I spent the past two weeks visiting friends in Missouri and Kansas and was inspired by the steps they are taking for improving their fitness. I’ve come home re-inspired to try to achieve my craziest running goal. I want to run a marathon in under four hours. I’m a long way from being able to do that.
A recap– I actively struggled with my weight from the age of 15 (when I was 95 pounds and some “helpful” woman “kindly” told me if I kept eating the way I did, I would get fat. I immediately went on a diet and immediately gained 35 pounds. Then I slowly gained another 10 to reach my adult weight) (then I gained another 60 pounds over six years after coming to the States!) That put me at about 201 in 2006. About three years ago, I was too busy working on my PhD to fret about my weight and going vegan slowly peeled some of the the weight off. I’m perfectly happy at my current weight as far as life goes. I think this is a good place to start from, because I’m NOT doing this because I feel like I’m bad the way I am. I’m doing this because I really want to reach my athletic goal.
The only way my body will be able to run fast enough to do a sub-four marathon is if I lose a significant amount of weight. It will be easier on my poor asthmatic lungs, along with my aging hips and knees. Pretty much the only way I’ll lose weight is by watching what I eat. Exercise is great, but isn’t quite enough for me.
The main diet changes I’m making right now are to eat two large salads a day, cut down to one soy latte, and switch from canned or bottled soda to SodaStream soda water with fruit essences. I’m not giving up Chipotle, but I am going to give up chips and guac (while still getting guac on my veggie bowl.)
For sleep changes, I’m trying to work my bedtime back to sometime between 10 and 11pm, getting up around 7 or 8. This will be a hard change, since I don’t have a 24 hour pattern and I am an insomniac. I’m not drinking caffeinated drinks in the afternoons any more and I’m trying to exercise and do enough stuff that I’m tired at the end of the day.
For exercise changes, I’m going to be more focused on running faster and on getting more movement in every day. For the sake of my joints, I should probably not run more than two days in a row right now, especially while I’m losing weight. For the next month, I’m going to run four times a week– three interval runs and one long run. I have a dance class on Tuesday evenings, so that’s a fifth day of exercise. I also recently got an Xbox with Kinect, so I’ll probably be playing Dance Central or doing Zumba several times a week. Plus, there’s hula hooping, which I need to practice at least five days a week to get better. Getting enough exercise won’t be a problem.
I just registered for the Austin half-marathon in February. I can see how close I am to my goal and determine how much more work I have to do. I’m not going to shoot for a sub-4 marathon until I can do a half in less than two.
My goals for Austin:
Dream: 2:00 half
Break my PR: 2:35 half
My weight loss goal: (partway)
15 pounds by January (which will put me just under 150.)
I know this goal is crazy and I don’t even know if my body and mind are capable. But I really want to try.