Saturday, September 27, 2008

Egg beaters & whole grain toast

It's my first day of training, and I am rather proud of myself. I got up early (for me) and had a nice healthy breakfast consisting of egg beaters, 2 slices of whole grain flax seed toast and a nice cup of hot chai tea (a perfectly protein and carbohydrate packed runners breakfast if I may add). My only mistake was not having a couple glasses of high quality H2O before walking out the door- but I've since made up for that throughout the rest of the day. Did you know that once you feel thirsty that you are already dehydrated? I heard that a long time ago and have since verified that fact through reading about marathon training. What I didn't know is that you can actually drink too much fluid which can cause hyponatremia which can cause seizures, comas and all sorts of other fun conditions. Who knew? As much as I love my water with lemon (as my co-worker can vouch- she makes fun of my many potty breaks at work) I seriously doubt that I'll ever reach the point of hyponatremia.

So back to today- my goal was to run three miles and I successfully completed my three mile run followed up with a 1 mile walk. Tomorrow is Sunday, and Sunday's are the actual first day on the training schedule, so I thought of today as a "bonus". Actually, I was using today as a test. As I have stated before I don't necessarily consider myself a runner, but I do quite a bit of physical activity. I work out 3-5 days per week, doing various activities such as running, biking, playing soccer or going to the gym. My pre-marathon-training route around the neighborhood was 2 miles running 1 mile walking, so today I just ran the whole route, and then back tracked for my cool down. I wanted to test myself to see if I could push beyond my 2 mile normal limit. I am not sure if it was adrenaline, or if it was the egg beaters and whole grain toast, but it was surprisingly a very delightful run. When I felt as if my body wanted to stop, I just slowed my pace down a bit, and before I knew it my body adjusted and I was fine. I might need to get some new tunes on my iPod though...some more upbeat jams to pump it up and keep myself motivated.

After my run I could already start to feel it in my hips. When I began running consistently two years ago (only 2 miles per run), my hips started to hurt. My girlfriend, Amy, was having the same problem back then and suggested taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin. I quickly drove to GNC and purchased said supplements and have been taking them ever since. I highly recommend them to anyone who is having joint pain (being my hypochondriac self I have also since then had hip x-rays just to be sure that there aren't any other underlying problems). I began biking this summer instead of doing so much high-impact running, and that helped my hips tremendously as well. I plan to incorporate biking into my cross training; it will definitely help the old hip bones. So since I'm back into running now, I just popped two Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills and plopped my self on the couch to rest my hips. Those supplements will be my friends until I complete this journey. So will the egg beaters and whole grain flax seed toast. Yum, yum.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Please don't laugh at me..."

I've decided to run a marathon. Yes, a marathon. Not a Law and Order marathon or a half-marathon, but a 26.2 mile full-blown 3 hour plus marathon. I'm laying here, in the comfort of my own bed drinking a glass of cranberry juice, eating a Kashi Krunch bar while watching Jon & Kate plus Eight...and I'm scared, nervous, anxious, excited, worried...schwew! Can one person have that many emotions rolled into one?

You may be asking yourself, why would anyone want to run a marathon? And I retort, why not? I've decided to run a marathon for many reasons. First and foremost, I want to do this for myself- I want to prove that I can do this. Not to mention proving it to everyone else! And there are other reasons as well- I want to be healthy, get in shape and lose some weight in the process.

I made this decision not entirely on my own, but through a joint decision with my sister-in-law Kristen (and yes, Kristen, it is now on the world wide web that you are also committed to running a marathon- you are welcome). When someone starts a conversation with "Please don't laugh at me when I say this," you know your in for something good, you don't know what your in for, but that something is sure to be good. When Kristen followed that statement with "I want to run a marathon," I didn't laugh at all, I immediately screamed "me too!" And not just to humor her, but because this is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time but without her it probably would have stayed on the "want to do someday" list, rather than the "going to do in 2009" list.

We have willingly both given consent to put our bodies and minds through the long and vigorous training. We are both reading literature about training, and I am currently reading a fabulously informative (and hilarious) book by the name of The Non-Runner's Guide to Running a Marathon: For Women. I highly recommend it. Now you may ask yourself, you're not a runner, and you are going to run a marathon? Yeah. Right. Well, I don't consider myself a runner per-say, but I do quite a bit of running, biking, yoga and playing soccer. And that's one of the reasons I am going to run this marathon- to get in better shape.

Which leads me back to another one of the reasons I am going to run a marathon. I've struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. My dad says I'm "big boned", I don't think there's such a thing. I do like the way I look (for the most part), I just want to be a thinner, healthier me. I want to emphasize healthy. I currently work in a hospital and I see the effects of obesity and bad health habits everyday. I'm kind of a short girl, I'm 5'5" and I weigh 175 (yes ladies, I'm laying it all out there- brave, I know) and according to most charts I've seen in the hospital I'm almost borderline obese. And that is scary. Recently a few of my family members (whom I consider healthy) have been hospitalized for or diagnosed with heart problems; I want to prevent that from happening to me for as long as I can, hopefully forever.

Now you know a little bit about me and why I am going to run a marathon. This blog will be updated weekly and I hope will act as an active journal, outlet and motivator. Please check in weekly, or subscribe to this blog (see right side navigation bar). This way I can document my journey, share my ups and downs with friends and family, and hopefully YOU can help keep me accountable or "on track".

And so the training begins...and by the way, my goal is to run in and finish the October, 2009 Chicago Marathon. Here I come.