But that’s the juicy part of this post, so I’m saving it for last.

I have stayed mostly true to my recently created fall training plan, though it only began on Sunday. Since my rest day has to be Wednesday (working 8 hours then in class for 2 1/2 in the evening I think deserves a break from working out), I spent my evening pleasantly having dinner with a friend, catching up on laundry, bills, and tidying my room instead of running or cross-training. It made me really hope I can someday convince myself to be a morning runner –  planning my runs for the evening actually keep me up later because I wait for the sun to go down, then after my run wait for my heart rate to go down before taking a shower, then I’m so refreshed and awake that I can’t go to sleep!

On Sunday I didn’t have the best run, though I stuck to my plan of actually getting out and doing it on that day. This past Sunday was extremely humid and I tried to get out there as early as possible when I realized how humid it was going to get. Unfortunately it was already pretty gross and I didn’t bring water on my run. One of my first purchases I plan to make when I have some spending money is a hydration belt or Camelbak vest for long runs or hot days. Granted it’s almost fall, but I know I’m going to want it for runs over 5-6 miles anyway, regardless of weather. In any case, I felt a little dizzy about halfway through my 5 1/2 miles and had to settle for walking more of it than I would have liked. But I got the miles in.

Monday night was, as promised, Body Pump class. It felt awesome, and I felt like a beast, and I really do love that class. I just hate the aftermath of feeling like a 90-year-old woman. I stretch properly and don’t overdo it on my weights, but there would be no point if I didn’t feel a burn afterward, right? I’m looking forward to when I’ve gotten a few of these classes on a weekly routine under my belt and I don’t ache like a geriatric for the next 4 days.

To get faster you have to get stronger is what I keep reading and hearing everywhere. I can feel my muscles building, almost literally under my skin and under my body fat, and I’m anxious to see myself start ticking miles off a little more quickly.

A lot of this happened.

Tuesday night my body needed to majorly recover from Body Pump so I went for an easy, short 2 mile run. I have a 5K race on Saturday so I didn’t mind that running my full 5 1/2 just wasn’t in the cards according to my legs. If I hadn’t gone to BP I’d have probably run the full length, possibly tiring out my legs for Saturday, without any of the full body strength-building.

And I’m happy to report I’ve been eating better! I chose grilled chicken in my salad tonight instead of crispy and have been inhaling fruit, spinach, and salmon every chance it’s available. Woohoo!

Tomorrow I go back to a run, and I’m trying to find a yoga class I can get to on Friday evening to stretch and decompress from the week. Unfortunately I’ve only been at my job for two weeks now and don’t want to ask to bend my hours quite yet to make it to the yoga class I really want to go to, so I might end up biting the bullet and going off a YouTube tutorial or a Yoga DVD in my bedroom.

Woooo Friday niiight!

Saturday’s 5K fits into my training schedule fine enough for now. I have a couple 5K’s in the next two weeks, then a 10K to build some mileage, and then no races planned until the Army Ten Miler so I can start using Saturdays to up my mileage little by little.

The only real exciting news I have is that I think I found, purely by chance, what I think will be perfect for my first marathon. I don’t plan on trying to complete a marathon until I finish grad school, which is looking like a summer 2014 graduation date, because I’ve seen the regimens and I have to be realistic about what I can do all at once. So I was planning on a Fall or Winter 2014 marathon, and was thinking I’d probably pick a Rock ‘n’ Roll race somewhere really cool for like December.

But then I heard about the Monster Mash Marathon.

ImageIt’s an October race put on by Piranha Sports out at the Dover Downs Speedway, near Rehoboth Beach. It’s not a well-known marathon by any means, and the swag will very likely not nearly be as cool as the RnR marathon I was dreaming of, but it has more of a meaning than that.

My Monstermash.

October may seem like a little too soon, if I’m graduating in August, to run a marathon. But to run a marathon called the Monster Mash Marathon would be worth getting a head start on my marathon training while I’m still trying to work on my thesis.

Because October happens to be the month that my first and only dog I’ve ever had, whose name happened to be Monster, and whose nickname happened to be Monstermash, was born.

I can’t not run that race. And more than just running it, I want it to be my first marathon. Monstermash was my first dog, and living with him and all his issues was both the hardest and most rewarding experience of my life. Saying goodbye to him this past January, watching him drift off to his final sleep, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the worst day of my whole life. After I lost him I got serious about running. I ran and for just a little bit, on that runner’s high, my life didn’t seem so terrible, lonely, and sad. I ran for Monster, for all the times I wished I had a yard for him to run around in, for all the times he ran alongside me, for all the times he wanted to run but I tried to teach his wild little self to walk politely, and for all the running free I could feel him doing somewhere on another plane where man’s best friend can exist happily ever after.

So if I’m gonna tackle the big M, I’m gonna do it for my little M.