Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 4

Today marked the ending of wek 4 for my training plan.

Thus far, this was the hardest week. My training week starts on Mondays, but they really should go Sunday to Saturday, because it feels like my week starts with the long run instead of ends with it. Anyway, after last Sunday's 10.5 miles, this week seemed to never end.

I worked out more this week than ever. And, I get the feeling this is just a taste of what's to come. Monday was super hard. I wan't sore from Sunday's run, but I was just very tired. Getting through the 65 minute bike ride was rough, but I did it. Tuesday was a 45 minute run, abs, and weights. Wednesday was 65 minutes of run. Thursday was 65 minutes of bike. Friday was supposed to be 45 minutes, but do to an untested pair of running shorts and some very painful chaffing, I could only suffer through 40 minutes, abs, and weights.

Total minutes running=270 or 4.5 hours
Total miles this week=19.75
Total miles to date=77.86
Total aerobic minutes=400

4 weeks down, 20 to go.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


When I think of the word "Epic", several things come to mind; The Eiffel Tower, The Grand Canyon, The Olympics. Those things are epic to me. And then there are the feats in my life I've decided to take on that fall into the category of epic.

When a professional singer decides to do a recital, it's an epic undertaking. It's a solo recital of 45-60 minutes of music that almost always follows a certain program order. And, it's always really hard music. In my case, I'm trying to get into graduate school, so this recital will be recorded and portions of it sent in to various universities where I'm applying in the hopes that they will invite me for a live audition. So, in essence, it has to be perfectly performed.

Naturally, while undertaking all the other epic adventures of this year, I decided to do a recital. After much scrutiny, research, and deliberation, my teacher and I have managed to pick all the songs for this program except for one. Today, it feels like an enormous weight has been lifted as we decided on an order, and finalized the music. There are 15 songs total, including 5 arias and 10 art songs(including 2 duets), in Italian, German, French and English.

There is an immense cost associated with a recital of this magnitude. It will probably cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 by the time I pay for my accompanist(who is worth her weight in gold. Luckily she's skinny!), a venue, additional instrumentalists(violinist, harsichordist, oboist), a dress or two, and food for the reception afterwards. But, it's been 4 years since I've done a recital, and this is a major step towards my future as a singing teacher and performer. Plus, if it gets me into grad school, it's a total investment.

I have 12 weeks to learn 10 songs while running a business, continuing to lose weight, and training for a marathon. I think that qualifies as epic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Week 3 DONE.

Sunday I finished Week 3 of my 24 week marathon training program.

What's interesting about this program, is that my brother designed it just for me, knowing my current fitness level, weight, goals, etc.... So, the thought is that it would start off like many of the other novice programs I've scouted, with lots of base mileage and not too many really, really hard days. NOT SO. My brother is a perfectionist, and by nature of being a near elite amateur runner, a little bit psycho. And so, of course I asked him to coach me.

Week 3, day 1. 65 minutes of cross training wasn't so bad. My legs were a little tired from my long run the day before, but otherwise in good shape. My goals with XT are to build endurance by working at a heart rate that is still in my "high" intensity zone for maximum fat burn, but also below 150, so that it's aerobic efficient. So, i keep my HR between 140-150 for this extended period of time doing something besides running.
Week 3, day2. 40 minute run, weight, and abs. I love Tuesday. It's just a 3 miler and some other stuff. I've decided that watching trash TV keeps me entertained and focused.
Week 3, day 3. 65 minute run. This mid week mid distance run gets longer every week. It went without a hitch.
Week 3 day 4. 65 minutes of XT and abs.
Week 3, day 5. Another 40 minute run, weights, and abs. I especially love Fridays because I know the nex day is Saturday and I don't have to do anything!
Week 3, day 6. DOR. Went to the farmer's market with hubby and a friend. Went to teach, and then went to the pool to practice being a vegetable.
Week3, day 7. The LONG RUN day. I dreaded this day since I saw it on my schedule. A 150 minute workout. HOLY SHIT! That's 2 1/2 hours. Not only on a treadmill, but just in general, 2 1/2 hours. It takes me 3 to do a 1/2 marathon! I made the decision to run all those miles because I want to run a 1/2 marathon in September, and run every single mile. So, I gotta start somewhere.

I hit the treadmill with my Gu's in hand, and my trusty water bottle, headband, earphones, and iPod. I started at 4.2 MPH, which is super slow, but needed. My first set of 90 minutes yielded 6.25 miles. I took a break, went to address some chaffing issues, and came back to the Tm for another hour. This time, I sped up to 4.3 for 2 miles, and then 4.4 for the last 2.25 miles. Aside from just being tired, I wasn't hurting like I thought I'd be. My PF didn't bother me either, which is a miracle in itself. I realized that the key to my endurance success is to slow down and save my guts and glory for the end when I'm going to need it more.

Thinking back to the last 1/2 marathon I did in May, I could barely function for 2 days afterwards. I know I'm much fitter and in the best shape of my life because I ran 10.56 miles on Sunday, and then went to the pool, shopping, and then to dinner with friends! Sunday I proved something huge to myself. I can do this, and I'm going to. Ppl look at me weird when I say I'm training for a marathon because they assume someone my size can't do that. But, they have no idea what I can do.

3 down, 21 to go.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I've been running now for about 10 months. Well, what I consider running, anyway. I have muscles popping out in places I haven't muscles in years, and I'm starting to feel more solid. I did my last 1/2 marathon in May, and felt good and confident about it when the time came. And, over the summer, I've pushed myself to run more, more often, lift weights harder, work my abs everyday, and cross train a lot. And, I thought I was doing ok. I mean, for someone who is still over 230#, I feel like I'm pretty fit, so to speak.

Then, came the training program. I asked my brother several weeks ago to help coach me to my next goal, to run the Disney full marathon in January. He's done tons of marathons, and trained not only his wife to brilliant success, but trained my stepdad to finish his first(and last) full marathon at the age of 57. Plus, my brother is freakishly fast as a marathoner. He agreed, and set to work writing a program that would work for me.

Last week was week 1. I did everything I was supposed to do, including the 120 minute long run on Sunday, during which I ran 8.5 miles. I've never "Run" the whole thing. I've always done the run/walk interval thing. I've never run that many miles! And while I thought I was dying, I finished it. And, instead of collapsing for the rest of the day like I used to do after my long runs, I actually went out and did stuff. I made a trip to Old Navy and to the pool.

Of course, I had this great sense of fitness and achievement after week 1, only to look back at my training sheet and see there's still 23 weeks to go!

This is almost the end of week 2, and I've decided to post a weekly blog about my quest for the full marathon as a heavyweight. My brother doesn't know anyone who is my size and runs like I do. It's my goal to bring his world and the world of others who are ignorant to a fatty's plight out of ignorance and into some sort of light about how strong a fat girl can be.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I know I've lost my mind, but I don't care. I'm going to do this. I don't care about how much weight I lose in the process. I care about finishing what I've started. It's only going to get harder from here, but I'm up for the challenge.