the wonderful world of veena.

15 July 2013

1/2 marathon monday: week 1 in the books.

I realized during my run on Tuesday that it would probably be easier - at least for the first few weeks - to do a running diary type of thing to keep track of my workouts and runs and then to add a few overall thoughts at the end. We'll try it out for a few weeks and see how it goes. So buckle yourself in, we're off to recount Week 1 of training.

Tuesday: a short 1 mile run to ease into the running portion of the training. it was super muggy outside, but I slogged through and ran the fastest mile I've run in a while. I was definitely dripping by the end of it, though. depending on how Thursday's run goes, I'm going to consider getting up half an hour earlier for my runs, especially when they get longer in the coming weeks.

Wednesday: 45-minute NTC Get Strong Beginner Pump Station workout. mostly squats / lifting combinations with some plank walks thrown in for good measure. I still need to work on my techniques on a few of them, particularly the plank rows. generally I'm not good at planking, so that's something I want to focus on improving for Week 2.

Thursday: another muggy run, this time for 1.5mi. my quads weren't too happy with me at the beginning, since my run begins with an incline, but we made it through in one piece. I have a feeling it's going to be muggy for at least another month or so, so next week I'm going to try to get up 15-20 minutes earlier to beat the heat a bit. we'll see how that goes.

Friday: 45-minute NTC Get Toned Beginner Shape + Sculpt workout. the good news: no planks! the bad news: lots of abs. again, something I need to work on, but not something I enjoy doing. and lots of squats, which burned, but which I made it through. the thing I have to keep reminding myself during these workouts is that it's a marathon [well, I guess technically it's half of one...], not a sprint. sure, those squats are nothing at the beginning of the workout, but there's still 37 minutes and 3 more sets of those to come, so I have to remember to save my strength so I can make it through the whole workout. this workout was also the first one where I had to use the medicine ball, which was something new and different.

Saturday: oh glory be, a day of rest!

Sunday: Carmelita Jeter's 15-minute intensity workout. 3 sets each of step jumps, squats with a kettle ball, squats with a medicine ball, mountain-climbers-into-tuck-jumps [ouch], and weird backward diagonal squats with weights. my quads - which felt fine after Saturday's rest day - were screaming and threatening to collapse out from under me. ok, that might be a tad bit dramatic, but it was a pretty intense 15 minutes.

Overall, it was a pretty good week. The runs were short and easy, but the workouts were a bit difficult, mostly because I was unfamiliar with a lot of the exercises. I'm hoping that with practice and increased endurance, I'll get better at them over time.

On a separate but related note:

A few weeks ago, I ordered a Jawbone UP band, and I began wearing it the Sunday night before I began my training. I had a few reasons for biting the bullet and ordering it:
  • I've been wanting for a while to have a band that tracked my steps and general activity.
  • The UP band also allows me to log my food, which I'm hoping will not just cut back on my intake but also help me get into a routine again with my eating.
  • You can set the band to let you know when you've been idle for a certain amount of time [I currently have mine set to vibrate if I've been sitting still for 1 hour between 9am and 7pm, but I can change it whenever I want].
  • It also logs your sleep, which I thought was a pretty cool feature.
It's definitely an investment - a cool $129.99 from Amazon or a number of in-store retailers such as Best Buy or the Apple store, to name a few - but I think it will pay itself off.

Logging my food has already made me more vigilant about what I'm eating; knowing I have to log it has kept me from scarfing down the loose Starbursts that are hanging out on our coffee table, and instead of reaching for cookies or candy when I want an afternoon snack, I'm going for the baby carrots or a peach instead. I'll still eat those other things - I am me, after all - but I'm looking more for portion control and moderation right now. Coming back from India always throws me, because I want all of my favourite Memphis foods right away, none of which are healthy. And being out of town 4 weekends in a row didn't help me much, but I am slowly trying to get myself back into a healthier routine. One week is always too soon to tell, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?

As for my steps, my current goal is 6,000 steps per day, although I would love to average somewhere in the 7-7,500 range. On days when I run, I surpass my goal by the time I get back home, but on days where I have workouts, it takes me longer, since it obviously doesn't count things like squats and crunches and planking and the like. Since my brother and I are both sitting at home joblessly for the time being - and since he also ordered an UP band - we keep searching for errands to run and reasons to get out of the house so we can meet our steps goal. And if we've been idle for a while in the late afternoon, right when that urge to take a nap starts to set in, we'll start walking laps around the ground floor of the house. It's pretty funny to watch, actually. My father will sit with an amused look on his face and watch us go in circles. But it gets the job done. Some days I get in far more steps than on others, but as long as I'm being active, I'll take that as a good thing.

So here I am at the end of Week 1, still in one piece and still convinced I'm going to be ready to run this race come October 20. Bring it on, Week 2.

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