Wednesday, September 14, 2011

[58] Road Work Ahead

Must find this in Japan!
Sometimes, life hands you detours. Mine has unfortunately lasted longer than I originally intended, spanning nearly two months. Please forgive my transgressions. My creative muse went on vacation mid-July, and after the broiling heat of the Queens' Half-Marathon (complete with visit of Lady Gaga), my winged shoes took flight as well. I went to Japan and back, and only last week did I lace up for the first time in nearly six weeks. Hitting wall after wall and continuing across a weight-loss plateau, my frustration has me a little bristly around the edges.

One wall was knocked down today: the professional one. The last few months, I've been contemplating a career move, but the constant uncertainty came to a head this morning after my final Japanese test. En route back to Westchester, I cried as I sang along with Adele and the radio while heading north of the Hutchinson River Parkway. During the final testing stage, I was informed that it would take 24-28 hours before a final decision would come my way, but around 5:30PM... the call came: passed languaged test and a job offer.

I could have easily logged a couple of miles there and then, had I not been in flipflops and surrounded by students. I would have preferred frolicking around the soccer pitch, but the boys' varsity team was in the midst of a game. I felt a wall melt away today, so here I am. Looking at the ruins of my hard work.

Half-Marathon Hiatus
On July 30th, I ran the Queens Half in sweltering heat and humidity. On August 28th, the Bronx Half was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene (but NYRR thankfully is awarded credit).  On October 9th, I am registered for the Staten Island Half, but I will be in Atlanta for training. SI was to be my last half for 2011, so I am finished running halves for this year. I partially find this to be a relief. I think a portion of the running wall I hit has to do with my training schedule, and being overambitious with my scheduling and running goals. I learned the hard way with Queens, that despite my Floridian upbringing, I am not meant to run 13.1 miles consecutively in a short window of time in the height of summer. Ever.

Reviewing my initial training calendar, I had planned on taking a break from half-marathon training between the SI 1/2 and my Japanese proficiency examination in early December. I feel I am not quite ready to start focusing on speed work necessary for a 5K PR,  nor am I willing to sacrifice endurance and mileage by focusing on short runs. Looking over my Nike Coaching options, I selected the Intermediate I 10K Program

Training Dates: 09/14/11-12/06/11
Total Mileage: 260.3 Miles

[ get started ] 35 Miles
* week 1: 2+4+4 = 10Mi
* week 2: 6+2+4+5 = 17Mi
* week 3: 7+2+5+6 = 18Mi

[ keep it going ] 65 Miles
* week 4: 7+2+5+6 = 18Mi
* week 5: 8+2+6+6 = 22Mi
* week 6: 8+2+2+7+6 = 25Mi

[ halfway done ] 81.1 Miles
* week 7: 2+7.1+3+4+8 =  24.1Mi
* week 8: 9+3+7+3+6 = 28Mi
* week 9:  10+3+7+3+6 = 29Mi

[ bring it home ] 52 Miles
* week 10: 9+3+7+7 = 26Mi
* week 11: 10+3+6+7 = 26Mi

[ finish strong ] 27.2 Miles
* week 12: 6+3+5+5 = 19Mi
* week 13: 2+6.2 = 8.2Mi

Writing all the mileage onto my Princess Calendar made me a little antsy. Half of my anticipated mileage, weeks three through eight, overlap with my scheduled training in Atlanta. With sitting through nine hours of classes daily, Monday through Friday, I am going to want to stretch my legs and burn off some stress between test preparation and late night study sessions. Plus, I am going to need to fit into a uniform by the top of November, and I'd like to order something in a *gasp* size six.

Doing the Math
Bottom line is that I will need to manage logging miles while balancing classes and meals. While residing in the HQ dormitory, I will be without a kitchen and many of the tools I currently use, so I will need to stay creative about meals and scheduling. Without access to a TV/DVD player, all my fitness videos are useless. I'll have my laptop, so the yoga mat is coming with me. Working on my posture is a necessity, and not just when I am running either.

The training pay will be adequate, but to avoid over-spending (and overeating), I am heavily considering taking up a home delivery food service like The Biggest Loser Meal Plan or Nutrisystem. My primary concern at this juncture is access to cooking and cold storage. Tea, coffee, and water are covered, so depending on what appliances are available, one of these could be a reasonable (and time-saving) option. I don't want to rely on snack bars, and transportation (and time for any activities) off-campus will be rather limited.

The key factor overall is the scheduling of the class blocks. With eight or nine hours of classes daily, running is going to either be a up-at-dawn pre-coffee jump start or slam it in before dinner and evening study sessions escape. Hopefully the information I will be provided shortly will outline any regulations with regard to free time and use of headquarters campus outside of class time. Considering a massive reward if I am able to adhere to my plan and make time for running... besides the pay off of going shopping for new clothes!

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