Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lessons from the first week of 2013

This is going to be a long post.  I realized this afternoon that I haven't written anything new here since December 27 - really, 12/27???  What is that, like 10 days?  Somehow I thought I'd updated at some point.  Oops.  I guess I lost track of time - I've been working a lot the past two weeks.  I don't talk much about my job here, but I'm a corporate accountant so the first day of any month is an important one, certain things have to be completed on "Day 1" to close the books on the previous month; this applies ten-fold for the first of the year, so there's really no such thing as New Year's Day holiday in my world.

I worked a full day the Saturday before new year's (I did get in a 3-mile run before work though), Sunday I was off, had my weekly weigh-in (down nearly 2 lbs!) and did a 5.3-mile run.  Then I worked NY Eve, and about 6 hours on New Year's Day, which was a Tuesday.  Then Wednesday and Thursday were 10/11 hour days, and Friday was a normal full day of work.  It wouldn't seem like such a long week if everyone else wasn't off on PTO enjoying extra time with their families!  And I kept reading (on blogs, on Facebook, etc) about all my friends and how they were kicking off the new year right by getting extra exercise, trying new recipes or activities, etc.  I was stuck at work eating pizza (just once!) and (more importantly) NOT able to get any exercise!  Ack, I don't want to talk about it any more... it was a long week, and not how I would have preferred to kick off 2013, but what can you do...

Since I haven't posted in 10 whole days, the first thing I need to share is that I have a final tally on my 2013 Mileage Challenge:  I posted this challenge on my own Facebook page, on the Lake Run Club page, and on the LoseIt! community page as well as here on the blog.  The final tally from all sources was 468 miles - so I rounded it up to an even 500.  There you have it, my first mileage goal for 2013 - run, bike or walk a total of 500 miles.

Which brings me to the next thing I want to share:  I went to a "Predictor Event" on Saturday.  The LRC folks were doing a group run and Predictor Event.  Here's how they described it:  
"Gather to make our individual predictions for the 2013 racing season. Predict your total miles for 2013, number of new races, number of days you run, new distances, new marathon states, new PR at a distance, etc. You get the idea. Use your imagination, but challenge yourself in some way. The predictions will be hermetically sealed in a PBR growler, and then at the year's end will be opened (hopefully) to everyone's delight. Could be amusing, embarrassing, and impressive."
Mostly I just really wanted to get out for a good run after a whole week without exercise.  The event started at 11am so I was able to drink some coffee and have a bowl of cereal in the morning before driving out to the lake.  I got to thinking, what would my predictions be?  Obviously I already had a couple in mind:  the 500 mile goal I'd already established, and completing my first half-marathon.  I decided to come up with a few more challenges for myself.  Here's what I wrote down and submitted to the Predictor PBR growler:

  1. 500 miles running (yes, I think I can and will be able to do that without adding biking, though I'd like to add biking to see just how quickly I can meet the 500-mile challenge).  If I count only running / walking mileage, I think I can get there, but it will definitely be a challenge to average 10 miles a week.   There are a lot of weeks that I don't quite get there.  In any case, it sounds do-able, but not easy!
  2. Complete first half.
  3. 5K time under 35:00.  This feels like a real challenge.  My PR for 5K is currently at 37:18.  I'll have to learn to do speed work and get a lot more comfortable at that 11-minute pace to make that happen.
  4. 10K time under 1:12:00.  Again, certainly a challenge, but I'll be putting it to the test in less than 4 months!
  5. Speaking of that 11-minute pace... I also came up with a goal for my Test Miles.  Test Mile under 10:00.  Now, I've been accused recently (thank you Michelle!) of mentally holding myself back.  This one feels like a PIPE DREAM to me, but that's what goals are for.  Felt to me like this one really fit the mold of what the Predictor Event was all about.  Stretching, dreaming, not just about what can be done, what would just be COOOOL!

So Coty and I headed out to the lake, ran the 4.5-mile loop and felt great.  Wow, after the week I had, I really needed that.  My race PR for that loop is actually about 54 minutes and we did it in 55!  I turned in my predictions, but didn't stay long because the meetup was in a restaurant and I figured it was kind of a party-foul to have the dog in there.  As I headed back to the car, it started snowing.  Such a lovely sight when you're out there away from town.  You can't see it in the picture, it was just barely getting started then, but on the drive home it was really coming down and I couldn't tell where the roads were icy beneath the snow and where they'd been clear!
First run of 2013!
I had my weekly weigh-in today and saw the effects of the poor diet and lack of exercise:  those two pounds were back.  Ugh.  Well, I can't say I'm surprised.  Now that the first-of-the-year craziness is mostly over, I'm happily getting back to my routine, even have a plan in place to get to the gym on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

I finally did my first set of sit-ups and push-ups today - see my previous post about goals - my goal for January is to do 20 each on 20 days this month!  I did them in 4 sets of 5 each, all in a row, took about 10 minutes.

I tried to do a long-ish run again today but it wasn't happening.  The additional snow from yesterday was part of it, but I was really pushing myself Saturday to complete the loop so quickly, and I am SORE today. Drove Coty to the park to pick up the Trail and do the same 5.25-mile route that we did last Sunday.  We walked a 1/2-mile, ran a mile, walked a bit, then ran another mile.  On the third mile, I just hit a wall.  I had been feeling sore in my thighs, hamstrings, and glutes, and even my ankles were sore.  I got through another 1/3 or maybe 1/2 a mile and the dog tripped me up a little.  I started walking and basically I just couldn't start running again.  (I tried once, but by then I had to pee so bad I couldn't even contemplate running!)  (TMI, sorry.)

So I found myself about 2 to 2.5 miles from the car, in 24 degrees and windy, and sore as hell.  At first I was really kicking myself, feeling like a failure for not completing my planned run.  Then I got to thinking about how hard I worked the day before, and reminded myself that all the new snow - about an inch - and ice were making my body work harder than the week before.  Today's run is NOT last Sunday's run.  It's a whole new ballgame, every time.  I kept walking at a good pace to keep my heart-rate up (& make sure I didn't freeze!) and kept on chugging.  By the time we got back to the car, I was over my little bout of self-pity and feeling pretty good.

Now for the plan for this week:  tonight, watch the Biggest Loser premiere!!  Then:  get my work done, walk the dog on Monday / Tuesday nights, Gym on Wednesday & Thursday, rest on Friday, long run Saturday and Sunday.  And to get those sit-ups and push-ups done every day.  Let's have a great week!

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