EFTB

battling the bulge with a vegan diet and exercise

The Happiest Half Marathon on Earth

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Countdown to the Disneyland Half Marathon – 11 days!!!

Oh hell yes.

Hello, my beloved blog readers!  Did I mention that my husband and I signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon this year?  We signed up ages ago, so maybe I did.  As it turns out, that half marathon is happening next Sunday at 6 a.m. sharp.  (Where are a good pair of Minnie ears when I need them?)

So, are we prepared?  Well, yes and no (read: Jamie = yes, me = no).  We started running on a pretty regular basis a couple of months ago.  Training was going well, and then life happened.  I got super busy with work and Jamie ran an impressive 10 miles in one outing and hurt his foot.  So, we both took two-ish weeks in mid-August off from running.  We both just started back up again last week.

Jamie is a running pro – it’s really amazing how he can just keep going and going and going, and at really impressive paces.  He’s really good at running, as it turns out, and I not-secretly hate and envy him for it.  So, Jamie?  He’s gonna be just fine.

I, on the other hand, am terrible at running.  I hear the word “running” and become a negative Nancy.  The slightest hint of sunniness, hot weather, or sleep deprivation and I can barely move.  I complain before every run.  I bemoan putting on my running clothes, sometimes for hours.  Even on days when I plan to run, once I get home I just can’t seem to motivate myself to actually… run.  I avoid running like I avoid unpacking the clean clothing from my laundry hamper that my mom so lovingly washes and folds for me (yes, I’m spoiled) (…and yes, Mom, I’ll unpack them tonight).

Part of my dislike for running is, of course, the fact that I am not good at it.  My average mile pace is a horrifyingly-slow 11-ish minutes, and that’s when I’m only planning on running two or (gulp) three miles.  Of course, in the weeks of training that Jamie and I were putting in for this half marathon, I did see my pace very slowly creep down (to a low 10-ish minute mile).  Of course, this begs the annoying point to be made to me: Michelle, just give it a couple of months — your pace will get better and maybe you’ll start enjoying running more!!  Well, shut up, annoying point-maker.  I’m a fan of excuses and the mere fact that I’ve watched my husband crawl off the couch with no training and leisurely jog a high 8-ish minute mile is enough to make me not want to work at a better pace.  Truth be told, I’m not really interested in seeing my pace get better, anyway.  I’m not in this half marathon to win in.  I’m in it to survive it (and to get my hands on the beautiful finisher’s medal – see supra picture 1).

The other part of my dislike for running is that I’m a contrarian, as they say.  Running is all fun and games until I’m being told that I have to run.  Then I’m obstinate and don’t want to run.  I’d rather be [elipticaling, weight lifting, crunching, stationary biking, yogaing] — fill in the blank.  Anything but running.  I’m certain as soon as the half marathon is over (and as soon as the feeling in my legs comes back) I’ll suddenly and mysteriously want to run.  Until then, though, I’m nothing if not stubborn.

Well, like it or not, I’m running run/walking this thing next Sunday.  And actually, I’m starting to like the idea.  After all, when I initially signed up for this thing, my thought was, “well, if anything can motivate me to train for and do a half marathon, it’s Disney” — and, without fail, I’m motivated.

…I love Disney a lot.

This past Monday I visited my old gym (which, by the way, was now beautifully remodeled and awesome) to do some stress-relieving yoga like old times.  I got there early and decided to first run on one of the brand new treadmills.  I’d forgotten my headphones so I ran without music, instead staring ahead of me at one of the many flat screen TVs on the wall (this one was playing the Bears vs. Giants preseason game).  It was awesome.  Maybe it was because there was no music blaring in my ears?  Or maybe it was because I was looking forward to yoga?  (Or maybe it was because the Giants were kicking the Bears’ butts?)  For whatever reason, running felt great.  I ran a quick 2.5 miles and then headed off to yoga (which, by the way, was also awesome — have I said “awesome” enough yet?).

The ease of the 2.5-mile run boosted my confidence in myself and my ability to complete this half marathon.  I only have to keep up a 16-minute mile pace and some people power walk the whole thing, so I think it’s doable if I run/walk it.  Nothing is coming between me and that finisher’s medal.  Now I just have to decide whether to put together a fun costume (:  For those interested, here is the AWESOME course:

♪ ♫ Over the Disneyland and through the Angels stadium, to California Adventure we go… ♪ ♫

Wish us luck.  I’ll be back (I promise) with updates about where you can track my runs and other exercise stuff, how we do on the halfer, and all that fun stuff!

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Author: tofubelly

I’m an attorney living in Southern California. I’m vegan, recently married, and am a proud mother of two misbehaving orange kitties. I love to cook and eat good food. I also love to exercise and to look and feel great. At times, it feels like these two passions are at odds, but I’ve made it my lifelong project to combine my loves into one super-healthy awesome lifestyle. I’m a huge advocate of calorie counting. My husband and I successfully lost 40 and 20 pounds just by restricting our caloric intake and burning extra calories with exercise when we could find time. I am constantly experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with fresh, healthy, and *countable* recipes. In effort to become more active, I’ve trained for and completed two races — Nike’s 10K Human Race (Sept. 2008) and the Disneyland Half Marathon (Sept. 2011 – photo on the right). Running is my project (read: I suck at it, but I will not let it defeat me). Yoga is like having a religious experience. Whatever the workout, if I’m at the gym, I’m always in a fabulous mood. As I leave, I always make a note to myself: self, you love going to the gym. That’s not to say that I don’t fall off the wagon all the time. Like in the photo above, with some *delicious* vegan mac and cheese at the 2011 Vegan Beer Fest. Or like every other day, when I convince myself that it is acceptable to park my butt on the couch and watch three hours of television before bed instead of changing into my gym clothes and fitting in a workout. Without all of my falling off, I wouldn’t be able to boast my tofu belly. But more important than the falling off is the getting back on. With this blog, I’ll share with you my constant struggles with myself to get to the gym, to drink more water, and to make healthy and low-cal food choices. By sharing, I hope to keep myself more accountable while also showing others that it is entirely possible to live a healthy, albeit busy, life one day at a time. Here’s to firming up my tofu belly — with a little help from you!

3 thoughts on “The Happiest Half Marathon on Earth

  1. You are correct, if anything can motivate, it’s Disney.
    This race is so wonderfully run and organized, so typically Disney, walking or not, you will love it.
    The first couple miles through the park are over before you know it, and the high school bands and fans that turn out carry you through the delightfully flat course.
    Enjoy, perhaps I’ll see you there.

  2. Pingback: Trying and Failing… is Actually Working | Extra Firm Tofu Belly

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