Running Reflections

The first week of August is an exciting one. Not because of the Cardamone wedding, but because I started my first week of half marathon training!

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(Actually, can any of my running friends look at this and make sure I’m not fucking myself over toward the end? Thanks!)

Incase you forgot, I’m hoping to run the Santa Barbara Half Marathon in November and actually had to change the long runs from Sundays to Wednesdays due to my school schedule. I’ve spent the last few months doing light runs here and there. Unfortunately, my base training plan had many holes due to work scheduling and vacations where running outside wasn’t possible.

Since today is Friday and I haven’t posted a Friday Five in over a month, I wanted to tell you:

Five Things I Have Learned As A New Runner

I don’t have a million pictures of myself running (which would be kind of weird) so instead, you’re in for a Google Images treat.

1. Hydration is really important

Everyone says this, but I really noticed the difference in my speed and endurance depending how hydrated I was the day before and during my run. No, I don’t drink as slickly as Senator Rubio above, but I do try to keep a bottle around me at all times.

2. Working out isn’t an excuse to buy Lululemon

Every time I hit a PR (which comes really easy when you’re only running three miles), I convince myself that I earned something from Lululemon. Bribing myself is not the most financially responsible thing I have done, although I must admit…my butt has never looked better in workout pants.

3. It’s all in the head. Well, sort of…

Running is definitely more of a mental dilemma than a physical one after a certain point. I find myself doing really well until my mind starts to wander, How long have I been running? Wow, it’s only been 1.5 miles? Is my Garmin working? After my mind shifts from auto focus to actually paying attention to my body moving, it all becomes an awkward game of QWOP.

4. Keep your pace

I always start my running feeling like Usain Bolt and hit my peak pretty early on and slug out the last x amount of miles.

P.S.: I ran my fastest mile today! (7:37) I also wanted to throw up on the side of the road for the first time. Two new records on the same day, yay!

5. Running sucks until you get good at it

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After my first few runs, I wondered what kind of crazies there were in the world to actually enjoy putting one’s body through the most unenjoyable task ever. It made me go through a series of denial and distrusting other people’s recommendations for anything. I woke up one day feeling a little crazy myself. I actually wanted to put my Vessi vegan shoes on and go on a run, and so this madness begun.

Last week’s Friday Five: Five Ways to Prepare and Eat Mangos

I feel bad for not showing you any food this whole post, so I will tell you about a dinner date I had yesterday with one of my best friends, V.

Haven’t seen her since I came back from China and missed my lady terribly, so I took a short road trip to Concord, U.S.A. When she got off work, we walked over to their downtown area and caught up on everything that’s been happening between us. Crazy how easy the conversation flows between us, it’s like she knew what was on my mind before I even opened my mouth.

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We had Indian for dinner, which made me a very happy girl because nobody ever wants to go eat curry with me.

Chicken Vindaloo and Palak Paneer, yum.

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And my first Fro-yo ever: tart frozen yogurt with almonds, almond roca, cheese cake, graham crackers, strawberries and oreos.

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Runners, what’s your tip for a newbie? Favorite froyo combos?

Santa Barbara Half Marathon 2013

Okay, I did it. I signed up for the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon today. I’m so nervous and excited at the same time!

This will be my first half marathon (or any race, period), so you can see where the anxiety is stemming from. I have never been a runner, or even an exercise person throughout my life. My first real workout was training with Sweat Equity Fitness last year and I feel like this will be more intense.

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I realize that November is a far far time from now, which is one of the reasons why I picked this half. I seriously need adequate time to train; I was a smoker for longer than I’m proud of and my lung capacity just isn’t where I would like it to be. I haven’t ran since Tough Mudder, but while we were training, I had to take a lot of walking breaks between my jogs. I figure that the only way I will accomplish this is to start slow, that’s why I’m going to start the Couch to 5K in May.

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Once I’m at 5K, I can sign up for a few local races and just try to get a feel for everything. Right before/during the summer, I hope the warm weather will inspire me to get back into working out and I can strength train and get back into yoga. I know once I start exercising, I’ll do it without feeling like I have to reward myself after. I just need one little push and signing up for this half-marathon is my motivation. My focus will be to run 2-3 times a week until it gets closer to November.

I’m going on a vacation to Japan and China in July (!!), and a wedding in NY (!!) for the first weekend of August, so it just so happens that it lines up perfectly with my half-marathon training schedule I put together in Excel!

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I took bits and pieces of different guides that I saw online, and worked it best around my schedule. (Thank you About.com! This schedule was my main source of reference.) I know that I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’ve always been a planner and an even bigger procrastinator, so maybe putting my business for the whole internet to see will put my butt into high gear. Atleast I hope it will!

What really made me want to sign up for this was hearing my big sister finish her half-marathon at the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon: Denver last year. (By the way, if anyone in the Denver area needs a personal trainer, go to her! She has testimonials through the roof and is the best on both sides of the Rocky Mountains.) So proud of you, Jie Jie! I can only aspire to be like you.

Well, I’ll keep this post short and sweet. If anyone has any advice for me, let me know! I would love to hear it. Have a great weekend!

Are you training for anything right now? What would be your biggest tip for a newbie runner?