Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Much Total Time Does YOUR Running Cost?

Yes, I want to know. I'm putting this together as a follow-up to today's guest blog post on the San Francisco Marathon blog called "Living, Breathing the Marathon Training" where I talked about all the things that count in our training, whether it's the running hours (many don't even add up how much it will be before they start a training plan) or the time not spent running but recovering or prepping for the run.

I think it does us all good to occasionally evaluate how much we're committing and make sure it has the right emphasis in the pie chart of how we're spending our time. So leave me a comment and tell me estimates of hours spent on the following last week...
  1. Running
  2. Non-running physical activities last week (cross-training, strength training, yoga, etc)
  3. Recovery (chiro, sports doc, massage, icing, epsom bath, ice bath)
  4. All other non-running things (commute, grooming, extra sleep, morning prep)
And let me know if you are training for the San Francisco Marathon or if not, what are you currently in training for. Did your totals surprise you?

Your comments may appear in next week's San Francisco Marathon blog entry!!!

As promised in that last blog post, I'll also be adding up the time, in a little more detail than I did in the blog entry. So look for a post about that soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Running Challenge for My Birthday - Join Me

My birthday is coming up soon on Monday, June 6th. I will be turning 31 years old. I am about to ask all of you for your help as I set a challenge for my birthday and invite you to please come along with me to celebrate!

During my short adult life, I hadn't really commemorated my birthday until I turned 30 last year. When I turned 30, I had a casual party of about 25 friends, and Steve and I enjoyed a nice several days driving the California coast.

And while a party each year seems unnecessary, from here out, I do want to celebrate the joy of being in a great place each and every year of my life, and at the time of my birthday is a wonderful time to do that. With this approaching birthday, my focus for this last year has been about adding a beautiful baby into our family while pushing hard to do my best and strive for challenging myself physically, mentally, and emotionally -- and running has been what's made all that possible.
  • I firmly believe happy mommy means a happy family - running definitely makes me happy.
  • I firmly believe in getting outside your comfort zone - doing my first 25K while pregnant and then my pursuit of trailrunning in 2011 have shown me I can always do more.
  • I firmly believe in never taking health for granted - I sometimes get choked up when I remind myself I'm in the best shape of my life. As someone whose medical condition at one point left them on disability leave and partially bedridden, this is a huge deal.
  • I firmly believe in following your passion - I love being a facilitator for running outreach and providing venues for getting active. In 2011, I directed my first "solo" race (with no friends' help in race directing or support from a club or organization) with the New Year's Day Half Marathon, and have helped start a running club up in my area called the North Texas Runners.
So I am proposing this... 31 miles my birthday weekend for my 31st birthday celebration!

For my birthday weekend of June 4th and 5th, I already planned on doing a 20 mile long run for my training for my first marathon. But I thought what a giant challenge it would be to try to complete 31 miles over those two days for my upcoming 31st birthday. I can say that my friend Blanca's recent celebration of 47 miles in 4 days for her birthday was a great inspiration.

The longest I've ever run in a FULL week is 32.6 miles. Yikes, so this is like almost my milestone week's worth of running in 2 days. And the longest I've done in one run is 19.75 miles, and I'm going to go for 22 for one day. So there's the perspective of this challenge.

So here's what I want to do, but please, I need help to conquer this challenge and I want to see all of you while pursuing this shared passion that is running.

June 4th - 22 miles. Two 11 mile loops. I'm thinking I'll set up Facebook events for each. I have a scenic 11-mile route I've used before that goes through east Allen. First loop starts at 5:30 and ends at 8:00. Second loop starts at 8:00 and ends at 10:30. Starting and finishing from Village at Allen, so my hope is that whoever finishes that second loop with me will join me in walking next door to the new In-N-Out Burger for a double-double and animal-style fries, or whatever tickles your fancy.

June 5th - 9 miles. A loop on the west side of Allen of trails and streets I run fairly regularly. It will run through about 9 neighborhoods. Start about 6:30 am.

Pace will be 12:45 min/mi with a walk break for a minute at the end of each mile. Hopefully I can hold that pace for a lot of this. And if I have to walk the whole freaking thing, fine, but I want to go for it. It's my birthday, and I'll challenge myself if I want to.

Please join me. This may not be your pace (although for most, it can be an easy run pace) but for one day maybe it can be, and I appreciate help for as little or as many miles as people can give. I broke the 22 miler into 2 loops so more people might come join me, especially for that second loop. And for all the times I've driven to Irving and Dallas to volunteer, cheer, or help with various running-related things, I really am hoping a one-time drive to Allen is doable for some people. It's probably no more than 45 minutes for most of my area running friends.

I love and adore my running friends, sometimes more than I think most of them realize. You all inspire me and motivate me, and understand the hard days and share the excitement of the great ones. What some of you call an acquaintance, I find I more readily count as a friend. Post here, post on my FB wall, tweet me, but please tell me you'll join me, especially because, yes, it's scary to put all this out there to the world.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Mommy Triathlon

Yesterday was a Mommy's version of a triathlon...

1) 10.3 hot and humid but most of all HILLY miles at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano with the North Texas Runners. A lot of new people joined the club, and I was happy to see new faces in the group. I prefer a running club to be "a club, not a clique", so you want to see and interact with different people at every workout! Blessed to run with friends, I completed the full run with Corina, and Shannon joined us the last few miles.

T1 (Transition Area 1): Drove home, literally dunked myself in the tub with some soap, threw on new workout clothes, downed a Starbucks and breakfast sandwich, threw on a hat, and drove to the gym. In-and-out in 15 minutes!

2) I met with a new personal trainer to start doing strength training leading up to my first marathon at the San Francisco Marathon on July 31, just 10 weeks ago. I talked last week about how much I had realized I need strength training during my first-ever 20 mile run last Sunday. He did a great job assessing my fitness level and we did a hard hour of strength and balance exercises, most of which focused on core and legs.

T2 (Transition Area 2): Drove home, dunked myself in the tub again, changed into day clothes, kept on the hat, and headed out with Marissa to go to a 4 year old's birthday party.

3) 2 hours of a birthday party. 10 3-5 year olds at this party, and other parties going on, in one of those loud indoor warehouse party places.

Yes, the last one is what makes this day so exhausting ;-) and that's why it's called a Mommy Triathlon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April 2011 Total Miles - Highest Month Ever

I've had 4 months before (Jan '10, Feb ' 10, Jul '10, Mar '11) that were over 100 miles. Not much to some, but for this busy mom of 2 small children who hasn't done marathon training before (i.e. no mega long runs), those were big mile months. April's totals are in, and I'm pleasantly surprised.

April 2011 was my highest mileage month EVER with 102.5 miles! Previous high was 101.0 miles, so just inched above.

With marathon training, May should be much higher than April. We will see just how high.

Scared and excited that the San Francisco Marathon is officially less than 90 days away!