Sunday, September 19, 2010

A plan

On October 25, 2009 I ran my first 5K. I had never even walked a 5K before, at least not as a race. I had hiked and walked well more than 3.1 miles many times in my life. But I had only ran that far once before, just days before in fact.

I had never been a runner. I had worked hard to get to that point, using the Couch to 5K program. And it worked. Of course I was SLOW! I finished in 44:37. So pretty much a 15 minute mile pace. SLOW. I was passed by power walkers.

I was so proud. I had gained back about thirty pounds by that point and it was a source of frustration for me, but I had worked hard and had done this thing. This thing that I hadn't even been able to do when I was at my healthiest a couple years earlier.

Then I made my big mistake. I didn't plan. I deserved to take a week off. I had trained so hard. And then it was NaNoWriMo time. I had to write 50,000 words. You cannot write while you run. And I didn't have another race scheduled and then it just seemed like I didn't have time for a race until after Christmas. And after Christmas I had gained more weight and it was depressing and it was hard and I would try to work through the program again at a faster pace and... I just couldn't.

At the end of May I realized that something other than my lifestyle was holding me back with my weight loss. (And causing me other health problems.) No more birth control for me and I think things are finally moving in the right direction again, though I have a long way to go. Still by that point it was hot. Too hot for a 200 pound woman to get her butt out in the Louisiana heat and run. Or that's what it seemed like every time I tried and then just came home and collapsed after work.

In July in one of the emails from the local Fleet Feet, there was a story about their 5K training program that was going to start in August. And I started to consider it. I decided that I had lost all self motivation. That I was at an all time low when it came to my weight, my health and my self/body image. I decided I needed yoga again and I needed something to motivate my cardio.

A new yoga studio is rescuing my soul and my self worth while running is helping to shape my body the way I want it. Inside and out. I new I would have to spend money and have incentives to get back into running. I wanted to be back there, but I just wasn't sure how to push out of my funk. The answer pay money. Have a goal and meetings that I could obsess about.

The training program has been different - focused more on distance than just the run/walk time method I used with C25K. And there has been some hard weeks. But there has also been weeks I'm where I've been super proud. I ran THREE times while on vacation over labor day. That's a first. I ran on HILLS in Atlanta. We don't really have those here in the bayou. Coming back to the heat after the pleasant temps in the ATL was hard and that was my roughest week yet, but Wednesday it seems I have turned a corner.

I have my pace. It's even slower than last year, though probably not surprising considering I'm carrying about 20 more pounds on my body than last year. But I have my pace. And if it takes me a friggin hour to run the 5K on Halloween then in takes me an hour.

But here's the real reason I'm writing this today. To lay out my plan. My running plan. I will not make the same mistake I made last year.

So my plan is as follows:
  • Run the Jackolantern Jog with the rest of my running group on Halloween.
  • The Reindeer Run 5K in December - Try to improve my time
  • The Mardi Gras Mambo 10K in February 2011 - My first 10K!
  • RocketChix Triathlon in April/May 2011 - My first Tri!
  • The Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon in December 2011 - My first half marathon!
I think it's a reasonable training plan, or plans really. My training plan will be different for each race and it's likely I'm might add in a few other races as I go. Especially in that stretch from RocketChix to the Beach Marathon, but I have a plan! I will not stop running again for lack of a plan. I want to have lots more pictures like these. Where I'm nervous, excited (and freaking COLD) and then so, so happy - if hot, sweaty and exhausted.

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