now what?

I got into the New York City Marathon.  Now what?  Seriously, I still can’t believe it.  I’ll be sitting here or cleaning or trying to fall asleep and it will pop into my mind.  “I can’t believe it!” jumps up and down in my brain.  Yay!


I’ve already decided on a few things.  First and foremost, I’m going to do my best to get and stay healthy.  February and currently bestowed on me some influenza and a bad cold/cough.  Part of this is due to my sleep patterns not supporting a healthy body!  I’ll go to bed in the wee hours and then get up early.  I’m probably averaging 4 hours of sleep per night.  It’s no wonder my immune system is susceptible to the invasion of opportunistic germs.

I already started to evaluate my eating habits.  To be fair, I’m not bingeing on junk food.  I also haven’t been eating enough quality foods.  Or enough food in general.  My berry obsession is still going strong and I’ve started actually cooking dinner rather than eating Skinny Pop and whatever else I could scavenge from my cupboards.  Again, perhaps the reason my immune system hasn’t been rocking out some virus-fighting warriors?!

it’s a good plan

Getting out and about for fresh air and exercise.  I’m a natural homebody and because I work from home, I sometimes forget to get outside.  This certainly isn’t the case for everyone who works from home, it’s simply true for me.  I think my body will appreciate some vitamin D, a cold breeze, and a little exercise.

Last and key to what I plan to be a solid training cycle, I’m going to drop down to the 10k from the 1/2 in the North Olympic Marathon weekend.  In the past, I would throw caution to the wind and push my body to complete a race I set my sights on, no matter if I was ready or not.  I’ve chronicled such experiences in the past right here.  Ummm … many times!  My plan was to do the 1/2 but this would mean crunching training and not taking enough time to build a decent base.  I REALLY don’t want to drop down – I was/am super excited to participate in this local race.  Nevertheless, I need to consider the long game.  I did a doozy on my knee in the Detroit Marathon and getting myself thrown out of the training/end game because of my pride is silly.

pull it together Amy-girl!


Another part of this training plan, is to build a fitness base that is more than running.  I know, I know – I’ve talked about this before and failed miserably.  It truly is something I want to do.  I know I’m capable.  Now it means putting it into action <– this is typically where I fall short!  So how will I accomplish this?  I want to be transparent here, I don’t know.  I always wanted to kick some booty in past races, so this was never the problem.  The only thing I can think of is jump in, but I’m open to advice here.  In fact, I would really appreciate advice!  How do you create and follow through on a well-rounded training cycle?

I’m super ready to hear your tips and tricks!

***If you can’t tell, I adore Emma Stone!


a running plan is a’brewin’

I’ve wanted to get back to running.  The Turkey Trot went surprisingly well.  I thought I would barely huff and puff my way through it.  So, a happy girl I was, when things went smoother than my pessimistic premonition.

It’s also been a year since my last marathon.  The Dopey/Disney Marathon weekend was two weekends ago and my facebook Timehop-ped me back to those days and memories.  I am starting to get restless without a race on my calendar to look forward to.  Trust me, this is still an odd thing for me to say considering 8 or 9 years I would have scoffed at this type of statement about running.  Or any statment involving my name and running really.  This is calling my name:

it’s in my backyard

I love that it’s local, the weather is amazingly cool, and it’s a beautiful course.  Oh!  And family can come cheer me on – yay!  I talked to a woman at one of my LuLaRoe pop-up boutiques this past week and she has only missed a couple of years of this race.  She raved about it.  Not to mention, she was very nice and told me to contact her if I had any questions regarding the race/course.  I love my fellow runners!

This nailed it.  I’m signing up soon.  For the full 26.2.  I’m a little behind in training, but seriously, when has that EVER stopped me?!

this is a dynamic example of how I like to spend my free time  

Of course the lottery for the New York marathon is also currently open.  Yet another marathon call!  It stays open until February 17th.  I put my name in the year before last, but no such luck.  I’ll submit my entry soon for this one, too.  I’m thinking of signing up for it on the 3rd since this is my birthday.  Maybe it will be good luck?

I had visions of starting to run about a week and half ago.  In my mind’s eye, I was doing a great job of getting up and being outside pronto.  Mother Nature likes to mess with my brain and motivation.  The scene of my small town …

this was my backyard. it makes me giddy to say “my backyard”!

The snow is finally rained out and the streets are clear enough for me to be up and off my bum.  I saw a few other dedicated individuals running when there was snow/ice on the ground but grace, agility, and balance are not adjectives used to describe yours truly.  Now the excuses are gone and the race is a day closer.

I haven’t thought about a training plan.  My best adherence to a training plan was 87% and it was when I was part of a training group.  My best training cycle when I was on my own resulted in a 68% plan follow through.  I would like to do slightly better this go around.  Any suggestions or “I swear by” training plans?  Do you create your own or follow a more established one?

okay, I’m teasing – I really do want your advice!  awesome quote though, yeah?!

queen of sh*t-tastic training

My title says it all – in the past, I’ve been lousy at training for races.  I typically do some training but it may not be super consistent nor do I put in the mileage necessary.  As I’ve mentioned, my longest run before my first marathon was 15 miles.  And following a plan?  Ha!  Nope, not really.

However, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to stick to a plan.  I have realized that my definition of “following” a training plan may not be as type A as some and I’ve accepted this.  It’s about time, yeah?

Why this huge intro?  I ran 20 miles on Friday!  Wahoo!  I think I am prouder of this than my first marathon.  I did this on my own, without the promise of a medal or a Tiffany necklace, the energy of others or a finish line.  It was determination and sweat.  And I am damn proud of this!

I chose a better but still a tough course.  There were some monster hills that I had to go up at least twice.  I kind of regretted this later since the wheels came off at mile 12 and the rest of it became a lot harder.  My legs were heavy from the hill work and my calves were protesting a bit.  It probably didn’t help that I sat in my car for a Honey Stinger break at mile 11!  Nevertheless, I recognize the progress since on my 17 miler I lost traction at mile 8.

What I determined was I need a few more 13-15 milers under my belt.  However, I’ve attempted to run 20 miles at least three times so far and finally getting it done was a huge confidence boost.  I knew I could do it as soon as I hit five miles.  This was a completely different mind-set than in my past endeavors so this was progress too!

I wore my GR race shirt since I felt so good in that 1/2.  I wanted the good mojo to carry into the 20 - it worked!
I wore my GR race shirt since I felt so good in that 1/2. I wanted the good mojo to carry into the 20 – it worked!

Saturday I ran six miles and boy were my calves TIGHT!  I wanted to hit 10 more on Sunday but went to our new dinner/movie theater with a friend instead.  Priorities.

All in all, I’m happy with this past week of work outs.  I’m adding strength training this week – this isn’t a choice rather a necessity.  I want to increase overall fitness!  I’m also increasing my mileage for the week but stretching it out more – maybe two 13s this weekend?  I  have a Turkey Trot on Saturday and ideally, I will just keep running afterward.  Oh!  Those six miles I did on Saturday?  All on my treadmill!  They weren’t the easiest miles ever but there was a big rivalry football game on campus.  Last time I ran during it and was heckled more than ever.  I’m getting better with my treadmill runs!

Do you wear “good mojo” clothing when it’s going to be a tough training run or race?

goals… time to get this plan into action

Wow… I have been plumb lazy about writing these last few days.  After a bit of a whirlwind flight (including being delayed for an hour but still arriving 3 minutes early?!  I mean, I get it, a tailwind but CRAZY!) I am happy to be home.  Simon is especially happy to have me around since the temp is a cool 24* here in MI and he leaches my body heat on a regular basis!

I am definitely one of those folks who sees promise in a new year.  I know many frown on this but I like the chance for a do-over.  I don’t want to forget what I learned in 2012 but considering I had a disastrous end to 2011 and a bumpy road in 2012 being able to get a fresh start is, well, refreshing!  I’ve been tossing around a ton of goals but I think I have settled on the ones that mean the most to me.  They have all been ideas that have made some sort of appearance on this blog before but I’m trying to nail them down into something achievable.

1.  Better my mental and physical health

A) I will do this by working with a life coach, staying with a fitness plan and cutting myself some slack.

2.  Work towards being more financially healthy

A) Last year I made a committment to spend more on experiences rather than “things”.  I’ve done a decent job of this but sometimes I fall off the wagon (why are you so easy, online shopping?!).

B) Try out a “budget” – ewww… but I have a feeling actually useful!

3.  Work to build my blog

A) I love this blog of mine!  It has become a lovely part of my life and I want it to grow.  I am currently doing some research on how to make this happen and hopefully I will get there

B) Share my weight loss story.  Does it sound too egotistical to want some fitness magazine to publish my history?  YES!  But I did drop about 90 lbs so maybe it warrants being slightly egotistical!

4.  Stick with a training plan and gain speed

A) I am terrible about sticking to a plan.  BUT when I did this (well, mostly) for my first half, I clocked in at a 2:04 – on a hilly course.  I desperately want to sub 2:00 this year for a half and I want my 5:25 full to be a “oh that was my first marathon time” memory.  I know this requires discipline, which seems to have been on short-order lately.  But I also KNOW if I stick with a plan, I can break through my speed glass-ceiling.

B) I am mapping out my plan right now for the Blue Ridge Marathon (which I know won’t be a PR – it’s a freakin’ MOUNTAIN!) and then Chicago will be in my sights for a PR.  My 1/2 PR is going to be in Wisconsin, because this is where dreams come true!

5.  Develop a healthy relationship

A) This one is a bit harder to create an action plan for but as I mentioned, I am going to give on-line dating a shot.

B) Know my self-worth.  Enough said.

6.  Write my book

A) I have been talking/thinking about this FOR-E-VER and it’s time.  I started it and will spend time each week working on it.

7.  Add cross-training

A) I know this will fall into the whole “stick with a training plan” gig but I feel it needs it own number.  I have started and dropped many a “I will cross-train twice per week” declarations but I know it’s necessary.  Swimming is in my near future.

8.  Run 2013 miles in 2013

A) This has been my super-secret-squirrel goal.  I am considerably afraid of this number and am nervous I won’t achieve it.  I’m tired of fear dictating my goals though so I’m unveiling this puppy.

9.  Better deal with my stress

A) Last year this showed up on my performance review for work so clearly I don’t hide my stress as well as I imagine!  I know the fitness components on this list will help as well seeing a life coach.  I also want to work on my “stress absorption” (wow, that sounds gross!).  As I’ve mentioned, I take on the stress of others and this needs to stop.

B) I am a very good hermit – too good.  I do want to be careful with how much I depend on this when I am feeling stressed.  It’s a dangerous spiral that includes hoarding, having actual conversations with my cat and an ass-print permanently embedded in my recliner.  DANGER

10.  Cook healthier meals

A) This sounds frightfully cliché… oh well.  I lost a lot of motivation to cook this past year and mainly would grab something fast and easy.  I didn’t eat out more (thankfully) but I powered through boxes of Blueberry Frosted Mini wheats like a champ!  Inevitably, I would be hungry again later and then it was a free-for-all on the late night snacking.  Exactly what aided in my weight gain many years before.  So, I shall cook.

11.  Keep in better contact with my family

A) Remember my hermit skills?  Well, this doesn’t just apply to friends but family too!  I want to skype more with the fam!

12.  Better my vocabulary and let this reflect in my writing and speech

A) Living with 18 year olds for 9 years made me extremely lazy in my use of the English language.  Shameful!  I am not only very (expensively – yay for student loans!) educated but have always loved utilizing a parade of different words – it’s time to put this in action and get my moneys worth!

13.  Be grateful

A) This was a goal last year as well.  It definitely helped me to get through some of my darker days but I always felt it was kind of false.  I am a true believer in the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy but sometimes I felt too fake.  I want to sincerely be more grateful.  I have this quote on a mug I made (Art By Yourself) some years ago and it says the following:

“Be Yourself.  Life is precious as it is.  All the elements for your happiness are already here.”

Unfortunately, I failed to write down who said this and I certainly am not quoting myself yet but this speaks to me.

See what I did there?  13 goals for 2013!  I am going to work this 13 angle so please be prepared.  If you got this far – thanks for reading!