NYCM Training: Week 8 — I’m a Blue Belt!

Hey guys! So I’m gearing up to run the Disneyland Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare this weekend, and am looking forward to sharing some details about our trip — and, most importantly, OUR RACE COSTUMES — before we leave! :)

But first, here’s a look at last week’s training for the New York City Marathon!

Mon., Aug. 18: Taekwondo class and Thai kickboxing class

Tue., Aug. 19: Rest

Wed., Aug. 20: 4 miles and Thai kickboxing class

Thur., Aug. 21: 7 miles (4-mile run, 3-mile run) and Taekwondo class

Fri., Aug. 22: Taekwondo class and graduation

Sat., Aug. 23: Rest

Sun., Aug. 24: 15 miles

Total weekly mileage: 30 miles

This week was the first time I’ve ever tried splitting up a longer run. I just didn’t have the time to run the 7 miles on Thursday that my plan called for, especially since the majority of my shorter runs took place in the middle of the day last week. Between the heat killing my pace and causing me to stop to drink water constantly, it seems like anything over 3 or 4 miles takes me FOREVER to finish.

So I ran 4 miles earlier in the day, taught a couple of piano lessons, went to Taekwondo class, and immediately went out for another 3 miles. Needless to say, I was pretty tired at the end of the day, but I would definitely consider using the run-splitting technique again. I got the miles in…and that’s all that counts right?

This Sunday’s long run also went fairly well. It was in the lower- to mid-70′s and sunny, so it wasn’t the WORST conditions I’ve run in this summer…but definitely not the best, either! Todd ran his first double-digit run since our last half marathon back in May, and I took on 15 miles. 0824141221

I won’t say that these long runs are getting easier, per se’ — especially since I hate waking up so freakin’ early and yet STILL struggling in the heat — but I will say I can feel that my training is working, and I’m feeling stronger and stronger every week!

Soooo gross. Is it Fall yet?!

Soooo gross. Is it fall yet?!

But the big news of this week? I’m finally a blue belt in Taekwondo!

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I tested on Monday and attended my graduation on Friday, where I completed several musical forms (Todd tried videotaping me kicking and punching to patriotic music for you guys, but the video came out REALLY dark, sorry!) We also have to memorize combinations to advance to each belt level, and like the forms, perform ALL of them in addition to those we learned for our next belt. It’s a LOT to remember, I’ll tell you that much.

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The purple belt form took me MONTHS to get down, and it’s to the Star Spangled Banner.

We were supposed to be holding flags for this form, lol

We were supposed to be holding flags for this form, lol

And, of course, you have to break a board before you get your new belt. In my case, with a sidekick. :)

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In the Taekwondo belt hierarchy at my school, that means I only have three more belts to go before I can test for my black belt.

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Photo credits: All “action” shots courtesy of this young lady and her snazzy camera, haha

It’ll be a looooong process, and studying Taekwondo really is no joke. Every single technique you learn is not only physically demanding, but has to be PERFECT before you’re allowed to move on. In fact, my “master” (sounds weird to call him that outside the context of the school, but, that’s basically what he is!) wouldn’t allow me to graduate last month because my toes weren’t pointed at the proper angle in a front-stance.

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Taekwondo demands perfection at all times, which can be nerve-wracking, to say the least — but also really flippin’ exciting when you finally master a new technique!IMG_7465

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have found not one, but TWO physical activities that I’m so passionate about. Honestly, if I didn’t start taking Thai kickboxing classes, I’m not sure if I would have had the guts to try running…and I definitely spent the first couple of years of my time at Karate World totally intimidated by the Taekwondo students!

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There is SO much to learn, and what I like most about both martial arts and running is that it’s all about the mind-body connection. Whether you’re pushing yourself to your physical (and mental!) limits to get to that finish line on a race course, or practicing over and over and OVER to perfect the art of a reverse sidekick or master your next form, both activities are all about developing that inner strength and discipline to set and achieve new goals.

And it’s become very clear to me that I thrive on tangible goals…whether it’s a new shiny race medal or my next belt in karate. :)

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Have you ever split a longer run into two shorter runs?

In addition to running, are there any other physical activities you’re passionate about?

 

Comments

  1. Congrats on your new belt! My cousin’s three kids do Taekwondo and it is intense! I went to see one of their classes a couple years ago (they live in VA) and it looked hard. But the kids love it and it keeps them active and disciplined, so I suppose that is a good thing.

    • Thanks, Amy! YES — completely agree. Mind you, do I LOVE the fact that the kids far outnumber the adults in the TKD program? But there are definitely benefits no matter what your age. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself…lol)

  2. Girl, you are such a bada**!!! Way to go getting that blue belt! I had no idea how demanding it really was…not being able to pass due to your toes not pointing the right direction, WOW! That really does make it so much more rewarding when you do pass though!

    I can’t wait to see your costumes for DDD…post them soon! :0)

    • Haha, thanks, Lauren! It really can be super intense, and, yes, when it comes to your forms, combinations, etc. to test for the next belt, it has to be PERFECT. When it comes to black belt testing, it’s a point system — three little mistakes, and you’re out!

      Don’t you worry…will do! They’ll be up by tomorrow or Thursday AM before we leave! :-D

  3. Congratulations!! I love all the pics! Sooooo impressive. Now you can celebrate at Disney! Excited to see your costume pics. Have so much fun!!

    As for me, I’ve really been bitten by the triathlon bug. Cycling is a new challenge and I have so much to learn, but in a good way!

    • Thanks, Karla! Definitely no better way to celebrate ANYTHING than a trip to Disney… ;)

      That’s awesome! I love to cycle. Like you said, it’s a challenge just like anything else, but it can be SO exciting to take on something new! I’m hoping to join the triathlon party sooner rather than later… :)

  4. Congrats on the blue belt!! Good luck with your races this weekend. This week I may split up a 12 miler during the AM/PM b/c I do not have time to do it straight through.

  5. Congratulations! That’s awesome! Way to kick butt (literally) and take names! It’s so amazing how close you are to a black belt! Great job!

    I’m probably going to “split” most of my long runs during my marathon training. I registered for a bunch of half marathons (forcing myself to get out there, change of scenery, WATER EVERYWHERE) and then just add on whatever additional miles I need for that day. Oh, and my other physical activity? CROSSFIT! Although it’s more like an obsession at this point :)

  6. Congrats! Sounds like so much work. Good luck with the DDD this weekend :)

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