Wake-up in the morning feeling...

No, not like P. Diddy...sorry I couldn't resist. During the holiday break, my cousins had that song on repeat so its been stuck in my head for 2 weeks now...anyway...

Yesterday, it was back to the grind - the first day of:

- 6 am workouts - my 16-week marathon training schedule - work, having only been there for 10 days in December

6 am Workouts I met my goal of going to sleep by 9:30 pm but morning just came too soon. I am very hit and miss with sleep. I'll go through phases where I sleep like a baby and then other times will have the worst insomnia ever. During vacation I had gotten used to sleeping in till at least 7 am, some days I even slept past 8 am which was absolutely glorious. So when my alarm rang yesterday morning at 4:45 am, it was brutal. I pressed snooze 3 times; I wanted to stay in bed so badly. I finally dragged myself out of bed at around 5:15 am, groggily ate some breakfast and then headed out for the first run of my marathon training!

I realize that runners in the Mountain, Central and Eastern regions run in much colder weather, but I am a West Coast girl and it was a cold 44 degrees outside. I've actually run in colder weather, but I was not feeling it this time and wimped out by doing yesterday's run on the dreadmill.

Right now I'm reading the book, Marathon: Ultra Training Guide by Hal Higdon to guide me on how to prepare for this race. In it, he overly emphasizes that the goal for first-timers should be just to finish, there is no need to be worried about time. So I'm taking his advice and starting sloooooow. So slow that I ran the whole 30 minutes at an 11-minute mile pace. I avoided boredom by watching the music videos (yes, lots of Britney) I've downloaded to my iPhone. It was a good run, no soreness before, during or after. I was happy.

After the run I went to a Core Training class where we used free weights and focused on obliques. I am definitely feeling this one today. But, it felt great to get back track to my normal schedule. If you can't tell by now, I am who functions best when I have structure and organization in my life.

16-Week Training Schedule I've been doing a lot of research on the different types of marathon training schedules that have been recommended by coaches and experts. They vary in duration (9, 16, 18 and even 30 week programs) and intensity. I need something that starts slow with a gradual build-up. As with my past 2 half-marathons, I am using the Active Trainer 16-week program, which fits perfectly being that this week is exactly 16-weeks before the race. It fits in nicely with the schedule I had been using of 2 short runs, 1 track workout and 1 longer run each week.

However, being that I already regularly take strength and core training classes, not to mention yoga and swimming, I modified the plan to incorporate these activities.

Note: - Swim sessions are no longer than 30 minutes. I am not a strong swimmer so these are very low-intensity sessions, very good for rest days. - Weight training classes are a combination of free weights and bar work, using no more than 8-10 lb weights in each hand. - The strength interval, core and Yoga classes are functional exercise classes that focus on strengthening those muscles that are so critical to running.

All of my instructors are aware of my goals and at times I feel that the classes were choreographed specifically for my needs. They are so, so awesome.

For the most part, I'll stick to this schedule, but I know its a lot, so I am definitely OK with backing off if need be. This is something that I've really become better at over the past 6 months.

Work Day And after getting to work before 9 am (with 6 minutes to spare, I consider that on time), sorting through 500+ emails, and what seemed like the longest work day ever, I survived the first work day of the decade, and ended it with a fantastic Yoga Tune-Up class that focused on hips, had tons of pigeon poses (my favorite), all of which was a build up to the grand triangle pose. Great way to end a long day.

Tuesday It was a little easier getting up this morning. I went to bed at 10 pm (half hour later than my goal but still got a full 7 hours of sleep. I only pressed snooze twice this morning, which means tomorrow I'll probably only press it once, so by Thursday, I should be back to normal.

Tuesday's workout was a weight training class. What can I say about this class, except Doris, the instructor, is fabulous. She choreographs the class on the fly and I can always count on her for a great workout. Today we used the bosu as our platform and she incorporated cardio and core. Just 10 minutes into the class I was dying and after 15 minutes I was drenched in sweat.

My legs are tired so no workout scheduled for tonight, as I also go back to volunteering after being off for 2 weeks.

What made me happy today: Reading this morning that the Red Sox are going to sign Adrian Beltre, ensuring that there is no way the Giants can sign him.

Photo of the day: So this isn't a photo, nor is it from today...but as I scrolled through my iPhone looking for a photo of the day, I forgot about this video that I took when I was back in Hawai'i last month. Its kanikapila (playing music) with my family at the beach house. They're playing one of my favorite songs called "Wahine Ilikea" that talks about the waterfalls on the east end of Moloka'i. Enjoy.