Saturday, December 31, 2011

HBBC Update #6

Jessica officially made it to Afghanistan after 6 days of traveling! And my husband returned home on Christmas eve!! So last week, so quite exciting. We're still logging miles though, so here's our update:

Here's how we did this past week (24 December- 30 December):

24 December - Ran 3 miles. Completed Angie (100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats: 42:15) (6.5 points)
25 December - Ran 5.07 miles (5 points)
26 December - Ran 4.22 miles. Biked 2 miles. Pull-up ladder (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) w/ assistance bands. (6.5 points)
27 December - Ran 2 miles. 2 one minute hollow rocks, 50 air squats 3 sets of 10 medicine ball deadlifts w/ 10# ball, 3 sets of 10 presses w/ 45# bar, 3 sets or 10 deadlifts w/ 65#  (5 points) 
28 December - Ran 3 miles. 3 sets of 3 pull-ups - 5 min (3.5 points)
29 December - (haven't received an update from Jess, so not sure about this day yet)
30 December - 30 minutes of weightlifting (2 points)

Weekly Total: 28.5 points

24 December - Ran 3.51 miles (3.5 points)
25 December - Rest Day
26 December - Ran 4.14 miles (4 points)
27 December - Ran 3.12 miles (3 points)
28 December - Ran 5.21 miles. Five planks (70-60-60-60-70 seconds) (5 points)
29 December - Ran 4.54 miles w/ (5) 1/4 mile intervals mixed in. Three planks (60-60-60) (4.5 points)
30 December - Ran 4 miles (4 points)
Ate 7 servings of fruits and vegetables 4 days. (4 points)

Weekly Total: 28 points

Friday, December 30, 2011

Run To Afghanistan

While my husband's battalion (1/9) was deployed, I organized a "Run to Afghanistan" campaign. The idea behind this campaign, was to cover the 7000 mile distance between NC and Afghanistan as many times as possible with participating friends and family. The name of this campaign really should have been "Run/Bike/Swim/Walk/Elliptical to Afghanistan", but it just doesn't have the same ring:) I was fairly lax when it came to counting miles and really allowed any form of activity that could be completed in miles and also let anyone who was interested participate. As you can see, this challenge wasn't about being technical, but rather as a way to redirect the energy that typically goes towards worry into a healthy activity.

The response to this campaign was overwhelming! People submitted their weekly mileage to me via email every Sunday, and I maintained a working spreadsheet to track miles by individual and company (there are 5 companies within 1st Battalion, 9th Marines). We had over 250 participants and logged a total of 49,257.02 miles in 7 months! We're even making t-shirts (because who doesn't LOVE another t-shirt?!) to commemorate the event:
 While My Marine Battled The Taliban, I Battled The Bulge!

So if you know anyone in a similar situation (i.e. deployed spouse/son/etc), try encouraging them to find a positive outlet/goal to focus on while their loved one is away!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Running On Empty

On December 24th, my husband returned from a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan! I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas gift. The day he was scheduled to come home, I got a text from a guy he works with that said the flight was delayed a couple hours. This worked in my favor as it gave me time to knock out 3.5 miles:)

But what also came with his homecoming, was a trip to the ER for our little girl. As we stood around waiting for the Marines to return, I noticed her eyes were getting increasingly redder and swollen. After asking several other mothers what they thought could be wrong, I gave Jason a quick hug and kiss and told him we were heading to the ER at the Naval Hospital for the official diagnosis. Yup, she had pink eye. For most of that day and the entire night, she cried if I was more than a foot away from her, and she wasn't too sure what to make of this "new guy." So on Christmas Day, I felt totally drained after no sleep and an emotional reunion. I took a much needed day off. I truly was running on empty.

What a mess!

But the following day, things started to get better. My husband played with Reagan while I set off for a stroller-free 4 miles and I savored every minute of it. And on the 27th, we headed out for a family run...just what I needed to recharge.

I think it's important to recognize when you need time off. I'm following a plan in preparation for a half marathon in March, and I'm trying to be flexible and take rest days when/if I need them despite the schedule. Luckily it's still early on in the training, so I'm not stressing about it yet:)

Do you have days when you feel like you're "Running on Empty?" How do you recharge?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Safety on the Road

As the daylight becomes less and less, runners must become more and more safety conscious! Those early mornings (and even early afternoons) when light is minimal, proper equipment is a must. Here are a few things we think you should have:

1. If it's really dark: Petzl Tikkina 2 headlamp (read about the specs here). If you're running in a particularly dark area with winding roads and poor visibility, consider getting a flashing red light for your backside.

2. Reflective strips (either on your jacket, or on a separate vest). This vest can be purchased for under $7 at Walmart. And this jacket by illumiNITE, is awesome:

 How cool is this? Looks normal by day, and crazy-rave-ready by night!

3. And of course, always wear your RoadID! If anything should happen, you want the proper people to be contacted immediately. 

What suggestions do you have for running in the dark?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Solitude or Group Runs?

There's a time for both running alone and for group runs - here we look at the positives & negatives of both...

For those that are new to running, sometimes running in a group is the best way to get started.

1) Other people can provide motivation that you cannot find within yourself.
2) Accountability to show up and run with others keeps you on task - much harder to just decide not to lace up those running shoes!
3) People who have been running for longer than you usually provide great advice!
4) Runners are fun people!!!  Get out there and get to know some of these awesome people!!!

1) Group runs can be intimidating.  Don't be scared, they usually have multiple pace groups.  No one's out there to win, they just want to have fun.
2) You usually have to drive to wherever the group run starts - this adds additional time to your workout, which you may or may not have.

If you're having a hard time finding a group to run with, checkout your local "meet-up" groups or a local running store.

However, for me, part of the beauty of running is that I can find complete solitude.  It's just me and Mother Nature.

1) You don't have to worry about keeping a specific pace and you can run based on how you feel.
2) Sometimes you don't feel like talking while you run.  I know that if I run by myself, it gives me a chance to just clear my mind.  In a way it is my form of active meditation.
3) You aren't on anyone else's timeline.  You can run right out of the front door and turn around whenever you feel like it.

1) Safety - if you run in an unknown area or you're running in a sketchy part of town, running alone is not a safe option!
2) Unless you are really dedicated, sometimes it's easy to convince yourself that it's too cold, you don't have enough time, you'll run longer tomorrow, etc.

Are you a lone runner or do you like to join the pack?  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Am I being selfish?

Do you ever ask yourself this question when you're in the midst of some serious training? If you do, you're not alone. Training sucks up a lot of "free" time - that's time away from family and friends, work, and other hobbies. Not to mention that you also have to stretch, do core work, and cross train. It adds up, and sometimes makes us feel selfish.

Family time or training? Which one wins out?

As a self-proclaimed work-a-holic, my sister, Jessica, spends on average 12 hours a day at work. About half of the time, she can squeeze in a run during working hours, but what about those other days? Is it fair to her husband that she gets home and immediately dons running attire to log a few miles?

And I have a 1-year old who doesn't really love being strapped into a stroller for 30 minutes to an hour and a half 6 days a week! Should we just give it up?

NO! If you're feeling selfish, just imagine how much worse you would feel if you didn't get those runs in. My mind would be racing with self-criticism about why I was such a slacker. For me, escaping for a 30 minute run is so much more beneficial to me AND to those around me. We are happier and healthier when we run.

Ever look at your clock and think there just aren't enough hours in the day?!

Are there times when it's important to recognize when running should take a backseat? Absolutely! No one knows better than you if your family and friends are feeling neglected and just need that extra attention from you. Perhaps they are upset because your training seems more important to you then they do. Do your best to realize these instances and make a judgment call. One extra rest day can do wonders, not only for sore muscles, but also for relationships!

And if possible, you can always try to combine the two! Ask your partner to join you for a run and explain why keeping a schedule is so important to your goals.

How do you keep life/training in balance?