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.
The 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!
I don’t have anything profound to say about what happened at the Boston Marathon, but my runs have taken on a whole new meaning.
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
On Thursday I was driving to class when my car started beeping. I looked down and saw that the temperature gauge needle was pointing all the way to hot. I pulled over, turned it off, and called the mechanic. Once I was at the mechanic’s shop (or would you call it a garage?), I waited, and waited, and waited to have an update on what was wrong with my car. But I knew in the pit of my stomach that it was not going to be leaving with me. It would cost more to have the car fixed than it is worth. I called my stepdad, and my mom. She called my grandpa. This huge game of phone tag ensued where everyone tried to formulate a game plan.
It was a tad stressful. I found myself CRAVING pizza. Here I was in the middle of a crisis (I didn’t even know how I was going to get home), and I was thinking about FOOD. The next few days have been pretty similar. I look and feel relatively calm (considering my emotional nature), but I CANNOT stop eating. I am an intelligent human being. I KNOW that I am not really hungry, but that does not stop me from FEELING like I am starving.
Here is how I have been attempting to curb my appetite:
- Drinking tons and tons of water. It makes me feel full, and I know I’m not overeating due to dehydration.
- Having plenty of healthy snacks on hand. Grapes can only get me into so much trouble.
- Hitting the gym HARD. I know that I am taking in extra calories, so I want to offset that as much as possible. Also, when I am at the gym, I am not in the kitchen.
- Trying to relax. For me, the most relaxing place in the world is a bubble bath. It’s difficult to freak out surrounded by warm water and nice smelling soap. When I start to feel panicky it is my favorite place to be.
- Relying on social support. I’m sure that Kim and my mom are both annoyed by the number of phone calls they have received. It helps me to talk things out, and it does not hurt to have someone tell me it’s going to be okay.
I’m sure you think I am overreacting. I probably am. But I chose and paid off that car myself. It was EXACTLY what I wanted and I’ve had it for six years. Purchasing a new car feels like a big deal to me (and apparently my stomach agrees).
I feel like I just finished a marathon. These last few weeks have been physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically draining. It was one looming deadline and stressful exam after another. I was scrambling to accomplish anything, turning in assignments, taking tests and holding my breath that I had done enough. I was in survival mode. I was scraping things together, and praying I was adequate.
On Friday, it ended. Just when I felt like I was fried and could not handle another setback, all my deadlines were met, all necessary work was completed, all the exams have been taken. I had ten beautiful glorious days where I could choose to do whatever I pleased… anything.
I crashed. I slept, and slept, and slept- for hours. I played with my dog. I did two weeks worth of laundry. I cleaned my apartment. And then, I made a list of my upcoming school projects and I got to work. I printed off a humongous stack of research articles and I sat on my porch barefooted and read leisurely. I read in the bath tub. I read in my bed.
Grad school is hard. God. It. Is. So. Hard. Occasionally, I get on Facebook and I look at pictures of my friends’ adorable babies, and handsome husbands, and I briefly wonder if I should have taken a different path. But I don’t want a baby. I don’t want to be planning a wedding. I want a thesis. I want to be Dr. Layton Reesor, PhD. I want to publish research and present at conferences. I want to go out for Sangrias with my grad school friends, drink too much and talk about our work.
And that is exactly what I do. Now that I have a bit of a reprieve I feel satisfied, proud, accomplished. I feel as committed as ever to this life I have created.
Apparently, The Cupid’s Crawl has become MY race. I have participated in it the past three years (that’s how long it’s been around). This year, the race turned into more of an EVENT. One of the best things about having fitness-minded friends is that lots of people were on board with running!
Friday night, I hosted a pasta dinner. I bought waaaaay too much food.
I spent the afternoon vaccuuming and shoving things into my closet. Then I managed to fit ten people into my mini-sized apartment. I thought that it was a really good time. Sure, things were a little cozy, but we’re all pretty close and no one seemed to mind.
The race was great! All of my friends are super fast. Everyone (except for me) finished in the top five for their age group. Although I am not as speedy as my friends, I’m still satisfied with how I did yesterday. My official finishing time was 30:59, which is a full minute and forty five seconds faster than last year, and a pretty sweet ten second PR. I could get used to getting faster every time I race.
And now that I have drank the Garmin Kool-aid I have some cool data for ya!
My Garmin splits look a little funny because I forgot to stop my watch once I crossed the finish line. Also, I saw some of my sorority sisters volunteering on the course and you know I could not pass up a few hugs. Looking at those times gets me totally excited about running. I can’t believe how much I have improved without a whole lot of effort. We’ve already started planning our next race!