Hi! My name is Kim LiCalzi. I blog at www.runfortherabbit.com/Kim. On my blog I write about my training for the Hamptons Marathon in memory and honor of my husband’s twin brother, 1st Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi, USMC, who died in Iraq while serving our country in 2006. I am so honored to be guest blogging for Theodora on Memorial Day. When I run, I think about Mike, I think about my family’s devastating loss, but most of all I think about his heroic sacrifice for our country. Today, on this beautiful Memorial Day, I ask you to remember our Fallen Hero, Mike, a local New Yorker, who gave his life for us, as well as all of the other men and women who sacrificed it all.
Every marathon has a story. I have run three marathons and each one conjures up different memories, images, sounds, smells.
New York: bounding over the Verrazano, Frank Sinatra’s booming voice muffled under wind and waves, the crowd starting to rumble on the Queensboro, and turning the corner. Ah, Manhattan, the best welcome in the world. I had tears in my eyes climbing first avenue, and my mouth was sore from smiling so big.
The Marine Corps Marathon in D.C.: I had Ace in the Hole Foundation on my chest, and my husband’s twin brother’s name on my back: “In Memory of 1st Lt. Michael LiCalzi”. I never ran with more pride. A group of marines tapped me on the back, told me they knew Mike, ran with me, cheered for me, and helped carry me through. The finish line was at the top of the hill, marines lined the edge of the course, their expressions telling us “you can do it.” I finished, collapsed into my husband’s arms, and felt Mike’s presence around us.
Miami: I ran over two bridges, the first lined with sleeping cruise ships in the dark water. The next bridge, I watched the sun arc over the water, pink and orange rippling over the boats. I remember the sponge someone handed me in the last mile and squeezing the cool salty water onto my head.
My next marathon will be the Hamptons Marathon. I can tell you the race will be fantastic. I will run for Mike again, but this time, with my husband. Instead of waiting at the end, he will be beside me, and we will finish with the strength and determination that his brother had.
The training is a little more forgettable. My mom always told me a marathon would be like childbirth. At the finish, I would forget all the pain of training and the 26 miles. In the end, she was right.
As far as training goes, the Miami marathon sort of toasted me. I was running outside in the snow, in the cold. I had a very difficult time breathing, and after a run my chest and lungs felt like they were on fire. I also developed at attractive sounding cough that would not go away. But what was worse was my mindset. I was way too caught up with mileage. I would get down on myself if I couldn’t manage over 10 miles. I would think that anything under 6 miles was a waste. I stopped trying new exercise classes because I was terrified I would be sore for a long run.
I realized after the marathon that I needed a break, I needed to ease my mind, and make running fun again. So, for a while I ran small distances, got rid of my watch, enjoyed the fresh air. I also tried new classes: a variety of Equinox Group Fitness, Corefusion, and many invigorating yoga classes at PureYoga. I began to feel better about myself and actually stronger. I took a personal training class at Equinox Academy and learned a lot about the human body and training it. I learned the importance of variety, rest, and the overload principle.
And then, I signed up for the Hamptons Marathon. It feels amazing to be running again. I love the park, the exhaustion, the runner’s wave. But, this time, I am making sure that I have time to cross train and strength train. It is very important for my body to stay strong to conquer that fourth marathon.
But I’m really doing this to keep my mind at ease. I need variety, I need to know that my muscles are working as well as my heart, and I need to know that sometimes I can take my time, and leave my watch at home.
What do your marathons make you think of? Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed by training?
Have you ever taken a break from a sport? How are you training for your next marathon? Are you including strength training? How is training for your second (third, fourth,…) marathon different from training for your first?
Greetings Losing Weight in the City readers! My name is Ashley and I blog over at A Healthy, Happier Bear. My blog revolves around my adventures in striving for a healthy, happier life in New York City. During the week, I balance many roles including wife, newlywed, business woman, and friend but also find time to train for the New York City marathon and various other races during the year.
I was elated when I heard my girl Theodora needed some guests posts during her relaxing and sand filled Memorial Day weekend. I jumped at the idea and knew exactly the topic I wanted to share with her readers: plateaus.
Almost weekly, someone emails or comments on my blog about weight loss and overcoming plateaus. While Iâ€™ve written about my running journey, I havenâ€™t really talked about overcoming the marathon weight plateau.
A few years ago, I focused on eating and exercising properly in order to lose weight during my senior year of college. I went from nearly 200 poundsto 150 pounds within a period of 9 months.
Over the next few years, I became obsessed with my weight and working out in an unfortunately unhealthy way. While I have since recovered, it was a long road. Gaining weight is difficult to do while also trying to stay healthy and active. In the end, it took Krispy Kreme donuts, pasta, protein shakes, and prescriptions to help gain weight.
Unfortunately, after your body becomes accustomed to these foods again, itâ€™s hard to break the cycle. The stress I dealt with during this period also lead me to develop a stress related sweet tooth. I found comfort in food, especially sweet ones, during this stressful period. This stress was multiplied when I became engaged, changed jobs, and moved to New York City all within a few months. While it was a positive change, it still lead to stress.
Therefore, I was one of those brides who gained weight during my engagement period versus losing weight. While it wasnâ€™t drastic, it still affected the way I felt during the wedding and engagement process. I was self conscious during our photo shoot, I feared dress fittings, and put my parents through a few emotion breakdowns.
Since my wedding, my weight has continued to increase, especially during my training for the 2010 New York City Marathon. Many people canâ€™t believe that itâ€™s possible to gain weight during marathon training, but unfortunately, I was proof that it can happen! Even though I was logging 20-35 miles each week, all that running couldnâ€™t offset my appetite and novice mistakes. I didnâ€™t realize that there are healthy and more efficient ways to fuel, carb load, and eat while training. I guess getting your carbs through sweets really isnâ€™t the best idea. 🙂 When I finished the marathon on November 7th, 2010 I was beaming with joy as I crossed the finish line in 5:06, but the next day, I realized that my favorite jeans, no longer fit. In fact, they couldn’t even button!
My workouts, while strenuous and challenging in some peopleâ€™s eyes, werenâ€™t working. I didnâ€™t know how to improve my diet any further. Finally, I was losing the self confidence and tenacity for life that Iâ€™d so enjoyed over the past few years.
After that wake up call in mid February, Iâ€™ve made great progress; but it wasnâ€™t easy. Anyone who ever tells you overcoming a plateau is easy or will happen overnight is crazy. Since Iâ€™ve just gone through the process, I thought Iâ€™d share with you some tips for overcoming a plateau, especially one in the health and fitness department.
For at least three days, two weekdays and a weekend day, write down every morsel you eat. Picks, nibbles, and bites can add up very quickly and this had been my biggest issue. Without realizing it, I was eating over 250-500 calories in the office on a daily basis just by munching on pieces of leftover catered foods such as cookies, bagels, and sandwiches. The workplace can be the most difficult place to avoid food. In addition, while moderation is important and being relaxed on the weekend is fun, that doesnâ€™t mean have a food festival. I found that I was eating more in one Saturday than Iâ€™d sometime eat in two weekdays. This all our nothing mentality wasnâ€™t working and seeing, on paper, what I was really eating was very eye opening.
Meet with a personal trainer. While I will be the first to admit that personal trainers are very expensive, Iâ€™ll also be the first to say that they are worth it. A year ago, you couldnâ€™t convince me to pay someone $50 to help me workout. Then, I spent an hour with Lauren, my current personal trainer. Even one session can help you realize your full potential which will then in turn help you workout harder and more effectively on your own. Check with your gym for specials and packages which can help make the price more affordable. You can also use the internet and fellow bloggers as resources. Many bloggers, who are also trainers, are more than happy to put together personalized training plans or workouts for readers!
Find another reward. Food and alcohol is often an easy reward for good work, hard work, or a rough day. While often indulgent and delicious, it can also have some negative side effects. Since mid February, Iâ€™ve indulged in vanity (manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions) and shopping instead of food. Iâ€™m allowing myself to replace too big clothing since there is no better feeling than slipping into a slim fit outfit and feeling confident and beautiful.
Make eating healthy easy! I reorganized my desk in March to ensure I had space for a food drawer. Iâ€™ve done my best to restock it each week with healthy essential snacks and meals which make mid-day noshing easy. My favorite foods include bananas, peanut butter, apples, oats, raisins, protein powder, cereal, and calcium supplements. Chocolate calcium supplements are the perfect sweet after lunch treat while also filling my body with important vitamins and minerals.
Drink water! I always have a water bottle with me at all times. This ensures that Iâ€™m hydrated during the day and am not fooled into thinking Iâ€™m hungry when Iâ€™m really dehydrated. Itâ€™s also a great way to keep my mouth busy.
Cross train! Up until mid- February almost every week of workouts looked the same. I would do one spin class and then run 4-5 days per week. There was no variety in my workouts and my body had become accustomed to the monotonous 0 incline, 6.0 speed runs on the treadmill. Itâ€™s no wonder the Central Park races would kick my butt! Since meeting with a trainer and doing some research I learned that cross training is not only important for injury prevention but also a great way to spice up the bodyâ€™s metabolism and truly change my body. My new routine now involves one day of spin, two days of lifting, three days of running, and a few yoga or Physique 57 sessions thrown in for good measure.
The results are visible from both a physical and emotional standpoint! My friends, family, and colleagues have seen a change in my confidence and attitude while I see the physical change in the scale, the measurements, and the way my clothes fit. Iâ€™m officially down one size, 3 inches in my abdomen, 1 inch on each thigh, and 10 pounds on the scale!
Now: Feeling slimmer, sleeker, and more confident!Then:Baggy everything and chipmunk cheeks!
Now: Finally broke 9 min pace!
Then: Barely able to keep a 10 min pace
I hope some of my experiences and tips can help you break through a plateau!