It’s Official: I’m Dropping Out of the 2010 Chicago Marathon

I’ve avoided this post for quite some time because I didn’t want to have to write or explain to anyone that I was quitting anything, let alone a marathon! Sadly, it’s true, I’m dropping out of the 2010 Chicago Marathon. The long and short of it is, my knee injury which forced me to miss over five weeks of training, has left me feeling extremely under prepared for this race. On top of that, I missed two long runs due to extenuating circumstances. UGH.

CM10 was supposed to be my come back race after last year’s horrible Marine Corps Marathon ordeal. When I sat down and thought about what CM10 would be like with a minimal training base, that’s when nightmares of MCM ’09 flashed into my head. I know I could suck it up and get through 26.2 miles with minimal training, but what would I really be accomplishing here? Another miserable experience that would make me (temporarily) hate running? No, unfortunately, it’s not worth it. Sadly, the Chicago Marathon doesn’t allow runners to defer their numbers to the following year, so I’ve lost my entry fee, and probably won’t be running this race anytime in the near future. Bummer.

So, what am I going to do with all of my free time? More cross training: Core Fusion, spin, bootcamp, gravity work, injury prevention workouts, winter sports like skiing and snow shoeing and finally, YOGA. I’m also going to try to fill up my schedule with shorter races to work on speed and make an event of them with friends. Finally, I’m going to focus on nutrition, trying to stay aware of portion sizes and exactly what I’m eating and how it makes me feel. The fall and winter are chock full of holiday dining events where I traditionally allow myself to eat whatever I want by resigning myself to the holiday bulge. This year I can’t promise that I won’t give in to delicious treats, but at least I’ll stay a bit more aware of these.

This was a difficult decision to make, but I know it’s the right one. Stay tuned for my next adventures…!

Sugar Doll Blogger Award & Good News at Physical Therapy…

My good friend Lizzy over at http://www.foodtorunfor.blogspot.com harassed me to update my blog and fill out a quick “10 things about me” list she calls the “Sugar Doll Blogger Award”. Lizzy, I apologize for not updating my blog as frequently as I would like, sometimes injuries and life get in the way, wah, wahhhh. Luckily, this magical little post is just the trick to getting me back to posting on a regular basis

1. My laugh is a bit over the top, but the people that love me have completely embraced it!

2. I really can’t stand lazy and unmotivated people. There I said it! My mother once told me, “Kim you don’t sit well.” Unfortunately, that means that I get bothered or annoyed by others that have that premonition! I am very ambitious and sometimes I tend to judge people that aren’t the same way.

3. I don’t generally watch TV, but when I do, I easily get sucked into bad or useless TV: Anything reality in nature, Keeping up with Kardashian’s, Say Yes to the Dress, House Hunters (especially international) occasionally the Soup

4. I’m obsessed with taking pictures. As much as I love taking pictures, I’m obsessed with looking at them on the tiny little digital screen on my camera. I guess I just love making memories and reliving them!

5. I’m OBSESSED with baking. I love it so much that I have to actively tell myself not to bake and make a mess of my kitchen. As much as I love baking, I don’t feel compelled to eat every single treat, I enjoy sharing the cupcake love with family, friends and coworkers!

6. My favorite food snack food is carrots. No lies! I can eat an entire bag of baby carrots in one sitting. I’m not sure what it is, I’ve always loved them.

7. I love being active. My worst days are ones where I don’t have the time, or the ability to work out. Whether it is running, swimming, yoga, core fusion, a class at the gym, or even a class at the gym, I love it all!

8. My friends mean the world to me, and I am extremely lucky to have so many close friends all over the country, and the globe. I firmly believe that “Good friends are like stars, you might not always see them, but you always know they’re there”

9. I HATE elevators. Of course, it doesn’t help that I work in a very tall building and I have to take an elevator anytime I want to do anything on a different floor than my own, boo. I dislike being in small spaces and also how hot and sweaty they are, ICK!

10. I tend to get overly emotional. For those who know me closely, it’s no surprise, for others who know me on the surface it probably is. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and get caught up in things, whether that means crying on my way to work because I see the same hopeless homeless man in the same spot every morning on my way to work, or beating myself up for days over a simple mistake that was barely noticed by my bosses. I like to think that it makes life a little more complex, but it’s better to feel too much than to not feel at all!

Now that I finished my 10 things (phew!) I have FANTASTIC news!!! On Friday July 30th, I visited my physical therapist, Angela (a fellow runner, hooray!) and she tested my knee to see how it was healing. After a few minutes of walking on a treadmill, I was able to slowly run, then walk, run some more, walk again, and I repeated this series for roughly 20 minutes. After confirming several times that I felt good and I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort she cleared me to resume training for Chicago! Hooooray! Angela is so fantastic that she went through my entire marathon training program and amended the remainder of the schedule. After working out a plan to run 3 days a week and slowly increase my milage, she was able to get my longest run up to 18 miles roughly 3 weeks before, which is significantly longer than I thought I would be cleared for! Thank you for all of the support and continue to send good vibes my way in hopes that my knee holds together until 10-10-10!

(NOT so) Patiently Waiting For My Knee to Heal

This is me, obviously unhappy about the current state of affairs

As you probably have noticed, I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Sadly, that’s because my worries of a knee injury came true and I have been unable to run since mid-July 🙁 But wait, you are probably asking, aren’t you supposed to be training for a marathon?! Yes, I am. And I’m doing my best to keep up my aerobic endurance by exercising on the elliptical, swimming and taking exercises classes. I will absolutely, 100% be running Chicago on 10-10-10, COUNT IT! I can’t guarantee a best time, but I will certainly be running 26.2 through the streets of Chicago 🙂

Luckily, my injury, while it is a huge inconvenience, is not that large of an issue in the grand scheme of things. What I worried was a meniscus tear, was actually just bothersome knee tendinitis and some meniscus deterioration, whatever that means! Anyways, for the past few weeks I haven’t been running, but instead I have been busy diligently doing my knee exercises. Fingers crossed that I will be back up and running on July 30th, so on that day I ask that you send some good vibes my way! For those who have knee issues, I will be documenting my knee exercises (however awkward they may be) on the blog and sharing them with you. They’re relatively easy and can be done at home! Even if you’re not injured they are great exercises for strengthening your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and other little pesky leg muscles.

This injury also means that I have to bow out of the Marathon Sports 5 Miler, which is taking place in Weston, MA and several of my favorite Boston based twitter/blogger friends are taking part of! Good luck to @ninaruns @reallynotarunnr @petfxr @bostoncardiovet and @foodtorunfor! Kick butt and PR’s to all of you 🙂 I’m sorry that I can’t join you, but I look forward to partaking in the festivities next year!

How To Train For a Marathon and Maintain a Busy Schedule

Recently, I’ve felt like my free time is between minimal to non-existent. And when I checked my blog today, I realized I haven’t posted since May 26th, that is almost ONE month! Yikes!

Between traveling to weddings in different cities, various different projects at work, organizing the corporate challenge for my entire office, and maintaining a part time job the has severely limited the time I have available to work out, relax or even sleep. Since I haven’t posted in awhile I thought I would give a quick update on my life, and also outline some of my tips for maintaining a marathon training schedule during a very busy life schedule.

Before I share some tips, I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to the past month…

Danced the night away at a wedding on a farm in rural North Carolina

Met up with an old college friend and former swim teammate!

Drove down to Steve and Michele's wedding in an RV!

Celebrated Steve and Michele's Wedding in Villanova, PA

Celebrated my birthday at Jimmy Buffett!

Tail Gated at Buffett with my mother, her friend Maureen and my boyfriend Rob 🙂

Represented Pestos with Panache at the SoWa Food & Produce Market!

Celebrated at my Company's Summer Anniversary Party with Lizzy!

Phew, what a month! Now that the dust has settled a bit and the traveling and social engagements have subsided for the next six weeks or so, I’m looking forward to training at normal hours, catching up on sleep, eating healthier and of course, consuming less alcoholic beverages 🙂

So, with that chaotic of a schedule, how does someone train for a marathon?

  1. Schedule everything– I am a big fan of the “to do” list, and I relish in the sense of accomplishment I feel when I can successfully cross something off. The same goes for training runs, especially those of the long variety! I’ve compiled my training schedule into an excel document with all of my weddings, birthday parties, BBQ’s, bachelorette parties, showers, as well as all of my runs for each day until the Chicago Marathon on October 10th 2010. By merging social and running onto one calendar I can accurately plan my runs around my social schedule instead of having something sneak up on me
  2. Be at peace with missing something–inevitably, things do come up, and runs are missed, don’t fret, just say to yourself “ok, I’ll give myself that out, next time I won’t make that same mistake.” Own your pitfalls and move on.
  3. Lean on your running buddies– If you’re like me, you have many running friends from multiple different circles. I’m lucky enough to have them in almost every part of my life, so where ever I may be for a weekend I usually have a running friend close by. I find that the buddy system adds an urgency and responsibility to completing the work out.
  4. Find a Road Race in a city you a visiting- I know it might not seem possible, but if you can squeeze a quick 5k into a weekend in New Jersey when you’re there for a wedding, it will not only ensure that you get a work out in, but it will be more fun!

These are just a few tips, I will, without a doubt, be adding to these as the summer continues on.

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to posting with more frequency as Chicago training ramps up!

Good Bye Winter “Bla’s”!

So since returning from vacation, it’s taken a little bit to work back into daily life again–work, the cold weather, commuting and of course THE GYM. The first week back was pretty rough, for some reason I felt like I was spinning my wheels every time I stepped foot into the gym. I honestly think I was so resentful of the cold weather that I worked myself into a funk. One day was so bad that I went home directly after work, bundled up in sweats and blankets and rooted myself on my couch. It finally took my boyfriend to drag me to the gym! The instant I stepped on the elliptical trainer I felt like a new person. Who knew such a workout nut could be in a fitness funk?

Since the forced gym visit, I am happy to report, I have been on an upward fitness and wellness swing–hooray! Not only have I gotten back into the routine of attending weekly bootcamp class (ouch!), running on the treadmill, but I took a trip to Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s and stocked up on all of my favorite nutritions products (post to follow sometime this week.) It’s not that I ever pig out on junk food, but it’s difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan when eating breakfast and lunches out–yuck!

So the ground work has been laid for a great winter in the gym (and running outside when it gets above 40 degrees), I’m back on the nutrition bandwagon (hopefully for the long haul!) and now more exciting news, I have registered for my THIRD marathon! Yesterday at 9am I registered for the Chicago marathon and I am absolutely thrilled. The excitement of registering, along with my friends Michele (marathon compadre, who I have run NYC & MCM with) and Noel (Boston qualifying superstar friend!) bolstered me through a quick, but very intense three mile run that ended with me running at 8.0 in the last half mile. Take that winter blues, I’m fighting back!

It may not have been the prettiest route to optimal fitness and nutrition regimen, but I’d like to announce that I am BACK! I look forward to blogging about nutrition, books, training techniques more often. I’m going to hold myself to blogging in order to hold myself to my reformed healthy lifestyle. Until next time, happy running!