“Suddenly I See”

Since music is another passion of mine I’ve decided to try including a “Song of the Post” to each of my postings. I am going to try to pick a song that ties into my post or it may just end up being the song that has been stuck in my head that day. Hope you enjoy this added feature! 🙂

Song of the Post – “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall

My marathon training has official begun! I will have to admit I am pretty excited about getting back into the training, especially since spring is right around the corner. Yesterday the high was around 60° and it was sunny so I was able to run outside in the warmth and sunshine. Today it is back down into the 40s and rainy so it only lasted one day but hey, it was something. Hopefully we will be getting some warmer weather in Ohio soon.

This year I have decided to add a few things to my training schedule to hopefully help me increase my speed, build up my strength and trim down the weight a little more. I am a morning runner so Monday through Friday I am waking up early to run before work. I am sure that this contributed to me ignoring some things last year that are important to a runner’s training so I plan to wake up at 5am instead of 5:30am this year to add that extra time needed to give these overlooked areas more attention.

Right now I am still working on just building up my endurance again from being off most of the winter due to MS relapses, but I plan to start focusing more on the speed work in a few weeks. I am going to do a little more research on speed work and hope to discuss it more in later posts.

I never been a fan of doing a strict diet that doesn’t really let you enjoy anything you eat. Last year I mainly focused on eating more fruits, vegetables and just trying to eat healthier overall rather than try to stay to one diet. There are times I did pretty well with this and then other times I slipped. I did end up losing about 20 lbs during my training last year however gained about 10 lbs back during the winter when I wasn’t able to run. I hope to make things a little more interesting this year and try some new, healthier recipes that will hopefully taste good as well. I will post any recipes I find “tasty”.

Last year I really did not make strength training (or weight lifting) a priority. It was one of those things that I kept in the back of my mind but really didn’t act on very often. I am planning on working out on my Bowflex twice a week, hopefully on Mondays and Thursdays after my run. I ran for about 30 minutes this morning then got on the Bowflex for about 25 minutes so off to a good start!

The last thing I plan to add this year is to consistently have cross training at least once a week. The cross training will probably be biking or Zumba. (Zumba is pretty addicting and a lot of fun, if you enjoy dancing. ) And who knows, maybe I will even add some additional cross training with Wii Sports Resort, Kinect Sports or Dance Central. (Yes, I am a low-key gamer as well.) Guess we will see in the coming months how successful I am with all my changes and additions to my training schedule. Here’s hoping the majority of them stick!

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Blisters: Why you might want to listen to those expert runners…

My full training for the marathons isn’t starting for another week so I thought I would share some of my past experiences until training gets a little more interesting.  (I don’t find running on a treadmill in my basement very interesting…but that might just be me.)

A few weeks before my first half marathon (Capital City Half Marathon 2010) I realized that my current shoes were getting pretty worn and I need to switch into the new shoes I had recently bought. The new shoes were a different brand then my current shoes but I didn’t think I would have that many issues transiting to the new shoes. I had read about blisters and other possible issues with not breaking in new shoes in the running magazines and books, but I thought I was going to be just fine. That was my first mistake. I decided to only alternate my new and old shoes only a few days and then run 10 miles in my new shoes.  Since it was only a couple weeks before the half marathon I was very determined to run all 10 miles. That was my second mistake. I ignored the pain I was feeling on the bottom of my feet and came home to find a blister on each of my arches. I took off the next two days but needed to keep up some running since the half marathon was a little over a week away. After several tries and painful short runs, I figured out how to bandage my arches so it wasn’t as painful. I was happy I could still run with minimal pain but the blisters were not getting any better.  A week later I started my first half marathon hoping my wrapped arches would keep the blisters at bay for the next 13.1 miles. A majority of the race went as well as to be expected for my first half marathon. Around mile 8 I started having some side cramping but was able to get it in check by around the 9.5 mile point. I did have some blister pain for the last few miles of the race so I wasn’t able to finish strong as I would have liked but at that point I was just happy I finished.  I didn’t make my ultimate time goal but finished the race within the time I was hoping.  I took it easy the next few weeks and tried to nurse my feet back to health.  I also did a little more research and invested in getting some actual running socks to help prevent future blister issues.  Needless to say, I started listening a little more to those experts.

Boston Marathon Update

I was planning on writing something else for my next post but just heard about this today so thought I would post something quick for any runners who haven’t heard yet:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/02/16/baa-toughens-boston-marathon-qualifying-standards/

I was hoping to focus more on my speed and training this year and try to qualify for the Boston Marathon this year at the Columbus Marathon in October. However, after reading the above article about Boston changing their qualifying standards I may have to change to running the Air Force Marathon instead of just the half. I will admit I am a little bummed after hearing these changes.

What doesn’t kill you…

Air Force Half Marathon September 2010 - One year after being diagnosed with MS.

Pretty much all my life I have loved being active. From age 3 to 19 my life was soccer. For many years, I even played soccer year round.  Then when I was in my first year of college my back pain started to tell me I needed to do something a little easier on my body. For many years I wasn’t sure what to do or how to replace the highs I felt playing soccer. After graduating from college I started to focus more on running,  doing shorter races like 5ks or 4 milers. I attempted to train for a marathon during the summer of 2008 but I had to stop after about 8 weeks of training due to a knee injury. Then in August 2009, when I was 25 years old, I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.  I was mainly just glad to finally figure out why I was having all these weird health issues but there was the other side of me that was concerned about my future since this is a disease that could take away my ability to move.  After a few months of adjusting to the idea I have MS, I decided it was time to start that marathon training again because I was not going to let this disease defeat me. In May of 2010 I finished my first half marathon and then in October of 2010 I finished my first marathon in a time of 4:23:43…and now I am hooked. Now I plan to run two half marathons and one or two marathons in 2011.  It has become an addiction and this is why I have decided to start this blog, to not only write about something I love to do but to hopefully encourage others to not be defeated. I think one of my favorite quotes can say it best…”What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”