Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Balance

I've found running to be a learning experience that never ends.  I am constantly changing, growing, adapting, challening and pushing myself all to be a stronger, better runner. With all those miles comes some experience (although I do not have nearly as much as many other runners!).  I've learned to listen to my body and understand what it's telling me; I can read myself better than ever and I can make appropriate changes (yes, sometimes I ignore what's it's saying...ahem, IT band) but for the most part I do a pretty good job listening. Over the past few training cycles I've noticed that my body responds best to only running a certian number of days per week.  There is a delicate balance that my body prefers and when I stray from that, I can feel it.
I will never be a high weekly mileage runner.  This is mostly because I know that my body isn't made for that type of mileage.  For me, personally, running 3-4 times per week is ideal.  I have a speed or tempo day, easy run and long run.  I occassionally add in another day of easy mileage. The other 3 days per week I am either resting or cross training. I'm learning to make my workouts count and rather than just going out for a run I try to have a mini-goal in mind whether it be time, pace, negative splits, etc. I want to make what I'm doing count in some way.

Sometimes only running 3-4 days per week makes me feel a little lazy.  I see/hear runners that lace up almost everyday, who only have one rest day per week.  I know that what works for some people doesn't work for others and we all run our own pace/race but I can't help but feel that I "should" be doing more. More running, more cross training, more strength training, more resting?

I'm currently in a loose training cycle (meaning, I'm training for a half marathon on May 18th but I don't have a time goal per se) but starting in July I'll be training much more seriously for a handful of fall races.  I'm currently looking into different marathon training plans.  Do you have any favorites? Any books you would suggest?  It's all about creating that perfect balance... :)

Question: What's your happy balance? How many days per week do you run?


Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Five 4/18

This is an extra happy Friday for me as I am offically on spring break (teachers, rejoyce!). Here are five things for this Friday:

1. Spring Break- I love my kiddos but I think we've all come down with a case of Spring fever and the only cure is 10 days of rest and relaxation :)
2. GOOFY Challenge- I'm equally excited/terrified that I signed myself up for the 2015 Goofy Challenge. I'm so excited to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon with my friend, Franki. This will be her second half marathon (we didn't get to run together during Princess Half) and runDisney race experience.  The most important question I have for her is...what are we wearing?! ;)

3. Wedding Bells- We are approaching the 50 day mark of our wedding countdown! It's getting closer everyday and it's hard to believe that in less than two months we'll be married and on our way to Hawaii! :)

4. Half Marathon- Only 5 more weeks until my next half marathon.  My knee has been feeling OK. There are good days and bad days even with being extra careful and making sure to ice. stretch and roll.  I plan on running the race at a comfortable (for me) pace and finishing.

5. Happy Easter- Easter is a time to rejoyce, be happy and thankful for the gifts of life and love. Wishing you and your family a very blessed Easter! 

Question: WDW Marathon weekend for you? Any last minute items for me to remember before my wedding? What are your Easter plans?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Feeling a Little GOOFY!

It's official: I'll be running the Goofy challenge next January! This will be my second WDW Marathon, my first WDW Half Marathon and my first Goofy Challenge!

We've decided to turn the Marathon weekend into a good old fashioned family Disney vacation.  It's been awhile since we have all been to our favorite place at the same time and it turns out that all of our schedules allow us to fly south in January.

I won't be the only runner from my family this year as my brother will be running the marathon with me. This will be his first marathon and his first runDisney race experience.  I'll be running the half marathon with his girlfriend (who rocked the princess half with us during my Bachelorette Weekend). I'm excited to share this with both of them and running another 13.1 26.2 39.3 magical miles through Walt Disney World!
Question: Will you be at the runDisney Marathon weekend in 2015? Which race did you sign up for? Anyone feeling Goofy or a little Dopey?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Weekend

It was a beautiful weekend here and I hope wherever you are there was sunshine and blue skies. My fingers are crossed that this is the weekend that really turns the weather around. It was warm, breezy, sunny and overall gorgeous this weekend. After so many cold and miserable weekends this winter, I think we are all in need of a little extra sunshine.

Friday afternoon we decided to scratch our weekend plans at home and head down the shore to take advantage of the nice weather. This meant that I wasn't going to run the Unite 8K at Rutger's and I was okay with that.  I (honestly) wasn't really feeling up to running a race and because it was a small, local race and I was running for fun, it wasn't a big deal that I didn't run.

Saturday morning's are my most peaceful time of the week.  I have a little routine that goes something like this: coffee, run, coffee :) It's quite time to myself when everyone else is sleeping.
I usually wake up around 5:30, even when I don't set my alarm! Internal clocks are amazing...and like clockwork I was in bed by 9:00 pm.
Running down the shore is one of my favorite places.  I love getting up with the sun to catch the sunrise over the ocean and take advantage of the open roads before everyone else is out and about. I have a few different routes I take but they always include a stop at the beach. I'm a beach baby so it's no surprise that I always want to be by the ocean, on the water in the boat or running towards the bay. This weekend was the perfect preview of what summer is going to be like (oh, minus the sweltering heat...can't we just keep the happy medium?!).  Whenever I run in this place I feel reinvigorated, motivated and somehow the breeze from the ocean carries me and makes me a little faster...at least I like to think so :) 

After my run, we went to Barnegat Lighthouse.  I'm standing in our engagement spot in these pictures.  It's hard to believe that over 14 months ago my fiancee proposed to me and now there are only two months and less than 65 days until our wedding!
Question: How was your weekend? What's your favorite time of year at the beach? Are you a beach baby?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Five 4/11

Who else is doing a little Friday dance this morning? The nicer the weather, the more I want to go outside and play  RUN!

Here are five things for this Friday:

1. Long Run- This weekend I'm breaking my long run into two (shorter) runs... 5 mi Saturday and 5 mi Sunday.

2. Unite 8K- on Sunday I will be running the Rutger's University UNITE 8k.  I dropped to the 8k from the half but I'm happy to be racing and giving my legs a test to see if they can keep a decent pace (as long as my knees are feeling up to the challenge).

3. Running Closet- I cleaned out my running closet yesterday and it confirmed for me what I already knew: I have more than enough running clothes.  What I need, well, that's a different story :)

4. Stress- I have a confession to make...I am a natrually stressful person.  It's something I can't control and sometimes it takes a huge toll on my mind and body.  I need to find a way to get control of it or figure out what heps me.  Yes, running helps, but it's only a momentary fix.

5. Spring Break- is right around the corner! It's a short and sweet three day week and then I am off for a blissful 11 days!
Question: Is your running closet full? What helps you destress? Favorite thing to do on a Spring weekend?