My Super Sweet 13(.1)

A 1st Half Marathon

127 Days Until… (Get Ready…)

The misleading gentle uphill slopes of Cherokee Park (where I run a lot)

We’re 127 days away from the mini-marathon and I ran a total of four and 1/2 (4.5) miles this week. I did six (6.0) on the elliptical, partly because I was being lazy and partly because it was raining and chilly and just too nasty to have the fun run I wanted. I need to run more, obviously, but I’ve been putting in some time reading about runner’s nutrition and my lack of distance speaks to some speed work uphill (there are two hills I dread on my runs on Cherokee Park’s Scenic Loop) as well as some interval bursts. The slow time also speaks to my pauses, which are generally only 30 seconds of breathing, but my goal is to run the loop twice, which is 4.4 miles, by the end of January. Hills and all. In the interim, I’ve been hitting the elliptical and weights, with special emphasis on core work; I think getting a stronger core (this includes yoga, pilates, and hula-hooping, along with medicine ball/floor work) will improve my running experience overall.

As far as nutrition goes, it’s a 10% protein and 65% carbohydrate (good carbs, like broccoli, not Little Debbie carbs), according to MarathonRookie.com.  MarathonRookie.com points out that vitamins are good for runners, which is great because I’ve already been a vitamin freak for a while. Also, I’ve learned that I need to learn how to drink as I run, as half or mini-marathons often have water breaks, or splits, or something. I eat pretty well, and have considered sharing some recipes on here if I have the time. I’m a big banana person, I love fruit, and I drink a protein shake every day; my weaknesses are chips, ice cream – particularly milkshakes – and beer on the weekends, which has stopped due to my buddy’s status as “pregnant.”  This is actually good timing; I hate knocking back some brews after a particularly good workout; it seems counter-intuitive. I could add some more brown rice and whatnot to my diet, and I’m currently addicted to sweet potatoes, which are pretty good for you.

I’ve also been checking out online running programs, and RunnersWorld.com has up with a good one. I’m still on the fence for Fred’s Team, re: running for Olmstead Parks (see previous entry); I love the idea of giving back to the parks I use everyday, between running and our daily dog walks, but I am really not a fan of fundraising. It’s not that I don’t believe in the cause, it’s that I hate asking people for money; I couldn’t even sell Girl Scout Cookies, and they sell themselves. Also, there isn’t a clear running schedule posted yet, while Fleet Feet has a pretty sweet deal for $75, and they’re close by:

“The 2012 Fleet Feet Sports Half Marathon Training Program will officially kick off on Saturday, January 7, at 8:00 AM at the store. This group is open to runners, walkers, and run/walkers of all paces and levels of experience! The program spans 16 weeks and includes 3 weekly group workouts with mapped courses, coaches, weekly emails, vendor sponsored runs, an official training tee, and much more! In addition, this Spring we will be providing you with a subscription to workoutlog.com to help you track your progress and train better! Weekly workouts begin at our store every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30 PM and Saturday’s at 8:00 AM. This fee does not include race registration.” – FleetFeet.Com

I hope you can skip the first session – the first group run at Fleet Feet is the same day as the Frostbite 5k in January, which I’m definitely psyched about. Otherwise, it sounds like a good plan for a beginner like me. I’m taking my running shoes with me this holiday weekend, where I’ll be traveling between three states. I’ve vowed to get at least two runs in between Dec. 23 – Dec. 28; five days, two runs, sounds do-able? Who wants to sit next to chestnuts roasting on an open fire anyway? Stuffing yourself with sugar cookies – ugh, who would enjoy that?

Not me! This year, anyway. Well, maybe one cookie. Gotta keep the jolly spirits up:)

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