. There was no one on the trail yesterday, probably because it was so butt-ass cold and dreary. And everyone else was someplace warm and toasty because they are all smarter than I am.

My goals for 2015 is to surpass my 421 miles, log my workouts on the blog every week to insure accountability, clean up my diet, and sign up for some more races. After the Hyannis Half, I’m contemplating some other possibilities…

Meanwhile, I’m just happy that 2014 turned out as well as it did, running-wise. There’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’m capable of more than I ever thought. What an incredible confidence-booster. I look forward building on that in 2015.

An Open Letter To My Nemesis: Fear

Dear Fear:

Since I signed up for the 10K and the half marathon, I have been running regularly two-three times per week (yay!), which is more than I’ve run in several weeks months. But I have also been FREAKING OUT. What have I done???? Who do I think I am? I can’t run a half marathon. I’m not a runner. I’m certainly not an athlete. AAAHHHHH!!!!! What makes me think that I, lowly couch potato-like human, can actually follow through and run 13.1 miles? I’m too old, too weak, too lazy, too _____.

And then…I took a breath and I got over myself.

I banish thee foul thoughts! And while it is true I cannot run a half marathon at this time, that’s why I have a training plan. Can I do the training run scheduled for today? Why yes I can. So does that make me a runner? Why yes it does. Does it make me an athlete? Welp, we’ll have to wait and see. I want to think so. If only being an athlete was just a state of mind…

As for the foul thoughts about my age, my strength, and my willpower…I can’t do anything about my age. I’ll be 44 when I step into the corral to run the half marathon in October. I could quit, give up, not bother to try because I think I’m too old. But I am running now (at 43 and 3/4), and there are lots of people a lot older than I who run marathons and ultras and all kinds of things. I did not see an age limit listed when I signed up for the race, and I know I won’t be oldest person there. There was no box to check that said “If you are over the age of 43 and 3/4 then go sit on your couch because you are TOO OLD”. They wanted my credit card info mostly. And another thing…if I chicken out now that will make me even older when I summon up the courage to try again. As for the strength and willpower…those are skills. I am improving – getting stronger both mentally and physically. I’m working on the willpower not to eat an entire pizza in one sitting, for instance. Then BOOM! Look at me! I am kicking ass and taking names.

So, Fear, this letter is part thank you for the gift of being afraid and part middle finger because I will not bow down to you. I believe that this insecurity, this anxiety, this temporary freak-out will only help me. I am not paralyzed with fear of failure (or success?) I am motivated by it. I have to focus on the mile I am running, not on the whole. I can do that. And maybe stick to two slices of pizza.

run the mile

So thank you Fear, but with all due respect go eff youself. I gotta run.

Karen

 

The Couch Potato Strikes Again

Aside

Hello Dear Reader(s)!

I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but have been laying low. Low on motivation, low on goal-setting, low on exercise, low on ideas to write about. Just feeling low… Honestly I wasn’t sure what I was doing with this blog or where it was headed. It occurred to me that I originally wanted this blog to help me be accountable, but it hasn’t been working. I really need a trainer, or someone to be accountable to, because working solo ‘aint actually cutting it.

So…I got in touch with a fitness fanatic/trainer extraordinaire friend of mine and told her that I have a goal to run a half-marathon, but I just can’t seem to get myself moving to do it. She asked me when the race is. Derp. Ummm…In my mind. In the foggy vagueness of the “future”.

So Step one: Pick a race. Done. I picked the ING Half Marathon in Hartford, CT on October 11, 2014. It’s a good 5 1/2 months away, which means either: plenty of time to build my base, or plenty of time to procrastinate. Ever the optimist I am hopeful it will be the former. But in reality it gives me time to do both. And that’s what will happen. I’ll be all gung-ho now and then bored, tired, and lazy in a few weeks, etc. etc. into oblivion. How do I avoid that? Must outsmart myself. So I recruited a fellow fitness enthusiast and sometime-runner buddy to do the half and she’s up for it. Yay! Accountability.

Step two: Sign up for an interim race. Done. I’m going to do the Chasing the Sun virtual 10k on June 29th. This will keep me motivated for the next 2 months, and give me the confidence to keep training for those longer runs throughout the summer. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Step three: Take a breath and try not to panic. Right now I’m securing a support network of past marathoners, trainers, and friends, and now sharing this big news with all of you (or both of you) to help me stay on track and do this thang!

Step four: Summon my mental courage. I mean this has been a goal of mine for years, but I never had the courage to do it. Sh*t just got real. I paid real money for this. More importantly I’m sick and tired of letting myself down. And I’m sick of the fear. Do I believe I can do this? Yes. Yes I do. For now it’s just time to get over myself.

obstacles