Saturday, March 10, 2007

The halfway point

Today marks the beginning of the seventh week of my 14-week training period for the half-marathon.

Are you all bored with the ad nauseum race-training posts? These scheduled runs have taken over my life, and seem to have taken over my blog as well. I did warn you, I think. If my dial-up connection wasn't so sluggish this morning I'd do a blog search to make sure I have.

Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I are going to a fancy-schmancy party [I think it might even be a dancy party!] tonight. Knowing that a nine-mile run pretty much wipes me out for the day, I opted to do it yesterday. Better to be wiped out when you have no evening plans than to fall asleep in your supper, right?

The problem, though, is that I've been restricting my calories all week – I'm averaging 1200 at this point [I thought I was doing better than that!] – and I truly didn't realize what a difference it would make to do a long run with slightly less fuel and no rest on the prior day.

It. Was. Grueling.

But I slogged through to the end, and only tacked three minutes on to last week's time. I did the first 4.5 miles in about 45 minutes, but it took a full additional hour to complete the loop. I probably walked a mile and a half of it, and the whole second half of the run was against the wind. Whine, whine, whine.

I need to do another weight-training session today to make two for this week. Since I'm so unrealistically resistant to weight training, considering the benefits one receives from it, I'm starting out with two 20-minute sessions per week using four-pound dumbbells. I'm quite sure my granddaughter could do that!

Jonathan commented yesterday, about my Friday quote:

A meeting member argued with me on this point this week. Her contention was that you have to have a dream to aspire to if you are going to get anywhere. For example, you don't apply to college unless you are at least thinking about graduating.

My response to her was to "Dream as big as you can, but set the smallest possible goals." I made that up on the spot and I'm not sure if it was the right thing to say!

I know for me focusing on the big picture is counterproductive. If I started every training run thinking that someday – soon! – I'm going to have to run 13 miles straight without stopping I'd probably never put one foot in front of the other. The same with the idea of losing 70 pounds. And I know many of you have more to lose than that. Looking at a giant goal may be inspiring, but it's also intimidating and when progress is slow it can be downright discouraging. To me, anyway.

Your thoughts?

Seven weeks until race day.


Debra said...


We are such different animals, aren't we?? Me, I love weight training (especially using machines), will walk anywhere but I will never run. Especially not a marathon.

I began my current fitness quest to merely lose weight. It quickly changed to other goals. Now I am looking at achieving goals I'd given up. In May I will be walking the Bay To Breakers race (7.5 miles across San Francisco) and in 2009, barring injury, I will hike the Grand Canyon.

These are the distance goals; every week my personal goals are smaller so I can feel success. And now the weight gain is secondary to the others.

Lori said...

I used to be like Debra; loved the weight training and hated the treadmill/elliptical. I just did about 15 minutes on the machines at the gym and it was tiring. I skipped the aerobic stuff until this afternoon because I'm still tired from last night's routine. And, I'm only doing 30 minutes.

Look at you! You're doing so much with the running. A year ago, would you have ever thought that you were capable of this? I'm just curious.

Two 20 minute sessions seem pretty hard to me but then, remember, I'm lazy and very out of shape.

For me, I don't have a goal weight really. My doctor would like me to be below 200 and she's be satisfied. I'd be shocked at this point but then a year ago, I would have been shocked if you had told me I would be able to get into some size 18 blouses (esp. given that my upper arms resemble Popeye's if the air had been let out).

My goal right now is very modest. I'd like to be below 250. But I'll settle for maintaining even.

You are not boring at all with your race posts, btw, you're very inspiring.

NicoleW said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Debbi: I think that if I'd started things off by saying "Ohmigod, I need to lose more than 100 pounds!," I wouldn't have made it past the three-month mark. Making small changes week by week ended up being much more productive.

I think I must be weird because I tend to switch back and forth between loving weight training and being sick of cardio and vice versa. I wish I could strike a balance with both of them.

Mary Christine said...

I like to have a big goal, but I have to break it down into smaller, more attainable goals along the way.

Anne M. said...

I've loved following your race training! And it certainly has been obvious to me that you broke down that big goal (running the marathon) into small attainable goals every day. That's how you're able to do as much as you can now.

It's the same as the weight. I have an idea where I want to be but I'm not holding that up as my huge goal because it's too intimidating. Those little behavioral changes, learning to change up exercise in small bits at a time, and eating in a more healthy way - those are achievable, or can be if we set them as small so we can see progress.

Lynne in Memphis said...

Dream as big as you can, but set the smallest possible goals.

It may or may not have been the right thing to say to her, but it was the perfect thing for me to read. I'm putting it on the refrigerator.

Thank you.