Equal parts terrifying and exciting, I was once told that the mixture of fear and exhilaration means that I made the right decision. So with that said, last night I finally worked up the courage to click “submit” and register for my first half marathon. I say this with the same giddy school girl squeals as a young woman might as she gushes about her marriage proposal. Though instead of flashing a diamond, I’m flashing my printed 13.1 training plan.
While I’ve flirted with 7 -8 miles in the fall, that’s only about half of the race…eek…and it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve gone that distance. And with Pennsylvania once again in the clutches of a Polar Vortex, long runs outside aren’t anywhere in my near future. That said, I’m breaking through my ceiling. I’m going to push past what I think my limits are and I’m going to explore my potential beyond that ceiling. At this point I can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer. An early June race is perfect. The weather will be beautiful, the air will have started buzzing with summertime, and I’ll have had enough time to get a good amount of Claritin built up in my system to keep allergies under control. All good things!
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to join the Strong & Sexy Runner (who doesn’t want to be that?!) half marathon training group. I am one of the 20 women from around the world that is being coached by Meredith Vieceli for the next 4 weeks. An Ironman and marathon runner herself, Meredith is the nutritionist and wellness coach for the Women’s Running Club on Facebook. For the next month, our small group will be receiving daily coaching tips and have virtual access to her tips, tricks, and advice. We also have access to each other. It’s only day 3 and already I’ve learned so much about hydration, swapping out high glycemic foods for low glycemic foods, and rehabbing injuries. Just hearing how other women will manage their training with work, families, and stress is so helpful. Even better news, I’ll be sharing this journey and what I learn with all of you! Here are just a few tips that I’ve learned so far:
– Hydration: did you know that you should drink half your body weight in ounces EVERY day? Since I weigh 150 pounds, I need to drink 75 oz. of water every day and even more if I’m exercising. I thought I was drinking enough until I actually made a conscious effort to drink at least 75 ounces the past three days and I certainly have not been drinking enough. It’s amazing how good you feel when your body is saturated. Try it! There are numerous mobile apps that can help you track your water intake. Just type in “drinking water” into the search bar and you’ll get a number of them, the first app being a free one called “drinking water.” Clever, right? If you’d like to track more than just water, some of the ladies in the group seem to use and like the Fitbit app. I haven’t tried it because I like myfitnesspal and Livestrong’s My Plate. Me? I can’t track one more thing in my day so I found a 20 ounce water bottle and told myself I needed to drink 4 of these. Done.
– Low Glycemic Foods: The glycemic index is a system that ranks carbohydrate foods according to their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Livestrong has a list of high glycemic foods such as white bread, cereal, and white rice. By swapping out these items in your diet for low glycemic foods that stabilize your blood sugar, you feel better and burn fat better. I’m looking forward to learning more about this and experimenting.
Those were just a few things to get us started. I’ll keep sharing as I collect and synthesize information. This week I’m also trying out the 5 day a week training schedule (a test run to see if it’s something I can even do – why didn’t I do this BEFORE I registered for the race?!). I’ve already mixed things all up and missed a 50 minute cross training session that was supposed to be last night but I was going to do it tonight because I accidentally ran for an hour last night when I was supposed to only run for 45 minutes today. Then life happened and I didn’t do the cross training so now I’m really mixed up. Yep, it’s going to go down like that.
I hope that you are as excited as I am about starting the journey to healthier habits! If anyone wants to join in the fun, I’ll be running the ODDyssey Half Marathon in Philadelphia on June 8, 2014. It’s going to be a great day!
Be inspired and break through your ceiling!