Marathon Mondays: It Just Got Real. Real real.

by Shawnda on September 2, 2013

in Running


You guys have given me some great advice and even better encouragement to get here, to the official start of the “$hit just got real” phase of marathon training. We are now all about the double-digits.

Training week 10. Double-digit distances every other weekend from here out, including an 11-miler on Saturday. Max high of only 99 today. And at this rate, I’ll be running outside again in October. The 10th month. It’s all one big party of happy-ish coincidences.

And then there are the triple digits: 100 miles in 2 months. Also, I did an activity for 140 minutes that didn’t involve beer, a couch, a TV, and me yelling at a referee like he can hear my colorful commentary on his performance.

And quadruple digits: check out the calories you burn when jogging for 2+ hours!


In addition to my #1 goal – to cross the finish line of the Disney World marathon in January at least 67% conscious – I’m currently working on figuring out the ins & outs of running nutrition and diet. Because after burning 15,000+ calories in 2 months, I shouldn’t be 6lbs heavier than when I started. womp womp wommmmmp

After running anything more than 3 miles, I just really want a big, greasy bacon cheeseburger – hold the fries (who needs ‘em, anyway). IT IS ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT. I just burned 1500 calories, why shouldn’t I get one?

And that leads me to my newest project: I’m reading a couple of books right now (New Rules now, Racing Weight next) and logging my daily calorie intake into SparkPeople.


And if you’re looking for a totally rude awakening, log your calorie intake from a weekend that included a birthday party and a fantasy draft pool party… then convert that into the number of miles you’d need to run to offset all of it.

And then refill your Rx for anti-anxiety meds. Because you’ll need them.




Asics Women's Gel Nimbus 15

That foot pain I had a couple weeks ago? I didn’t experience it this week. And I bet you can already guess why.

New kicks!

They are completely fantastic. My feet feel like I’m running on sparkly fairy- and butterfly- and tequila-filled clouds.

The rest of my body? Just feels like I’m running tequila-filled.

I limped into my local running store and had them give me & my shoes a once-over. You never realize how bad your old shoes are until you lace up a new pair. As I was running around the store, I felt like I could bounce out of the shoes with every magical step.

And then I laced up my old shoes just to compare – thwack splat thwack! It was like I had laced up snow shoes over 2x4s.


My big run this week happened inside. Because 99F with a feels-like of 104F is just no fun. And it’s definitely no Chicago, where I was blessed to be able to run outside at 72 degrees. I don’t know what kind of immoral things I have to promise and to whom… but I really would like to get that kind of weather in Houston in July. (Just putting that out there, weather gods.)

But’ I’m also at that stage where I have hit the top part of my ability. And somehow, I’m going to have to add an extra mile onto the brutal 6 I ran this weekend. I don’t know how it’s going to happen because I was beyond running on empty when I finished.

Should I be drinking Gatorade while running? Using one of those gooey things? Praying harder?

Stay tuned for Week 6, when – fingers-crossed – Jason doesn’t have to come on here and write my eulogy.



Marathon Mond- er, Wednesdays: Week 3

by Shawnda on July 24, 2013

in Running


Week 3’s “big run” will go down in history:
1. My longest run ever.
2. The second-most humid run-start ever at 95% humidity.
3. That run where I limped the last 3/4 mile home in excruciating pain. In the rain. With hands so swollen (sausage fingers!) I couldn’t make a proper fist.
4. The most humid run-finish ever at 100% humidity.

Aside from 92 hours of virtually unmedicated labor, that was the second-hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And when I was finished, I was almost just as happy :)

I was at an overall 14:30 pace until I could barely put any pressure on my right foot. Dr Google diagnosed it as tendonitis. Or a stress fracture. Or just time to get new shoes. Whatever it is, it will also go down in history as the first time that Dr. Google didn’t give me cancer.

I’m just thankful that this week’s “big run” is not big at all. My foot needs the rest. And whatever this weekend’s “big run” looks like (spoiler alert: slow), I’ll be doing it in Chicago. With a high of 76. Thank you, running gods.

FuelBelt Hydration Belt

I cannot run with something in my hand. Not keys, not a phone, not a water bottle. I picked up a pink FuelBelt to hold my phone, a house key, and take just enough water with me so my throat doesn’t get dry on outside runs. It proved helpful on last week’s long run and it didn’t ride up and annoy the crap out of me. It did exactly what it was supposed to and it didn’t piss me off. How’s that for a review :)

3 weeks down, 25 weeks to go!



Marathon Mondays: Week 2

by Shawnda on July 15, 2013

in Running

Marathon Week 2 Big Run

I run. But I’ve never considered myself a runner.

I don’t always like the act of running but I’ve never finished even a short completely-distracted 1/2 mile jog and thought, “That was a waste of my time.” It’s getting to the start of that 1/2 mile that I find to be the hard part.

In my very early 20s, I ran 5 miles a day. Every single day – and sometimes, twice a day. I’d slap on some music, grab a stack of magazines, pick a treadmill in front of ESPN News and then knock it out in 60 minutes flat, like I had nothing better to do.

Because I didn’t. Even back then, I didn’t consider myself a runner.

Since then? There are lunches and snacks. Laundry and dirty dishes. A couple of blogs, a couple of rental houses, and a couple of other tasks that always seem like a good excuse to put off running.

But that was before I ran 5.65 miles yesterday. And I’m now ready to call myself a runner. A real runner. Because week 2 of marathon training is in the books and I ran for a longer distance than I’ve ever run in my life. And I liked it.

Before the 5.65 miles. After it. And even during it. (Although, I’d have never gotten through it without all that Nelly and Eminem.)


Week 2 consisted of two 30-minute “maintenance runs” and a “big run” of 4 miles… which ended up being 5.65 miles. And since it was 99 degrees outside, that 5.65 miles was done at 78-degrees on a treadmill.

The beginner’s training plan I’m using advocates a run-walk method – you run comfortably for a portion of 1 minute and walk the rest (say 10 seconds running, 50 seconds walking). And then you increase the run:walk ratio as you go.

Logistically, it’s a bit of a pain to keep up with manually if you’re trying to strictly stick to the minute-schedule so I simply set up a custom workout online and loaded it to my watch (I use this one) – everytime my watch vibrated, I ran… or walked… or was jamming to Lose Yourself so hard, that I just ignored it and kept running.

After a bit, I was jogging for up to 5 minutes up a time before making myself take a 30-60 second walk break. All the way to 5.65 miles.

And then within 2 hours of finishing, I was hungry like I hadn’t eaten in a week. All I could think about were steaks. And burgers. And more burgers. My friends call that “runger.”


Since I’m completely motivated by numbers and love looking at data and stats, my Garmin comes in handy. It was completely awesome to see (and feel!) improvement from last week to this week. But there’s still 26 weeks to go.

And I still want that burger.