Friday, October 14, 2016

Training Talk

February 25 I'm running another marathon.

Did you know that I have fully trained from 4 marathons, yet only actually run 4?

Not because of injury, but because of work schedules.

Well on Feburary 25, Abby is running The Phoenix Marathon -- and nothing is getting in the way.

And Abby really would like to qualify for Boston.

Last year I had goals of qualifying for Boston, but now as I look back - I wasn't ready. I wasn't strong enough. My pace was just starting to peak. With lots of speed work, research, drills/strength training to keep my muscles balanced, talking to various running coaches.....I think I'm ready to go for it.

The qualifying time for my age group is 3 hr 35 min.
However, it is recommended to at least give yourself a 10 minute window. Every 10 minutes below your qualifying time, the sooner you can put in your registration for the lottery.

One cannot just qualify - you had to crush your qualifying time these days!

My goal is to finish in 3 hr 25 minutes. I'd really like to keep my pace at 7:45/mile, and that pace will definitely allow me to meet my goal.

Whether I make the lottery to get into the Boston Marathon is out of my control.All I can do is run as fast as my body will let me!

Here is where some of you may get bored, if you're not into running and details and such.....

The Course:
Gradually downhill, mostly flat, a few minor hills thorugh Phoenix.

The weekend:
My birthday weekend. What better way to celebrate entering the finally year of my 20's, than running a marathon?!

The Training
All summer long I have been working on speed and strength. I met with a running coach to talk about how to get with my goals. She gave me my paces for the various workouts I'll do during the week:

Long Runs: 8:20/mile - with some goal pace pick-ups throughout the run (it is so hard for me to wrap my mind around doing my long runs so slow! But....I'll listen.

Tempo Runs: 7:15/mile pace.

Speed drills: anywhere from 6:25/mile pace on my intervels to 7:00/mile depending on the length of the interval.

Aerobic run: anywhere from 6-10 miles at around my goal pace (7:45/mile)

Easy run: 8:30/mile to shake out the legs after a tough workout

So I have been modeling this work out plan for the past 2 week, and it seems to be working! I'm not really training for the race yet - but I do have a half marathon at the end of the month.

Thursday I did a 7.5 miles tempo run at a 7:20/mile pace....and I held a conversation the whole time with my partner! Which means I could have been pushing harder. Which means...I Can Do This!

I'm really going to focus on listening to my body, good nutrition, hydration, and focus for the 16 weeks leading up to the race!

I'm excited :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What's New: Career Goals

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who had all these dreams. But then life got sort of comfortable.

College was really quite easy for me. Then I got into the career - and there were moments where I obviously struggled and said "This is REALLY hard", and perhaps I would come home some nights shedding a few tears because nursing can suck. 

But the reality I found is -- as long as I worked a little harder than those around me -- it was pretty easy to advance and be known as a top performer. 

So why go to grad school? Why become a Nurse Practitioner like I originally planned? Why not just sail through my career - stay comfortable - accept the opportunities I find - and just enjoy life?

The past few months have been kind of a struggle for me mentally. I work 40 hours a week. And life is busy! But my brain is feeling a little, well, under-used. (I don't even think "under-used" is a word. See?? I'm turning to mush!!) 

There is this voice inside me saying "But it's so convenient! Suck it up. You work from home. Don't blow this". 

But then there's that little girl that had big dreams and aspirations saying "Don't do what's easy! Do what makes you proud and happy."

Yes, I am admitting to voices in my head. ;) Voices that run through my head at 3 in the morning lately when I cannot sleep. 

I kind of have been feeling as though "Abby" has lost her spirit lately. I've lost touch of my "go get 'em" attitude, and have become the girl that constantly chooses what is most convenient. 

So after much research, and interviewing many different people....I have decided to rekindle my original dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner! 

So although it isn't going to be easy, I'm doing it. I have learned after much reflection that me as a person doesn't do so "great" when I'm not challenged enough. I thrive when I'm overwhelmed and busy. And this work-from-home job, although convenient, is just not giving me what I desire. 

(You can say it....I probably sound like a millennial right now. I'll own it. But just so you all know, I am actually NOT a Millennial. I am a Generation Y.

To make the choice of getting my masters degrees, I looked into:

-cost of school
-reviews of school (these are obvious ones)
-length of school
-amount of hours of clinicals and classroom time
-average cost of daycare in your city
-a conversation with your spouse about putting kids in daycare 
-how much of a maternity leave would I like to take if we were to have children, as that may affect my entrance into my career field or my schooling
-we don't even have kids and are not even close to having kids
-just submit your application and stop overthinking things already

I have to admit, and this is just between the girls...I am envious of the man in my life who kind of gets to look at a goal and go for it. And doesn't really blink an eye about the 1000 other "what-if's".

So here I go - applying to schools! My goal is to start in January. One of the schools I've already been accepted into has a waiting list, so I'm not guaranteed to begin in January. 

I am so grateful for my work-from-home job with East Coast hours, where I am able to work from 6-2 or 7-3. This will give me the flexibility to spend my evenings studying - and still give me a little quality of life/sanity!

For the second time in 2016, I'm making a big decision and feel really at peace with it! (Decision #1 was to stay in Tucson after we sold our house, moved into an apartment, shipped our dog across the country, and I changed jobs. ).