Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Staying Sane in a Crazy World

Let's face it...life moves at an insane pace. As a writer, I have to look for ways to manage my stress, because sitting at a keyboard for hours at a time doesn't do it for me. So a few years ago the gal who hated sweating started running mini-marathons. Before you become too impressed, this spring I'll run my third. Having a couple babies got in the way of the other two I'd signed up for...I can live with that.

I love the dedication it takes to train. And talk about a deadline! Knowing there's a day I'll have to run 13.1 miles is a huge motivator.

The first weekend in May, Eric and I will run the Indy 500 mini-marathon. This will be my third time, Eric's fourth. While I'm by no means the fastest runner, I actually enjoy the way training forces me to do something those dreary winter months when it's easy to keep my posterior planted on the couch. So how do I get ready?

I'm so glad you asked. This month (January) I've tried to get on the treadmill three times a week...if for nothing more than to remind my body how to move. I quickly learned I needed new shoes and then had to take the week to break those in. But now I'm ready to move to the next level. Official training.

But starting Sunday, I'm pulling out a three-month training program that has worked great for me.

For official training, I use Hal Higdon's 1/2 marathon guide for intermediate runners. This allows me to work on increasing my speed without going nuts. With four kids and my schedule, I simply don't have the margin for lots of long runs. One of the things I like about this system is he works in intervals so it's not all distance running. I also love that there are different levels for different runners. My first year, I wasn't even sure I could finish. I wasn't doing anything three months before the mini. Using a system like this, I ran the entire distance.

I noticed that this year he has apps as well as the online information to help runners who want to complete  1/2 or full marathons.

If you're not quite up to the challenge of a mini, don't worry. He has guides for shorter runs, too.

Is anyone else training for a long race to help beat the winter blahs? What systems do you use?


  1. wow cool. I can't run to save myself. I do need to get more active.

  2. Way to go Cara! :) I'm impressed!!

  3. Jenny, I wouldn't run without the deadline. And the first time I ran, I really hadn't done anything until three months before because I'd been pregnant and miscarried. If I can get ready to run 13 miles in 3 months, anyone can. Trust me!

  4. Cara, when I say I cant run I guess I can a little but I would find it hard to run far as I have a dodgy knee. the impact would be to much. I can walk and do a fair bit of that, I walk around 2 miles a day to and from the shops etc. In the city I was walking around 6 miles in the day 3 to the Cricket and 3 back. But have to admit by the end my knee was playing up quite a bit. my knee cap is on wrong so there is bone on bone so things like walking down stairs hurts it.
    But I could ride my bike more.

  5. Wow, Cara! I'm impressed. Running is so not my kind of thing, but I'm super impressed by anyone who does it. You go, girl!


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