Tuesday, January 18, 2011

28 Day Challenge - who's in?

I’m an interval runner. Usually it’s 2 or 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Sometimes I have to remind myself that running intervals makes me no less of a runner. In fact if Olympian Jeff Galloway runs intervals, then it should be good enough for me. But I can’t help daydreaming (usually on the couch in my pj’s reading Runner’s World) about running without intervals.

Occasionally, I will take my daydreaming so far as the first 3 minutes of a run before I decide I’m not ready to give up my intervals. It’s an almost constant internal debate. Give up the intervals...run longer. Keep the intervals...run faster. Sometimes I think I use the intervals as a crutch or a reward. I’m sure I’m conditioned enough to not actually need them. However, I enjoy them. They make running more fun for me.

I would love to tell you I’ve come to some brilliant conclusion. Sadly, I haven’t. But I am going to challenge myself.

Christopher McClintock is the half marathon coach for Fleet Feet’s Half Marathon training going on right now. He also writes a running resource section for the Brentwood Home Page. On Saturday, I discovered his 28 day challenge for the month of February. The challenge seems simple enough. Run 1 mile everyday in February. Accountability is key, so there’s a website you sign in on daily and record your mile.

Loving a challenge, I signed up immediately. I also posted it to Facebook and asked my friends to do it too. Physically, one mile a day will be easy for me. The harder part will be mental. My brain is really good at cooking up reasons for me not to do things. But it’s just 1 mile....12 minutes or less.

Today on my rainy run, I decided to make it a little more challenging for myself. I will run 1 continuous mile each day in the month of February. To some of you this will still seem like a piece of cake, but for me it will be a mental game. And I will prove to myself I can run without intervals...even if I choose not to give them up.

Who’s up for the challenge of 1 mile a day for 28 days? Make the challenge your own, but sign up to do it! Oh and did i mention there are prizes?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spring Training - Day 1

I love new beginnings! The start of a new spring training program is like Christmas for me. Everyone is so excited and ready to get started. Lots of people were starting their very first training program for their first half marathon! I can remember exactly how I felt on the first day of training last year - terrified!

Our running group from last year’s training has divided up, and this year we are all pacing interval runners. While I’m a little sad not to be running with my peeps, I’m very excited to be running with new people, a lot of them training for their first half. I’ve learned so much in the last year, and I’m excited to share it with my group. Mark, Erin and I are pacing the 3/1 group.

Pacers for 3/1 Erin, Mark and me

Much like last year, our first run this year included snow! Not a lot of it stuck, but the wind was fierce. Personally, I think a snowy run is the perfect way to start training. Once you’ve run in the frigid weather with snow blowing around you, you have little excuse to skip a run.

Tosha, Katy, Kim P., Taylor & Jack
before we started the run

Our group started small today. Kim P., Kim, Taylor, Tosha, Jack, Alissa and Katy were the first runners to start with us. We quickly started picking up runners from the 4/1 group. By the end of the run we were more than 20 strong. We had a fabulous 4 mile run! Everyone should feel really good about their run today - we rocked it! Even though it’s the shortest, the first one is often the hardest.

Because several of us are running the Rock n Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon on February 13, Gail, Erin, Delaina, Mark and I met at 5:30 (yep it was really freaking early) to run 4 miles before our group run. We had a great run. After 8 miles today, I feel closer to being ready for the half in 5 weeks!

Hopefully, it won’t snow too much and we’ll be able to run at Tin Roof 2 on Monday night. My goal is to run a couple more times this week. I’m already looking forward to our group run next week - minus the strong, chilling wind.

Here's our group at the water stop after 2 miles

Friday, January 7, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes...

2010 was a good year, I would even go as far as to say it was a great year. But I have high expectations for 2011. It’s going to be the best year EVER!

Sadly, I’ve neglected my dear little blog lately. I’m sorry for that. One of my goals for 2011 is to post on here every week. I know what you are thinking, but I will post weekly. And if I don’t someone please call me out on it.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my blog and the one year anniversary of when I started training for my first half marathon. It’s amazing how far I’ve come in a year. This time last year a half marathon was a big, scary dream of mine. Now it’s an accomplishment I’ve completed 6 times! Tomorrow I will be pacing a group of interval runners, instead of being the extremely frightened first timer.

I have so many goals for my running in 2011! One of my long term goals is to run a half in every state. So far, I have completed 3 states: Tennessee, Illinois and Georgia. I’m going to add at least 4 states in 2011, starting with Louisiana on February 13. I want to get faster this year and maybe run longer intervals.

By far my biggest goal for 2011 is to run the full marathon in Dublin, Ireland on October, 31 with Team in Training. I’ll turn 30 just 8 days before the race. Running a full and going to Ireland are 2 things on my bucket list. I think it’s the perfect way to celebrate turning the big 3-0! I’ll need help raising the $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but we have plenty of time for those details in a future blog post.

The best thing about running in 2010 is the friends I’ve made. I’m not sure if I’d get up (very) early and run no matter the weather (freezing, extreme heat, sleet, snow, rain, and everything in between), if it were just me. I can think of many times I wanted to give up running because I was sure I wasn’t a runner. But having my friends running with me (or in Karen’s case way ahead) has made all the difference. I’m sure I’ve left someone out, but Gail, Chrystyna, Carol, Nicole, Erin, Joe, Karen, Lou, Byron, Victoria, Delaina, Jeanie, Kelly, and all the rest of you who I’ve run with THANK YOU! You have no idea how much each of you mean to me. Thank you for always encouraging and supporting me. Of course none of us would be where we are without the amazing people at Fleet Feet...best store and people EVER!

The other best thing (yes there can be 2 best things) about 2010 is that Mark started running with me and joined our little group. I hated leaving him to go run all the time, and now he’s there with me. It’s a great feeling to share the sport I love with the man I love! (yes I know it's a little mushy.) One of my favorite moments of 2011 was running across the finish line with him in his first half marathon!

I can’t wait to start a new training program tomorrow!