Resolution Check-In

And just like that…it’s October. I can’t even believe my marathon month is here. Commence freaking out now!

I’ve made it a point this year to look back on my New Year’s Resolutions each month so that I don’t let myself forget about them. I also pick one thing each month that I’m going to focus on to help me reach those resolutions/goals. Last month I turned my focus back to core workouts after letting them slip a bit. I did a great job getting back on track with these and will continue to do so throughout the next month as I get ready for Marine Corps Marathon.

This month my big focus will be back on drinking less soda. The fridge full of free soda just steps from my desk is killing me! I only have one can a day, but still, I don’t need to be drinking soda every day! Most times I just drink it out of habit, so I’m going to try make myself do something else whenever I hit that point in the afternoon that I start craving caffeine. I drink a ton of water so sometimes I get bored and just want some taste, so I’m also keeping my desk stocked with Nuun and Crystal Light type drinks.

NuunTriBerry

Staying healthy this year was another important goal. I’ve been doing a great job maintaining my stretching, rolling and icing routine, but have had some aches and pains creep in especially with my calf muscles. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but I’m going to be proactive and get things checked out early this time instead of waiting for it to become something serious that puts me on the sidelines. Learning. ūüôā

Butterfly Stretch

Butterfly Stretch

My biggest resolution/goal for this year is a Boston Qualifying time. I’m admittedly not as confident about this as I was during the first half of the year, which I hate. Initially I thought I could crush the BQ time I needed and shoot for a time in the 3:20s, but I’ve had a tougher than expected training cycle and that doesn’t seem possible to go for. Still, I’m shooting for that sub-3:35 time I need to BQ, and will run my heart out at MCM at the end of the month trying to get it.

MCMonemonthFB

How are your resolutions going this year?

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Resolution Check-In

I realize I’m starting to sound like a broken record each month when I write these posts and talk about how quickly the year is going, but seriously September got here so quickly I almost forgot to do this month’s resolution check-in post!¬†It’s so easy to let New Year’s resolutions slip after a couple weeks or a couple months, so I’m using these monthly posts to keep me on track.

Resolution number one was to get healthy, which I did early in the year and am happy to say that so far I’m staying that way and any aches and pains have been thwarted with some ice and quality foam rolling time.

Resolution number two was a stronger core, which not only would help me to stay injury free, but could also make me a stronger runner. I feel like I’ve slipped a bit on this and am not doing my core workouts nearly as much as I used to, so I’m going to make that my main focus for this month.

Resolution number three to drink less soda is still an up and down battle, but I’m working on it!

Nuun is definitely helping ease my soda addiction.

Nuun is definitely helping ease my soda addiction.

Resolution number four, which was more of a goal, was a Boston-qualifying time. With less than 50 days to Marine Corps Marathon, it’s almost time to put that to the test. I’m definitely putting in the miles, but as I mentioned in last month’s post, am still a bit worried about my speed. I’m hoping my tune-up races over the next few weeks will give me a good idea of where I stand on this.

Last month’s main focus was the long run and other than missing out during a recovery week when I was sick, I did an awesome job of putting in the long miles each week ranging from 17-19 milers!

To Garmin or Not?

I’ll be toeing the start line of the Navy Air Force Half Marathon in a week and a half. This race completely snuck (is that a word?) up on me. Not in an I’m not ready for it kind of way – just in a I can’t believe mid-September is here already kind of way. I’ve been running like crazy and I’m more than ready for it distance-wise. In the last 8 weeks I’ve done 6 long runs in the range of 15-20 miles plus a 10-12 miler during the week each week.

I won’t lie though, I’m really nervous about pacing. While this isn’t a goal race necessarily, it’s a great chance to see where I’m at in my training, an opportunity for redemption after missing my goal at the Nike Women’s Half in D.C. earlier this year and it covers much of the same ground that I’ll have to face during Marine Corps Marathon in October. ¬†No doubt I can do the distance, but I’ve been embracing the long slow run concept and keeping my long runs a bit slower than my marathon goal pace to avoid injury/burnout and to mimic the amount of time I’ll be on my feet come race day. This worked great for me at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, but I still haven’t attempted it for a successful half or any full marathons, so despite all the expert advice, I’m still skeptical.

garmin

I’ve rattled off plenty of miles during other weekly runs at goal pace and my track workouts have me going at even faster paces, yet I won’t be totally convinced until I see the results on race day. I’m a big-time data recorder and religiously track my mile split times on my Garmin. I know it’s not completely accurate, but I’m also constantly looking at the current pace during races as well to make sure I stay on track. Even if I don’t look at the watch throughout my training runs, I often (over-) analyze each mile time and what it means after I’m done.

Based on my Garmin-centric, data-obsessed running personality I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually considering running the half without a watch. Shudder. I wonder if I just base things off of effort if I’ll be able to maintain my pace and get my goal without the obsessive time checking? I’ve also heard of people who go even faster because they don’t see a pace that should be too hard for them on the watch and slow down because of it. What if I just miss my goal time though? Will I be kicking myself for not wearing a watch? From what I can find on the website, it doesn’t look like this race will have pace groups, so I can’t just tag along with one of those and know my time without actually knowing my time.

I haven’t made a final decision on this yet, but am thinking it might be worth a shot. I’d love to hear from you all – have you ever raced without a watch? How’d it work for you? Even if you haven’t tried it, do you think it could be a good idea or a disastrous one? Comment away – should I Garmin or not??

Resolution Check-In

Wow, August 1st, this year is just flying! Time to check in on those resolutions.

Last month’s big focus was cross training and strength training. I started strong but then let things slip a little near the end of the month. I need to come back strong on that this month to help boost my Marine Corps Marathon training and make sure I stay on track with my New Year’s Resolutions to get healthy and build a stronger core. I’ve been doing great about running smarter not harder so far this year and I certainly don’t want to fall behind and land myself on the injured list again.

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

I’m still working on the soda, but am doing a bit better. I still have free soda just around the corner from my desk at my new job so that doesn’t help matters, but I’ve been drinking fountain soda at restaurants a lot less so that’s a positive.

My Boston Qualifier goal is coming up quickly with Marine Corps Marathon training in full swing. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous and worried about my speed, but I am already putting in a lot of good, quality miles. I also know I shouldn’t judge too soon especially with the summer heart wave that kicked off my training.

Seeing as how important that goal is to me my main focus for this month will be my long runs. So far so good on this front, but I’m far enough into my training where I already have a few under my belt but far enough away from my race that it can be easy to let one slip if I’m feeling unmotivated. So here’s to another good month of long runs!

Hope everyone’s doing well on your Resolutions!

Resolution Check-In

I know I say this every month, but how is another done already?! With the beginning of the month here it’s time for me to check in on how I’m doing with my New Year’s Resolutions, and choose what my focus will be for this month.

Even with a lot of running so far this year I’ve been staying injury free. I’ve spent a lot more time¬†stretching,¬†foam rolling and icing than ever before, so I’m sure this is playing a major role. Building a stronger core was also a major part of this and I’ve been doing great with that. I’m on day 124 of my consecutive days streak doing my P90X ab ripper workout and also completed a 5-minute plank challenge last month. The craziest thing about the plank challenge was that I wasn’t sore the next day – so this core thing must be working!

Drinking less soda was April’s focus since I was reintroducing it to my diet after giving it up for Lent and didn’t want to overdo it. I had a few bad days with this when I was tired and traveling and craving¬†caffeine, but overall I’m getting a lot better about not drinking too much soda. Definitely still something I need to work on though.

My last resolution for this year was more of a goal – Boston Qualifier. As I’m sure you can imagine and as many others feel, I want this more than ever now. My marathon isn’t until late October so I won’t be able to get in for 2014, but I hope to be there cheering on next year’s runners knowing I have my ticket punched for 2015. I just hired a running coach thanks to a Zozi deal, and am really excited to have someone to work with to help me navigate my training plan and hold me accountable. I think this will be a great step towards getting my BQ this year!

May’s focus is going to be all about strength. My goal is to do at least 3¬†strength¬†workouts per week to work on toning and strengthening my upper and lower body, which will only help me become an even better runner.

What are your goals for this month? How do you plan to get to them?

Resolution Check-In

April is here and hopefully spring-like weather will be here to stay soon too. At the start of each month I like to look back at my New Year’s Resolutions and see how I’m doing. I also pick what I’m going to focus on for the next month.

Getting healthy and staying healthy was an important goal for me this year. So far things are going well with this and I’ve made smart decisions about when it might not be healthy to do a workout just because it’s on the schedule. I did miss a couple strength workouts and missed a few too many days of stretching in March, so I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again in April.

Building up my core is another part of staying healthy and making me a stronger, faster athlete. This continues to go really well. My streak of consecutive days completing my version of the P90X ab ripper core workout that I began on December 29 is still going strong. I had to laugh on my 90th straight day as I found myself getting it in during TV timeouts of the Syracuse – Indiana game to calm my nerves, and remembered that this whole streak started during SU football’s appearance in the Pin Stripe Bowl. I’m probably going to have to come up with a way to make this workout harder in April so I don’t get too used to doing the same thing everyday.

Drinking less soda is going to be my key focus for April. I actually didn’t have a soda during all of Lent (mid-February through March 31), but not having something when I’ve made a commitment to give it up is easy for me. Not overdoing it as I reintroduce it to my diet will be more difficult.

March’s focus was on nutrition and I felt like I made some really good strides. Ian and I started eating salads with dinner a couple nights a week. I’m eating a ton of fruit every day, and thanks to my Mom for sharing the skinnytaste website with me, I’ve been finding more ways to eat veggies with my meals. We tried out several recipes from the site and all were great – you couldn’t even really taste the veggies in some of them, which is a good way to make sure I eat them. I kind of have the palate of a five-year-old sometimes. (Or most of the time.)

New recipes that we tried in March included a baked broccoli mac and cheese, baked spinach and sausage pasta and stuffed buffalo chicken breasts. I loved the mac and cheese. We actually used a mixed bag of broccoli and cauliflower – this may’ve been the first time in my life I’ve eaten cauliflower – and it tasted great. I’d make this again in a heartbeat. The stuffed buffalo chicken breasts were also very tasty and a great game-day meal. I was skeptical about the spinach and sausage because it called for what I deem a gross amount of spinach. I really liked ¬†it the first night we ate it though and and even the first and second times I reheated it. By the last time it was kind of gross. I would suggest halving this recipe if just making it for two.

In addition to focusing on regular nutrition I tried some new things out to fuel along the way on my long runs. I found two flavors of Gu that I actually like and my stomach tolerates really well. I also tested out the Honey Stinger pomegranate flavored gummies and they were great.

Even though it won’t be my main focus going into April, I’m hoping to keep making strides with my nutrition and finding even more ways to get those veggies into my diet!

How are you doing on your resolutions this year? Anyone have any big goals they’re working on?

Broccoli Mac N Cheese Leftovers - forgot to snap a pic when we were eating

Broccoli Mac N Cheese Leftovers – forgot to snap a pic when we were eating

So much spinach!!

So much spinach!!

Baked sausage and spinach pasta

Baked sausage and spinach pasta

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts w/ a side of rice

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts w/ a side of rice

Resolution Check-In

Wow, another month has flown by so I wanted to take a step back and see how I’m doing with my New Year’s Resolutions. It’s always good to check back in and remember what I’m working for.

Building up my core strength and staying injury free are key goals for me this year. I made core strength my January focus and managed to keep going strong through February doing my P90X Ab Ripper workout everyday. Going back to last year I’m at 63 straight days! I’m sticking with my stretching and foam rolling too to do what I can to stave off any injuries.

February’s focus was speed and I feel like I made great strides on this. (Yes, pun intended!) I reached my goal of two speed workouts per week though track workouts, hill repeats and tempo runs. My times have come way down since my first speed workouts back from physical therapy in January and my pace is steadily improving.

I got to register early for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon through my deferment from last year, so now that race is officially on the calendar. So far I feel like things are right on track to get my Boston Qualifying time this October!

My focus for March is going to be nutrition. To run and workout as much as I do, I need good food to fuel me. I’m going to really try to up my fruit and veggie intake this month. I’m usually pretty good with fruits, but I’ve spent most of my life avoiding veggies so I’m trying to get better at that. I’m also going to focus on my nutrition on the run, and plan to try out some new things to fuel along the way on my long runs.

Are you still on track with your New Year’s resolutions? Tell me about your successes and challenges!