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) 🙂

Marathon Training and Animal Encounters

It’s a fresh spankin’ new month, and I have some big plans. Today, I officially started marathon training again. There are 19 weeks until the Amica Marathon in Newport, Rhode Island. The training plan that I am using this time around is 16 weeks long, so I have three weeks to focus on rebuilding my cardiovascular fitness (it’s not quite where I would like it to be), and getting a solid mileage base.

This morning I woke up before my alarm even went off; I was (surprisingly) excited to get back into training. I set off on what was supposed to be an easy three mile run. I was having so much fun that I ended up doing two extra miles! There is a trail that I run regularly (I have called my “dessert run” in previous posts), but I always run the same portion of it, never the full thing. Today on a whim I did not quit at my usual turn around spot. I randomly decided to stick to the pathway, and I am so glad that I did. I have been missing the best part of the trail! I felt like I left the city, and was back at home in the mountains. It was a great way to start any day, but it was especially a great way to kick of training. I still have some exploring to do. I can’t wait to head back over there and figure out what I’ve been missing.

The roomsy and I have been regularly taking walks in the evening. We set out on our typical walk tonight. It ended up being full of adventure. Well, that may be a little dramatic. We saw some cool animals. There were these teeny tiny baby frogs. They were the size of a nickel. I tried to take their pictures, but they were too fast. Then I spotted these HUGE glowing eyes. I jumped because any animal that big had to be mean. Snake? Alligator? Dinosaur? WHAT WAS IT??? It was the biggest frog I have ever seen in my entire life! I was able to sweet talk the roomie into photographing us together. She was resistant. She thought he was going to leap at her. I guess she ended up being more frightened of my peer pressure than the enormous amphibian.

I feel like this picture does not do the frog justice. Trust me he probably weighed 7 pounds, and when I poked him he jumped three feet (seriously, maybe even further). As if the frogs were not enough excitement, we had another encounter.

This poor little turtle was stuck on the apartment side of the fence. He was trying to get back out, and I thought he would die if I left him. So I had to do a quick change into my super hero cape, then I put him in a bowl and drove him to a lake. I like to think he was thankful, but he was actually pretty feisty. He needed an attitude adjustment. Maybe he was a teenager turtle.

I feel like this post has gotten really long. Let me recap (in case you forgot).

• It’s June.
• Marathon training has begun.
• I had a baller run tonight.
• The most humongous frog known to mankind lives in my backyard..
• I rescued a turtle and he was not very friendly.

Including the Love Child

The past two months I have been doing a lot of running. I have loved it. I am feeling strong, and definitely 100x more fit than I was on January first.

When I started this blog the goal was to become a “runner”, therefore I decided to only count the miles I spent running/walking/jogging. I didn’t want for the elliptical to count towards my miles, because to me that’s not really running.

The elliptical was conceived one night in a seedy gym when a lonely treadmill hooked up with a sexually frustrated exercise bike. I wanted no part in their love child. 

I have always considered elliptical machines easier than running, and I didn’t want to cheat myself. As a result I have spent zero time on the elliptical machine… until yesterday that is.

Allow me to introduce this bad boy, the Precor AMT machine.

Let me tell you, this little puppy kicked my butt.

You determine your stride length, so I felt like I wasn’t working off of momentum like I have on other ellipticals. When I had the resistance up it felt HARDER than my runs around the track. It took me about the same amount of time to complete four miles as it does on the track. It certainly didn’t feel like cheating.

My marathon plan calls for lots of cross training the first few weeks. Codi also recommended that I do other exercises besides running.

The way I see it, my goal is to cross the finish line on October 9th injury free. If this machine can help me do that, then I would be cheating myself not to use it. I need to be doing everything to make my body stronger in the time leading up to my marathon training. If I can work out my muscles without putting extra stress on my joints, then why not?