Back to The Grindstone

After months of certain things (ahem!) taking over my life, I’m finally back on track.  Got an hour in on the bike at the gym and loved (?) every awful minute of it!

It’s going to take all 27 remaining days, but I WILL be ready for this triathlon.  Alternatively, I will try not to have a heart attack.  A goals and B goals, I suppose.  😉

BETT

T Minus One

That’s “T” for test.  Tomorrow is the big day!  I’ll be taking that national certification exam I’ve been preparing for.

In some ways, I feel like I’ll never be ready – I could read and study for a month of Sundays and STILL not know as much as I’d like to.  In other ways, I feel well-prepared after putting in a lot of hard work and study time.

Either way, I’m really ready to get this over with!

It’s kind of like training for a race in that respect, except there are no celebratory finish line libations provided by the testing center.  😉  I might celebrate on my own with a nice big Diet Coke!!

Who am I kidding?  Might?  I definitely will.  🙂

Send some positive thoughts my way if you think of it  – and have a happy Saturday!

BETT

Picking a Plan

MyAsics - Get Your Plan

Somehow I went to sleep sometime in January and woke up in July!  Does it feel like the summer is just flying by to anyone else?!

I took a minute to figure out how long I have until my next big event – and was shocked to find out that the Philadelphia Marathon (November 17th) is 4 months and 10 days from this Sunday!

That’s 19 weeks.

133 days.

3192 hours.

191,520 minutes.

OK, you get the idea.  It’s soon.  And I haven’t picked a training plan yet!

I always feel a little stuck when it comes to deciding on a plan for marathon training.  It seems like I’m always somewhere between beginner and intermediate – but there aren’t many plans that cater to that.  I think I have a good cardio fitness base right now, which makes the first weeks of many beginner plans kind of superfluous.  At the same time, I definitely am not an intermediate, nor do I have the time to commit to the hours of training that many intermediate plans require.

I know that Hal Higdon’s beginner plans are really popular for people who are starting to train for a marathon.  I’ve checked out his other free training plans and am strongly considering the Novice 2 or Intermediate 1 plans.  Realistically, I don’t see myself having time to run both weekend days as proposed in the Intermediate 1 plan, so I might end up defaulting to the Novice 2 schedule.

I’ve also investigated the MyAsics training program after reading about it on Run, Hemingway, Run!  (Thanks, Marc!)  It is similar to Hal’s but is customizable based on age, gender, current race times, goal times, event dates, etc.  Pretty cool.  The only downside I see to it so far is that it doesn’t seem to be too flexible once you put in a current race time.  (It seems to presume that your mile split time for the entered race length is the fastest you can run for any length.  I would assume most people are like me in that they can run a 5k at a faster pace than their half-marathon pace, but the MyAsics plan seems to stick to the slower half-marathon pace if that’s the current race time you enter.)

Anyway, I haven’t been great about picking and sticking with plans in the past, which means I’ve never actually “trained” for a marathon, although I’ve run several.  Having a plan this time around would make the post-marathon weeks much more pleasant, I’m sure!   I’d love to hear what everyone recommends and what factors you think are important in picking a plan.  My legs will thank you on November 18th.  😉

Happy Fitness Friday!

BETT

Getting Close

52 days!

Can’t believe the West Point Triathlon is getting so close.  Where has the time gone?!

On a technical note, I’ve been trying to upgrade the countdown widget in my sidebar from the standard WordPress “Milestone” widget to code from another site using the WordPress “Text” widget.  There’s no option to change from text to HTML within the Text widget, and I keep getting funky results.  Like this:

A title is great, but a countdown would be better!  I’ve looked at the WordPress help site for Text widgets, but it hasn’t been so helpful!  😉  Any suggestions for an easy way to do this or a different website for countdown widgets?

BETT

Time for a Little R&R

No, not rest & relaxation, although I’m sure we all wish we had a little bit of that!

Instead, I’m talking about Reset & Rededication.

When I started this blog, I was swept up in the spirit of starting to train for my first triathlon.  I was participating in my gym’s “Lazyman Triathlon,” which kept me swimming, biking, and running nearly every day.  Then, the weather got better, the lazy triathlon ended, school got really busy and end-of-semester testing took off.  All of a sudden the gym held less allure but I didn’t necessarily get outside and get moving on the trails with biking or running either.  I allowed myself to get caught up in the stress and let many of the healthy habits I love fall by the wayside.  I focused on the energy and time it took to workout and eat healthy, rather than on the benefit of that time investment in the form of energy, stamina, and a positive mindset.  For a few weeks now, I’ve been surviving instead of thriving.

Luckily, there’s always another chance to start fresh, and that’s what I’m doing this weekend.  I still have some big events looming on the horizon (one final and really important test plus three or four very busy months of on-the-job-training of sorts) but I’m not going to let them get me off course.  I have no doubt it will be difficult to balance real life and training, but I’m ready to rededicate myself to the goals I had when I started this thing.  Thanks for sticking with me through the weeks of minimal motivation.  Here’s to more positive energy from this point forward!

Never Give Up On A Dream

(Courtesy RunningQuotes)

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go workout!

BETT

Almost There

Before a Race, Just Remember

(Courtesy RunningQuotes)

Substitute “test” for “race” and “smart” for “fast” (and ignore the misspelling on this picture lol)  and you have my psych-me-up reminder for tomorrow.  Last two tests of the school year tomorrow morning and last quiz tomorrow afternoon.

Then there’s just one more national-level certification test to get through this summer and it will be smooth sailing – and hopefully triathlon training! – for a while.  🙂

Happy almost-Friday!!

BETT

To Monitor or Not To Monitor?

I read this article on RunnersWorld today called “Heart Rate Training – Is It Right for You?”  I have been considering heart rate/GPS training for a while now, but I’m still undecided.

(Don’t be shocked, all of you super-runners out there, but I’ve never gotten into the data dependence thing…)

I almost always run with my trusty basic sports watch.  It’s so basic that I don’t think it even has a lap function!  It’s small, comfy, and easy to use.  Plus, I don’t worry about it getting banged up when I workout because I’m pretty sure it cost less than $15.

With all this training for the upcoming triathlon, however, I’ve been really considering using a heart rate monitor/GPS/combination of the two.  There are a few reasons I haven’t taken the plunge yet.

First, these things can be a pricey for something you don’t know if you’ll like or not.  I’ve found near-new ones on craigslist, though, so that might not be such a hurdle.

Second, I’m unfamiliar with the options, so it’s hard to pick which one would be good.  Do I go for basic?  Should I get a watch that has both GPS functions and heart rate monitoring?  How about multi-sport use?  If I’m going to make the investment, should I get all the bells and whistles, or should I just get something easy to use so it will actually be worth purchasing?

And finally, I have to admit that I have a healthy fear of developing an addiction to split times, exact distances, heart rate zones, etc. that could be helpful at best but distracting and/or discouraging at worst.

What do you think?  Is it worth going for it?  If you use some kind of technology to track your workouts, is there anything you recommend getting or avoiding?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  🙂

BETT