Monday, August 1, 2011

With Great Sacrifice Comes Great Achievement

If keeping up with a weekly training schedule for running weren't hard enough physically, throw in an 8-6 demanding job, a busy travel agenda, and an attempt at a social life.And of course taking care of our one and only spoiled rotten child, Jadoo. 

This looks familiar....

When I first started running, I would go a few times a week.

As long as it wasn't too hot, or too cold, or raining, or windy, or if I didn't go out the night before until 1 AM.

If the stars aligned, I would run.

Once I got more serious about my running and decided to sign up for my first half marathon, I put myself on a seemingly simple training schedule. I'd do some running and working out in my free time and then go along my merry way. No big deal, right? It looked great on paper and I convinced myself that it would be easy as pie.

Turns out that a long Sunday run, Yoga on Mondays, more running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, cross training on Thursdays and Saturdays, and finding time for some strength and speed training somewhere in between is no walk in the park, after you've worked a 9+ hour day and/or been out of town for days at a time.

I also feel like my schedule is different every week, so I'm constantly changing around my training days to fit everything in. I also play the roll of "party pooper" when it comes to going and doing fun things.

 For example.....
 In the last year, I have:

  • Avoided cookies/cakes/ice cream like the plague, and replaced them with granola bars and protein smoothies
  • Not slept in on hardly any weekends, and up by 6am most Sundays....which leads to:
  • not going to activities/bars/parties that require me to be out past 10pm....which leads to:
  • trading Jack and Diet Coke for H20 on the rocks at said activity.
  • Run in all elements ruthlessly, with no excuses - 100 degree summers, 30 degree winters, gale force winds, and snowfall (if I'm traveling in a different state that actually HAS snow)
  • Spent the extra $25 to check-in my bag at the airport, if for any reason my running gear didn't fit into my carry on when I traveled
  • Dedicated additional spending money towards running sneakers instead of those cute heels that were on sale at Macy's 
However, luckily for me, running is one of those things that you get out what you put into it.

I have gotten back into my skinny jeans and lost a little extra cushion from around my midsection. Not only has my general health improved, but my legs and arms have some muscle definition and I think I even see an ab or two trying to pop out of my belly! (Who know there were actual muscles in there??) I've finished 3 half marathons and seen amazing parts of cities and countryside that I wouldn't ever see otherwise (minus getting attacked by a flock of hostile Pelicans...that wasn't so amazing). 

I get faster every week. I'm less stressed, my coordination has improved, and I've learned valuable lessons on determination and focus.
Not to mention I just love running in general.

The last few weeks have been crazy - my schedule just hasn't worked out and I've had to make major adjustments to fit everything in. But, fingers crossed and prayers up to Jesus/Ganesha/Allah/whoever you believe in, I'll be running my first full marathon in a little over two months. Two more months of sacrifice to achieve my goal. Only Two.

I feel like the little engine that could.

But more feminine...I would be pink. 

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