I’m Streaking in 2014… A Lot!!

Ok… so what’s so wrong with streaking anyway.  Admit it, we’ve all done at sometime during our lives.  Granted for most of us it was when we were toddlers as our mom was towelling us off after a bath and we happened to slip away to run through the house with her chasing after us.  But then there is the occasional exposed streaker on the NFL or MLB field that is tackled and led away by security.  I can’t help but think of the Allstate Mayhem streaker commercial.  Classic!!  😀

mayhem streaker

But the streaking I’m talking about isn’t like Mayhem.  I’m not quite that brazen.  What I’m talking about is doing something every day, non-stop for an extended period of time.  I’ve already posted my running goals for 2014, which includes a running streak, but I thought it would be fun to quickly mention some of my other non-running streaking plans for the year as well.  So here’s my I’m-going-to-do-it-everyday-in-2014-or-else streaking list….

  • Run…. minimum of 1 mile per day (it was worth mentioning again)
  • Make my bed
  • Read my Bible
  • NOT sneak a cigarette
  • Eat healthy…. 1 cheat meal per month allowed
  • Drink water… at least 24 ounces
  • Say “Thank You” to someone at work
  • Tell at least one family member that I love them
  • Pet my dog
  • No matter how hard it is, smile at myself in the mirror and say “You got this!!”

So there you go…. that’s how I streak.  How about you?? (No Mayhem wannabe’s, please!)

 

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Consistancy is #1 in 2014

I posted My 2013 in Review recently, and have been reading it over and over to assess my progress over the past year. It’s always hard to make such an assessment when you don’t have year-over-year results to compare. Since this was my first full year of running and don’t have 2012 to use as a benchmark, I have to break the year in chucks and compare it that way.

Fortunately, I used Runtastic, a mobile app on my iPhone to track all of my running throughout the year.  I can review and assess the past 12 months, read notes I left to myself after training runs and races,  see how much speed work I did and how many long runs I ran.  I’ll note if my runs were on the road or on a trail, what the temps and weather was like, and how I felt after the run.  There’s an immense amount of invaluable information I’ve saved in that little app.  I highly recommend using a run diary whether it be one on your phone, a GPS watch or hand written.  You’ll thank yourself one day.

2014 goals

Now I’m ready to set my goals for 2014…. to get serious and down to work about where I want to be this time next year, then… I can make a plan that will get me there.  I take goal setting very serious, because if I don’t give myself a direction in which to go, I’ll fail.  I’m a goal-setting-to-be-successful type of person… at work as well as at play.  So here I go…

  • Number One: BE CONSISTENT!!  After reviewing last year… month over month… the lack of consistency has been my biggest downfall.  My mileage bounced around too much, and I would take as long as a whole week off for no reason.  The most damaging inconsistency was in my speed work… hence, the slow increase in speed.  Typically, I make my goals measurable, but this one is more general.  Additionally, I look at it in three areas:
    • Training Consistency:  I’ll set training plans and goals, and not deviate from them (unless, of course I’m injured).  No skipping long runs!!
    • Actual Running Consistency: Even during races and runs, I need to be more consistent and walk less.
    • Nutritional Regime Consistency: Be more careful with my diet.  Cut back the one cheat meal a week to one a month.  Although this may sound crazy to some, I need to increase my daily caloric intake from 1,200 to 1,500.  I’ll need to research this one some more to set a good plan in place.goodfood
  • Speaking of speed work… this needs to definitely improve.
    • Once a week, I need to either hit the treadmill or the track near work to do intervals or tempo runs.  This has to be 4-7 miles.
    • Twice a month (minimal), do hill repeats.  And do them for real!!
    • Incorporate at least a couple of strides in every easy run (except long runs).

And now for some more measurable goals:

  • Finish the P90X3 program by March 31
  • Incorporate P90X3 workouts 2-3 times per week into training program for remainder of the year
  • Complete a one-year run streak starting January 1st (at least 1 mile every day)
  • Run 1,000 miles in 12 months
  • Get weight down to 130 and maintain it there
  • Get body fat percentage into the fitness range… 21% – 24%
  • Run a sub-25 minute 5k
  • Run a sub-2 hour half marathon
  • Run my first 25K
  • Become a Half Fanatic this year!!

Now… the last thing I need to do is print this up and stick it to my refrigerator so I see it every day!!  If it’s printed, then it’s for real… right??

These may be some lofty goals, but I feel they are completely attainable.  It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I have a good support system from family and friends.  If I follow thru with these plans and goals, I’ll be in the best shape of my life by the start of 2015.  Then I can start thinking about a full marathon.  😀

What are your goals for 2014?  If you’ve blogged about it, leave me a link below so I can stop by to read about your plans for this upcoming year.  We can cheer each other on!!

To My Running Friends

My 2013 In Review

Before I set any goals for 2014, I felt I needed to look at how I did in 2013… what I did right… what I did wrong… where  I’ve come from so I know where I need to go from here. Below are some of the milestones I’ve met over the past 12 months…

2013 medals

  • First consecutive 12 months of running in my life (2013 goal accomplished!!)
  • I will have run over 860 miles by December 31 (I still have 3 days left to run) (2013 goal of 500 miles…. SMASHED!!)
  • I will have my first ever 100-mile month in December
  • I ran 16 5k’s during the year (2013 goal of 10 5Ks accomplished!!)
  • Ran a sub-30 minute 5k (2013 goal accomplished!!)
  • My fastest 5k pace was 8:54 min/mile (I only did that once)
  • I ran 3 10k’s during the year
  • I ran a sub-60 minute 10k (2013 goal accomplished!!)
  • I ran 2 half marathons
  • The first half was my first half ever (2013 goal accomplished!!), and my first trail race since high school
  • I set a much better time on the second half at 02:19:18 since it wasn’t a trail race.

Some things I have learned over the past year from racing and training is as follows…

  • Trail racing is very, very, VERY hard!!  Never ever underestimate the trail!! :/
  • Don’t try to carb load with a heavy pasta dinner the night before the race…. start two days prior and end with LUNCH the day before!
  • Dress for temps 20 degrees warmer than what it really is, and in layers in case I get overheated
  • Drink lots of water every single day to be properly hydrated
  • Remember to eat and hydrate properly for trainings runs, especially long runs…. not just races
  • Although I have a good base now, I need to increase leg and core strength and do more speedwork to improve speed
  • LISTEN TO MY BODY!!  If I’m in pain, get it checked!!
  • Just because I burned 1,000 calories doesn’t mean I can eat 1,200 calories of junk food!!  Seriously!!
  • Don’t skip the long run!
  • Don’t skip breakfast!

And finally, when I look at what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong… here’s a look at where I started a year ago to where I am now… 12 months later….

  • January 2013 I ran a total of 53.92 miles…. December 2013 I may double that as I currently sit at 93.39 miles and 3 days left to run… yea, I’ll double that!!
  • In January 2013 my longest run was 8 miles at a 12:00 min/mile pace…. I ran 10.5 miles today at a 10:30 min/mile pace
  • The longest distance I ran this year was 14 miles in November
  • Today I ran up hills with no problem that I couldn’t run up in January 2013
  • My first 5k of 2013 (March) took me 35:06 at a pace of 11:19 min/mile…. I ran my fastest 5k in September at an 8:52 min/mile pace…. I ran several 5k’s later in the year between 9:00-9:30 min/mile pace
  • I ran not just one, but TWO half marathons… the longest race I’ve ever run
  • January 2013 I weighed 130 pounds…. today I weighed in at 135 pounds.  I’m confident the increase is muscle.  🙂
  • I’ve lost over 3 inches around the waist, but feel I can still tone up more with some concentrated core exercising

runjunkeeProbably one of the coolest things about my running adventures this year is how I’ve made literally hundreds of new running friends both in real life as well as virtually.  I started out running alone, but then moved up to having my racing buddy, Wanda join me for most of my races and even my husband for a few.  Now, I’m part of a group of ladies who support and cheer each other on as we train and go to races together.  Additionally, I’ve met friends that I keep running into at different races on the circuit (no pun intended).  Then there are the virtual running friends I’ve met…. I started a Facebook running club called Central West Virginia Road Runners Club where I’m keeping in contact with folks in my area.  I’m also a part of an awesome Facebook group called Run JunkEes Run Club.  On Twitter, I virtually hang out at #RunChat and participate in a virtual group discussion every Sunday night.  It’s a great way to get and receive motivation and inspiration.

I would love to hear how you did in 2013.  Leave a comment below telling me about it, or better yet… I encourage you to write a post on your blog about it.  Let me know, and I’ll definitely stop by to read about your accomplishments and share it with my virtual friends.

Christmas Running Gifts

I know I’m a day late, but….

Merry Christmas!!

What a wonderful Christmas I have had.  Our sailor is home visiting for a couple of weeks between training and her first ship assignment.  She and my husband have already been outside shooting the new 9mm pistol we got her for Christmas.   Our oldest daughter and her husband have spent several days here at the house with us, and have been setting up the new notebook we got the for Christmas since yesterday.  And finally, our son (the baby who’s turning 18 in just a few weeks) has been playing on the PS3 since yesterday as well.  He’s really not much for video games, but he’s enjoying this one.  My husband has fixed dinner last night and breakfast this morning on the new electric frying pan the kids got him.  He’s discovered the chef inside him that’s been hidden for years.

Then there’s me…. well I’m enjoying a couple of Christmas gifts myself.  Hubby and I bought ourselves a new treadmill, so I’ve been on it every day since we got it.  Our old one worked, but all it did was change speed and incline.  The new one has pre-set workouts and other functions that make it more fun to use.  Plus, I love Christmas movies and have actually had some time during vacation to watch them.  So they keep me entertained during runs on the treadmill.  I’m actually going to hit it soon to get in a good 5-mile interval training run later.  Something that can be challenging and unsafe during the snowy, icy weather during a West Virginia winter.

RoadID Elite Bracelet and BadgesOne of my other Christmas gifts from my kids is a RoadID bracelet with all the contact information I need in case I ever get sick, hurt or run over by a car while out on a run.   I also got badges to go on it… a Christian fish, and a 5k, a 10k and a 13.1M badge.  I love it!!  In addition to the valuable contact information, a couple of my favorite Bible verses are referenced….

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

“I can do all things through Christwho strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Once I got it sized and assembled, I put it on and haven’t taken it off since.  Honestly, I hope it’s never used, but it’s so nice to know that information is easily accessible on my person just in case it is needed.  It’s nice to know my kids don’t want to lose me, too.  😀

That’s all the running gifts I got this year, but they’re both great ideas, much appreciated and will be valuable resources for my running addiction.  In my virtual and real-life running groups, friends have shared what their running gifts… Garmin watches, socks, race entries, gear, shoes, gift certificates, books and more.  What running gifts did you get for Christmas this year?

 

How You Doin’?

I’m doing fine… glad you stopped by for a visit.  I just thought it would be nice just to chat a little bit if you have the time.  I haven’t posted for several days as the craziness of the holiday season has kept me quit busy.  I have a few minutes of downtime at work before I go to the company Christmas dinner…. so I thought I’d jot a few things down to let you know about some posts coming soon and what I’m thinking of writing about.  I’ll be quick as I know you’re just as busy as I am.

Everyone is starting to post their 2014 goals.  I have some ideas of what I want to do, but haven’t really taken the time to start putting my goals down on paper.  You know how it is…. once it’s down on paper…. it becomes real.  So I want to be sure my goals are ones that will best benefit me, that I want to accomplish and can accomplish.  I’m tossing ideas around in my head, taking into account what other bloggers are saying and making some plans.  I’ll be posting about that soon.  I’d really like to read your 2014 goals…. so if you don’t mind, please leave me a comment with a link to your blog post.  Others might be interested in checking out your goals as well.

But before I set my goals for next year, I think it’s wise to review the past year first.  I want to revisit everything I accomplished as well as everything I failed, where I went wrong and what I did right, how I did improve and where I can continue to improve.  Since I just started running in late 2012, I don’t remember setting any goals.  Since I was a beginner, I really didn’t know where I was in regards to running and where I was going…. or if I even wanted to go anywhere.  I hadn’t decided yet if running was just a temporary fixation I had, or if it would become a true change in lifestyle.  Since then I do believe it’s become part of my lifestyle.  I’ll find what 2013 goals I can find (if there’s any) and assess how I did on them.  That will help me look toward 2014 and setting next years’ goals.

Finally, I have my third half marathon coming up in about 18 days, so I may post some on training, tapering, running in the snow, streaking, doing intervals on the treadmill, P90X3 or just some general Christmas posts.  All my kids are coming home for the holidays this year, so it will be exciting and I will want to tell you all about that.  I’m sure I’ll get some running-related Christmas gifts that I’ll have to talk about, too.   And who knows what else may pop into my head and end up here.  😀

So until next time….. run happy!!

Train In All the Elements

A few months ago, I saw a post on Facebook where someone posted a question about training for an upcoming race.  It’s been a few months ago, so I can’t remember it word-for-word, but I remember the post was made during the week and their race (I think their first 5k) was that Saturday.  So this new runner mentions that they had been doing all their training on the treadmill, and wondering if they should get a run outside done before the race.  I kind of cringed when I read their question, as I couldn’t imagine doing all of my training inside, then trying to complete a race…. nevermind competing.

This old post came to my mind this morning during my long run.  It was a unique long run for me as it’s Sunday morning, and I have never ran on Sunday morning before.  I have always made my Sunday morning priority going to church.  I haven’t even run a race on a Sunday morning.   Sunday afternoon….. but not Sunday morning. 

I got to run this morning because we had cancelled church due to the weather.  It was really putting down the snow and the roads were hideous!!  On top of that, the forecast was calling for the snow to turn to sleet around noon.  So to keep our parishioners safe, my husband who happens to be the pastor, cancelled services for the day.  So I decided to take advantage of the extra two hours and go for my long run early.

I ended up running in quite challenging conditions…. I took off at 10:00am with temps around 32 degrees and large snow flakes falling.  I was trudging through six or more inches of snow, but it was beautiful.  Then around 10:30am…. the wind kicked up, temps raised about 3 degrees and the sleet started.  Although I was warm, I was getting wet.  And on top of that, the snow was getting heavier making it harder to plow through.  It had rained the day before and froze under the snow, so my footing wasn’t good either.  (Note to self…. order those Yaktrax!!)

snow_Conrad LaneWhen the weather started turning bad, for a fleeting moment a thought flew through my head to call it quits.  But then I remembered I have a half marathon on January 5th…. only four weeks away.  And the chances that I’ll face these exact same conditions, if not worse, is very high.  So I trudged on, considering this the perfect training opportunity to prepare for wintry elements.  These were conditions I could never simulate in my home gym on the treadmill.  And it builds my confidence as now I know I can handle the long distance in the cold, snow and sleet.

So what’s my point?  Running on a treadmill meets its purpose when necessary, but it’s also important to train in all the elements…. cold, hot, humid, dry, rainy, snowy, sleeting, windy, flat and fast, hilly, early morning, afternoon, night, and whatever else God might throw your way.  If you’re going to race, you gotta be prepared for anything and everything.  Well… at least as much as possible.  Just remember, always keep safety top priority.  It made the run harder, but I kept my run this morning on all back roads that were traveled very little or not at all.  The main roads were too dangerous. 

I’m glad I didn’t quit early and finished my 8-mile run this morning.  I was cold and wet when I got home, but I was exhilarated!!  It was worth training in the elements as now I’m one run closer to being prepared for my half marathon…. rain or shine!!  😀

Do you agree with me?  Can you complete all of your training on a treadmill and be successful in a race?  What are some of the worst conditions in which you have run to prepare for a race??

Motivate Monday #15

Words of wisdom….

Get Going, Get Running!

Whether it’s the last mile of a marathon, or just getting to the next street light.

Just. Keep. Going.

running-inspiration-courage-is-having-the-strength-to-go-on

 

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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December Goals….With a Little Help

So… I didn’t quite make all of my goals for November.  Please allow me a few minutes to revisit and appraise those goals.

  • A monthly mileage goal of 80 miles… Unfortunately I got in 68 miles, but pre-race tapering and post-race recovery for a half marathon took easily took away the 12 miles I needed to complete this goal. 😦
  • Do Jillian Michaels’ “Ripped in 30″ DVD at least 4 days a week…  I worked out with Jillian for 2 weeks, but then… half marathon.
  • Run a half marathon on November 24th in under 02:20:00…. I was successful here, and actually just now realized I was under the time I set.  I ran the half in 02:19:18!!
  • Maintain weight at 130-135 MAX!!  I weighed in at 137 yesterday.  Considering it was Thanksgiving last week, well….. I’ll take it.
  • Run at least three early morning, pre-work runs per week… Just couldn’t get my schedule set for this.  Will try it again later.

So all in all, I didn’t do too bad.  There’s still room for improvement.  Sometimes just learning how to set goals is a lesson in itself.  I’m learning more about me, my running, how to fit it into my schedule, when too much is too much and visa versa, and et cetera.  So goal setting is a lot like running, you just have to keep working on it, tweaking it and refining it, until someday, you’ve mastered it.  And with that being said… on with December’s goals.  😀

My goals are going to be a little different this month.  I’m getting a little motivation from a couple of sources.  One is my all-time favorite magazine, Runner’s World, and a little fun challenge from a Twitter group I’m apart of… #runchat.

  • This month I WILL HIT 100 MILES!! Do or die… 100!!!!
  • I will complete the Runner’s World Run Streak and run at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Years Day.
  • I will complete 15 minutes of Nike Ab Core workouts every day during December.
  • I will run my last 5k of 2013 and complete it in under 28 minutes (a new 5k PR).
  • Return to and maintain weight at 130-135.  No excuses this month!!  Self discipline!!!
  • I will have fun by successfully completing the #RunChatHunt… a pictorial holiday-themed scavenger hunt. (See pic below.)

So what is one of your goals for December?  Are you streaking?  Run hunting?  Are you going to hit that last PR of the year? Above all, I hope you have fun this month!  Run happy!!  😀

2014 Half Marathon Wish List (EDITED February 2014)

I put this post together several days ago, but hid it away in my draft file thinking it was way too soon to talk about the large races I hoped to participate in next year.   Then I read a blog post of a fellow blogger, Running Wild that talked about his 2014 Race Season Planning.  So, I decided it wasn’t too early after all.  I put some finishing touches to this post and decided to publish it tonight.  Granted it will probably change throughout the year, but at least I have an idea of what I want to do.

Below are the Half Marathons (or longer races) I’m looking at for 2014.  I’m already registered for the first two, and I won’t get to do all of the others, but these are the one’s I want to run in the most… kinda like a wish list.  Who knows, maybe a friend or family member will ready this and pay for my registration for one of these races as a Christmas gift.  Nice idea!!  😀

If I do get to complete them,  I should meet the criteria to become a member of the Half Fanatic club also.  What an awesome extra bonus.  That would be so cool!!

What do you plan on running next year??

run2readHM14

January 5, 2014
9th Annual Run to Read Half Marathon

Fairmont, WV

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March 22, 2014

Haulin’ in the Holler 25K

Eleanor, WV

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babcock-state-park-mill

April 19, 2014

Gristmill Grinder Half Marathon Trail Run

Babcock State Park, Eleanor, WV

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DIVA-NMB

April 27, 2014
Run Like a Diva Half Marathon

North Myrtle Beach, SC

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June 7, 2014

Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon

Morgantown, WV

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new_sentinelHM

August 16, 2014
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

Parkersburg, WV

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CDR_1

August 30, 2014

42nd Annual Charleston Distance Run (15 miler)

Charleston, WV

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*** OR ***

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R&R VA Beach

August 31, 2014
Rock & Roll Half Marathon

Virginia Beach, VA

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beckley HM

October 5, 2014

Beckley Half Marathon

Beckley, WV

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Runners-World-x388

October 17-19, 2014 (?)
Runner’s World Half & Festival

Bethlehem, PA

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MU-Marathon

November 9, 2014 (?)
Marshall University Half Marathon

Huntington, WV

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SmileyGuyhalfmarathon

November 23, 2014 (?)
Miles of Smiles Half Marathon

Monongah, WV