This long Memorial weekend was a reminder to me of a phrase I have let slip from my vocabulary–all in moderation. I went into the three day weekend with a long list of things that I wanted to do: garden, bike, go boating, hike, kayak, play beach volleyball, lay by the pool, cook-out, read, play with the dog, relax. Somehow I managed to get them all in, but only one of those activities is on my triathlon training schedule and hardly any of them involved healthful eating or drinking.
There is something about a long weekend, sunny, summery days, and an abundance of social gatherings that toss all training discipline and focus out the window. It’s so easy to enjoy snacking all day long when you’re on a boat or a beach and when the sun is setting but everyone is still laughing and talking, having one more drink seems to be part of the fun. By the end of the long weekend, you end up consuming more than you would on any normal day and your body is sunburned and exhausted from playing non-stop. At least that’s how I feel. Continue reading
This spring I volunteered as one of three assistant coaches at Windsor Farm Elementary in Arnold, MD, for Girls on the Run. Every Tuesday and Thursday 15 third through fifth grade girls plus the coaches would meet to talk about life, confidence, making healthy choices, family, friendship, trust, self-respect, and a host of other topics designed to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual, and physical development. In short, the program teaches girls how to avoid getting stuck in “the girl box” all while training for a 5K.
Each class day had a lesson paired with a running activity in which we practiced proper form, pace, breathing, and the basics of running. When I think about the types of games and relays we played we were actually doing the type of running you’d see on any training schedule–sprints, hills, tempo runs, and race pace. Even the day we played sharks and minnows had a lesson of teamwork in it and certainly some sprinting involved! Continue reading
For the last couple months I’ve been trying to figure out what I would train for next and at first I thought it would be a summer half marathon (and it still might be), but now it is most definitely training for my first triathlon. The first hurdle has been to find a training schedule that makes sense to me, seems realistic with my life schedule, and that will give me a comfortable balance of swimming, biking, and running.
All my running schedules have always been in miles. (I hate to admit that I have yet to train with speedwork, hills, fartlek, etc but that is also in my future if I’m going to do all this the right way.) You slowly increase mileage balanced by some easier or rest days and then taper off closer to the run. I thought for sure that triathlon training would somehow be similar.
Well, wasn’t I shocked when I started to look at a variety of programs that vary from ones that are entirely time/duration based to ones that are a mix of time and distance to ones that focus on heart rate training to others that rely on each work-out being at either foundation, tempo, sprint, or time trial pace. There’s so much to choose from! A comforting line, however, in a Runner’s World article written for runners trying a tri said “it’s ok to experiment.” Continue reading
They say that happiness is contagious, that good energy spreads like the best virus possible, and being around people who are happy and positive is highly likely to rub off on others. I firmly believe this. Having just spent a weekend with a group of girls, most of whom I hardly know and some of whom I met for the first time, I truly believe that happiness, positive energy, and active lifestyles are absolutely contagious and I hope to help spread it around even more. Each girl (and really, we’re all women young at heart) was awesome and I could easily spend every weekend with that same group.
At one point we were all sitting around a dinner table and from one end of the table to the other the conversation was centered on being active. We were talking about marathons, training, running for the first time, triathlons, wetsuits, eating well, getting through life’s milestones in healthy ways, trying new things, and rewarding ourselves with travel, good friends, chocolate, and a nice glass of wine. True to how this blog began, everyone has hit their various hurdles and figured out how to move on, and it was inspiring to hear others talk about what they’ve achieved. Continue reading
Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Photo by Bill Conway.
Sing it with me! I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more! And tonight I could have. A girlfriend invited me to join her for an after work power walk leaving from the greenest building in Annapolis (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) and doing a 3-mile loop along the waterfront flanked by gorgeous houses.
My friend has got some muscles on the mend from past triathlons and has mastered the art of power walking during her recovery. She set us out at a good clip and even the dog could barely keep up, but soon we all fell into stride and were cruising along the curving road. Given her experience with power walking I noticed her form was a bit more practiced than mine. I could feel my legs wanting to go into run mode so I concentrated on planting my feet and lengthening my stride. With a dog leash in one hand my arms weren’t pumping at the most efficient angles and I could tell that I wasn’t focusing much on my core either. Continue reading
This morning as I was walking down the stairs sideways, slowly, holding on to the railing, and feeling each step in my knees and ankles I smiled knowing that for all this pain I would not change having just run my first marathon less than 24 hours ago.
There are still so many thoughts and emotions swirling in my head that I really don’t know where to start with this post. I want to write about the marathon from start to finish, and perhaps I will in another post. From training to the pre-race meals and planning to the morning of preparation, stretching, pace and form while running, gear, and post-race plans, I learned a lot and discovered many more questions that I have about this whole experience that is running.
For now, though we’ll just stick to the points closest at hand from running my first marathon.
We got lucky with the weather. Early forecasts were calling first for 60% chance of rain in 37 degrees and the chance of rain slowly changed to 30%, then 10%, and by race morning, the rain had cleared, temps were in the low 30s and it was clear for the first 13 or so miles and then light snow started to fall which was actually pretty cool. Continue reading
Last summer a girlfriend and I realized we were both in a work-out slump. We wanted to be exercising regularly and we knew the exercises we wanted to do (mostly running, Pilates, Yoga, and a few weight routines) and we both categorized ourselves as morning exercisers. However, we were severely lacking the motivation to actually get up and work-out. Somewhere a light bulb went off and we decided to put our cell phones’ unlimited text plans to use and thus began our version of The Buddy System.
Normally, when you think of a buddy system you imagine running side by side with a training partner, holding someone’s feet during sit-ups, or spotting a friend while she lifts weights. Though my friend and I have an equal desire to work-out, we have very different exercise routines and fitness goals and so our buddy system does not actually entail working out together. Continue reading
I just caught myself saying, as I have many times before, that “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” I often think if only I could function off of 4 hours of sleep and could be totally productive during all my time awake that I might really get some things done. But alas, I am a 6-8 hour sleeper for sure. I guess the question becomes not how to find more hours in the day, but how to maximize the time you do have.
For example, I am finally getting to today’s blog, but only have a few minutes because I want to dash off to the gym for a quick run and Pilates class. I started my day around 7:30 a.m. and feel very good about all that I got done, but I was really hoping to rearrange the kitchen furniture tonight in addition to getting in a load of laundry. I was also supposed to sign up for Scuba lessons and do some research for a family event, neither of which got done today. Continue reading