One month down, 11 to go

I feel like January flew by, and at the same time, the marathon seems so long ago.  The other day, I looked at the marathon countdown I had set on my computer, and it had started counting up.  14 days since the marathon (now 18).  I can’t believe it was that recently!  It feels like forever ago.

And yet this explains why my sunburn is still slightly peeling and my blisters are… well, we won’t discuss the grossness that is my feet.  Runners often have slightly unattractive feet.  At least I still have all ten toenails!

All in all, I think we can call January a success.  I finished the marathon.  I haven’t said no to doing another one.  I hit my goal of running at least 50 miles this month (a lot easier when one run covers more than half of the monthly goal), I’ve been biking a bit and I started swimming with Team Fight.

Still haven’t finished the training plan I’ve been claiming to work on, but I know where it needs to go and I’m continuing to ease in.  No need to jump right into intense workouts and then find myself burning out midway through the season.  I just have to make sure that I’m sticking with it.

February brings a couple of races – a local 5k and Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, for which I will be wearing an awesome costume.  Should be a great month!

Winter is Here

Hey, so guess what?  It’s winter!  Now, I know many of you have already realized this and have been dealing with a lot of snow, but here in the Washington, D.C. area, we’ve had a pretty mild season.  And I think we sort of skipped over last winter too.  But these past few weeks have been cold.  With snow!

Now, as a native Midwesterner, I can’t help but laugh when the city goes into crisis when we get an inch of snow.  It’s an inch of snow!  Admittedly, there are reasons for this:

  1. This area doesn’t have the equipment to clear snow.  Sure, there are plows and salt trucks, but not like there are in cities that regularly get a lot of snow.
  2. Because snow isn’t common, a lot of people don’t know how to drive in snow.  The running joke is that five snowflakes fall and accidents start on the highway.

So in general, I don’t mind the winter.  However, when it comes to outdoor activities, it isn’t fun.  The other day, was too lazy to dry my hair and in the 5-10 minute walk from the parking garage to my office, my hair froze.  (I knew this would happen and find it hilarious.)  And then there’s running outside in the cold.

When there is heavy snow and ice, I find it tough to run outside.  Thankfully, that’s rare here, because I always feel like I’m risking falling or injuring my ankles.  Typically, I’m just doing long runs in the cold with maybe a bit of patchy snow.  That means bundling up.

I like to feel cool when I run, so in the really cold weather, I try not to bundle up too much.  For example, when the weather is in the 30’s, I typically wear running tights, a short sleeved shirt tucked in and a lined long-sleeved shirt over that.  I also wear a light knit cap and gloves.  Yes, it’s very cold when I start, but I warm up quite quickly.  If it’s really windy, I may add a windbreaker or something to protect my face.

A big key for me when I run in the winter is to remember to stay hydrated.  The cold dry air really saps moisture.  Just because I don’t feel sweaty doesn’t mean that I don’t need to keep drinking.

So that’s how I handle winter running.  How do you all handle winter running?  And those of you with warm winters, I don’t want to hear a lot of gloating!  Sure, you have warm winters, but your summers are BRUTAL!


Not a Real Runner?

Over the weekend, something a little disturbing was brought to the attention of the running community.  I found out about it through Half Fanatics.

At the Destin Half Marathon, a woman was pulled from the course for running intervals.  Why?  Because the race was for runners only, not walkers.

Here are the facts as I understand them:

  1. The race had a posted 3 hour time limit
  2. The waiver does say “Run Only” at the top, but nowhere is it stated that interval runners aren’t welcome, and the average person may think this is to differentiate from the walker friendly 5K (the 10K and half were listed as “Run Only”).
  3. This would have been the runner’s 18th half marathon.
  4. To stay within the 3 hour limit, one must run an average of a 13:44 pace or less.
  5. She was picked up in the first mile while run/walking at an average 11:50 pace.
  6. She admits that at this point, she was the last runner, but as many Galloway runners know, you very quickly begin to “pick off” other runners who started out too fast.
  7. As of this writing, she has received no apology or refund.

I know people who have qualified for Boston doing a run/walk pattern.  Many have found that they run stronger by doing a run/walk pattern.  Clearly, Jeff Galloway was onto something when he began to promote this strategy.  Sure, it’s not for everyone, but it works.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree with race time-limits.  I wouldn’t call a half with a 3 hour time limit walker friendly.  That said, I don’t consider a Galloway runner a walker.  Additionally, if a race-walker wanted to show up, I wouldn’t think the race would be unfriendly to them.  Those people are FAST!

Some people complain that the slow runners are “dumbing down their sport,” and to them, I just roll my eyes.  I hate to see that impression.  And for a race to treat a runner in this manner just continues that attitude.  I hope this runner receives an apology and a refund.  Unfortunately, she is not local to Destin and also traveled for the race, so she is out that money as well.  But she did not deserve to be treated in this manner and I hope no other Galloway runner suffers this fate.


Plan Avoidance

For the past week or so, I have been trying to figure out my new training schedule.  But I can’t seem to bring myself to just sit down and do it.  I have a Sprint Tri in June and a 12 week tri training plan.  So I thought I would just try to extend that plan out a few extra weeks (12 weeks from the tri is in mid-March).  But the idea of jumping right into swimming twice a week and brick workouts when I’ve barely been swimming and biking just seemed so overwhelming.

And I think it was that overwhelmed feeling that had me avoiding making the plan.  After all, if there isn’t a plan, then I can’t follow it, right?

So I rethought the plan.  Why was I trying to extend the training plan?  I don’t need to jump into all those intense workouts right away.

While I still haven’t finished the plan, here are my thoughts moving forward:

  • Start swimming once a week and biking twice a week
  • Figure out where to fit in weight lifting
  • Make sure that my long runs are sufficient to get me through my upcoming half marathons
  • Start the official training plan the week of March 17, and at that point, evaluate whether any of the early bike/swim workouts should be made longer

Team Fight has group swims not far from me every Thursday evening so I’m going to do my best to get to those.  It’s tough because they’re at 8pm, and I’m not a late night person, what with getting up at 4:30 to workout on a normal day.  But I think it will be worth it.