Pecan Pie

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Fitz PR Plan Day 1

I’ve decided to blog about my experience with Jason Fitzgerald’s (from Strengthrunning.com) PR plan.  I think it will help me to be accountable and also log my progress for those days I feel like I’m spinning my wheels.

So, a little background. Click the link for Jason’s explanation. Basically, it’s a 16 week personalized plan on a nifty little spread sheet.  Run days, rest days, warm-ups, long runs, everything is planned out.  It’s suited to my height, weight, current PR times and my running goals.  I’m planning to run the Running Nerd Summer Heat Virtual 1/2 Marathon and 5k (Pecan’s Bitchin’ 1/2 Marathon and 5k, to be exact) in July.  You should, too!

So, my plan actually starts on April 15.  This week and next week, I complete weeks 1-2, then the following week I do easy runs…they we’re off to the races.

Today’s mission: Cannonball warm-up, 3 miles (I think at Tempo pace.  I sent an email for clarification, but didn’t get a response yet, it’s early still.  I decided that’s what seemed correct, so 12:00-12:45 pace I tried to keep.), 4 strides and the ITB rehab cool down.

1. The Cannonball warm-up was easy to follow.  However, it was cold (35 degrees with quite a brisk breeze) and the ground was wet.  Maybe I’ll take my yoga mat next time.  The only part I struggled with were the Rockies, which are push-ups with a clap in between.  Hopefully those get easier as I get strong.

2. 3 miles at Tempo pace, working towards 170-180 steps per minute.  This was hard.  It was cold and my thighs felt like they were frozen.  When I stopped looking at my Garmin, it seemed I would slow down significantly.  I counted about 160 steps per minute and tried to work towards more steps.  Again, I assume this will become less difficult.  I finished my 3 miles in about 37 minutes which is about right.

3. 4 strides.  This is where, over a 20-25 second time period, you work up to full speed, hold it for 1-2 seconds and then gradually slow down.  Very hard.  I tried to time it, but I would get going too fast and slow down too fast.  I think this might take some practice.

4. ITB Rehab routine.  Again, easy to follow.  I don’t have the rubber band I need to do this properly (hurry up payday!), but I did all the moves deliberately, making sure my form was the same as the video.  I can tell where the exercises focus on the ITB, hips and gultes.  I’m scared that it’ll hurt when I get that band!

In all, I felt good (it was weird to only run three miles!)  I was freezing my butt off, Spring hurry up! but I’m really looking forward to improving my running.

Also, I’m down 3lbs under my first goal of below 200lbs.  Go me!

Written by thelittlepecan

March 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

First Half-Marathon Lessons and Response

This past weekend I ran the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon.  It was my first and I am SO excited to have completed my goal!

I started running (and run/walking prior to that) last summer when I moved in with Jim.  It has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Here are some things I learned…

1. Eat.  I ran a course run through Phidippides Atlanta that mostly mimicked the real run.  I forgot breakfast, rushed to get there and didn’t wear warm enough gear.  It began to flurry during…freezing sweat=misery.  So, eat, dress correctly, lesson learned.

On race weekend, I ate lots of fish and greens and rice.  The morning of I had oatmeal and coffee and water.  I could tell a huge difference.

Eating during the run is hard for me.  I’m still learning how to navigate food while on the brink of dehydration.  Dry mouth + almonds = ick.

2. Have a cheering squad! My hubs, my mom and a step-son got up at the asscrack of dawn to go with me.  They saw me off and were right there as I crossed the finish line.  It was amazeballs.

3. BE HAPPY!  There were so many amazing people out with signs and drinks and hilarious posters (The faster you finish, the quicker you can drink!) for St. Patrick’s Day were great.  Whole neighborhoods came out.  Getting the ground view of Atlanta, where I’ve lived, worked and played my whole life was incredible.  I saw so many things I never saw before and taking it all in made me forget I was actually moving forward.

4. Get a TazRunning.com pace tattoo. ImageThis thing is awesomesauce! If they have your course, you can sync it with the elevation changes, enter time differences you know you’ll have (like, fly down the hills so subtract 10 seconds, but REALLY slow up hill so add 30) to come up with the per mile pace that will get you to your goal time.

5. Bring flip-flops (if weather allows).  I would have killed to get out of my sneakers.

6. Bring toilet paper.  The runner’s trots may not get you during the course, but may catch up with you after.  By that time the portajohns have all been used for hours by spectators and event staff.  Ew.

7.  Hang out, enjoy your accomplishment.  I am SLOW.  As you can see by my pace.  The full marathoners were flying by me (twice my pace) and I cheered them on.  I drank some beer at the Phidippides tent, lay in the grass and ate a banana.  I high-fived everyone.

8.  Get a better plan.  I’m a fan of StrengthRunning.com.  I also love #Runchat and Runner Academy (who has a great podcast.)  I get inspired reading about runners who are so much better than me.  I decided to get a personal plan from Strength Running to prepare for my next half.  I’d like to run a full before 2014 and I don’t think just winging it will do.

9. Lose weight.  I’ve lost 50, gained it back, lost 30 and held steady.  I’m trying, I’m just at a lull.  But, the thing is, at 200lbs, I’m hauling weight around that’s slowing me down and making it much harder.  I’m recommitting to losing, not to be thin, but to be healthy and better at this.  I love it so much that I just have to do it right!

10. Make friends with runners who will share in your joy.  I have lots of running tweeps who encourage and congratulate me.  It’s pretty swell.

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I did it!! (And I can’t wait to do it again!)

Written by thelittlepecan

March 19, 2013 at 11:26 am