So It Begins

Today was the OFFICIAL first day of training for my fall marathon. It’s sixteen weeks (112 days) until go-time. September feels like it’s a long ways away, but in reality I only have fifteen long runs to get prepared.

I’m actually feeling pretty confident. I’ve been playing with the training runs and cross-training workouts the past couple of weeks, and while they are no doubt challenging, I think that I will be able to complete them (fingers crossed).

Weighing in on Marathon Training

Something that I am concerned about while training for my second marathon is weight gain. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not as uncommon as you might assume. Beth at Shut Up and Run wrote a really great post a while ago explaining all the different variables that can contribute to weight gain while preparing to run 26.2 miles.

When I registered for my first marathon I requested a size small shirt even though I was (and still am) a medium. I thought that if I got myself into good enough shape to run an entire marathon, then I would lose so much weight I would totally need a small – for sure!

As it turns out that was wishful thinking. I toed the start line at my heaviest EVER. I don’t want to be that girl (you know the one I’m talking about. She’s shallow and obsessed with her weight). I love exercise because of how it makes me feel (calm, invigorated, accomplished, proud), not because of how it makes me look. But as someone who intends to work in the health/ fitness/ weight loss field for the rest of my life, it would not serve my career (or wallet, or self-esteem) to go up two pant sizes (AGAIN).

While weight loss is definitely not on my goal list this summer, weight MAINTENANCE is going to be a huge priority. I made mistakes last time, and I am going to try my best not to be a repeater offender. My last go ’round was a free for all. I’d say to myself “You just ran twelve miles; you deserve some french fries.” While one order of fries is not going to kill anyone, repeatedly using this logic got me into trouble. 

For me, it is going to be all about self-monitoring. I plan on weighing myself everyday. This will prevent hopping on the scale one day and a jaw dropping number suddenly appearing. I’m also going to document every stinkin’ calorie I consume. This may seem excessive, but I know myself and I know that “intuitive eating” while my appetite is raging will not turn out well. I also plan on wearing an activity monitor daily (Fit Bit) to help determine how many calories my body really needs and how active I am in my normal daily life.

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I’ll go into more detail about these tools later- be excited!

Training Plan

I am so super pumped about my upcoming marathon! SUPER! PUMPED! Eeeeeeeek!!!! I’ve already started talking about it to anyone who will lend me an ear and my training has not even officially started yet.

I’m going to be using a plan from Run Less Run Faster. What I like the most about this plan is that it gives me very specific goals for each workout. I know exactly what pace I am going to be aiming for on every run. Training for my first marathon I racked up miles, but was not focused on speed or intensity. I think this training approach is going to help me be more focused on training and make improvements.

Photo on 1-4-13 at 3.07 AM #5The program involves three runs a week (track, tempo, long-run) and at least two non-weight bearing cross-training sessions as well as regular flexibility and resistance training. There is no way that I am going to be able to avoid weight bearing exercise as cross training because I teach (and LOVE teaching) group fitness classes. Luckily, my teaching load is much lighter in the summer. We will just kind of have to see how it goes… I’ve already got everything all typed up ready to go!

Marathon Plan

 

Running Another Marathon- No Joke!

My last blog post (three weeks ago if anyone is counting) was about recuperating after a stressful finals period. Now that I have had some down time it’s official, I’m bored. Sure there is plenty of crap that I could/ should be doing- writing my thesis for example. However, with large blocks of unstructured time, I feel like I am floundering; ticking off my summer days without accomplishing anything significant. I’ve been whining for a break and now that I have one I’m unhappy. Typical.

Point being, I have too much free time right now, and because I am a psychopath I need to find something to fill it up- immediately. I’ve been trying to come up with what I would like to accomplish this summer more than anything else in the whole entire world (soul searching if you will), and one thought keeps nagging at me.

I want to run another marathon.

I know what you are thinking, “Layne, you were supposed to run a marathon a month ago, but couldn’t get your act together.” You would be correct, but IT’S THE SUMMER TIME. I have so much more freedom. I am confident that I can make it work because two summers ago I was able to successfully prepare for a fall marathon. I KNOW that I can train for another one, as long as I have the motivation to WANT to do it, and right now I really really really want to train for one.

After spending hours perusing race websites (told you I have too much free time), I came across the PERFECT fall race, The Asheville Citizens Times City Race. It is spitting distance away from my hometown, and if I know Asheville the race will be beautiful and a blast. The race is the last weekend in September, meaning I will have to do minimal training once the school year gets back into swing.

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Everything just feels right. I feel like running this race is the perfect decision for me. With 125 days until the gun goes off, it is time to get to work!

Asheville Marathon(Pictures hijacked from the event website) :)

Finals Week

finals week collageWell, it’s that time again. If you follow me on twitter, then you may have noticed I was complaining a bit more than usual.

twitter_finalsI actually do not hate finals. I enjoy the challenge and I have always kind of liked the eery calm that takes over campus as everyone gets really focused. Maybe that makes me a masochist.

Last week, I fell into the same routine as the previous eleven semesters. I stayed up insanely late, skipped meals, ate more candy than I usually consume in an entire month, and basically lived off of coffee. I was surviving on sugar, caffeine, and cortisol. You would think that at some point I would learn that this is not the most effective strategy. Needless to say, I was left feeling like a big pile of crap.

In an effort to get my body back to usual, I am doing a mini detox. Nothing too dramatic, just a little spring cleaning. I’ve been trying to ease into it, and plan to continue through at least Friday. Here’s what I’ve given up: bread, dairy, eggs, candy, and coffee (I haven’t had a soda in like a month, or meat in years so no worries there). I haven’t stopped caffeine (green tea) and I’m not sure that anyone would wish that upon society, and I have had a little bit of sugar in my oatmeal.

I’m not feeling better yet, but we’re only two days into this thing. Right now, I just really want a cup of coffee.

 

 

April 15th 2013

Like many of you, the tragedy at Boston has been imbedded in my thoughts constantly. I learned about what had happened on twitter within minutes of the occurrence. I felt numb as I repeatedly pressed refresh until I was able to turn on the news at home.

The emotions that I have been experiencing are powerful. This hits so close to home. It feels personal. Less than two weeks ago I was approaching a finish line and my favorite people in the whole world were there waiting for me. I feel like the attack on the Boston Marathon was an attack on me and those who I love.

I know the gamut of emotions that surge through your body and mind as you approach the finish line. Elation, exhaustion, relief, pride. The bombs did not only harm the people present. They damaged the symbolism of the finish line. I know in the future when I approach the end of other races, I will never feel the same. I will never be able to participate in a race without reflecting on April 15th.

I know many of you feel the same way. Runners understand each other. We are shocked, angry, fearful, disgusted. We began supporting each other immediately after the explosions happened, and I know our camaraderie will continue in the coming weeks and months.

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathon runners are the wrong group to target.” David & Kelvin Bright