Long Runs and Half Marathon Procrastination


I usually train for 12 weeks for my half marathons.  That is, I add long runs each weekend that increase one mile until I reach 12 miles and then taper to 8.

My last half marathon was July 13, 2014.

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And I have no half marathons on my schedule!!

Shocking!

Actually I considered after the last one, which was very rough, to maybe just do short races.

The problem is that without a half marathon to train for, I make excuses about doing any long runs on the weekend.

(And nothing gives you the feeling that you get when you cross the finish line of a half marathon except maybe crossing the finish line of a marathon but I’m not doing that.)

So in order to be motivated to run more than 4 miles, I need a half marathon on my schedule, I guess.

Since it is almost September, it looks like a fall half marathon is out.

And it is too cold in the NE so I would need to travel.

Travel is another issue.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend. I may have worn out many of my friend invites.

Santa Clarita Half  Marathon with Ellen

Susan & Robin the day before my Half Marathon in Sarasota, FL.

It is also a lot more fun to do a big race with friends.

with Felice, Elisa, Amanda, Janis & Bridget at the Adirondack Half Marathon

Love Run with Adrienne, Lisa, Andrea & Heidi (missing from photo)

As it stands now, my fall race may be the Perfect 10 Miler in NJ.

Then if I am going to drag myself outdoors in the winter, I will need a winter and/or spring half marathon.

And I want it to be scenic and fun!!

Possibly in Florida on January 17…

and visit some friends in the area. (but flights are expensive as well as renting a car.)

or on March 15…

(I can take the bus but hotels are expensive in NYC)

or on May 9 (my birthday)…

(I can drive but it’s exam time where I work.)

So as you can see, I am procrastinating.

Any advice?

Happy Running! How do you choose your half marathons?

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I am a Perfect 10. Are you?

October 26, 2014

I was so impressed by CGI’s organization of the Love Run in Philly last March that I signed up for this race.

I am also going to take advantage of the fact that it is in NJ and visit one of my college friends.

here we are last Novemeber

It is an ALL WOMENS race which is cool but it also has a lot of extra perks:

HOODIE  (Super lightweight, dries so fast and fits (true to size) perfect, in an orchid color)

VANITY (TAGS) BIBS

FREE FINISH PHOTO

PRE RACE PAMPERING PARTY (interactive group fitness classes, hair braiding, body glimmer tattoo’s, retail village with the best in racing gear, the hottest racing couture and of course all at the best prices.)

TRADITIONAL PERKS

Custom Finisher Medal for all distances and the Daughter Dash
Free Training Plans
Finish line party featuring our new Coffee & Hot Chocolate Bar

THE COURSE:

Enjoy your 10 mile run through beautiful Mercer County Park. This flat (and fast) course winds you along the waterside, through the shaded woods to thousands of cheering spectators waiting at the boathouse.

From rock bands to acapella groups you’ll enjoy every minute (okay maybe not every minute) of the course. Oh did we mention the “Bow Tie” Guys, handsome, bow tied men who lead you out and cheer you home.

Doesn’t that sound like fun!

So why don’t you join me?

Happy Running! Are you running the perfect 10 Miler?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Cross-Training

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Cross-Training

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What is Cross-Training?
 

According to Acefitness.org, “Cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.”

All half marathon and marathon training schedules include at least one day of cross-training.
 
What are the benefits of cross-training?
  • Reduced risk of injury People who are particularly prone to lower-leg problems from running long distances should consider incorporating low-impact activities such as elliptical training, cycling and swimming into their regimens.
  • Enhanced weight loss -  people who need to lose weight can effectively achieve a reduction in body weight and fat stores by combining two or more physical activities in a cross-training regimen. They can, for example, exercise on an elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes and then cycle for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Improved total fitness –  Cross-training can include activities that develop muscular fitness, as well as aerobic conditioning.
  • Enhanced exercise adherence - Cross-training is a safe and relatively easy way to add variety to an exercise program.

Another benefit of Cross-Training is that you can explore different kinds of sports. Although, you are a runner, you may find that you enjoy biking or swimming. Also when you cannot run due to an injury, you can still cross-train. When I broke my ankle, I could not run but I was able to bike and use the elliptical.

What activities are considered cross-training?
 
1. Cycling – According to scientific studies, runners benefit the most from cycling.
(I have only biked when I was UNABLE to run. I should do it more but who has the time.)

bike
 
2. Resistance Training -  Recent studies have linked resistance training with improvement in running, reducing heart rates while doing so, and improving race times at distances from shorter runs to marathons.  It also protects runners against lower body injuries, and circuit training provides a great cardiovascular workout, and increasing muscle power.  The gym is the best place to do this, with the help of Personal Trainers.
 
Unfortunately I do not belong to a gym and the closest thing I have done is using these resistance bands (when I was recovering from an injury.)

red in pt & yellow at home

3. Swimming - It is an activity that is easy on the joints, supports your weight, builds muscular strength and endurance, improves cardiovascular health. It is also good for the lungs because of the breathing exercises you have to do while performing the activity. For runners who have sore legs, this is most recommended since it’s low impact, and it surprisingly burns a lot of calories.

I wish I were a better swimmer but I am not (and I do not have access to a pool.)

pooped after the race

my version of lake swimming

 
4 . Aerobic Exercises – It provides an outstanding cardiovascular workout, boosts quadriceps and hamstring strength, improves coordination, and can make runners quicker on their feet. In addition, the upper-body movements used in aerobic dance may even tone up runners’ torsos a bit. Zumba is pretty popular and there are many videos with aerobic exercises/dancing.
 
When I was younger, aerobics classes were popular & used go to them.  Zumba is something I want to try.
 
5. Other sports like Tennis, Soccer, or even Golf can also be considered as Cross-Training activities, as long as it benefits you in burning calories, toning muscles, building stamina, endurance.
I love to play tennis (tried golf but I stink at it.) and play doubles at least once per week.
 

playing tennis

Tips for Cross-Training:

1. Choose what you like - Try several things to decide what’s beneficial and best for you. Also consider your resources like time, money and energy.

2. Start slowEven if you are an experienced runner it doesn’t mean that you are already good at another activity or sport. Start at the beginner’s level of any sport or activity that you will engage into.

3. Do not strain yourself -  Try to stick with your training days but use a cross-training activity as an alternative on some days not allotted for running.

4. Chose the ones that will not use the muscles that you use during runningthat is why I do not play tennis and run on the same day (they both can strain your calf muscles) but I may do yoga after running.

5. Hydrate & Eat Well – Always make sure you hydrate yourself well especially if you sweat too much. Always eat healthy food. Avoid junk food and foods that are high in salt and fats. Try to eat more carbohydrates before exercise and protein after.

5. Have Fun! - You should always enjoy what you do because if not, you will not keep it up.

Happy Running!  Do you Cross-train?  What do you do as Cross-training?

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Monday running update

20140625-122436-44676505Last Week:

  • Monday – walk at work, 4 mile run

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AM walk

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after work on the rail trail

  • Tuesday – walk at work, rest, tennis, mall walk with my BFF

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AM walk

  • Wednesday – walk at work, 4 3 mile run

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before work

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AM walk

  • Thursday – 2 walks at workhair appt

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AM walk

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PM walk

  • Friday-  walk at work (rain), 4 3 mile run, mah jongg

even on the track

on the track after the rain stopped

  • Saturday – tennis party on Schroon River, walking

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  • Sunday  6 5 mile run, more tennis on the river

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just a perfect run, wish I had time for more but tennis was calling me…

This Week:

  • Monday – 2 walks at work, rest
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run before work, walk at work, rest, tennis
  • Wednesday – walk at work, 3 mile run, yoga
  • Thursday – DAY OFF – trip to the US Open
  • Friday- walk at work, 3 mile run, mah jongg
  • Saturday – 7 mile run
  • Sunday –  boating (Xmas on the lake party)

Happy Running! How is your running going?  Any races ?

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Running & tennis Weekend

As I mentioned last week, this past weekend was to be a NO RACE, NO BOATING weekend.

Racing and boating are my two most favorite things to do but nevertheless, I had a great weekend.

I drove up North to my friend’s house in Chestertown on the Schroon River where my tennis friends would be gathering.

When we got there Saturday morning, the courts were wet from Friday night’s rain.

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Luckily, the courts dried quickly and we were able to play.  There were 12 of us and we played for hours just rotating partners.

IMG_3452I don’t play often but when I do, I realize how much fun it is and how great it is to spend time with these ladies (whom I don’t see often.)

After tennis, we had lunch and some of us went for a walk.

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the local spring

the local spring

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading, knitting, chatting and catching up. Then we went out to a local restaurant for a late dinner.

the knitters

the knitters

Many of the ladies went home that night so there was enough room for me to sleep over (instead of sleeping on my boat.)

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breakfast view

I got up early Sunday morning in order to squeeze in a run before tennis.

And it was the best one I’ve had in a long time.

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The weather was PERFECT – not too warm, no humidity and blue skies.

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I started on my usual route with a few detours.IMG_3468 IMG_3466 IMG_3467 But rather than running to Brant Lake as I did the last time I was here, I continued North running along the river.IMG_3486 IMG_3489 I actually felt like I could run forever but I had to get back since some of the women were probably waiting to play tennis.IMG_3492I worked up an appetite after 5 miles and had breakfast #2 (blueberry french toast & bacon) before heading back to the tennis courts.

It was only 4 of us this time but we had a blast.

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We played 3 set and the last one ended in a tie. So we celebrated by going out for ice cream (of course.)

The rest of the afternoon was spent with a drive to Brant lake and some reading & relaxing before I drove to the marina to meet my hubby for dinner. (He had spent the weekend on the boat with his guy friends.)

Not my usual summer weekend but it certainly was enjoyable.

Happy Running! How was your weekend?

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Back to the River

Surprise!

No race this weekend!

Instead, I am heading north to Chestertown (on the Schroon River) to be with my tennis friends.

This is the second of 3 weekends planned there.

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part of the Tuesday tennis group in July

I went to a concert on Saturday of the July weekend and arrived on Sunday just as they were finished playing tennis.

a pic from last year’s August group

This weekend is for the traveling tennis group & some who could make it in July. Actually I think there are 15 who will be there on Saturday.

I plan to play tennis and hang out with good friends – Many of them I don’t see very often anymore.

I will probably stay overnight on my boat (which is only 10 minutes away) and then return on Sunday.

My plan is to run instead of playing tennis on Sunday morning. 6 miles??

love running here!

Then I will hang out with everyone (only 8 are planning to stay for Sunday) as long as possible and then maybe stop for dinner at the marina.

Happy Running! What do you have planned for the weekend?

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Friday Five: 5 Things I Love About_____

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Every Friday, three DC area bloggers Mary at Mar On the Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC to host the Friday Five linkup.  Anyone can join with their own Friday Five post (yes, it must be a Friday Five!!)  They encourage you to visit other blogs on the linkup, comment, share and engage!

This week, the theme is a Five Things I Love About ________ so I chose to write about Five Things I Love About Running:

(Yes, this a repeat and I am very sorry but this is the first week of classes where I work and I have been soooo busy.  If you read last Friday’s post, you can stop reading now.)

1. Running makes me feel healthy.

I do not eat healthy most of the time.  I do not follow any special diets.  I don’t make smoothies or eat kale. I eat meat, I eat carbs and I love my sweets especially ice cream. Running is one of the few healthy things that I do.

running + ice cream = :)

2. Running helps me stay active.

I have a sedentary job.  I sit at a computer most of the day.  Some days, I don’t even leave my desk. I don’t belong to a gym.  I don’t own any exercise equipment. Running gets me moving early in the morning or after work.

running in the park after work

3. Running gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Even after a poor race, I know that I have done more than those who have stayed home.  When I say that I ran 13.1 miles, people who are not runners are “in awe.”  Every time I cross that finish line, I feel proud!

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finishing a 5K

after my first half marathon

4.  Running keeps me feeling young.

At 61, I may not be the fastest and PRs are getting harder to come by, but I still finish faster than a lot runners that are younger than me.

see those younger ones behind me LOL

this recent picture is featured on the race website – springrunoff.com

5. I am part of a community.

Runners are awesome people.  Even when I go to a race where I don’t know anyone, I always end of chatting with someone. I have met so many people because of running, many of whom I now consider my “friends.”  And then there are the bloggers…you are my “virtual friends.”

before the Adirdondack Half Marathon

pre-Love Run Half dinner

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at a recent 5K

at one of several races with fellow blogger AJH

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recent race with Judy, Facebook friend

Happy Running! What do you love about running?

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