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).

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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!

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) 🙂

Knoxville Half Marathon

Knox Half Collage2

 

I was pretty nervous going into my second half marathon this Sunday. Compared to the MONTHS of training I put into my marathon, I did absolutely nothing to prepare for Knoxville. I couldn’t even remember the last time I did a double digit run, and I wasn’t sure how my legs would handle some monstrous hills.

It was challenging. But in a really good way. I loved the feeling of pushing through fatigue and overcoming a challenging course. I know that my finishing time and my mile splits are not impressive. But they look a lot prettier than what I was expecting.

Knox Half Collage

 

My fitness has absolutely improved since I ran Chicago. I can’t help but wonder what my body is capable of if I am more diligent with my training. I’m excited to find out!

Night Before Knoxville Half

Four months ago I registered for the Knoxville Marathon. Since then I have completed minimal training, and have not even mentioned it on the blog. Up until even last week I was considering not showing up.

I’m not really certain what clicked and made me want to race, but here I am in Tennessee. I decided that rather than torture myself attempting to make it through 26.2 miles, I would just do the half-marathon. I do not have high expectations. I plan on walking some, and running when I feel like it. I have no idea how I am going to handle the hills on the course.

This will be my first long (ish) race in a long long loooooong time. And I am actually pretty freaking excited. I know that I should have done more to prepare, but I feel like between the group fitness classes I teach and the casual fun-runs I have done recently, 13.1 miles should not be a problem. If my 5K times are any indication, I am actually in better shape than I was before Chicago.

My packet has been picked up, my clothes are laid out, my hair is braided. I think I’m ready.

knoxhalf

It’s T-Shirt Time!

This weekend, I am going to be running in the Cupid’s Crawl 5K for the third year in a row. Several of my friends are all also going to be participating, so I ended up hosting an impromptu t-shirt decorating party at my new apartment.

Arts&Crafts CollageFriends + Arts&Crafts + Wine = One great Friday night!

My friend Hotaka agreed to run the race with me, annnnnnnnd he said that he would wear whatever I picked out. Talk about a brave guy!

I've been teasing him a little.

I can’t post a picture of our actual shirts because I want for him to be surprised (and I’m a little scared that he will back out). So get excited because they are coming soon!

 

Ready, Set, Run!

I had been debating on whether or not I wanted to participate in the Reindeer Dash for Cash this year for a few weeks. I enjoyed the event last year, but I just ran a Turkey Trot, and intended to participate in another Christmas 5K at home in a couple of weeks. Plus the t-shirt was not all that cute this year.

I mentioned my dilemma to my friend Emily, and she told me that she would be running in the race with a group of kids that she has been coaching for the past twelve weeks. She said that she was going to be responsible for fourteen kids and would love to have some extra help if I wanted to run with them.

I LOVE KIDS! So, that sealed the deal. I registered on Sunday morning and joined the gang.

Photo: so proud of them...my lil superheroes!

There was one little girl who was struggling to keep up with the group. She wanted to take some walk breaks and the other kids were being speed demons. I asked her if she wanted to be my friend for the day and we could stick together- so that’s what we did.

She is in the second grade, her favorite thing about second grade is typing (she’s really good at it.) She is hoping that Santa Clause brings her a new kitten (preferably orange). Her name will be Kate. She talked my ear off the whole race.

It was a blast. And yeah, I did my slowest 5K ever, but you know what… WHO CARES?!?!?! That little girl was so proud of herself, and so excited that she finished the race. I was really proud of her, and thrilled that I got to be a part of her special day.