Keeping Calm… or at least I’m trying!

I missed my run today.  It was extremely cold (below zero with the wind chill), and when my face started to hurt after a 5 minute walk across campus, I decided the risk of frostbite was too great.  Plus, it turns out that dogs can get frostbite – especially dogs with long, floppy ears.  I couldn’t take that risk with Wendy.

It is frustrating, though.  This was the first run I have missed since NOVEMBER.  I had quite a streak going!  Plus, Wendy is very used to her every-other-day runs, and she gets a bit of cabin fever if she misses one.  (Yes, I consider how these things affect my dog – but it also helps me get out the door when I’m not motivated.  It’s hard to let her down!)  Also, I’m really starting to feel the pressure of my goal race in April.  I know I have plenty of time, and I’m not even a little bit worried about having to cover the distance.  I’m worried about my speed.  I need to get my pace faster… and not get injured.  I’m trying not to stress about it, especially since everything I read says that winter running is about building a base (endurance), not speed.  Still, I thought my pace would be faster by now.  I improved pretty quickly after the NWM in October (by roughly 2 min/mile), but I walked most of that race.  Now that I’m running more, it is concerning to me that my pace isn’t continuing to increase at that rate.

So, this is my plan (because I always have a plan):

  1. Relax!  Stressing about it isn’t going to help.
  2. Finish my half-marathon training plan, as written.  That means no speedwork.  I’m on week 8, and should finish in early March (weather permitting).
  3. Remind myself that I have to be a bit more flexible with my running because it is winter, and I live in New England!
  4. Continue adding in cross-training whenever possible.
  5. Research ways to gradually improve speed.  Implement them as appropriate, but plan to do a speed-focused plan for March and early-April.
  6. Tighten up my nutrition.  Weight loss can only help with speed.
  7. Oh – and relax.  I have to remember to relax.  I have 95 days to figure this out.

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I think I need to start cross-training (more)

so go get stronger.

Yep, pretty much. I should get on that.

I KNOW cross-training is good for me.  Running is great and all, but strength training and other forms of activity are really good for overall fitness and health.  Plus, it can help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injury.  On top of that, some forms of cross-training can help with speed.

I have to be better about this.  Right now, I have it built into my schedule, but often decide to do yoga, stretching, or take a rest day instead.  While those are all good things, I think it is time that I bite the bullet and get back into some strength training.

Now that my cold is getting better, I am going to commit to 2 strength workouts a week!  I also plan to add one dedicated hill workout each week.  Depending on my schedule and how I am recovering, I may count a hill workout as one of my strength workouts, but only if I include some upper body lifting and core work when I get home.

I have a couple days to plan, and will begin with my new training week (starts Monday).  This is a little tricky for me because I used to be heavily into powerlifting (so I tend to overthink strength training), especially because I am so overly cautious about injury-prevention.  I probably  just need a couple days to mull it over, and I should be good to go!

“Resolved: Eat the Damn Cookie”

Resolved: Eat the Damn Cookie | Runner’s World & Running Times.

I don’t really go for New Year’s Resolutions.  I generally try to pull my eating back on track after an indulgent holiday season, but resolutions, in and of themselves, just don’t work for me.  I like Mark Remy’s take here.  It is an exercise in moderation – and not sweating the small stuff.

That being said, I do want to drop some pounds.  I have my goal race in April, and my sister is getting married in May.  I have a hell of a semester coming up, so I want to maximize this slightly quieter time in my life.

So, my plan is:

  • Track my food
  • Follow the Level 1 nutritional challenge from Girls Gone Strong (more on this later)
  • Keep on track with my running/training for my goal race
  • Remain injury free (maintain mobility, especially)
  • Do some yoga (good for mobility AND stress relief)
  • Manage my stress
  • Get plenty of sleep

If I can follow all of these principles 90% of the time, I should be in good shape by spring (pun intended).