Sunday, March 13, 2011

Half Marathon Training Recap: Week One

The first step you must take when you decide to train for a half marathon is which training program you are going to use.

Several people suggested that I follow Hal Higdon's Half Marathon program.  With his, you run throughout.  I know that there are other programs out there that recommend and are based around a walk to run ratio.  It's all about finding a program that works for you and that you want to do.

Last week was supposed to have actually been week one of my program, but honestly I forgot but considering the first two weeks are identical, I didn't feel too bad about jumping into week two.  So even though it's my first week, it was week two of the program.  Understand?  Confused?  Sorry...

This week I was scheduled for a 3 mile run on Monday, 2 miles or cross training on Tuesday, another 3 miles on Wednesday, a rest day on Thursday, 30 minutes of cross training on Friday and a 4 mile run on Saturday.

Monday was rough.  I had run a 5K race the day before where I had set a PR and so my legs were a bit fatigued.  Also I had never done 3 mile runs back to back.  So, what did I decide to do?  Did I decide to take it easy and run a flat terrain?  Of course not...  I ran the hills in North Central Park.  I also didn't do 3 miles, I only did 2 because my legs just couldn't take it.  I didn't worry about pace, I just needed to get the time in.  After that, I decided that I would only do the hills once a week and the rest of the week I would take it easy and run flatter areas.

For the Tuesday work out, I decided my legs probably shouldn't run again, so I did an hour of step aerobics while watching TV.  Since I'm not watching a training video or anything (just The Biggest Loser, does that count?) I have decided that I need to find other ways to cross training.  (Cross training by the way is basically any form of cardio activity that isn't running.  Swimming, biking, walking, etc.  Still need to get the heart pumping, but use different muscles than the ones you use while running.)  There is a Parks Recreation Center in Central Park about 5 minutes from my house that I can join for about $75 FOR THE YEAR!!  I definitely think I am going to be signing up for a membership.  It's actually $50 if I don't want to use a center with a pool (which this one doesn't) but the membership allows you to use any center and I do want to take up swimming, so I think I spend the extra $25...

Wednesday night's run I did at the Reservoir.  Again, I didn't want to pay attention to pace and I didn't push myself really at all.  The result?  A very SLOW run.  Like, the same pace from when I first ran the Reservoir back in November.  It was kind of disappointing, but since I know I can run faster than that I didn't let it bother me too much.

Thursday was a very nice and needed rest day.  Friday, I have to admit I didn't do the 30 minutes of cross training.  I have a feeling that might be tempting to skip a work out that day since it's for such a short amount of time at the moment.  In a few weeks this time gets upped, and then I won't be able to ignore it quite so readily, but 30 minutes just seems like almost nothing now.

My Saturday 4 mile run was FANTASTIC!  I did kind of a middle loop of Central Park, a couple of hills but nothing like the massive hills of the north loop.  I was about 15 seconds off my record pace, and I hadn't really been pushing myself, so it felt great!  I think the really nice weather had something to do with it as well.  I even got a bit of sun on my cheeks.  I need to remember sunscreen now that we are getting to warmer days.  Otherwise I'm going to be one giant freckle come June!

Today was a stretch and strengthening day.  I must admit I haven't really done either.  This is something else that I need to not ignore either.  I know that injuries happen when these two vital things are ignored, so I need to be sure that spend the much needed time on these areas as well.

So, all in all I think my first week of half marathon training went incredibly well.  I still feel like this is absolutely something that I can accomplish, and that in and of itself is still incredibly shocking to me.  I talked to my Mom yesterday about my 4 mile run and she was so impressed that I am able to run that far.  If she's impressed with 4 miles, wait until I hit my 10 mile week!

This week is St. Patty's Day and I really doubt that I am going to do much in the way of celebrating it.  I mean, I don't even wear green anymore.  Eh, maybe I'll have a beer.  We'll see...

Oh, here's something I need to bring up!!  My eating this week has been crap.  Like, not burgers and fries bad, but I am snacking all the time because I am hungry All.  The.  Time.  I really think this training is messing with my appetite and metabolism.  I am probably burning through my calories.  So, because of this fact I have decided to up my daily caloric intake.  Prior to this, I was holding steady at 1300 calories for the day.  I wasn't eating back the calories that I was burning off (or at least I was trying not to) and I think that was helping account for my losses.  Now, however I'm exercising more and I don't want my body to go into shock mode and hold onto weight.  In order to hopefully preempt that from happening and to hopefully help with my constant hunger, I'm going to be eating slightly more.  What's weird is that I feel like I'm eating SO MUCH by upping it by 200 calories.  It's weird!!  I mean, it's only 200 calories yet its so much of the food I'm eating.  It's kind of nice, not gonna lie!  But since I'm still snacking all of the time, I must admit that I'm not logging every single calorie so we'll see how my weigh-in goes this week.  I'm going to make sure that I'm strict for the next two days so that I can hopefully see some sort of loss this week.

I did originally have a goal of hitting 250 by the end of March, but I don't know if that will happen.  I am still going to try and get as close to that as possible and I would still LOVE to see 240 by my show's opening night on April 27th.  We shall see though.  Again, I am going to try my hardest to get as close to that as possible!

Wow, this post was really long winded.  I hope you guys weren't too bored!

Oh, and please donate to Skimmy Emmie's half marathon fundraising.  She still has a ways to go and I want to make sure I help her as much as possible!

Also, if you are praying person (or even if you aren't) please pray for those in Japan who were affected by the earthquake/tsunami.  This is a devastating tragedy and I hope that you donate what you are financially able to.  I've donated once and hope that I can afford to do so again.  It's so unbelievably shocking.  Horrible.

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