Preparing to Train, a 4 step process.
Step 1: The training schedule has been made.
It has been taped to the inside of the cabinet door. (As this is my ritual for where I put my training schedules). In my last post, just 3 days ago, I said I was modifying the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training schedule a bit as I didn’t want to run 4 days a week, only 3. Well, I modified my modification. After reviewing the training with the hubs (my local expert on health/fitness), it was decided that I would complete the training schedule as written. The only changes I made were to which days were run versus rest versus cross. The hubs works out 5 days a week, twice a day, as he is training for Ironman Louisville (which is on 8/26/12). When he decided to do his first Ironman, we talked about the intensity of the training schedule, how it would affect our family, and knew that if he was going to do it, we were all going to need to be active participants. We happily jumped onboard as his Team Kaufman supporters and have cheered him on during his path to his goal. I too workout 5 days a week and have had to carefully select my rest days that work the fine balance of being an active/engaged mom of 3, manage a full-time job, and be head cheerleader on Team Kaufman. Wednesdays are my day off, that means my day off work and my day off workout, it’s the one weekday that I can pour myself into my kids with no distractions and I love my Wednesdays. My long run will take place on either Saturday or Sunday, whichever day works best in our family’s schedule is when I’ll fit it in. So, the training schedule is set, it’s taped in its proper position. The training schedule is just one piece of my healthy lifestyle though.
Step 2: My God time (it’s actually a first in my life, just happens to be listed as step 2 on this list). I wake up at 6:30am every morning to read my bible and write in my prayer journal. It’s not something I’ve always done, it’s a new habit I created after going on a Discipleship Walk with my church. I go on my back screened porch, say my morning prayers, read one chapter and drink my coffee. It is invaluable time with my Lord. I used to love to sleep, love, love, love it! I tried to do my bible time at night because I was more of a night owl than a morning bird, but found that I would forget or just not focus. The first week was a little difficult and I hit snooze a few times the first month even, but once you get in the habit of starting your day with God time, you will crave it. I started in the New Testament and just read one chapter each day and write notes in the margins of verses that strike me. My God time has been a MUST for my health. It centers me, it sustains me, it breathes life into me everyday.
Step 3: Nutrition, and this seems to be my hardest to manage. I have modified my diet considerably over the past year and eat so much healthier than I did before, but I still have a lot of work to do. I eat lean meats (chicken breast, ground turkey, salmon/tilapia), have increased my fruits and veggies, and most pasta/breads have been eliminated. I’m also working to slowly eliminate processed foods (boxed/canned foods) and decrease my sugar intake (even considering eliminating sugar, but haven’t done enough research yet to determine if this is truly healthy). I’m going to start with a very simple step though as part of my nutrition…water.
I will be drinking a minimum of 3 of these (they are 20 oz bottles) a day. I tend to chug water and will drink a bottle in about 2 gulps, but I also tend to forget to get the bottle out and fill it up. So, starting today, I am drinking a minimum of 3 bottles/day. Something along the lines of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a new habit I’ll have to create, so I’ll track how well I do. I’m considering filling all 3 in the morning and then setting them in the window by my sink as a reminder to drink. I also need to improve my hydration during a run, I prefer to run dry as drinking during a run causes some GI upset and sloshing that I prefer to live without. However, I have been losing 1-2 lbs of water weight just going on short runs in this heat wave we’re having and that is not acceptable. I must teach my body to accept hydration on a run, it’s a must considering the mileage I’ll be putting in during these hot summer months.
Step 4: Safety. I take a handheld mace with me on every run (it has velcro that wraps around your palm, so you don’t really even hold it). I haven’t always done that as I do run on the Monon Trail, which is a fairly heavily populated area, but the hubs asked me to, so I do it. There are multiple stories women being abducted, attacked, murdered while out on their runs and it’s sad. My recommendations for safety are to run with another person. Get a training partner, it will motivate you when you don’t feel like going and provide added safety as the numbers would be on your side. If you can’t get a training partner, take your dog. Granted this will be less helpful if you own an adorable little ankle biter, but if it barks, it will still draw attention and make you less of a target. If you must run alone, then carefully select your run times and area. Pick a time when more people are out and about (hint, that’s not 5-7am) and a path that is well-traveled, don’t give anyone the opportunity to swipe you without being noticed. Have your mace in hand as this will give you something to fight back with if you find yourself in a horrible situation. Finally, always take your phone. It works as your GPS to track your mileage, your radio, and you can call for help if needed.
Well, my steps are in place and now I’m just ready to start making it happen. Tomorrow begins day 1, time for the fun to begin!