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Training Has Begun!

I'm happy to report that I'm back in training. I've been cautiously adding some weekly miles back in since around Thanksgiving, and I finally feel back to normal. Coming back from the injury was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I was hoping to be able to start training for the Gasparilla half marathon, on February 24, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to take on the training. After two successful long runs in the past two weeks, though, I feel confident I can go forward with my plan. Here's how the first two weeks went:

Week 1: 12/24/12 - 12/30/12
M: 4 mi (E)
T: rest
W: 5 mi (E)
R: rest
F: hot yoga (XT)
Sa: 7 mi (LSD)
Su: Ashtanga yoga (XT)
Weekly mileage: 16

Week 2: 12/31/12 - 1/6/13
M: 3 mi (E) + yin yoga (XT)
T: 3.1 mi (P)
W: CrossBoot (XT)
R: 3.1 mi (E)
F: hot yoga (XT)
Sa: 9 mi (LSD)
Su: mini core workout (XT)
Weekly mileage: 18.2

Key: (E) = Easy; (P) = Pace; (LSD) = Long Slow Distance; (XT) = Cross Training

In other news . . .

2012 Mileage
I finally downloaded all of the running data from my Garmin Forerunner since this past July, and after also figuring out how to use GarminConnect, I discovered that I ran 924.35 miles in 2012--according to my watch. This number is not completely accurate for several reasons: (1) very occasionally, I forget my watch, like maybe a couple times per year, so a couple of runs may not be represented in this figure; (2) sometimes I forget to stop my watch after a run, and if I'm out somewhere, say 25 miles from home, the watch will continue to track my mileage as I'm driving home, ending with an obscene number of miles that I didn't actually run (but this only happened once, I think); (4) I walked some of these miles, especially during my injury, when I didn't feel like figuring out how to set my watch to a walking mode; and (3) I didn't upload data from my watch to GarminConnect for every part of every month in 2012, so some runs may also be missing for that reason. But overall, and considering that some of these exceptions cancel each other out, the figure is probably pretty close to the number of miles I actually ran. What's remarkable, at least to me, about the number is that it looks so close to 1,000 (not that 75.65 miles is insignificant) that I feel I just must set a goal for 2013 to meet or exceed 1,000 miles.

Running for Brews
Also, I've been trying to get back into social running groups lately, which has been a little tricky, but also fun. Most recently I've run with the group Running for Brews - South Tampa, a group started by a local triathlete/runner/businessperson, Johnny McMahan. Two of these runs take place just a few blocks away from me at local bars. The way they work is like this: meet at bar at designated time, sign in, leave as a group for 5K run, return at your own pace and then hang around for socialization and drinks. I struggle with these types of groups for a couple of reasons: (1) I often enjoy running alone, (2) I can be shy and awkward around new people, and, perhaps most ironic of all, (3) I don't drink beer. When I do drink, I stick mostly to wine, and only red, but how enticing does a glass of red wine sound after a three-mile run? Not very. I haven't found a way around this yet. I keep meaning to ask the bartenders what kind of creative non-alcoholic drinks are available to me, that also don't have a ton of calories and are cheep enough to get regularly. It's a challenge, for sure, but one I'll put up with for now. I have met new people, and that's the point. The group has also extended the route to a 10K run for those who want more distance (at an earlier start time), and I think I might try that out this week. The people have been very welcoming, and I'll admit that it feels nice to be a part of something. They also do social outings that are non-running related, so I look forward to participating in one of those soon. Here's a picture from the first run in the new year (I was holding the beer as a prop--seriously):

Nike Women's Marathon (Half Marathon)
One more thing: I've signed up to run the Nike Women's Marathon series half marathon in Washington, DC, this April. A friend of mine who was also signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October, but who also did not make it, told me about this race, and the associated "bling." Instead of earning a medal, finishers receive a Tiffany necklace. This didn't really get me very excited, as I'm not a "blingy" kind of person, but I knew we'd be signing up as a group with my friend's mother and her friends, and it would be a trip to DC. I thought of it as a redemption DC race. We had to put our names in for a drawing to see if we could even get in, and, as luck would have it, we did! So I have another half marathon to look forward to as well as a spring trip to DC. Oh, and a fancy necklace, of course.


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