Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Choosing Your Battles

Leave it to the treadmill to zap every ounce of fun out of running. It's no wonder us cardio machine users take any means necessary to escape the present reality (tvs, ipods, books, magazines, and I've even seen crossword puzzles). After complaining about it to a fellow runner downstairs in my work gym he just said to me, when you live in Boston you have to choose your battles. And when the forecast outside is 18 degrees with a "Real Feel" of -10, you run on the treadmill.

My training plan called for an easy 6 miler just to get some miles in. I set the treadmill to 6.5 for nearly the entire run and the incline to 1.0. The longest I have ever ran on a treadmill was 10 miles back in 2005 when I was training for Boston. It was a blizzard outside, I was out of options, and I paid the price with terrible back pains for a week.

I spoke with the trainer downstairs at my work gym who told me I might be able to avoid back pain by increasing the gradiant a bit more. He said that running outdoors uses more hamstring muscles, however on a treadmill one overcompensates with hip flexors which can hurt the back. Unless I'm trying to simulate hill intervals I will normally keep the gradiant at 0, but running at 1.0 seemed to help.

I consumed my lunch in less than 5 minutes. I totally forgot just how ravenous running can make you.

I'm following a 3-4 day/week running plan with cross-training as filler. I know my body and I know it can't handle 5-6 days/week of running. The rest of my week should look something like this:

Wednesday - Spin class and 20 min. strength training

Thursday (New Years Eve!!!) - 4-5 mile interval run (hopefully outdoors) followed by BR's big bash where I will try not to undo all of my hard work, but have fun while doing it :-)

Friday - 45 minutes of light elliptical and some strength training if I have time or feel like it after New Years Eve

Saturday - 10.5 mile long run with Team Brigham. I'm finally going to meet the team I'll be training and fundraising with!

Sunday - Rest

And please please visit www.firstgiving.com/heathercanner to contribute to breast cancer research. Anything is better than nothing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The First Long Run

Last night we drove back to Boston where I had my Team Brigham package waiting for me. Inside were the official Boston Marathon entry forms and a cool new training shirt.

It gave me a bit more motivation to get my butt out of bed early on a Sunday morning. I fueled up on some coffee and yummy banana, walnut, and flax oatmeal. YUM!

I broke out my old friend, the fuel belt. Since it wasn't going to be a very long run I didn't take along any gu's and just filled up two bottles with half gatorade and half water.

I got dressed and was on my way...

No camera was coming with me today since it was pouring rain outside and I doubt that's very good for electronics. Here's a depressing look from my door.

It was a very wet 9 miles this morning. I was nervous I would be too cold, but I actually began to overheat at around mile 3 or 4. I think I had mentally prepared myself for such a long run, that it felt quite short. My legs didn't feel the same though. Getting back into the long run training is tough and my muscles were hurting. It also didn't help that I chose one of my hardest running routes through Newton and up heartbreak hill where the actual marathon is run.

It felt so good to finish and average 9:13 minute miles despite feeling like I was DRAGGING!

I wish this picture could truly show just how sopping wet I was.

Here's a nasty shot of what happens to my hair when I run in the rain. I have to tie it up like I used to do when I was 12 years old in gymnastics, however it's the only thing I can do to prevent my hair from gnarling up even worse.

After my shower it was a delicious recovery shake full of apple, banana, peanut butter, skim milk, and some honey.

Now it's off to run some errands with my husband and put our house back together after being away for over a week. And with temps expected to dip very low again this week I'll probably have to become friends again with the treadmill. How do people run on those things every day? They zap every ounce of fun out of running.
Next week's long run will hopefully be done with Team Brigham! I'm excited to meet some of the other people I'll be running and fund raising with.

I'm Officially In

After getting back from Miami for one of my high school friend's weddings which involved lots of fun and not so much running I received an email saying that I had officially been accepted to run with Team Brigham for the Boston Marathon!! A wave of excitement and panic rushed over me simultaneously. I kept thinking, how will I be able to train and raise $3,500 in time?! After I calmed down I realized the best thing I could do for myself would be to go out for a run.

On Christmas morning my sister and I decided to start the day off right with a 5.5 mile run before kicking off the festivities at my in-law's house. My sister is one of the best running buddies I have, however she lives in NY and I live in Boston which leaves little time for us to run together. Whenever I'm home we make sure to get in a good run or two which involves lots of talking and being ridiculous. The camera only added fuel to the fire.

Here we are pre run being the obnoxious morning people that we are.

Some more on the run...

And we're back at the house and all done! Time for some breakfast!

Our family tradition is to cook up some Hawaiian pancakes, eggs, bagon, and sausage, which can truly be enjoyed after a nice long run. Not exactly the healthiest, but well deserved and a Christmas morning tradition for this Jewish family.

This run reminded me of how much fun I can have while running and got me psyched to start training, fund raising, and blogging about my progress. I only wish I had my sister here to train with me for every run. She's much more naturally gifted than I am when it comes to athletics and I find I push myself harder when we run together. For now she's focusing on her boxing and will just have to give me kicks in the butt over the phone as opposed to in person (which I prefer since she's ridiculously strong)!

Long run on Sunday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why I'm Running

In 2004, my senior year at Boston University, I got tired of watching everyone else run the Boston Marathon. The energy and electricity of Marathon Monday in Boston is indescribable and awe inspiring. That year I decided that I was also going to run. I wanted to quit many many times, however by that point I had told too many people and would have looked like a fool. Thank god for my pride because that day changed my life.

Since then I have run Boston once more and completed the NYC Marathon in 2006, several other half marathons, 2 triathlons, and have a strong love for fitness which drives me to the gym 6 days a week.

I was given the opportunity by a friend to run Boston again, an idea that I had been toying with for a long time. After running Boston twice as a bandit runner (no number or official entry) I decided that it was time to do this thing right. I would not only run as an official participant, but now I will be part of a team raising money to support breast cancer research. If that’s not motivation, then I don’t know what is!

I hope this blog will inspire myself to stay on track and inspire others to donate to an amazing cause and perhaps run your own marathon (or any race) one day!