Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I don't know where to start. The first post feels difficult to tackle, much like the More Magazine Half Marathon does. That--the half marathon--is the point of this blog: I decided two days ago that I was going to aim to complete the half at the end of April. I like the whole all women empowerment and good health thing, and I also like the idea of actually accomplishing it. It's the training that I'm not sure I like the idea of...I'm determined to rope my mom into running it with me (race rules state that I have to run with someone over 40 to be eligible, and my mom is one of the fittest women I know), and since we're hundreds of miles apart, I'm hoping that this blog will serve as motivation for the two of us (Hi, Mom!) over the next five months.

Now, some people may think that five months is plenty of time to train for a half marathon. "It's 13 measly miles!," these ultra-athletes scoff. "I trained for a marathon in two months, and I finished in three hours!" To these people I say:

- You are better than I am.
- I am not a runner. At about two miles, my heart feels like it's going to explode.
- I am in the worst shape of my life. I had to dig my gym card out from under a sticky pile of candy wrappers yesterday. It bears the scars of dove chocolate and sour patch sugar.
- I have no will power. See: pile of candy wrappers.
- Did I mention I hate running? So does Mom. This could be difficult.

But! I'm still going to give this thing a shot. I should be able to do this, right? Alvina's 69-year-old dad ran the full marathon a few years ago. Surely I should be able to whip my merely quarter of a century old body into shape...even if my former dancer's knees are already threatening a mutiny. According to More's Web site for the half, you need to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping before beginning your training in order to have a shot. The training schedule I'll be using is a 12 week program, and I've got 21 weeks, so theoretically, this should be a piece of cake. *Cough*.

Goals for Half Marathon Training:
- Run--or, let's be honest here, jog--entire half marathon on April 26th.
- Work up to a "managable" 10 mile run before then.
- Run 4 days a week.
- Do yoga once a week.
- Start eating better (cut back on sugar and take-out, stop neglecting key ingredients like protein and iron)
- Lose a few pounds (see below minor freak out)

Training Begins
Freshly motivated and inspired from looking up different training schedules and browsing emotional pictures of last year's finishers, I headed to the gym last night. I normally (and when I say "normally" I mean when I actually go, once every two or three months) try to alternate between cardio and weights--because why go to the gym just to run when there's plenty of pavement outside? But yesterday I only had running on the brain and went straight for the treadmills. Plus, it's freeeezing outside. I guess I should purchase some cold weather running gear or something...

I don't really know much about gym equipment and don't know what I "should" be running in terms of distance/speed/incline/heart rate, so I usually just push random buttons until the thing starts moving. This time I set out to run a 5k (5.3 speed at an incline of 3). I jogged along to some Stones and the entertaining sight of these two old guys and their trainer doing leg swoops while lying on their backs...yes, paranoid people everywhere, when you do ridiculous things at the gym, I am watching and laughing at you. But karma is a bitch, and I'm sure you're laughing at me, too, because just as I was getting into my pace (re: starting to feel like death at 2.5 miles and 29 minutes), I tried to change a song on the ipod, accidentally detached the ipod from the headphones, flung the ipod down and, whipping around to catch it, tripped and almost killed myself on the treadmill in my face-first fall, much to the amusement of the 15-plus people on treadmills behind me, I'm sure. Thus, the name of this blog. I am the clumsiest person ever, and treadmills are not my friend. Still, I plan to go back for more later in the week. Maybe these things get easier...?

Which reminds me--the weight thing. I've always been fairly comfortable with my body/weight, or at least enough so that I don't obsessively diet or pinch my fat in the mirror (mostly because, though I'm not super thin, my weight hasn't really fluctuated much since high school). I don't really weigh myself except when at the gym, which, turns out, can really come to bite you in the ass. Because when you only go to the gym every two or three months, it can be a real shocker when the progression is as follows:
July: Oh, look, I'm at my normal weight. How normal I feel.
September: Hrm. I've gained a couple since last time. Maybe I should exercise more.
December: How the eff have I gained 8 freaking pounds since July?!! Oh yeah...I've only consumed candy and cupcakes since then.
So: eating well. New goal.

That's all for now. Today is a "rest day," which is funny since I just started training yesterday. But I've got a movie date with Rice, so I'm letting it slide. Tomorrow I plan to wake up at 6 and do a Prospect Park run before work. We'll see how that goes...

More soon. I promise they won't all be this long.

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