Monday, August 29, 2011

It's official - Philadelphia Marathon, here I come!

I may have been too superstitious to register before, but like that screenshot says, I am officially registered for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th!!! :D Ever since I had my IT band injury last year before the Marine Corps Marathon, I have been too superstitious to register; in my head, if I registered, I'd get injured and not be able to prepare for the race well. With it 85% full, today, I decided to just get some cojones and do it!

For the past 5 weeks (first week of plan was my week off after my 24 hour race), I've been using Pete Pfitzinger's 18/55 training program (18 weeks, averaging 55 miles per week). With just 3 short months to go, here's the training I've got left:




In the past, my training programs did not include enough speedwork and miles at my goal marathon pace. In the last 5 weeks, I have already done a handful of runs at my goal marathon pace or faster and it feels so good. I feel really great about this year's marathon and think that I am preparing myself the best I can so that I can get the elusive personal record (PR). Three months will fly by and before I know it, it'll be race time!

Anyone else have races they are training for? Anyone else doing the Philadelphia Marathon?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Labeling my eating

It is my honest opinion that we as humans must label and categorize things in order to best understand them; we label and categorize nearly everything in our lives. Not everyone has the same labels for things, but we all label and categorize everything. Sometimes, though, labeling and categorizing, in my opinion, becomes a bit unnecessary. When is that? With diets, that is.

I would consider myself a healthy eater (most of the time, says the girl who had two petifores at around 10 am from my work break room and just ate a handful of peanut M&Ms...whoops). I try to avoid overly processed food (*cough let's ignore those M&Ms I just ate cough*), get organic produce when it is necessary, and eat a lot of veggies (see my Food Philosophy). I have a great appreciation for vegetarian and vegan food because I find the food to be creative and resourceful. I also have an obsession with veggie burgers and get them out at restaurants all the time.

Why must I define it?
With my penchant for vegetarian foods, I tend to eat vegetarian at restaurants (usually healthier and cheaper, too!). When I order a vegetarian option, most people around me who don't know usually say, "Oh, so you're a vegetarian." I usually respond with, "Well, no, I'm not, but I happen to enjoy veggies a lot!" I even had a co-worker who was really stunned when he found out I wasn't a vegetarian since I order vegetarian lunches all the time; he almost looked at me in a different light. I am always in awe of how people feel the need to define and categorize how I eat.  I guess technically, I eat a "flexitarian" diet, but why do I even need to define it? When people find out I'm a non-vegetarian who adores veggie burgers, people tend to be perplexed. In their minds, veggie burgers fall under the vegetarian category, for which I am not a part of.

Next time you go out with people you don't know so well, think about how you perceive them before and after they order their meals. Do you wonder what they consider themselves? Could you care less? I find that people that have strict diet categories they put themselves into (vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb, kosher, etc.) tend to want to categorize other people's diets more often than people who aren't so clearly defined in their diets. I get why we do this as humans, but feel we might live in a better world if we aren't defined so simply by how we eat.

Do you define and categorize your diet? Do you do the same to others?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm shaking in my boots

As I've started training for my fourth (wow, that seems nuts to say) half and full marathons, I've thought a lot about my running the last few years. In the last few years, I've run 5ks, 10ks, 5 mile races, half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons. I have run a lot of races, but I have a confession to make:

I'm scared. What am I scared of? Oodles of things, like triathlons, trail running, distance-based ultras, and even marathons!

The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that I am scared of things that are out of my confort zone. I'm not a strong swimmer (can barely do one whole lap without my lungs burning like crazy), I'm so out of shape for trail running that trails intimidate me, distance-based ultras mean I could possibly get the dreaded DNF (did not finish), and marathon training means I'm running much faster than in training for ultras. Lots of people have joked that training for my half and full marathons must feel like a breeze, but it's really hard and scary for me, honestly; I am comfortable going really slow for hours upon hours. I envy people like Shannon for doing her two tris this year and making it seem easy!

I have realized that I do repeat certain races because I just adore them (Mind the Ducks 12 hour!), but I also am not branching out because I am a scaredy cat. I hope that in the upcoming year or so, I can branch out and have the guts to do something out of my comfort zone.

Anything that scares you that you hope to do in the next year?