86 Days and Counting: Committing to Running Easier Than Committing to Blogging about Running

My dad and faux-ma are in town visiting, which is LONG overdue and a real treat! It’s also perfect since my dad and I are both in marathon training mode, and now we each have a running partner, at least temporarily.

While driving to our running this morning (one of the drawbacks on where I live), my dad commented on my lack of updating this blog. Yes, I am not a good blogger. I’m not sure what it is. I’m great at checking social media, email, and completing other daily tasks. They (not quite sure who the ‘they’ is) say that it takes 30 days to make a habit. This will be day one.

Back to running: I am officially HEALTHY! I feel great. I made it to my first Boot Camp class at the YMCA this past Wednesday, which is really important for me. I tend to have weak hips, and I need to continue strength training (as well as sprinting) to develop those areas. Plus, it’s fun and quite addicting.

We’re on day three of a four day run stretch. We ran 5 miles on Thursday, 3 miles yesterday and 6 miles today. Tomorrow will be our long run of 9 miles. I felt good enough today to clip the last 2 miles at about an 8:45 pace. My fatigue has completely disappeared, and my lungs/sinuses sound great.

The weather is also PERFECT running weather (or walker, if running isn’t your thing). I hope everyone gets out for a jaunt today and takes advantage of what Mother Nature offers.

96 Days and Counting: When Life Gets in the Way

I did accomplish part of my goals for today. Made it to the Y bright and early and had a good cardio blast on the elliptical coupled with some minimal lifting. I tried to not push too hard still and kept my heart rate and general temperament in check.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to my favorite part of Wednesdays: run club. Alas, I went into the evening thinking I successfully completed an assignment for my law course tomorrow. After speaking with the professor at 5pm, I discovered that I was completely off in my analysis and needed to rework the paper. Lo and behold, life got in my way. Well, graduate school and its many demands.

Tomorrow will be another run day. My current running schedule is quite off, but I need to be ok with that and adapt as it goes along.

Nights like these are ones where I do wish I had a running partner (although I could qualify my friends who participate in run club as somewhat partners). Still, having person to whom you are accountable is a nice benefit. Something to research…

97 days and counting: Getting Back into Gear

I elected not to write for the entire week I was sick — what more could I say about where I was at physically? Besides taking on some whiny tone (which, believe me, I reached that point several times), I rested and recuperated. I squeezed in a visit to the doctor yesterday. Of course, I was already feeling better by then, but she said that everything looked well and just to continue easing back into things.

Note: I wore my workout clothes to the doctor. She eyed me a bit suspicously.

After receiving my flu shot (hooray!), I was off to the YMCA for some cardio. The doctor advised me to start at approximately 50% of what I normally did. I rode the stationary bike for 20 minutes and then hopped onto the treadmill for a 30 minute run/walk combo. I did manage to run 1.5 miles at a 10:30 pace. Honestly, I felt good. I expected a bit more push back from my body, as in times past. Luckily, I have not experienced any major respiratory distress/infection as I normally do (thank you, Advair). I hope that continues.

Today I’m resting per both my schedule and my own internal struggle on not going too hard, too early and relapsing. I’m looking forward to jumping back into the Bull City Running Fullsteam Run Club tomorrow night and a light workout in the morning with some weights.

Just call me the Comeback Kid (kudos to Brett Dennen).



104 days to go: Reflecting on the End Goal

All ambitions of making it to the Y or even on a jog were dashed as I became winded after vacuuming. I’m itching to be outside, enjoying this weather.

I realized that I had not idenified what marathon I’m running: the 2012 Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. The folks at Runner’s World named this particular Rock and Roll event to be one of the 10 best for first-time marathon runners. The course is relatively flat (hooray Arizona!), and it winds through the heart of Phoenix and finishes in Tempe. Another perk of running a race in the homeland is family members and friends can cheer, which I know that I will need, especially in that last hour.

It hard remembering what the end goal is during the day-to-day checklists. Even when I glance at my mileage calendar, I fail to flip forward to January to see the final target. I stay focused on what must be done that week, that day. While it does help me refocus my energies, I know that I need to put more emphasis on looking at the big picture.

It’s not just about running 26.2 miles. It’s about fulfilling a commitment. It’s about family. It’s about accomplishing goals. It’s about believing in me and what these ol’ legs and heart can do.

105 days to go: Illness Invasion

Hello fall and all the glories that tag along: crisp, cool air; multicolored leaves; and the inevitable cold/flu/VIRUS OF DOOM.

I don’t need to be THAT hyperbolic yet. I started feeling less than stellar yesterday afternoon. Fast-forward through some feverish sleep and I am officially sick.

Sickness stress me for numerous reasons. First, no one likes being sick, especially not someone who thrives on activity. Second, I tend to become a bit emotional when I’m sick. I’m fairly confident I have not cried as hard watching this Animal Humane Society commercial since I ended a long-term relationship :

Those commericals make me think that I’m going to end up like this girl:

Refocus. Stressful. Sickness.

Third, I’m running a marathon in 105 days. Now, missing one or two days wouldn’t put me totally off track, but I am concerned about those days after: what if don’t get better? What if I relapse?

I tend to try and jump back into my normal lifestyle too quickly post-illness, which is a something I have tried to work on. I do tend to have a fairly weak immune system (formula baby?) so I shy away from signing up for competitive races in the fall, as I have missed several due my ailing health.

The focus for tonight: get better. If I am feeling up to life tomorrow, I plan on venturing over to the YMCA and jogging a mile or two and perhaps a spin on the bike.

106 days and counting…

This is not my first rodeo in the world of blogging. I have poured my heart and soul (in my younger days) via Live Journal and in more formative years (undergraduate life) through Blogspot.

But, I believe the purpose behind this latest endeavor is much more meaningful and significant than my previous resume.

I will be running a marathon in 106 days – this will be the topic of choice for this blog for the next 106 days (very thematic). Yet, after 106 days, I will move on to my next big goal. Believe me: they are vast and numerous.

Why am I running a marathon?

This is an excellent question. If you had asked me three years ago, I would have kindly explained that you were speaking to the wrong person. I, Katie Paulson, would never, ever run 26.2 miles for pleasure. Then, an ironic twist of fate:in June 2007, I tore the interior meniscus of my left knee playing soccer on Georgia Tech’s AstroTurf. Prior to this day, I never described me as a runner.

After visiting with a specialist, I was pressured to proceed with surgery. But, with my cross-country road trip to my new home in North Carolina a week away, I decided to forgo such a drastic measure and elected to let it be.

October 2007: I was atop the treadmill at the local YMCA, psyching myself up to take my first running step. I did. It was uncomfortable, and I huffed and puffed through one mile. But, I did it. And, I became a runner.

Now, in October 2011, I am proud to identify as a runner. I have done many 5ks, a few 10ks, and my biggest achievement to date: the Inside-Out Classic Half-Marathon in May 2010. I believed 13.1 miles was a reasonable amount to tackle in my lifetime.

But, here’s another thing: I’m not just a runner. I am also a daughter.

When I began my running career, I talked to my dad quite extensively about running. He has been an avid runner, and I have witnessed him completed several half-marathons and marathons. During one of our telephone conversations, my dad discussed his goal of running a marathon in each decade of his life. His 60th birthday fell on August 2, 2011 but he shared this with me in late 2008. So, I, half-jokingly, agreed that I would run a marathon with him after he turned 60.

Ha ha?

The reality didn’t quite sink in until after his 59th birthday. Yet, I remained committed. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy much with my father throughout my life: fishing, camping, perusing bookstores, going to movies, playing Gin Rummy, and watching sports. Now that I live 2000 mile away, I yearn for those times that we had together.

Even though we are physically separated during our trainings, we chat about our progress often and help motivate each other. We cheer on our successes (pacing goals!) and inspire during those hard days (it’s how many degrees in Phoenix today?)

I found yesterday to be one of the most challenging days as of yet: the 10 mile run. The previous long runs of eight and nine seem to pale in comparison to the double-digit monstrosity awaiting me. I still have not quite wrapped my mind around running 26.2 miles, much less 20, 17, 15, 13.3. Luckily, the weather was perfect; the crisp, fresh air revitalized me as I tackled the American Tobacco Trail from the 54 entrance, to downtown Durham, and back. I did it and even ended with a smile on my face.

Still, there are 106 days to go.