Week 41: Halfway to the Half

A half-marathon is something that I first dreamed of running over six years ago.

The dream began as I finished up my senior year of high school. I was on the cross-country and track teams, and as the year neared its end, I realized that running had become an important part of my life. It kept me grounded, it kept me healthy, it energized me, and it was my escape when I needed a break from life. I realized that when I graduated, I would be without a team, without weekend races, and without a scheduled practice every day. How could I continue running, and keep it a consistent part of my life?

I decided since my 5K races were over, I would move on to another race. Ambitiously, I thought the next step would be a half-marathon…naturally.

Well, going from a 3.1 mile race to a 13.1 mile race is no small leap. I got up to a 10 mile run that summer, but I did not yet know how to train properly, fuel correctly, or motivate myself every day. I can remember that run like yesterday: the heat as it rolled off the pavement; the chatter that my friend kept up constantly; the wish that I just had a cool, tall glass of water. I got so dehydrated that I ended up having to ask a grandmother who was gardening in her front yard for water. If you know me, you know this goes against all the paranoid daydreams and thoughts that usually race through my mind; but it was that or keel over on that black, endless road. That was the longest run I have ever done, and the last. I still remember how simply hard it was. I lost hope that I could even go further. I didn’t run the half-marathon that year…or any year since.

But this year, not only will I run another 10 mile run, but I will also finally reach that goal of running a half-marathon.

(Sometimes I wonder where my sanity went. I think it sweated out all my pores along that fateful first 10 mile run.)

Ohh, I'm halfway there... This past weekend, I did my “long run” of the week of 6.5 miles. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. There is still snow all over, cold wind, and people still aren’t too worried about keeping their dogs tied up (eek). But, despite having an icy running trail, I DID IT. I ran the 6.5 miles I was scheduled to run. And, although it was hard, it felt good.

The best part of the run? I’d be lying if I didn’t say the end. But really, what I mean by that is, the exciting part of the run was finishing it and realizing that it was the longest distance that I have run in over half a year. It also happened to be exactly half the distance of a half-marathon.

I am halfway to the half, and I couldn’t be more excited. It was perfect timing to actually sign up for the half-marathon, so I did it. I committed. And this is the year that I will finally run it.

But first up: My long run this week is 7.5 miles. Wish me luck!

Have you ever had a goal that you put off or thought you couldn’t reach? Did you end up fulfilling it? How did you get there?

I’d love to hear your success—how motivating!

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 148 pounds
This week: 148 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Chin up,
Amanda
@jockey_amanda

Week 34: I resolve not to make resolutions this year.

The New Year is rapidly approaching, and I just can’t believe 2011 is about to swoop in.

The last few weeks seemed to fly right by. With Christmas shopping, holiday work, trips into the city, and flying back & forth to my little ol’ hometown, the holidays passed in a flurry of snow, jingling money, twinkling multi-colored lights, loads of cookies & good food, fond memories with family and many laughs.

How did I fare with all that eating, drinking and being merry? Well, it’s a Christmas miracle! While I enjoyed my mom’s delicious home cooking, a sampling of cookies and chocolates over the last few weeks, and many glasses of my dad’s homemade wine, this year I didn’t overindulge 100% of the time like I would have in the past. I tasted a little bit of this and that so I never felt deprived; the biggest change for me this holiday season was that I realized simply eating one cookie is just as satisfying as eating a whole dozen. Plus, my stomach won’t growl at me in disdain after just one.

So, not only did I manage not to gain any weight over the holidays, but I’m even down one pound from where I was a few weeks ago!

But now that the holidays are over, everyone beholds the New Year as the time to kick-start their resolutions to get fit, lose weight, stop smoking, or whatever else it is that they may want to do. In the past, I have been one of these people who vow to be healthy and work out every day starting January 1st. This year, though, I am not making any New Years resolutions.

Why? Because I can make a resolution to be healthy ANY time…not just starting at 12:01 AM on January 1st. In fact, I already made the decision to make good health a serious part of my life when I wrote my “Week 1” blog post several months ago.

If your goal is something that you really want to achieve, get serious about it. You are serious? Great, then start now. Why do you need to wait an extra 24 hours to start making good changes to your life? It’s your life—stop putting it off ‘til later. You only have one, and it’s happening right now.

Instead of making resolutions, I’m looking forward and planning all the fun, healthy things that I want to do in 2011. Yesterday, I mapped out a 6-month training calendar so that I can be ready to run my booty off at the Wisconsin Half-Marathon in May, and also the MC200 200-mile relay once again in June. (Not to mention this training will get me lookin’ good for my sister’s wedding in April!)

So this year, don’t make resolutions or tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll start tomorrow.” Start today. Right now. Give yourself achievable and realistic goals, and make them FUN. Work on your goals with friends who have similar goals. And, don’t put a start and end date on them. After all, once 2012 is here, won’t you still want to be healthy & happy?

Tell me: Do you make New Year resolutions? If so, what are they…and will you start them now?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 149.5 pounds
This week: 148.5 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Happy New Year!
Amanda
@jockey_amanda