Bad Blogger / Steady Progress / I May Actually Pull This Off

A quick note and slap on the hand to myself. It has been way too long since my last post. I’ve been slacking in the blogging department and I know it. Bad Andy. Bad blogger. Life has gotten a bit hectic, work is busy as always, the workouts have not gone anywhere (these training runs aren’t going to run themselves), and top of that Jenn and I bought a new house, so my time not spent with the fam, working, or working out is being divided between either our current house fixing it up and getting it ready to go on the market, or at the new house getting it ready for the big move in day. So yeah… It’s been busy. Ok, back to regularly scheduled blog post.

So first things first: weight. It seems like over these past few weeks, when the mileage of my training runs has really started to crank up I have experienced resurgence in weight loss again. I have been eating all my calories each day, (I’m certainly not starving myself here) but I am down again and I am now to the point where I honestly don’t want to lose any more weight. So, down to 208, bringing my total weight loss to 120 pounds. I’m not looking emaciated or sunken in or anything, but I don’t want to get there, don’t even want to get to the point where that enters the realm of possibility. I have gotten to where I want to get to and now it’s time to maintain. I actually feel like I’ve been doing an all right job of that up until these past few weeks, so I guess it’s time to push myself out of my comfort zone again, only this time it will be me being uncomfortable by eating more, not less. I’ll figure it out. It might take me a week or so, but I’ll get it. Possibly I’m just not compensating enough for all the non-trackable exercise (like emptying old furniture out of garages and basements, etc.)

As I mentioned, the length of my training runs are getting longer. I am now getting into the meat and potatoes of the training, where each week I just keep tacking on an extra mile to the total and building from there. I’ve said this before in previous posts, but my existing pattern of running, being super proud for a few days, and then freaking out about the upcoming run still hold true. Each week I am going further than I ever have before, and this week I finally hit double digits. 10 miles. 10 freaking miles. That just feels like a made up number to me at this point. But I did it. This week I actually take a step back and run 6 (6.2 actually- I have a 10K race scheduled this weekend- more on that in a minute), but then I kick it back up with 11 and 12 mile weeks. One more “easy” week of 6 and then it’s go time. The big race, my first half marathon. 13.1 through the streets of Philadelphia. Can’t wait. Seriously can’t.

It’s time for me to turn my focus to Saturday. Yes, I just ran 10 miles, I ran 6 as a midweek prep run last week, so I know that 6 miles is a completely attainable goal, so why am I nervous for the race? I’m guessing it’s because I have never actually run in a race longer then a 5K at this point, and there is the whole “time” thing. I have been averaging an hour and a few min (in the neighborhood of 1:05-1:07) for my 10Ks, but I am wondering if the combo of me really pushing myself plus the hype and adrenaline of running in a full-blown race can push me to a sub- 1 hour 10K. It’s a goal. A lofty, one, but let’s see if I can hit it. I am going to run some practice runs on Tuesday and Thursday to see if I can’t crank up the speed a little bit, and then get ready to rock it out on Sat.

This weekend marks what I am viewing as the next chapter in my training progression. This is race number 1 of 4 in consecutive months where I am getting into my “really real” races. The 5Ks were real, don’t get me wrong, but these ones just make me feel like I am finally stepping up and running with the big boys and girls. I am getting into the badass, big name, big time races, and I feel like I’m ready. I mean, come on: Livestrong, Runner’s World, Rock and Roll Half, and the Philadelphia Half. Not exactly a bunch of no-name rinky dink operations there. But I am very happy to say that again this week, as I was running my 10 that I felt really good. It was still hard, and I had to convince myself not to stop a few times, but I was not in survival mode as much, more in control and pushing to keep on going. I’m starting to get the confidence that I need to be able to go into this feeling like I belong and I can do it with some swagger. I’m not winning any races or age brackets or anything, but I just want to do it and do it well, and I feel like I am getting to the point where that will happen.

It’s a weird feeling knowing that I am heading into the home stretch, so to speak. Granted, the home stretch is still 3 more months of busting my ass, but it will be familiar to me, and that makes things easier. (after the first half marathon, I am taking a super easy week of just running 1, 2, and 3 miles; Then the following week I just reset and go back to my 8 mile week and follow the plan exactly as I am now to build back to the second half)

So, here we go. Time to get cranking and mix it up with the real deal runners. Time to start eating more and hold steady at 120 pounds lost. Time to keep my head down and just keep working, make it through the rest of the year and then I’ll be able to look back and reflect on everything in ways I’m sure I can’t even comprehend now.

I owe you some progress photos for August, (look for them later this week) and I will make a post this weekend as well after the Livestrong 10K with some pics and letting you know how it all went down. (it’s nice to be back)

Until then, have a great week, and take it easy.

Andy

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