Wow – time flies when you are working hard! I am looking back and I can’t believe it’s been a while since I posted an update. Sorry loyal blogger friends and readers! Life gets in the way sometimes. Where we left off, I was getting ready for a New York Marathon I was woefully prepared for. Although it was a beautiful, crisp New York City day (FINALLY some decent weather after Boston and Atlantic City earlier in the year) – no weather is going to help you when you aren’t properly prepared. I did manage to gut it out to the finish, but I avoided – barely – a personal worse.
The weekend after New York, I flew out to Vegas for a girls trip to run the Rock N Roll Las Vegas half marathon. I was very much looking forward to this trip. We had planned for lot of fun with a little bit of running – which is normally not really an issue for me if the race goal is to “complete and have fun” not “compete” – however, that also only works if you are well trained. We ran the 5K on Saturday night and although that was pretty uneventful, the half marathon was a total disaster. I have never been so sick during a race in my life, and it was a minor miracle I was able to finish at all.
When I got back from the trip, I realized it was time to make a big change in my life. I could no longer ignore the facts that 1) my “easy” run pace has climbed well over to a minute per mile slower than what I was doing a year earlier 2) I have lost so much endurance that every race this fall has been a struggle bus 3) the majority of my clothes no longer fit me 4) I gained back every pound I had worked so hard to lose two years ago, plus an additional 5, and based on the inches and how my clothes fit, it was not muscle I had gained.
Orange Theory To Save The Day
Enter Orange Theory. I had heard so many great things about these classes, I wanted to give it a try. For those of you who may not be familiar with the studio, the classes combine short bouts of hard efforts on the treadmill, the rowing machine, and the weight room for a HITT workout. I have never been able to stick with a strength training program in my life, but I figured I might as well give it try for this winter, because my current program was not working.
I signed up for the Elite membership at my local studio, which is 8 classes, month (about twice a week). The first few weeks were HARD. It was a bit of a slap in the face to realize how far I had fallen in terms of running speed even for the short distances, and the weight room was even more difficult for me to keep up with. I had a few workouts where I could barely run for days after. But slowly it got easier – and now 3 months later, while the classes are never “easy” – I do find I am able to keep up much better, and (knock on wood anyways) I can recover much more quickly. I am also starting to see some of the weight come off, but I am also trying not to focus too much on the scale and more on how my clothes fit, since I know I am lifting weights for the first time.
I also had an incredible opportunity this past winter handed to me, in the form of an invite to the London Marathon. I have wanted to run this marathon for so many years, but as any runner knows, the ballot is nearly impossible for overseas runners. Plus, this means after this race, I will be 3/6 done with the Majors and halfway there to the elusive six star major. I do not want to throw away my shot at this one. I put together a pretty difficult training plan based off of Hal Higdon Advanced 1 – and modifying to include my Orange Theory classes and a little swimming and cycling – and so far, I think I’ve been able to do a pretty good job at sticking to it. I am going on week 9 of 18 of my schedule, and I’ve hit workout I’ve needed (albeit shuffling some days around – but I think that’s normal, right?). My paces are not quite where they were. But I’m cautiously optimistic that I am making a comeback and that London could be a solid marathon.
Running For A Cause
As many of you may know, the London Marathon is a huge charity fundraiser. The reason why the ballot is so difficult is because the majority of the field is comprised of charity runners – this year, the race is set to raise over one billion pounds to charity. My best friend has also been dying to run this race as much as I have, so I have decided to team up with her as a “ballot”runner. That way I get to help contribute to this amazing fundraising effort, and also help make an runner’s dream come true. We will be running for Team Sense, a non profit dedicated to helping individuals with complex sensory disabilities. For more info, see our fundraising page. Any contributions would be very much appreciated, and stayed tuned for a few fun raffles and giveaways!
Have you ever fund-raised for a big race before? Any tips on ideas that worked/did not work for you?