Day #219 of my journey to my first marathon (17 days to go!!)

3.6 miles this morning. Fast and fun recovery run – first run after this past weekend’s half marathon in Pittsburgh!

The Half was a lot of fun. I love pittsburgh and all my friends there, so it was just nice being there and soaking in all the love. The race itself was of course amazing. The weather was absolutely perfect too. It was more congested with people than usual, which seemed a result of the increased security everywhere. there were lots of checkpoints and areas which were restricted to runners only. The corrals were enclosed with chain-link fences and there were several sub-corrals, so that one corral was split into 4 different groups. This was kind of a bummer because I had wanted to run with the 2:15 pace team–but they were so far ahead of us and we were not allowed to go into a “full” corral. So that was a bummer and I cursed the boston bombers for it. 

Overall things went well, although slightly slower than I had hoped. But I finished strong and didn’t feel exhausted at the end. My friend also finished strong and enjoyed the experience. My quads and butt were sore for the next couple days but that was my only complaint. That soreness was from the several steep hills along the pittsburgh course. That is really one tough race that I don’t know I would want to run for more than 13.1 miles. Much admiration to those who ran the full! 

Now the countdown is on and there are only 17 days left until my big race day. The day that I have been training for. So scared and so ready to get it over with! 

Total Mileage since Oct 1, 2012: 456.43

Half Marathon Training, 6 weeks out

Weekly Recap:

Mon 3/17: P90X3 Incinerator

Tue: 3.73 mile run; 35:27 min; average 9:30 min/mile pace

            Mile 1:  9:13

            Mile 2:  9:27

            Mile 3:  9:57

            last 0.73: 6:51

I felt the start of a cold coming on but I ran anyway.

Wed: Rest — felt a little bit worse so decided to take the day off from running/p90x3

Thu: Rodney Lee’s Power Yoga ~40 minutes worth — felt similar to Wed but wanted to stretch out with yoga

Fri: Rest — felt the worst of the cold this day; even left work early

Sat: Rest — felt tons better, just a little congested

Sun: Rest – cold almost gone, some congestion

Mon 3/24:  4 mile run; 40:04 min; average 10:00 min/mile

            Mile 1:  9:54

            Mile 2:  9:29

            Mile 3:  10:12

            Mile 4:  10:29

I wasn’t too pleased with how I felt but I did just take 5 days off (besides some yoga) and had a cold so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

Tue 3/25: P90X3 Eccentric Upper

Pretty uneventful week for me but I couldn’t really do much about that but just focus on getting better. I was bothered by the fact that this was another setback along with my heel pain. I had to skip some runs that would have really helped my training but I have to get over that and just focus on the future.

The good news is that my heels don’t really bother me anymore. I hope the pain is finally gone for good!

Another good thing that I hope to do at least once per week is try a new recipe in The Runner’s World Cookbook. I decided to buy this recently because I need to do a better job of fueling/refueling before and after runs. I wanted ideas of delicious, but healthy recipes to give me the proper amount of nutrients that are so important for runners i.e. carbohydrates and proteins especially! So far I have tried 1 recipe which was actually after my run on Monday.

It is called Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

I used bow-tie pasta instead of rigatoni since that’s what I had. Along with chicken sausage it has broccoli, red peppers, basil, and black pepper. The recipe also called for feta cheese but I left it out (didn’t have any). But otherwise I followed the recipe as written and it was pretty tasty! According to the cookbook a serving has 48 g of carbs and 21 g of protein (although since I left out feta it was probably a little different) but you get the idea! Lots of protein to refuel after my run and repair the muscles! Here is what mine looked like:

The recipe has 6 servings so it looks like I will be eating the leftovers all week! So I will probably be sick of it by then haha!

Looking forward to catching up this week with training, fingers crossed for no more setbacks!

Ready to start half marathon training... or not?

Since making this tumblr thing (BTW I barely know what I’m doing on here; it took me forever to figure out how to even add pages.. ha) I made the goal to at least make a post about what I did for the week in terms of my half marathon training. I have not *officially* started training but today marks 14 weeks until race day! Seems like a long time but I bet the time will fly. I can’t believe it’s the last week of January already to be honest! But here was my workout schedule this week:

Sun (1/19): Upper body exercises and 2 miles on the treadmill

Mon (1/20): T25 Total Body Circuit (FYI: This is the hardest workout of the whole program and I STILL get my butt kicked)

Tue (1/21): Quick dumbbell workout inspired by average2athlete (go check them out on Facebook and Instagram) here’s a link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=283499721801880&set=vb.170417003110153&type=2&theater

Wed (1/22): T25 Core Cardio which I had to modify because my heels started hurting

Thu (1/23): Rest Day (heels still hurt)

Fri (1/24): Rest Day (heels still hurt)

Sat (1/25): 10 min Arm workout I found on Pinterest (http://www.fitsugar.com/10-Minute-Workout-Sexy-Sculpted-Arms-21620326). I can’t find it right now but I did another 10-min video for Abs through this same website. Wanted to switch things up a bit!

Sun (today): Stretched out my arches/foot because I have been experiencing heel pain

Basically since Wednesday I have been experiencing pain in my heels, more so in my right one. I’m really worried about this and fear it is plantar fasciitis. The pain first started the morning of 1/14 (a Tuesday; almost 2 weeks ago) and has been off and on since then. I didn’t exercise that day but felt okay the next day and the rest of the week focused on upper body and abs. This week I didn’t notice the pain until I did the T25 workout on Wed and since then it has been bothering me considerably. I went out Saturday and bought some Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Heel pain so we’ll see if that helps. My heels feel okay today after icing and stretching this weekend. I’m just hoping the steps I am taking ‘nips it in the butt’ because I want to start training!

I plan to follow a 12-week program that I found online:

Which means Day 1 would start Feb 10th. To account for a possible injury, sickness (like a cold or something) or just really crappy weather, I wanted to start 2 weeks early which would be tomorrow! But I’m experiencing an injury right now – before I even started so I’m a little bit frustrated. I also don’t want to just start anyway because that will just make it worse. I’m just hoping with a little R&R I can still start training with plenty of time left and be fine. I have to keep reminding myself that even though I haven’t ran much since October, I am still in shape because of T25 and I am not starting from scratch. Besides, the weather in Pittsburgh has been crappy anyway, with plenty of snow the last two days and temperatures are supposed to drop around 0 early this week (ugh!!!).

Have you ever experienced heel pain whether it is associated or not with plantar fasciitis? What was your experience?

My Fitness Journey

My interest in fitness started with running. I began running in the 8th grade when I joined the track team. If I remember correctly, the only event I wanted to do was the 800 meter. At the time, I thought anything shorter than this was WAY too fast for me (and probably still is – I have never been a sprinter) and anything longer was way too long. That changed completely when I decided to join the cross country team in the 10th grade. It was definitely a struggle at first, but I got better each year. By the time senior year of high school came around, I was improving with every race and even qualified for WPIALS (basically the best runners from all the high schools in Western Pennsylvania). The 7 best runners from each high school get to go and I was #6. I certainly wasn’t the best on my team but this was a huge accomplishment for me to even make it to WPIALS since the next best thing was STATES. I also ran track in the spring (all 4 years), doing the 1 mile and 2 mile events.

My running career after this came to a halt unfortunately, since I did not run for my college team. I focused on my studies and getting through classes (as a science major I was ALWAYS studying!!)  I utilized my school’s gym and ran occasionally but fitness just wasn’t a big part of my life during this time.

Seven months into my new job after graduation I started running regularly again. I needed something to do besides just going through the motions of working 40 hours per week. When winter came, however, I stopped again mostly because I hate running in anything below 50 degrees! (I know, I’m a wimp!) My lungs do not enjoy running in cold weather. By the time January (2013) came I had to do something and be active again. This is when I got into Beachbody. My dad suggested I try his P90 program. He has used it numerous times and each time has had great success. I figured why not, it was easy enough to follow. I wasn’t doing it to lose weight but to keep up my endurance for running. I did it for a couple months until the weather got warm enough to run and I was surprised by how I felt. Usually I feel very slow and out of shape anytime I start running after taking any considerable amount of time off. But I felt pretty good and not like I was starting over with my endurance.

I continued to run and do P90 through spring and early summer. However; I did slack off in the summer. Twice I went on vacation and there were some really hot weeks where I refused to run (as should any sensible runner). I was bored with P90 at this point. It was late August 2013 when I reconnected with an old friend from high school who is also a Beachbody coach. We started talking about our fitness goals and Shakeology (a very nutritious, supplement-packed protein drink). I had seen her post a lot about it and thought it would make a great post-workout drink.  I was also signed up for the Great Race 5K at this time and thought Shakeology would make a great addition to my training runs. I was also considering doing my brother’s P90X as well but wasn’t sure I could fit in the hour-long workouts into my schedule.

I ended up buying a Challenge Pack of T25 and Shakeology which gave me a great deal. I immediately started drinking Shakeology and doing a hybrid schedule of T25 and running all while being in my coach’s challenge group to get the support and motivation of others working on their health and fitness. All of these things made HUGE differences! I was more energetic everyday due to Shakeology, I was more accountable because T25 is only 25 minutes a day (less likely to skip it after a long day of work!) and I noticed differences in my runs as a result of both of those things. My pace became faster. I was more motivated because I had the support of the other challengers. I felt more confident in myself as a runner, enough to sign up for my first ever 10K race a month after the Great Race. I ran the 5k with an average pace of 8:00 min/mile (which was my goal since my average pace on training days is around 9:30 to 9:45 min/mile). I ran the 10K with an average pace of 9:00 min/mile. I was ecstatic by how well I did, enough so that I decided to sign up for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May of 2014. I have never run this far before (my longest run was 9 miles but during high school) and to tell you the truth 13.1 miles is intimidating to me! But I know I have the drive and motivation to train for this event. I whole-heartedly believe that if I didn’t go through this journey with Beachbody, my coach, and fellow challengers, I would have never dreamt of having the courage to sign up for a half marathon. I always thought “I could never do that” or “I’m not good enough”. Well I don’t think like that anymore. And that is why I’m doing this, and also why I signed up to be a Beachbody coach. I want to help others find their passion in fitness, to reach new goals, and become healthier versions of themselves just like I did.

So, I hope you are still reading after all of that (sorry that was so long!) but I want others to know my whole journey and where I’m going. I’m still working on myself but I hope to inspire just even one person to make new goals, make healthier choices, or even sign up for their first race. And I am here to help you. Please don’t be afraid to reach out to me. We can help inspire each other!

To learn more about Beachbody programs, Shakeology, or just want to share your story with me:

E-mail me at acm5142@gmail.com

Facebook message me: https://www.facebook.com/amyerski

Contact me through the Team Beachbody website: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/ashleymyerski

Thanks for reading!