Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There's no place like....

I completely checked out of work on Monday (both mentally and in the Holy-cow-it's-the-holidays-and-I-get-to-go-HOME sense) and took a train to beautiful New Haven, CT. Yes. Beautiful. In fact, when the British landed in West Haven in 1779 and were forced to march through the city (because the colonists awesomely decided to destroy every bridge leading into New Haven), the Red Coats decided not to burn the city because of its beauty. They, instead, decided to torch Hamden. But, I digress...

It's so wonderful to be home! Yesterday included a three-mile run, a Yale hockey game, and a trip to BAR where Nate, Jane, Mark, and I enjoyed a delicious, delicious mashed-potato and bacon pizza and Toasted Blond beer. OM NOM NOM NOM. (At some point before I leave, I'll also visit Claire's Corner Copia for Lithuanian coffee cake.)

But, the highlight of this trip so far was getting my daddy to commit to running a 5K with me and introducing him to the joys of running. We ran a mile today, and he did extremely well! My dad has never been much for cardio, but has spent the last decade or so working on strength training exercises with the free weight set we've had for as long as I can remember. Tomorrow, we're going to run again --- but I'll add on three miles to keep my weekly mileage where it needs to be in the weeks before I start seriously training for my next marathon.

By the way, does anyone have any brilliant ideas for my costume for the Santa Shuffle 5K? I'm thinking that, for the first time, the "sexy" versions of costumes might actually be appropriate (with running tights and a base-layer, of course) I'm thinking elf. Or reindeer. I think I need at least one shopping trip while I am home.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She's Going the Distance (Again)

Call me crazy.

It’s been four weeks since I crossed the finish line in Baltimore, and I’m ready to commit to a second marathon. I have a date (March 20, 2011), a race (Yuengling Shamrock Marathon), a goal (shave one hour off the Baltimore Marathon time), a new pair of running shoes, and a colorful training schedule that will carry me until the race in March

Race recovery went well, but not having a set running schedule after months of having running be such a huge part of my life prior to October 16th felt strange. I loved the extra time, but I definitely felt antsy on more than one occasion. But, the antsy-feeling meant that I had more time to think about how I could approach the next couple of months and set some fitness goals.

Daft Punk said it best: “Work it, make it, do it, makes us harder, better, faster, stronger.”

My newest training spreadsheet is divided into two phases. Phase One started earlier this month and will take me to the last week of December. The goal here is to lay the groundwork to build a better body and increase my speed. Mixing speed workouts with strength training and longs runs of seven or eight miles has worked out well so far. (I’m starting to find that a nine-minute mile pace is comfortable for more than a few minutes. Sweet.)

To add spice and make all of this work worth it in the end, I decided to run shorter races to keep me on the path to reaching my speed goals. I’m most excited about the Santa Shuffle 5K Race – but only because I’d get to dress up as a holiday character. There’s also Jingle All the Way, a 10K where I would get to wear bells while I run. Both races are in December, and I’m also looking into races in 2011. (Most importantly, I’m trying to justify flying to Orlando for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. It would be against my love for all things Disney Princess if I didn’t run this race. And, we wouldn’t want that.)

Around the last week of December, I'll start my official training with long runs starting at 13 miles. Winter training will bring its own set of challenges, I'm sure. In any case, it should be a rockin' good time.

There'll be more updates along the way -- more hilarious running stories, recipes, and kick ass playlists.

Are you ready for Round 2? I sure am.