Happy New Year!
2014 flew by and the past couple of months were a flurry of activity. The holidays were pretty hectic and I found myself unable to find time (or the motivation, really) to sit down to write for this blog.
So now I make another promise to be better about updating this blog.
I have less than three weeks left until the Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta and less than TWO MONTHS until I run my very first half marathon at Disney (cue excited/nervous squeals).
I also made a new runspo/fitness inspired Instagram (follow me: @myfeethavewings).
This year is about accountability – accountability for this blog, for Instagram, and for my running!
2015 can bring it!! 🙂
This weekend’s long run was supposed to be a 6 mile long run so I decided to sign up for a local 10k. I stumbled upon the “Run for Lawson 5k/10k” and signed up for it on a whim. I have a bad habit of not looking at the course before I sign up for a race. Usually, I’m pretty lucky and this doesn’t do much to effect how I run that day. But Saturday’s race was the second time I signed up for a race before I realized I would be tackling a cross country course (the Miller Landing 8K – my one and only DNF – was the first instance where this happened). When I saw that we would be running on a cross country course the night before, I was a little nervous. I’m not a fan of trail running or of running on anything other than a nice paved surface. I stumble a lot and I just don’t seem to enjoy running half as much as I do when I’m doing a road race. But, I sucked it up and prepped myself for a run. I hydrated and took it easy the night before (also did not sleep the night before… I decided to tackle this race while also maintaining my night shift sleep schedule).
I got out to the race location and I can say one thing and one thing only was on my mind. COLD. It was cold out. Actually, let me take that back. It wasn’t that cold. It actually felt pretty nice out. What made it cold was the wind. The awful wind. The wind cut through my clothing and made me feel like I didn’t have a stitch on. My hands felt like blocks of ice and the wind whipped tears into and out of my eyes. I tried my best to get warmed up but the sun was barely over the treetops and my movements couldn’t seem to get my muscles past the wind’s icy chill. I pretty much had to warm up the first little bit of the race. Despite all of this, it was beautiful out. Road races pale in comparision to cross country/trail running when it comes to the backdrop of your race.
The course was tough. I stumbled a lot because of the uneven ground and a good portion of it was uphill. The wind at some points was tough to get through and it felt like I was running through a wind tunnel! The sun was bright and as it rose higher in the sky, I started to warm up (or possibly I was just numb, who knows!). Through all of its challenges, I maintained a pretty good pacing and I finished in 1:19:48 (official RFID time). It was not a PR (it was slower than my fastest time by about 6 minutes or so) but I was proud of myself for finishing.
I treated myself to an oh-so-cold ice bath and a tall glass of chocolate milk (recently learned in my Runner’s World magazine that this is something great to drink after your long runs – don’t mind if I do!). I wish I could have finished faster and I wish I would have finished stronger. But at the end of the day, 6.2 miles run in 1:20 is better than sitting on my couch at home!
This weekend, two of my friends and I drove up to the Atlanta, Georgia area to attend the “Hiking and Hotcakes 2014” race event. The event included a 5K, a 10K and a 1 mile fun run. Two of us did the 10K and one of us did the 5K. The race was planned around the beautiful Greenway Trail in Lilburn City Park. All proceeds for the event went to the “Scleroderma Foundation Georgia Chapter” in order to help fund research for Scleroderma!
The day started out cool (which was lovely – my Florida runs have been deathly warm lately!) and when we stepped out of our hotel, the air was engulfed in a very gray mist. I did not sleep well the night before, so of course I was yawning (all three of us were!). We easily located the park and got signed in. We picked up our bibs and started to get warmed up. I downed a “Gatorade Prime” in the hopes to prevent my usual post-race headache. I also continued sipping water.
When the 10K started, my legs still felt a little tight. My breathing was good – I didn’t feel a strain. I felt good temperature wise. It was nice and cool and I luckily didn’t feel overly warm for most of the race. There were not a lot of people doing the 10K so I didn’t get my usual feeling of “heck yeah you’re running with other people… whoo whoo!” so I had to work hard to keep myself motivated. The run wasn’t significantly hilly, but there were definitely quite a few climbs and dips.
About half way in, I really hit my stride. My legs had loosened significantly and I felt great. My breathing was still good and I was running well with my 1:1 intervals. I didn’t feel overly dehyrdated and I didn’t feel like I was over doing it. I was even able to snap a mid race selfie about 4 miles in!
I’m pretty proud of myself for my first official 10K. I finished in about 1:12-1:13. My previous time for a comparable distance was about 1:25. All in all, we did great. It was a nice race and I enjoyed the change of scenery. Plus, who can’t have fun when running with such a great looking group of ladies?
It has been four days since I went for a run – outside or on the treadmill. I had a rough night at work on Thursday night and when I got off from work – I pounded out one hell of a work out at the gym. By the end of my workout, I was dripping sweat and felt great. I wanted to get the most out of my work out – I had a lot of energy and emotion to burn off. Plus, I was looking toward a weekend at Disney with my mother-in-law. I knew the chances of me getting a work out were slim. I turned out to be right. We spent all of Saturday walking around Epcot. By the end of the day, my feet were sore and my calves felt super tight. I spent roughly two hours waiting in line to get my picture taken with Anna and Elsa (it was their last day in Norway at Epcot) and was definitely feeling it in my feet (and in the bright red sun burns across my arms – ouch).
I took a hot bath to soothe my aches (which aggravated the sunburn – go figure) and decided to give myself a couple of extra rest days. I wanted to go for a run before work yesterday but decided to continue my string of “rest”. I was still tired and did not want to push it.
It is important to listen to your body. There are times to push yourself but there are also times that your body is screaming at you to take a break. Mine was screaming at me Saturday night into Monday afternoon. Taking it easy was a great idea. I have a little under two hours left in my work shift and I am ready to go for my run. I feel the itch in my legs and I’m ready to crank out some miles.
Resting is an important part of training – and being able to listen to your body is crucial to your physical and mental health. Listen to your body. Don’t over do it – hurting yourself will only set you back in your training. Plus, who wants to be in pain?
Today was a gorgeous day to run. The temperature was rather low (in the 60s) and the sun was up. The sky was a deep beautiful blue and completely clear of clouds. I have been wanting a GPS-enabled running watch that allows me to better track my running. My iPhone does a decent job tracking distance, pace, time, etc but it has limitations (especially since the GPS is working off of cellular network). My awesome hubbie has a Garmin Forerunner he doesn’t use – so he gave it to me until I decide to purchase my own.
Today’s run was the first time I used it and I loved it! Part of my distance run training features intervals. Right now I’m working off of a varied 1:1 and 2:1 (minutes running to minutes walking) ratio to help build endurance and aerobic capacity. When I finish up C25K and start the Disney Half Marathon program, I’ll drop down to a 30 sec:30 sec ratio and move up from there. Having the watch made it much easier to run using intervals. I didn’t feel like I was pulling my shoulder out of its socket to look at my times!
I ran around the gorgeous lake and enjoyed soaking in the sun. Running during the day is unusal for me. It threw me off a little bit but felt great regardless.
The more I run, the better I feel about my body. I feel less self-conscious about my flaws. I work hard at maintaining my fitness level. I may not have the best running pace – but at least I’m out there. I might not be the skinniest girl in the world – but I still feel fit and in shape. I used to beat myself up about how my body looked. I would be the first to list a (very long) list of things wrong with me. It doesn’t do a lot for your self esteem when you spend so much time beating yourself up. Now that I’m running regularly, I feel better about myself and don’t pick on myself as much. I don’t work out anymore because I’m afraid of getting fat. I work out because I love my body enough to take care of it. I want to be healthy and running gives me one epic sense of accomplishment. For those of you who struggle with body image issues, check out this post with some pretty uplifting messages to boost your self-esteem!
Featured photo also pulled from Sparkpeople’s great post!
Yesterday I loaded up my car with my beach gear and drove two hours to go to my happy place. I have been my own worst enemy lately and needed to go somewhere to reset and recharge. St. George Island State Park is where I go when I need to do a “hard reset” on my brain. Usually when I go to the beach, I bring a book, some music and my bathing suit. I lay out under the sun and soak up the much needed Vitamin D. I’ll play out in the waves and smell the salty air. I like curling up in my beach chair with a good book. St George is usually pretty peaceful and quiet. If I’m lucky, I’ll find a little spot and be able to enjoy the peace alone. Other people appear like little specks in the distance they are so far away.
Yeserday was a little different. I decided to add St George to my slowly growing list of places to go for a peaceful run. If you drive all the way to the end of the island, you’ll find a gravel trail that winds throughout. It was a great little trail to run on. It was also a great little trail to find out how much I don’t like running on gravel (my knees burned during that entire stretch!). About a mile and a half into my run, I found an off shoot and veered off toward the beach. I took a short breather and admired the beauty around me.
I stopped to breathe in the salty air. I was huffing and puffing a bit, but I felt good. Running reminds me of my worth. It reminds me of my strength and power. It shouts to me that I can do anything. I’m worthy. I’m strong. I’m good. When I’m running, I let go of the negativity and embrace my inner beauty. Every footfall crushes down the angry voices and instead fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Standing on the beach facing the gulf, I was able to let go of the hurt. I was able to fill my heart with good feelings and was able to release the negativity that has so recently been floating around in my mind. I continued down the beach and started to run again. My knees thanked me for this. Running on sand is no easy task – but it certainly cushioned the impact more than the gravel!
Thirty-nine minutes and 3.01 miles later (let’s not even talk about timing – I was there to have fun!) I ended my run. I did some light yoga on the beach to stretch out my tired muscles. I found a nice secluded spot and settled down to relax with a good book and some water. By the end of my trip, I was back to being “me”.
Today started off bad.
Today, I didn’t want to run. I didn’t sleep well. It was too hard to get out of bed. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. But I rolled over and there he was. A thirty pound ball of black and white fur. He looked at me with his liquid brown eyes and wagged his tail. He was waiting to go. It hurt to get out of bed but I did. I got dressed and loaded him into the car.
Our entire run (a little over a mile and a quarter in a little over twenty minutes) was at first a “struggle”. My body wanted to sprint. I wanted to tear through the woods to exhaust my mind against the “crazy” thoughts but I had to pace myself. Gabriel is less than a year old and has awhile to go before he can run at my pace.
I found that a lot of my run consisted of “you can do this, baby” and “come on Gabriel, just a little further and we’ll walk for a few minutes”. It dawned on me that I was encouraging him in much the same way I encourage myself when I run alone. Just a few more feet. Run until this song is over. Run until you pass that sign. My encouragement brought him into step with me, his ears and tail up.
My day to day life is like that, too. Just get through today and tomorrow will be better. Be strong. You only need to get through the next few hours and then you can let it go. Even when it hurts I tell myself it will be okay.
Things will always be okay if I can just get through the next few steps.
Today started off bad.
But today ended on a good note because I can do this.