Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When does it get easier?

Hey everyone,

So I've been in this current training cycle for about a week now. So far it's been going good for the most part, until yesterday... Yesterday I hit a bit of a road block. I got home from the hospital (where I "work") and had a bit of a migraine. So I didn't feel like doing my run right then and there. I decided to take a nap, try and make the headache go away. I didn't wake up again until around 8 when the boyfriend got home, and still had the migraine. I kept thinking to myself, that I should really just go out and do my run for the day... It was only going to be a mile, I could do that, right?

Well this is where I decided to listen to my body over what my mind was telling me. As I mentioned before, I am participating in Runners World's run a mile a day challenge. I had been doing SO well, and that was the main reason I REALLY didn't want to skip yesterday. I could have just shoved through a run, but would it really have been worth it? Most of the time starting the run is my biggest issue, but I do not thing that strategy would have worked yesterday. If you've ever had a migraine, you can relate to how I was feeling.

I'm very glad I decided to listen to my body and not go for a run. Although I'm a bit disappointed that I broke my run streak, if I would have ran, I think it only would have made me feel worse, and in the end, I don't think I would really have been pushing myself to do it for the right reasons.

After all, aren't you supposed to run because you enjoy it? For the high it gives you? For the chance to clear your mind, and just run? For how awesome you feel afterwards?

Today I got back on the running wagon. I did a 30 minute run, and ran about 2.81 miles, so a pace a little over 10:30 minute miles. It was a tough run. I started feeling really tired, but I pushed through, and felt great when it was all over. That is when you need to push yourself. When the running gets tough, you push to keep going. Push the time, push the distance, whatever is right for you at the time, listening to your body.

While I now feel great after tonights run and feel this newfound energy (one of the reasons I love running, the burst you get after), I can't help but realize, this is not the first time I've run this distance or this length of time, yet it felt harder than any other time I've run this long/far. Shouldn't it be getting easier?? I know some people in the past have mentioned adapting a run/walk method when they feel like they are hitting a wall, call me stubborn, but I just don't want to do that right now. I know I can do the distance, I know I can do the time. So why did this one feel so much harder?

Yes it could have been that my pace picked up a bit, especially in the beginning, maybe I'm just trying to push too hard too soon, but I'm impatient, and know I should be able to do this, and it's very frustrating to me. I had this goal of making my race in under 30 minutes this weekend, but at this point I'm not quite sure that's going to happen, and I guess I need to be okay with that. I guess it all comes back to listening to your body. If you're pushing it too hard, and not able to improve at the rate you think you should be, it's time to turn it down a notch.

I've come up with a new goal for this weekend, and that's just simply to get through, push myself and do the best I can.

How's your training going? Any upcoming races for anyone?

Until next time!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

7 Days...

Hey everyone!

Today I completed day 7 of my runners world challenge... It felt good to be able to think about the fact that I had ran at least a mile every day for a week. Most days, I've been able to stay pretty motivated to run, which for me, is quite surprising.

Yesterday I did the longest run I've done so far in this training cycle. I ran with one of my good friends at a local park. We ran about 3.5 miles. It felt very good and I was able to maintain a pace around 11 minute miles for the whole run. She definitely tried to push me at the end, as I myself had already kicked up the speed a notch, but in the end she left me in the dust lol. However, it still felt like a great run, and I'm so glad I have her to run with to push me! It will be great for my training!

Today's run I decided to focus a bit more on my speed. While I'm not planning on going crazy fast to will any races or anything, I would like to keep getting faster and pull in a time of around 2:30 at the Princess half. Usually my pace has been around 10-11 minute miles. Today I kicked it up a bit and did one 9:30 mile. It was definitely by no means easy... But, I did it. I felt good that I set a goal and was able to meet it.

Next weekend, I have my first 5k of the year. It's on Saturday and is my local Susan G Komen race for the cure. I'm hoping to get a PR this weekend. My best 5k so far has been around 33 minutes. This weekend I'm hoping to do it in around 30 minutes, which is why I'm planning on trying to maintain a pace of around 9:30 for all my runs this week. We will see how it goes, and hopefully I'm able to accomplish it! This is one of the first races I've actually had a decent amount of training before (and yes, I know it's only going to have been 2 weeks, that's how sporadic my running was before), so I'm hoping that will help me run a PR.

I've been thinking a lot about the princess half marathon in February, and am getting really excited for it! There are times when I wish it was sooner, although I know I'm going to need all this time to get myself ready. I have read a lot online and have learned a lot of great ideas! One of my favorites is to put aside a $1 for every mile you run to save up for the trip. This is such a great idea! Money for me with being in med school and mostly living off loans is tough, so this will be one great way to try and put some aside upfront. Someone else also suggested cutting out things like buying your daily coffee in the morning and instead making it at home. Another great tip. Something else I thought was very motivating was to keep track of where your longest runs each week would have gotten you to looking at the route map. This sounds great! It is such a great way to look at how far you have come and what cool things you would have already seen with that run distance.

I recently heard about a whole new fantasyland that is in the works at Disney world set to open later this year. How exciting is that! I'm really hoping they incorporate it into the route so we can see the new stuff while running. Anyone know anything about this?

I'll be back next week to report again on how my trainings been going and to recap my race! Have a great week and happy running!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Girl on a Mission

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my new blog! Some of you may already know my from my Confessions of a J.CrewAholic blog about fashion and such, and to others I may be completely new. I'm Jennifer, currently finishing up my third year of medical school. I have ran on and off for many years since I was younger, but just recently started doing organized races in 2010. I've done 3 5Ks since then, with fairly little training. My running schedule had always been very sporadic, running for a few minutes here and there, nothing ever very consistent.

Within the past week, that all changed. A friend of mine mentioned to me a challenge that she saw on Runners World. The challenge was that from memorial day to the 4th of July, you run at least a mile every day. I decided sure, why not. A mile a day isn't so bad, I can do this. So far I have been going strong for 5 days and excited to keep going!

For quite some time now, I have thought about doing some longer distance races including a half marathon. I actually even went so far as to sign up for one last May, but didn't end up training for or doing it (oops...). Last week, a friend of mine mentioned something about the Disney marathons. I had known about them previously, but this conversation sent my head into a tizzy. If I was going to train for and run a half marathon, why not make it one at Disney, the happiest place on earth?? Since then, my thoughts became completely consumed with figuring out which race would fit best within my schedule, and figuring out how to do it.

Initially, I was thinking that the Disney Half Marathon in January would be perfect. It was right at the end of a month off school, and I had plenty of time to train before then so that wasn't an issue. Then I realized that interviews for residency (which I will be undergoing this fall) can span up through the end of January, even though most are finished by the end of December. I didn't want to risk planning to run this half marathon, and then having to turn down an interview for a potential residency spot.

Then I stumbled across the Princess Half Marathon, which is at the end of February, and should definitely be after my interviews are over. Then... I saw the finishers medal...

photo courtesy of google

I just about died and decided that medal just had to be mine, haha. No, that is not my only motivation for doing this run, as I mentioned, I've been wanted to run a half for quite some time now... but I think its not bad motivation either :-)

So here I am. Join me on my journey to the Disney Princess half marathon, and wherever it make take me from there!