This blog is moving because, welp!, I’M MOVING! I figured I can’t really hold the title “Boston Runner” if I’m not even living in Boston anymore. So head over to SweetCaroline to check out my new blog! (Not much is changing, except the title/look .. I know you were worried..)
Normally when I have countdowns going, it’s because I’m looking forward to whatever is at the end of the countdown. But this time is an exception. One month from today, I will be a college graduate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for what comes after graduation (moving/working full-time), but can I have a little more time? This year has gone by so fast. I almost feel like the more I want it to slow down, the faster it goes.
In an effort to enjoy this last month as much as I can, I want to take some time to reflect on the past four years. Each one was such a unique experience: I took different types of classes, had relatively different groups of friends, lived in a different place, etc.
Were you excited to graduate or wished you had more time? How did you make the last month of school more memorable?
A couple of weeks ago I started training for the Hyannis Half on Memorial Day weekend in May. Before that, I had been running somewhat inconsistently since May (when I ran the half the last time) due to a combination of injury, travel, etc. Despite this, I think I usually maintained an average of 10-20 miles per week. However, all of these runs were done at a slow and comfortable pace (usually around 10 min/mi) because I was afraid to push it for fear of injury.
Now, I’m training for the half and I have a time goal (2hr half). Surprisingly, the fact that I didn’t do as well as I would have liked last time, is motivating me even more to improve this time around. However, I’m worried about increasing distance while also increasing speed.
I know the rule for increasing distance is 10% a week. This is easy to calculate. Total your weekly mileage and multiply by .10.
They also say you shouldn’t increase speed by more than 10% a week. This is not so easy to calculate. What does this even mean? How do I know if I’m pushing myself too hard? How many of my weekly runs should be at a fast pace? a slow pace?
My faithful McMillan calculator, tells me what pace my runs should be at to meet my half/marathon goals:
But how do I know if my goals are achievable for my skill level/where I am right now in my running/recovery?
I’ve never been one to run with someone. I always thought of running as more of a solo activity. Running allows me that one hour of each day to be on my own and get some necessary alone time (which is especially precious when you live with six girls!)
However, this year one of the girls I’m living with just happens to be as crazy about running as I am. I think she may have caught the bug on her own.. and then I turned it into a monster bug. Either way, she loves to run. All first semester we talked about running but it was difficult because I was injured and therefore sidelined.
After approximately 4 months of living together, and 2 weeks of being healthy and running again, she has convinced me to sign up for the Chicago Marathon in October and the Hyannis Half in May. You may remember that I did this half last year and didn’t have the best experience. But I’ve found this only motivates me more this time.
But even more than that, having a friend who is training with me (even if we do all the runs on our own) is the most motivation I can ask for and certainly the extra push I need.
For example, yesterday’s 8 miler, I really just didn’t feel like doing it. I was a little sleepy and thinking of every excuse in the book. But all I needed was a little push from my training buddy and I was off and running : )
Do you find that training for a race with someone provides you with motivation? Do you run most of your runs with other people or do you prefer to run alone?
What does it take to break a three month long motivation-lacking-mood-rollercoaster-epic-funk?
Yep. That’s right ladies & gents (or more like probably only Kelly reading this at this point), I’m back. Back to blogging. Back to running. Back to feeling like myself again. (definition of self: motivated, enthusiastic, loving-life individual).
I’m not going to lie when I say these past couple months have been quite the rollercoaster, and I honestly just didn’t feel that I could continue to blog on top of everything else. On top of that, I didn’t really want to. So I decided instead of pressuring myself or forcing something I didn’t want, I’d just wait out the storm and wait for the motivation to come back.
..Then I ran 8 miles as the second long run in my half-marathon training plan (oh yeah, I’m training for a half marathon! – more on this later) and I realized I had no one to tell. Well, besides my roommates (who were all very excited for me).. but then I was like, wait.. I have no one to really share this with. So, naturally I turned to my blog and my fellow bloggers : )
It feels so good to be really running again after a full fall/winter season of off and on running due to small but persistent injuries. Running honestly makes me want to put my life back together. It makes me want to catch up on school work, start eating healthy and cooking meals again, go to sleep early, read books for pleasure.
Running can do all that?! Apparently so.
Mmmmm my legs are tired and it feels so good : )
Other random tidbits:
- Are you a 20-something women looking for a new, fun blog to read? My friend, Hannah, started up her own blog, freshink, and I definitely think it’s worth checking out! [ I’m only slightly bias : D ]
- Remember when I talked about Kara the first time? She’s back! Ha, she rocks.
- I CANNOT WAIT to watch the Marathon in one week!
What have you been up to since I’ve been gone? Do you ever feel like running carries through to other parts of your life?
.. to prepare for the CHICAGO MARATHON!
That’s right. Last night I took the big step and registered for the Chicago Marathon!
After multiple pro and con lists and a weekend to logically think things over, my roommate and I made it official! So how does it feel? Well, to be honest.. I’m in the denial/I must be crazy phase. Have no fear though, the excitement will sink it when it’s not over seven months away..
Right now I’m just going to focus on staying healthy and carefully prepping for the half marathon in May (training starts March 7th!)
How did you feel when you registered for your first marathon?
*For those who have ran Chicago/are from Chicago, any advice on places to stay/when to arrive/any other tips or tricks?*
The other day, I mentioned the idea of running the 2011 Chicago Marathon in October. Since then, I’ve only gotten more excited and have begun to go from “idea” to actual reasons why I should do this:
- Timing. The idea of training for a marathon in the summer months really intrigues me. I love running outside in the mornings during the summer and I feel like it completely eliminates one of the main struggles of training for Boston. Also, training would start mid-July. At this time, I will be graduated from college, home from my trip to Europe, and starting work.
- Course. It’s flat. My shins like that, a lot. Do I really need to say more?
- Company. One of my roommates is really motivated to run it (she ran Boston in high school), and I like that I will have someone to keep me motivated and to run part of the actual marathon with.
- Experience. I feel like, come October, I will be physically ready. I’m thinking about running the same Hyannis half I ran last year (and this time I won’t die). Even more than that though.. I feel like over the past year, I’ve learned so much about running and how to properly train (and not get injured). What happened last spring will not happen again.
- Location. I’ve always had this fascination with Chicago. Even though I’ve never been there, I have this feeling that I’ll love it. (People have actually even told me I would, since it’s so similar to Boston.) I feel like this would be a fun trip and a great opportunity to meet up with all my college friends for the long weekend : )
So what do you think – Chicago? Are there other things that I should consider in my decision?