Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Half Marathon Training: Week 3, Day 2

I have arrived at the beginning of the third week of my half marathon training schedule.  The last time I wrote about this little adventure, I was in the middle of the first week and struggling somewhat.  Week two, however, went much more smoothly!  And today, on W3D2, I am feeling good.  I got in some great runs--the weather is finally where it should be for this time of the year in Chicagoland--and I am confident for similar results in the upcoming days.  

One thing I've decided to do is take the training at a slightly slower pace.  Instead of 12 weeks, I'm making it a 20 week program.  One, because I have a job that's pretty physically demanding, I think it will just be better for me this way.  Another reason is so I can consistently keep myself training right up to the race in September.  If I have a set schedule and a plan, something to write down in my calendar, I do much better and feel that I will be much more successful.

My cross training so far has included walking and strength training, for the most part.  I'm doing a 30 day squat challenge and a 30 day sit up challenge, which have added an extra element of fun.  I also do planks, push ups, and a little bit of weight lifting.  At some point this summer, T. and I would love to get bikes, so if that becomes a possibility that will be added to the roster as well.  In addition, I have also been doing some yoga and yoga related stretches.  

Most of my knowledge comes from reading and watching videos online, but I would love to take a few classes at some point.  I am very careful to watch my alignment and try to do the poses as correctly as possible.  Stretching in general has been so huge for me; obviously keeping my legs stretched out and limber is of the utmost importance, but also my shoulders/back/arms.  I generally do not stretch before I go running (unless my muscles are feeling tight) but I do generally take a few minutes after my run, and some time every day regardless of what the schedule says, to do so.  

I find that so far I haven't had much difficulty following the program--I have been able to make it happen even in addition to my work schedule and generally hectic life.  I have had a little bit of trouble making the long weekend runs happen, though, for one reason or another.  Right now I am not concerned because it is a distance that I can run no problem.  However, after this week, the mileage starts increasing beyond what I have been doing so far.  I know that consistency is key and am going to push myself this weekend to make that long run successful.

So yeah, overall, I am very happy with it all!  I still need to get new running shoes, but the ones I have been wearing will work for now.  T. ordered me a new fitness armband for my phone, one that A) actually fits my phone and B) is so much more comfortable than the one I had before!  (He also got one for himself, and also some workout clothes because he's decided that he might try out this running thing and I am so excited!)  I would like to get a few more pairs of running shorts and shirts, but I should be good for the moment and am planning on hitting up some sales and et cetera in the next few weeks.

Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but T. and I will be going to Colorado for 10 days in May--in just a few weeks!  Less than a month from now!  While I will be taking a week off from half marathon training, I am planning on going out for a few miles as often as I can.  It would be a veritable shame to miss out on running in such an incredibly beautiful location!  T. picked up a GoPro-esque camera for our adventure, so hopefully I can take it out on a few routes with me.  Stay tuned!

Week 3, Day 2:  3 miles, and a gorgeous day on the forecast.  I love you, Spring!

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