No weighting around

When I couldn’t jump the fence, I knew that I would be the first to perish in a zombie-apocalypse type encounter.

My friend Emily wanted to take photos of me running around our old college track. Little did we know that they lock it on the weekends. As tiny and petite as my friend is, she was successfully able to climb over the chain-link fence. No problems for her. She works out! But, me? I have strong calves but as far as upper body strength, I have very little.

I need to be that person who is be able to jump the fence so I can escape, too!

But, really, upper body strength isn’t just in order to prepare for zombie attacks.

As a runner, I know I need to be strong all around.

Emily's sneaky photo of me trying to climb over the fence

Emily’s sneaky photo of me trying to climb over the fence

************

I completed my first full marathon in May 2010.

I took away what went well and what didn’t go so well into how I trained for my next race. I was craving for a juicy marathon PR.

Time and time again, my marathon time did not improve.

But, each time was another learning experience. I never did exactly the same thing. I tweaked and added and changed how I trained.

I became more diligent with my mid-week runs, adding on more mileage to those and not just to my Saturday long runs. I cut out alcohol consumption during the month prior to race day. I added core workouts and focused stretching after runs.

And then, three years after that initial race, I finally PR’d.

And then, another race goal was born. I wanted to break four hours at the marathon.

It was “supposed to” happen last year at the Portland Marathon. But, it did not. As far as races go, that one was one of the toughest for me. I cried more than once after it was over.

And now again, I am figuring out what changes I need to make in order to attain my goal for the next race.

This is where that whole not-being-able-to jump-over-the-fence-bit comes into play. I need to strength train. More specifically, I need to weight train.

I’ll be honest.

Weights intimidate me. But not even just weights! One push-up is even daunting for me.

But, last week I completed two strength training workouts. It was actually kind of difficult to find a good workout that included descriptions of the exercises and how many reps to do that is either geared toward runners or women (or better yet, female runners!)

Eventually I found this one and have been doing all the exercises listed. If you read the plan, it lists 15 reps but I am starting out with doing 5 reps twice.

I’m a beginner so I don’t even do “real” push-ups or dips. When I do push-ups, I do them from my knees. When I do dips, my knees are bent. But, this is all for the time being. I plan to do this workout twice a week (in addition to all my running and core workouts). And, one day I will be able to do full push-ups and dips. And, I will be able to do more than five in a row.

I’m proud to report that I wasn’t sore after the workouts. (I am using 5-pound free weights). But, after each workout, I feel worked out.

I’m not only going to be fast for the Eugene Marathon. I’m going to be strong.

And, when if a zombie or alien attack ever occurs in my lifetime, I will be able to jump over a fence alongside my friend Emily.

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