Oiselle has put forth a fantastic challenge for the month of April. To start marathon month celebrations, they’re turning their attention to celebrating the half marathon and trying to take away the stigma of it being “just” a half marathon. It is a FULL thirteen point one miles – not an easy feat for many people, and the half is such a fun distance!
Details of the challenge can be found here on their blog. Essentially, commit to doing something 13 times during the month of April. For some, it’s been 13 push ups a day, running 13 times in April, incorporating 13 cross training sessions – you name it!
For me, I’m doing 13 morning runs. I’m training for the 19.3 Conquer the Capital challenge this spring at the Madison Half Marathon/Twilight 10 km, and I’ve been getting my runs in with a few hiccups here and there, but sticking to a plan has been working for me. What hasn’t been working is getting up in the morning to do those runs. I’ve been fitting them in after work or if I can escape briefly for my shorter recovery runs. Last year, when I was training I was so much better about waking up, but it’s been tough with all the insanity of graduate school and other obligations to make myself get out of bed at 5:30. This challenge presents the perfect opportunity to motivate me to get my butt out of bed!
So far, I’ve been doing well! I run commuted to work (~5 miles) on Friday morning, woke up at 5:30 to try and get a run in before heading down to Chicago this past Saturday, and this morning hopped on my treadmill for my recovery run before work. So three down – ten to go! I’m really surprised at how much this challenge has helped provide some extra motivation. I hope that by doing the 13 AM runs, I can get myself back into the habit of morning running and not have to struggle so much! I love having my run out of the way at the beginning of the day!
I hope this encourages other people to give the challenge a shot – we’re 4 days in, but plenty of time to make it happen! Good luck to everyone!
I ran the 10 km Madison Shamrock Shuffle today as a fun/training run to get an idea of where I’m at fitness-wise. I got to the race about 40 min ahead of time to get settled and was happily accompanied by my running buddy (who is way faster than me, but runs with me anyway!)
The race itself was nice and challenging enough to keep it interesting. It’s a sort of out and back along the lakeshore path on UW-Madison campus. You go up the famed observatory hill within the first mile (and subsequently back up it in the last mile) and then go along the lakeshore path, which was beautiful. It’s relatively flat except for the Observatory Dr. section, too. I really liked the out and back nature since I got to see the front runners of the 10km and cheered like crazy for the first woman. I always love being able to cheer people on even when I feel like butt during the race.
I was feeling pretty strong for the first 4.5 miles, but started to die out with about a mile to go, which was frustrating. My fingers swelled up like crazy and my HR got out of control. I ended up walking a couple bits of Observatory Dr. on the way back, but finished strong and was pretty happy overall with the effort I put out. I didn’t taper at all for the race and have been doing speed workouts, so I think it’s to be expected I’m slower than I’d like. On top of that, not fueling for this appropriately certainly hurt.
Overall, it’s a great start to the season and I really enjoyed myself, I was only ~90 sec off my finish from two years ago, and considering the difficulties I had this morning – I’ll take it! Plus, the race benefits the Boys and Girl’s Club of Dane County, which makes me feel even better.
So, I decided to start a blog. I’m not entirely sure what all it’ll entail, but I’m really excited to start sharing with whatever audience I garner. In the depths of my last bout of bad anxiety and depression, there was a part of me that wanted to be reach out everyone else and let people know that they weren’t alone and reassure myself that I wasn’t alone. So, thanks to seeing a lot of other strong and awesome women talking about their own problems, I decided to follow suit.
My goals for this blog are as follows:
Talk about my running, training and racing – I’m shooting for a BQ at Chicago this year and it’s going to be a tough journey, but one I’m hoping I’m up to this year.
Talk about mental illness/depression/anxiety and how it relates to running and my life in general as a graduate student. I want to help de-stigmatize, or, at the very least, talk to others about strategies that I use for self care when everything feels terrible.
Translate scientific articles on running (specifically how it relates to mental illness treatment, but also open to other ideas!) into something that other people can understand. I’m heading into the last few months of my PhD, and, while it’s in Biochemistry, I consider myself a professional learner and am looking forward to reading the scientific literature on something that is not related to what I think about on a daily basis! I have really enjoyed all the outreach I’ve done as a graduate student in explaining scientific concepts to people in terms they’ll actually understand. I hope it’s helpful for all my readers, and I’m always open to suggestion if there are articles out there people are curious about.
Probably also some talk about beer, I’m really passionate about it and love to talk about it, so I’m sure that will leak over onto the blog as well.
With that – here goes nothing. Thanks for reading!