Double Digits

11I am two weeks away from my goal race of the Her Half Marathon on June 26. The last 3 weeks, I have been doing double digits for my Saturday long training runs. I am still in awe of myself for hitting these HUGE milestone!

As I look back on this journey here are some things I have learned.

  1. To help make your goal a reality, you must vocalize it. By telling people about your goal, it helps keep you accountable.
  1. I have some pretty incredible friends and family who have been amazing in giving me the encouragement I needed and words of support along the way to keep going.
  1. Doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, the point is you are doing it. Your butt is off the couch, you are being physically active to better your health and creating life long healthy habits.
  1. Learn to love the body you are given. Did I drop 50lbs from running? No, in actuality the number on the scale barely moved, but I am ok with that. I feel stronger, my body is allowing me to do something I never thought possible, and for that no matter the shape or size of it, I have learned to love who I am inside and outside.
  1.  Running is more mental than physical. If you get in your own head with negative thoughts, all those aches and pains you are experiencing will take over. Strong mind, strong body.
Foundations Training Run Team before our 12 mile run at Fireman's Park in Verona.

Foundations Training Run Team before our 12 mile run at Fireman’s Park in Verona.

I started this journey on January 9th and it is hard to believe I am two weeks away from making it a reality. I am so grateful for my fellow Foundation Training run members and Coach Flo for helping me get this far.  I have put in the work, and next week is our taper week to absorb everything we have done so far and gear up for race day. I look forward to towing the line on June 26 and run, walk or crawl…. I will make it across that finish line!

Round ll

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I survived my first round of half marathon training thanks to my Foundation teammates. March 13 was our goal race – the Madison Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K. Proud of all my teammates on making it across the finish line.

Our Foundations Summer Training Run participants.

Our Foundations Summer Training Run participants.

April 2, 2016 was the first day of Foundations Summer Training Program. I signed up for another session because of my positive experience in the spring session, the camaraderie of my fellow runners/walkers, and the accountability a training group provides.

I was excited to see so many familiar faces signed up again from our Spring session and new faces taking on the Summer session challenge. Our first training run was one of the weirdest weather days in Wisconsin. It was sunny, it was snowing, it was sleeting, it was crazy, but we all did it!

I must admit I am still in awe, that I went from zero running on January 9th to running a 10K on March 13! I am excited and nervous for what this next step of the journey holds, but I know I can get through it with the support of my Foundations friends!

 

5 Miles!

20160227_105846I never would have thought when I started this 13.1 journey on January 9th that by February 27 I would be able to continuously run 5 miles! This is my longest run to-date.  It was sunny, in the 40’s during our run time and hitting this milestone with my training group was just an awesome feeling.

I have to give credit to the Foundations Program at Endurance House.  Yes, I am the one taking each step and putting in the work, but I have learned so much in these last eight weeks. How to run, core work, foam rolling, nutrition, hill running – having to do this on your own would be very overwhelming. I see now how people (including me) start and then stop a fitness goal. It is exhausting, but with the support of this group, it has also been exhilarating — and that feeling out ways the exhaustion. (except today – I did take a two hour nap after my 5 mile milestone)  🙂

12512454_655276584613008_396967865529504766_nWe have two weeks left of this program and our graduation event is the Madison Shamrock Shuffle on March 13.  I am signed up for the 10K and look forward to that celebration beer with my team!  This will be my half-way point to my 13.1 goal. I look forward to another round of the Foundations program to get me through (as Coach Flow would say) the “Second Act.”  This “First Act” has been pretty amazing!

First Training Run Week

Snapchat-4294874620298920929It is Monday, January 12 and 8 degrees outside. I have to run for 21 minutes. I put on my gear, head out the door, and get hit with that first blast of cold and I think, what the hell am I doing?  I keep going. I do my warm up walk, set my timer for 21 minutes and I run. Now I am thinking I am just crazy because when I got done I thought, “That was not that bad or cold.”  What is happening to me??

Wednesday, January 14 is our first Wednesday group run. It is so nice to see these familiar faces going through this journey together. We split up by running/walking goal and are lead by one of the Foundations Mentors in stretching and warm up before we head off for our run. I am not a fast runner, in fact, of my 10K run group, I am the slowest — and I am ok with that. Slow and steady, may not win the race, but it will get you to the finish line!  I ran for 25 minutes tonight.

Our Spring Foundations Training Group!

Our Spring Foundations Training  Group!

belly dancing 1Saturday, January 17 group training run. We met at Dance Life Studio & Fitness to first work on our core. To do this we participated in a belly dancing basics class. Yes, I said belly dancing.  Some of us put on the fancy coin belts to get in the mood as we danced. It was fascinating and I think I am definitely going to sign up for additional classes.

We did our training run and it was 2 miles or 20-32 minutes depending on your pace. I have decided, I don’t like to say the miles part of it, I just like to say “today I will run for 32 minutes”.  It could or could not be 2 miles. I do have to get a watch to track my pace/miles/time but for now I want to enjoy the act of running versus making it so technical.

digmanPost run or walk as a group we met next door at Digman Fitness. Corey Digman, owner, taught us some preventative strength and conditioning exercises and stretches along with how and why to we should use a foam roller post work out.

As I am going into week number two of the program, I am starting to feel stronger, more confident and learning to take the “hate” out of running.

My First Training Run!

 

Saturday, January 9, 8:00 am, at Endurance House was my first training run. I was 20160109_080315-1_resizedthankful the temperature was in the 30’s and there was just a light dusting of snow that made everything very pretty instead of gray and gloomy.

Before we got started, Coach Flo and the other program mentors had us play “Icebreaker Bingo” so we could get to know the 25+ members in the spring program.

Flo then talked about “The Four Agreements”, a book by Don Miquel Ruiz. I put this book on my “must read” list.

The principals include:

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The Four Agreements are a great life lesson to practice in your entire life, not just within our group.

Then it was time to run! We went outside and did some warm up exercises as a group and then depending on what you are training for 5K walk or run or 10K walk or run we did our distance for that day. I ran for 16 minutes and did not stop or walk! I was proud of myself. When we got back at our own pace we paired up and worked on planks for our core and stretching.

I am realizing from this first week of learning and trying to be a runner, that it is mind over matter. I can honestly say, my mind has never wanted to do this before now and I think I picked the right group to help me reach my goal.

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You Have to Start Somewhere!

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Starting anything new can be intimidating. Thanks to my friend Jen Anderson, Race Director for the Her Madison Half, she told me about the Endurance House Foundations Program for people of all abilities and distance goals.

20160106_175929January 6th I nervously walked in the doors of Endurance House for the informational meeting. I felt more at ease as I saw other people of all shapes and sizes walk through the door. We were greeted by Coach Flo, who immediately made you feel comfortable. She told us about the program goal: “To build the foundation of our best life by enjoying walking and running outside, without injury in an ever growing supportive and active community,” and then we went around the room to introduce ourselves.

Some of the reasons and stories on why people, like me, where exploring this fitness journey were very inspiring. Trying to get fit after battling cancer, a women who walked her first 5k, and now wanted to run it and someone like me, hates running, but likes running with this group.

Coach Flo!

Coach Flo!

For the spring Foundations Program, we are working toward running or walking a 5K or 10K by mid-March, depends on your fitness goal. I am shooting for running a 10K by mid-March.  If I can get to 6.2 by March I have almost 3 months to get to 13.1.

I felt inspired and thought, this is the right fit for me to accomplish my goal. I signed up. The program cost for the 10 week program is $125 and that includes Walk, Run/Walk and Run pace groups (Wednesday at 6pm & Saturdays at 8am), coached team workouts, 15% in-store discounts, workshop series and much more.

Here’s my start!