A Well-Oiled Machine

Yeah.  That would not be me.

It’s been almost a month since I ran my first half marathon, and I have done a horrific job of keeping myself in shape.  I’ve been eating and drinking junk, getting lax on my side workouts, and babying my body way more than necessary.  Part of that was an intentional – after almost 8 weeks of training for that run (including drinking loads of water and upping my fruit & veggie intake) I had planned to give myself a week to indulge and relax a little.  Unfortunately, that week ran on a little longer than I meant for it to, mainly due to commitments that required me to sacrifice my morning runs.  And the few times I did get to run were with friends who are just starting out with interval running, meaning that instead of running 4-6 miles straight I was walking 30 seconds, running 90 seconds, etc.

And maaaaaaaaan.  By not giving my body the fuel it needs and not working it nearly as hard as I had been, I paid for it. When I ran 2.5 miles with Julia yesterday morning I felt like I was back at square one.  Sore, out of breath, headache, exhausted.  This understandably freaked me out a bit, especially since I have a 10K this Saturday.

But I’m determined to turn this into a positive situation… a learning experience.  I’m looking at it as an unintentional experiment.  It may seem like a total no-brainer, but for this momma – who loves her junk food, hates to drink water, and has to learn everything the hard way – it’s become very clear to me what I need to do if I want to continue running successfully.

  1. DRINK MORE WATER.  Of course I know I’m supposed to drink water, but I really don’t like to and since I rarely get thirsty I never remember to do it.  And staying hydrated doesn’t mean Java Chips and frozen cokes.  It’s gotta be water.
  2. EAT BETTER.  I still ate my beloved fast food while training for the run, but it was always in moderation.  If I knew I was going to eat at McDonald’s after Mommy Group on Thursday, I’d spend Monday-Wednesday eating as healthy as I could, with fruits as snacks and extra veggies at dinner.
  3. KEEP RUNNING.  Because of special events and impending deadlines, I had to keep sacrificing my morning runs.  Obviously this is going to happen from time to time, but I’ve realized that if I’ve got a busy week ahead then I need to squeeze my runs in wherever I can.  For example, I prefer to go running right after I drop Emily off at school to avoid the early afternoon heat, but if I’ve got morning events going on I might need to just deal with the sun and go for it.
  4. CONTINUE OTHER EXERCISES & STRETCHING.  I was in a really great night routine during my training.  Before bed every night I would do a series of stretches, pushups, and ab workouts (crunches and such).  Well, I stopped.  And I noticed a major difference in my legs yesterday – not to mention the stroller felt like it weighed about 400 pounds heavier than before.  Clearly my night routine was helping, so I’ll be going back to that too.

The good news is that after this revelation occurred to me yesterday I began implementing everything immediately.  I snacked on fruit all day (I did have a Java Chip and half a donut after dinner) and drank 3 bottles of water (a LOT for me).  I didn’t get to my nightly workout because I was up until 1a watching Hunger Games and Catching Fire with my fellow Peeta-loving gal Sanne, but I’m going to get on it tonight for sure.

The result?  3.5 miles today with Julia in the jogging stroller, and it was great!


7 thoughts on “A Well-Oiled Machine

  1. Oh… big sigh of relief here… I have to confess, I haven’t been walking either. 😦 I just haven’t been able to get back in my routine again… but that needs to change. So… Thanks for the encouragement! I really love that picture, too!

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