I've been trying to exercise regularly for quite a while, and I've been good at doing something most days, whether it's kickboxing, squats and abs, or running. But I knew I'd have to train with at least longer runs for the half, so I researched a feasible training schedule to get me ready for a sub-two-hour half (9:09 min/mile). I'm generally following this plan whose details can be read here. I love the variety of workouts and that I run 13 miles twice before race day. I only had 11 to train when I started, so I had to shorten it a little. I also shifted the long runs to Thursdays. Also, it's very easy to adjust the plan according to your current fitness level and goal half time. Here are the first few weeks of my plan that I customized for my goal.
I've completed every workout except one cross train day. This is really great for me but it remarkably hasn't been very hard. I seriously have come to regard this training schedule as my personal trainer. It knows how fast, how long, how hard I think I can run, and then it says, "Well, I know you ran six miles last night, but I also know you can run ten miles this morning" or "Of course you can run four miles at a sub-nine-minute pace along with three other miles!" And the best part is, it's right. I look at my schedule, and it's almost like I'm talking to it with my thoughts: Woah, it's gonna be hard to run three miles that fast in the middle of that workout. Especially after eating all this candy and not getting enough sleep. But then I do run those three miles, even faster than my schedule told me to! I already feel faster and stronger, which just goes to show that my schedule knows best. I don't even question or think about it--I just follow the schedule. And I'm happily sore pretty much every day :)
On to the hair.
Probably my favorite hair style yet because it was easy (I think I curled just the ends), fast, and beautiful! Difficulty: easy. Just take the top part and bobby pin it back and then alternate hair from each side and pin it. The previous pin is covered by the hair you pull over from the other side. Then curl the bottom! Durability: five stars. Stays in through everything except sleeping. And probably a hurricane. Time: Ten minutes maybe? Way less if your hair is already curled.
Fishtail side braid
Layers and this do don't mix. Yikes. Difficulty: Not bad, but my arms start to ache if I make it too tight and take tiny pieces. It looks cooler then though. Durability: Negative. I redid it like three times in the car to church. It just would not stay in with my layers. Time: Five minutes or less. It was nice I didn't have to straighten or curl it first--I just worked with my hair as is. Maybe why it wouldn't stay in?
Side Messy Bun
I like how the girl on the blog did this hairstyle to work out in. Difficulty: It took me a few times to get the french braid to look right and to go to the right place, and actually looking at the directions I didn't do it right, but it turned out fine. My bun also wasn't as messy as I would have liked, but overall it wasn't too hard. I give it three stars out of five, five being the hardest. Durability: Super durable! Time: 15-20 minutes with my redos...
Love, love, love how this turned out. And I actually did it again for work one day (with less success), so you know it has to be quick and easy. Difficulty: easy! I can do simple braids and wraps them around each other! And the directions were good. Durability: really awesome the first time I did it. I must have put the bobby pins in good places. Time: Five minutes.
Upside-down Braid bun
Okay, so no, mine does not look like hers. But this was my first semi-success at doing this! I think I just need to take smaller pieces as I'm braiding up. Difficulty: hard.. Durability: very. Time: depends how many redos, but it should only take like five to ten.
Oops, you can totally see where I forgot to take hair on one part. Oh well! I like doing different things with French braids. Difficulty: easy, just only take hair from the top part of your head (aka every other time that you would normally add hair in a french braid). Curls were from the night before! Durability: Very durable. It goes into a braid that comes over my shoulder, so there was no chance of it falling out. Time: Five minutes.