Yes, I know, I am the worst. I started out my marathon training cycle SO AVIDLY updating this blog regularly to capture the entire experience, but you know, life happens. I finished my Master’s degree. It feels both momentous and anti-climactic. Finishing in the summer semester is pretty anti-climactic, because the grad students only get one ceremony to walk, and it’s in the Spring. By Spring I’m not sure I’ll care to get a cap and gown and stuff just for a photo opportunity. So while getting my Master’s was more difficult than getting my Bachelor’s or graduating high school, there is way less pomp and ceremony surrounding the end of matriculation, which is pretty lame. I like celebrating. So I had a big old party on Saturday night. Because I earned a night of debauchery, thank you.

All this to say, I’ve been busy with finals and when I did have down time, I was pretttty tired, so I wasn’t making my blog a priority. But now that things have calmed down, and especially now that marathon training is getting tougher and tougher with more and more mileage, and I’m terrible at going to yoga when I say I will, I do want to get back to blogging to keep me accountable. You may notice a correlation between blogging and whether I stay on target with my plan, because the past week looked like this:

Planned: Makeup Body Pump class from the one I missed the week before.
Actual: Listlessly laying on my couch watching Robin Williams movies, RIP.

Planned: 3 miles.
Actual: My very last day of school, so I fell asleep at like 8pm after turning in my last assignments and having happy hour with a friend.

Planned: 6 miles
Actual: 3 miles to make up from the day before, and a half hour of cardio to make up for the previous Sunday

Planned: 3 miles
Actual: 6 miles to make up from the day before

Planned: Yoga
Actual: Yoga! Guys! I actually went!

Planned: 14 miles
Actual: 14 miles! My longest distance I’ve ever run!

Planned: Open-ended cross-training
Actual: 3 miles to make up for earlier in the week

So the final tally of workouts I’m behind in – and if I weren’t a little OCD I’d let it go, but there you have it – 3 yoga classes, a Body Pump class, and a half hour of cardio cross-training. Tonight is a scheduled Rest but I did plenty of that last week, so I’m going to Pump. My goal is to go to yoga at least once in the morning before work this week and add the cardio after one of my short runs this week. I also want to do another yoga this Saturday, because I’m doing my long run on Sunday through the Annapolis 10-Miler instead of on Saturday! I’m excited for this race. It’s going to be a challenge so I will probably hate it while I’m actually running it, but Team RWB will be showing up with a strong presence and as much as I know it’ll be tough I also know it will be important training for Marine Corps. It is notoriously hilly, and that only makes you stronger.

Speaking of hilly, I was pretty tough on myself this week because I’d been sort of avoiding hills, and it was showing in even just my little 3 milers. I’m no longer doing speedwork on Tuesdays, and instead making sure I focus on hills. When I went out for my 6 on Thursday, I took a brand new route that forced me onto some hills and it’s a great feeling to feel so strong when I conquer them, no matter how slowly.

Case in point, I went running with a friend for my 3-miler on Wednesday, and I took him on a route through my neighborhood that I just discovered takes you pretty much right through a cemetery. So first of all, this is what we ran by twice:

cemeteryAdmittedly, though I’m a pretty big fan of horror movies and ghost stories, running by an actual cemetery does sort of creep me out, so I always sing “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” from 30 Rock whenever I run past it, because hearing Tracy Morgan’s voice in my head going “spooky scary!” makes the creepiness a little easier to handle.

But the reason I mention this run is because my friend I was running with is normally used to running on the treadmill with no incline, and just up ahead of this spot is a pretty serious incline. He saw it coming ahead and just muttered some curse words, like “are you kidding me?” I cried out, “we will conquer it! We will eat it for breakfast!” My friend, maybe to distract himself, maybe because he was just wondering, asked me what my favorite Disney movie was. I was feeling the warrior so I replied “MULAN!” He said his was Beauty and the Beast so I started humming “Gaston” but I didn’t know any of the words (I usually fast-forwarded that scene back in the days of the VHS) so I just sang “dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh NUH nuh GASTON!” the whole way up the hill and before we knew it, we were on our way back downhill. It was over.

Apparently we have discovered the new and best way to conquer hills. Sing “Gaston.”

This week my Wednesday mid-week run goes up to 7 miles and for the first time, my Thursday “short run” is a 4-miler. Surrounding that I’m working on yoga and strength training yoga and strength training yoga and strength training! 10 weeks until my first marathon. If my long run on Saturday was any indication, I need all of those weeks to prepare. The last 5 miles of the 14 were pretty killer, and to think I’d have had 12 more to go? Everything hurt. I need all the strength-training I can get between now and October 26.

The face of a woman who got herself out of bed early on a Saturday to push herself 14 miles on foot by herself with no running buddy. Personal best longest distance… so far.