Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.
It is not much matter if things do not turn out well.
-Charles Dudley Warner
I read somewhere recently that March is the New Years’ Resolution of fitness. That is, more people newly commit to the idea of a fitness regimen, particularly when it comes to running, in March— presumable because the weather is turning, making it more inviting to be outdoors and reminding folks that shorts/ tank top/ bathing suit season is in the not-so-distant future.
It does seem to bear out in practice— this past week was the busiest I’ve ever seen my gym. There was, and I kid you not, NOT A SINGLE MACHINE AVAILABLE. I’ve never seen that happen before.
Since I did such a craptastic job of adhering to my New Year’s resolutions in general, I’m thinking of Daylight Saving as a reboot, New Year 2.0, try again, friend. My resolutions had less to do with fitness than they did with time-management and trying-new-things, but hey, this seems as good a time as any to post an update on what I’m planning for the next few months.
The big, red letter THING is the Delaware half-marathon on May 12th: Mother’s Day. The point is to finish; I don’t have any time aspirations. This time last year I was really worried about doing the Dirty Girl 5k, since I hadn’t run any kind of distance since maybe the one-mile trials for the Presidential Fitness test in junior high. You’ve come a long way, baby.
I can’t say I’m excited, or that “I know I can do it!” or any of that stuff. I just want to do it to prove to myself that I can. It goes through Wilmington, so I’ll be running through my old neighborhoods, which I can truthfully say I look forward to.
Everything between then and now is scheduled around my need to prepare so I don’t hurt myself/look like an idiot. The training looks something like this:
Running 3x a week: one long run, one easy run, one interval/tempo run. One of those happens on trails with hills that I curse a blue streak at (in my mind).
Strength 45min 2x a week: gym circuit or kickboxing class, which incorporates strength training
Cross-train 45min 2x a week: swimming, yoga, ice skating, biking
In practice, that works out sort of like this at the moment:
Monday: 3 miles easy, 30min swimming drills
Wednesday: yoga in the morning, 3 miles intervals, 30min skate
Thursday: kickboxing and/or 45min laidback gym circuit/bike
Friday: yoga in the morning, 45min gym circuit/bike/elliptical
Saturday: long run, 45-60min swimming with kids
Sunday: 2 hour skate, trail hiking with kids
It sounds like a lot, and it kind of is, but I think of it the same way as I do nutrition: it’s the sum total of my week, not a strict daily routine. I don’t get to everything every day. Sometimes I’m not feeling it. Sometimes I can’t make kickboxing class. Sometimes the gym is crazy crowded. Sometimes life gets in the way.
Sunday is technically my “rest” day but yesterday I hiked 3 hilly miles with Jeff and the kids and raced the kids across the pool for 45 minutes.
I skate when Cass is at the rink for lessons; I hit the gym when she’s taking her swimming lesson. My kickboxing classes are a chance to meet up with a friend, so I think of them more as a sanity saver than as exercise (even though it pretty reliably kicks my butt). Yoga helps me decompress after a day hunched over a laptop and relax after a hard run, and I’m so thrilled by my new ability to move across the water without dying that my classes fly by.
It’s not really training (for now, talk to me again when I’m running 10miles on Saturdays), it isn’t work, it’s a more active life in general. I kind of keep my eye on how much activity I should be doing for the week to keep progressing, but for the most part all I’m strictly regulating is increasing mileage so I’ll be able to run 13.1 in May.
And it’s making a difference. I can feel how my stroke is stronger; I’m not completely incapacitated after kickboxing anymore; my ankles don’t kill after a skating session. I took some time off from running during the darkest of winter, and then got hit by the flu right when I should have been beginning half-marathon training, but I’m transitioning back into a running routine fairly easily. That’s an awesome feeling to have, right there.
I’m also really happy and relieved that my family is joining in with weekend swimming, skating and hiking, so I’m getting that extra exercise in without it taking me away from them all the time. And now that the days are longer, they’ll be more willing to go to the park after school.
Funny how you can see exercise as a selfish thing when you’re doing it on your own.
Along those lines, I’m looking for more ways for us to be active as a family without spending a fortune. I don’t begrudge our Y membership or buying an annual state park pass at all, but skating sessions can get pricey fast. Rock-climbing, CrossFit, gymnastics etc all seem like fun options (not to mention the circus school in Philly!) but the fees add up when the kids are taking lessons and playing sports to boot. Heck, even race registrations add up quickly, especially when there’s more than just me running.
Speaking of which, here’s the tentative run schedule for now:
- ShamRock and Roll 5k in Newark May 16th. Just to establish a baseline 5k time for the year.
- Cherry Blossom 5k. March 30th.Will do this one with Cass just for fun if the weather is nice. Free zoo admission after, with the Easter Bunny and all that.
- Run for the Ages 10k. April 13th, my first 10k.
- Healthy Kids Day 5k. April 28th. I ran this one with Jake last year, it’s a fundraiser for our local Y.
- and then the May 12th half.
After that, it’ll be mud runs and fun runs for the rest of the year, unless my half experience is good/bad enough to prompt me to sign up for another in the fall. We’ll see.
LBI has a sprint tri with a relay option that looks tempting, as well as an island-length 18miler. Both of those options scare the bejeezus out of me today, but I don’t know how I’ll feel come September/October.
…and that’s where I am with all that right now.
And now excuse me. I’ve pretty much stopped drinking coffee most days, but the time change always screws me up and I think I’ll need at least another cup to get me through the day.
New much-needed mug from The Universe Knows.
Check out the selection, it’s awesome.
Gonna give your resolutions a March reboot?
How long does it take you to recover from Daylight Saving?