Half marathon #17 will oddly enough be my first half of 2017. Which I just realized and find funny because I’m the person who is planning to wrap up 2016 with a 16 miler on New Year’s Eve! So hopefully that is a good sign for this race and 2017 as a whole.
It’s just two months away and with plans to use this as a kick-off to a year of strong races, I have a LOT of work to do. I started off this month planning to eat right, workout consistently and overall just take care of myself – which included sleep and reducing stress.
Of course, within the last few weeks there has been World Series Game 7 and Nov 8th happened. So, clearly stress and sleep are still doing the whole Freaky Friday thing.
As far as my general fitness, well it’s not horrible, but there was 50% off on Halloween candy and I may or may not have had candy corn for dinner last week. Twice. Overall though, I have been doing better with how much I eat (except for candy), but there is certainly tons of improvements needed on diet.
Now, will I be able to PR in January? Probably not, but I can begin to get stronger and faster every day and hopefully be able to PR sooner rather than later!
My four-steps to success are:
- Smart running. Don’t ramp up the mileage too quickly. Do not place a high focus on weekly/monthly mileage. Focus on effort vs pace — which means I will be using my heart rate monitor more frequently. Don’t be afraid to take breaks – a walking break, a full-on rest or just simply skipping a run or cutting a run short.
- Cross training. This is something I’ve known I need to do more of, but I never seem to find the time because I’m always focused on reach my monthly mileage goal. For a while I’ve only been doing about 30 minutes of strength training a week (though sometimes I count yoga as extra because down dogs are HARD). I’m working on doing strength training twice a week with a goal for hopefully three 30 minute sessions a week. Plus getting at least a weekly spin done and 3-4 yoga sessions. I probably should write up my resignation letter for work because clearly I will not have time for that.
- HEALTHY EATING! Ok, this probably should be number one on my plan because no matter what I do in #1 and #2 above, if I don’t get my eating habits under control I’m never going to make progress. My main goal is going to be meal prep. Maybe not so much buying groceries in bulk and spending 19 hours on Sunday cooking & cleaning — but to plan what I’m going to eat and eat that instead of half a bag of candy corn for dinner. (What, Halloween candy was FIFTY percent off!) More veggies, fruit, less carbs and continued efforts to drink more water.
- Self-Care. Okay isn’t #1-3 self care? Sure, but I’m talking sleep and stress issues. I work two jobs and being one is retail and it’s the holidays I’m flat out exhausted. I’m also under a lot of stress at work with a key problem that literally has no solution that will appease everyone. Two things I hope that will help with this, is finding a good schedule and sticking with it and writing short, daily to-do lists of just a few things I can accomplish each day to make life easier.
I know those last two are really going to be the hardest. It’s easy to go through the motions of running and cross training, even if you are feeling sluggish you get it done. Eating right and getting everything done will be the hardest part of my training for the next two months, and really beyond.
Now…off to write that schedule & workout plan!