Reflections Of A Lackluster Life

The Random Thoughts Of A Captive Midwesterner

Half January 24, 2011

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 1:36 pm
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About 4 months ago, I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon.  My legs were dead, my lungs were dead, my entire body ached worse than it had in my entire life.  I was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment like I had never known before.  People were everywhere cheering and congratulating.  And I even go a medal!

Yesterday, for the first time since that fateful day, I ran another half marathon.  Except this time there was no cheering and no medal.  It was just the same as any other day where a long run was involved.  Somehow 13 miles has gone from being the number I worked towards for months to just another distance that I am perfectly capable of running.  It has been reduced from one of the most exciting things I have ever done to a boring treadmill run with bad Sunday TV.  It was a challenging run and I probably could have run it faster, but speed was not my goal.  My legs were a little tired, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Now I realize that the same fear that a 13 mile distance had once filled me with has now been replaced with a new number, 26.  I can’t imagine running double the distance I did yesterday.  A few more miles sure, but double?  I know that is what a training program is for, to get you to that distance.  Today starts week 5 of that program, and I have 13 weeks to go after this one.  I have faith in myself that I will be able to do this, I just can’t visualize actually doing it.

For now I will focus on smaller goals, next weekend I run a 14 miler.  That will be my longest distance ever, though it doesn’t fill me with the dread of 26, it’s still further than I’ve ever had to go before.  Hopefully I will be able to run outside next week, I don’t think I can take another boring treadmill run.


Short January 21, 2011

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 6:03 pm
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Who wears short shorts?  Apparently I do.  While modeling my newly purchased pink running shorts for my husband, he eyed them speculatively while asking if they were indeed shorts or underpants.  This morning I took my new “underpants” to the gym to run in, but of course I had his criticism on my mind.  Where they too short?  Had I really worked hard enough on my legs/ass to justify wearing them?  Were people looking at me with a “who does she think she is” glare?  Was my butt hanging out? I hadn’t worn shorts in public more than 3 or 4 times since high school for exactly this reason!

I took a few deep breaths and told myself very firmly that no one was looking at me before I got on the treadmill.  After a few minutes of running, I assessed the situation.  My butt appeared to be staying put inside the shorts and my legs, toned and muscular from months of training did not jiggle about, perhaps I had earned this after all?

All in all, it was a great workout!  I ran 6 miles, and the last time I did that (Wednesday) I was wearing long yoga/spandex pants (another big step for me a few months ago) and I was sweating up a storm.  Long running pants are simply too hot for indoor long runs.  Shorts on the other hand are great!  I never once felt overheated.

So here is to the upcoming spring/summer running season!  Shorts galore!  Next big hurdle?  Ditching the shirt!  Sports bra running here I come!


Speed January 14, 2011

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 2:35 pm
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Last night I tried something new.  Thursday is my last running day before a day of rest, and it’s not a very long run.  This week it was 3 miles, a distance that is starting to feel like a waste of time.  3 miles?  Sure, that distance scared me when I started running, but that was  a long long long time ago.  So I decided to start using Thursday runs to work on my speed.

I split my workout into different intervals, 4.5mph and 7mph.  I ran a quarter mile at 7 (pretty much my top speed if I want to be able to run for more than 30 seconds) and then recovered for a minute to a minute and a half then I went back to sprinting another quarter mile.  I did that for three miles.  I finished my 3 mile way faster than normal doing this and I didn’t feel like I was going to die like I do when I attempt to run the entire run at the “sprint speed”.

Today I feel fine, though I was a little worried that the increased tempo would lead to increased muscle aches, that just isn’t the case.  I will continue to work on my speed intervals and track my progress on my long runs to see if my work is shaving any time off of my run.



Three January 10, 2011

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 5:51 pm
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And now we begin week 3!  Week 2 ended better than I would have thought.  I finished my 11mile long run in 2 hours 8 mins, I would really like to be at a solid 10 min mile for the marathon, but I’m not going to kill myself to get there.  “Slow but steady FINISHES the race” is my mantra right now.

11 miles took me from my house to North Avenue Beach and it was quite a beautiful view when I got there!

My halfway point!

Tonight I have cross-training, and I must admit a bit sheepishly that I have fallen head over heels in love with Zumba.  I look super spastic doing it, but it’s fun, and that’s what it’s all about right?  Fun?  I think so!

Week 3 is a “step back” week in my training, my mileage during the week picks up a little bit but I only have 8 miles to go on Sunday, I don’t know what I will do with all my extra time!


Second January 8, 2011

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 10:44 pm
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For the last couple of months whenever I thought back to my summer training building up to the half marathon, I found myself nostalgic for sense of accomplishment after breaking another personal best, for the soreness in my muscles telling me very clearly that I had worked my body to its limit, for the sight of the scale as it kept notching further and further in the direction I wanted.  I couldn’t wait until my marathon training started so I could get back to challenging myself with longer runs and more intense workouts.  I was excitedly counting down the days until I could officially say “18 weeks to go!”.  In short, I was an idiot.

How could I not have remembered what this was like?  Pushing my pace faster and faster?  Lifting weights to strengthen my stride?  Suffering the excruciating embarrassment that is Zumba class?  Spending night after night with ice packs tied to every inch of my body with ace bandages?  The inability to fit anything but running and sleep into my schedule?

Ok, before you go getting all worried about me, I should explain that I am currently in week two of training and therefor nothing I say should be taken too seriously.  Week two is brutal.  Week one is all about the optimism and the excitement, week two is more about feeling like a failure and forcing yourself to go on.  Week three needs to get here stat.  I need this to be a routine again, not an interruption of my schedule.

So tonight I will have a 5m run on the treadmill, I’m trying for interval training if I can manage it, but I might be forced to just run the damn thing.  Tomorrow I have an 11m run outside and I am actually really looking forward to that.  I miss running by the lake, the early sunsets and freezing temperatures of Winter keep me off my favorite paths after work, but the “warm” mid-day Sunday sun calls to me!

I hope that Monday brings with it the feeling of routine that I am hoping week three will bring.  If it doesn’t, I’m just going to have to throw in the towel and go completely insane for a few weeks.  I hope no one minds?


New December 28, 2010

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 1:48 pm
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Well hello there!  I’m back!  Did you miss me?  Probably not, but that’s really not the goal of this is it?  I am happy to report that today starts something serious and very important to me.  Today I start officially training for the Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon.  That’s right!  In just 18 weeks I will have trained my mind and body to travel a distance of 26.2 miles.  I can not wait to know what that feels like.

I plan on documenting the experience a lot here, so I apologize in advance if I get a bit obsessive as I do tend to do that.

In truth, I have never been more excited about a challenge in my life, but I have never been so nervous either.  This is the biggest goal I have ever set for my body and I really hope that my body is up the the task.  Only one way to find out though right?  Here goes nothing… wish me luck!


Sick November 3, 2010

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 12:26 am
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Well it had to happen sometime right?  But why, for the second year in a row, did it have to happen on Halloween?  Is it some cruel joke?  In case you didn’t know, I am talking about the flu.  That’s right folks, the flu has officially stolen two Halloweens from me.

The bigger problem?  Nanowrimo of course!  It has officially been going on for two day now and though it has been difficult with my illness, I have managed to stay on track.  I am currently at 3458 words.  I am really happy to not be behind because of all of this nonsense, and look forward to writing even more than necessary in the coming days.