The Meat of Training.

I’m running a half marathon in 20 days!  YIKES!!  It is hard to believe that a race weekend is fast approaching.  This training has been interesting to say the least.  My training has been to complete the race not run to PR.  I’m finally learning to accept my limits and enjoy the abilities I’m given.

Set back after set back I feel like i’m in a good place with my training.  Last week was a long run of 10 miles, this weekend is 11 and next weekend is 12.  I felt good after my 10 mile run, tired but good.  I ran and accepted the way my body was feeling.  I didn’t try to push myself into a dangerous place.  Staying healthy is most important.  These 3 weeks are probably going to be the hardest, Next week will be the hardest week of my training.

I’m nervous about my long runs but I enjoy being out there, running alone with my thoughts and goals.  These 3 weeks are key to completely my race and feeling good about my results.  I feel like in every training session you have a spot where things get tough and that is where the improvement lies.  8 miles seemed hard, then 10 seemed hard but now i’m staring at 11 miles.  I know i’m going to be tired, I know i’m building to improve, and I know this is the meat of the training and this is what will make race day that much more enjoyable.

I’m nervous about tomorrow but i’m excited for what lies ahead.

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Windy Running

This morning was a very windy morning.  Fortunately it wasn’t too cold but throw in the wind chill and it was in the lower 20s.  I knew that it was going to be windy.  One thing about being able to run again is that I am constantly looking at the weather.  I heard the wind last night while i was trying to sleep.  I kept think how much I didn’t want to run in the wind.

My run wasn’t anything special in that I had to run 4miles.  My week always starts with 3-4 miles on Monday.  When I started my run the wind must have been in my favor because I was feeling pretty good and felt like I was gliding down the path.  There were a few gusts that swirled around me and I wasn’t liking that too much.  My route was more a less a big loop with a few turns here and there.  As the course took me into the wind I quickly learned that this run was going to be tough.

The gusts pushed me to the side and it was difficult to keep moving forward.  All of this difficulty started at the beginning of the second mile.  The wind was taking my breath away.  I couldn’t catch my breath and felt like I was biting at the air.  I felt like I had run 10 miles, not 1.  I felt so exhausted and ran the whole 2nd mile into the wind.  A nice open field without any coverage.  My next mile was protected  some by some buildings and the last mile was with the wind.

During and after that 2 mile I felt so drained and tired.  It was awful.  I never want to run against the wind.  I think the wind is worse than the cold.  It pierces right through you.  I am glad that I survived and relieved it was only 4 miles.  I can’t even imagine running any more  miles with that wind.  What a crazy run!

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Some Unfamiliar Running

This past week I have had some interesting runs.  I have experienced some things that i haven’t come in contact for some time.

Last Saturday temperatures sank with windy conditions and  I found myself running in cold weather that my body wasn’t used to.  My phone was telling me it felt like 11 degrees outside, so naturally I bundled up.  I was wearing to keep me warm I was also recovering from a week of being sick.  It wasn’t a great run, but I was able to complete the distance.  I blame the slower pace on the amount of clothing I had on and the fact that i was still a little sick.

My next interesting run was Wednesday when my music didn’t work.  I always run with music.  I race with music, train with music, I even leave the music running when the race is over because I usually forget to turn it off.  It isn’t like I can’t run without music, I think half the time i’m not even listening to it.  It is background noise, I helps drown out my breathing, especially now as I’m wheezing from my cold.

Anyways, I push play and nothing happens.  I fiddle with my little ishuffle which i have had from years  and i finally had to make a decisions.  It was time to run and forget about the music.  I had a song stuck in my head from driving so that is what was playing over and over again in my brain.  It wasn’t that bad running without music.  Actually it was kind of nice.  I wish I wasn’t so dependent on my music, but it is part of my running that helps relax me.  Listening to music helps me be in my world, where I can focus on my actions and what i’m doing.

I used to run without music when I was first starting out years ago, but something got a hold of me and music became part of my running cycle.

Today was another cold day.  I have a new ishuffle filled with music, and temperatures were telling me that it felt like 9 degrees.  SINGLE DIGITS!!!! YAY!!  I bundled up again, and had a much better experience but to add to the cold, it was also icy, windy, and the sidewalks were covered in icy snow.

I was chugging along a good pace, and felt pretty good despite the poor running conditions.  I’m back at out there tomorrow for my long run with hopefully warmer temps, like upper 20s maybe 30 (fingers crossed)

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Monthly recap (January) and Updates

It has been awhile since my last post.  I’ve been pretty busy the past few weeks and haven’t had the time to really sit down and write.  Also, when I have the time to write, I’m doing something that might be more important.  Ok, fine, I’ll admit it, I didn’t make time to write.

I have been spending my time when I’m not teaching, working on my pottery art and training for my races.  I had some good success so far with my training and running.  I feel like I have a good routine so far.  I have been able to hit my miles and I am only using my watch to capture the distance run.  I am not looking at the watch after each mile, and I am doing my best to ignore the time and pace.  I know that I cannot run as fast as I would like and I need to take baby steps.  I am concentrating the most on running healthy, smart and completing the distance, I need to run.

The speed will come with time, and I can worry about that now.  My hips has been ok.  I still have some numbness and soreness.  It is still a process and something I need to constantly work on.

This past month  I ran 48.99 miles.  .99!!! really, If I knew that I would have run another .01.  Oh well.

I’m still glad that I was able to run almost 50 miles without getting hurt.  I feel like I will be able to lift the mileage higher for February and as long as I stay healthy I’ll keep getting more comfortable with my runs.

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Running in the cold.

Well it is officially time for that cold weather running and that means it’s time to bundle up.  What is the best to wear for those cold mornings.  We for starters if you don’t like the cold running you can opt for the treadmill.  If you are like me, and hate the treadmill, you will have to go outside and brave the elements.

The morning is usually a colder time to run so most people will run in the afternoon.  I will only run in the afternoon if the weather is icy and there is a chance it will melt by the afternoon.  I am a morning runner so i have to brave the cold and what always seems like windy weather.  My wardrobe various depending on how cold the temperature is outside.  50s-40s I will still wear shorts but probably have long sleeves.  The lower 40s I will consider a hat and gloves and long sleeves.  Still shorts,  unless it is rainy or windy.

The 30s I will have hat and gloves, long sleeves, and running tights.  If it is in the lower 30s I will probably have a sweatshirt over my long sleeves.  It also depends on the how windy it is outside.  When I’m looking at temperatures I always check the temp and then the “feels like” temp.  The 20s i tend to bundle up a lot more.  I will have my under armor long sleeves, sweatshirt, gloves, hat, running tights and in the lower 20s with wind I’ll wear long pants.

I’ve run in the teen degrees and now were have some serious dressing, especially it if it windy, which it usually is when it is that cold.  Well I wear all of the previous listed article of clothing plus an extra hat which is basically a hood without the sweatshirt.  I will wear surgical gloves under my  regular gloves to help warm up my hands.  It if it  windy I wear a wind breaker jacket as well.

I have run in single digits and negative degrees.  At this point cold is cold and I will wear all of the previous listed clothing with an extra hat and socks, and even a face mask to keep the cold off my nose and cheeks.  All that can me see are my eyes and i must look like a bank robber.   At this point my run ends with my eyelashes freezing.

I’m not a huge fan with cold weather running but it is usually when most of my training is done to prepare for the next race.  The worst part of running in the cold, for me, is the beginning and if it is windy.  I hate the wind.  My hands are always freezing, as well as my feet. but after about 10mins things start to warm up.

Well i hope everyone enjoys this year of winter running,  stay safe, stay warm, have fun!

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Know your limits

“One more block”, “one more loop”, “one more mile”, “just a little further”, “one more rep”…Some things we might think when we are running or working out.

I’ve come to realize that my mind thinks my body is stronger than it really might be.  I go through this a lot with running.  I keep telling myself, “just a little further” I think if I push a little harder, run a little faster, go for that extra distance, that will be acceptable.  I want to get better, I want to be better than I am so I tell myself to do more, push harder.  I usually end up over doing it, and than get hurt.  So when is enough too much?

Being able to know what your body should and can handle is important.  I know that I should only do so much but than I feel like I’m cheating a workout or a run.  I need to be able to accept a workout and find the success in what i have done, not what I feel like I should have done.  This is easier said than done,  and it is something that I struggle with daily.  Just the other day I was working out and had 3 more reps, I was tired, but I pushed for the last 3 and on the second to last rep i pulled a muscle in my back.  Thankfully it wasn’t bad and i think i’m fine now but it is a perfect example of going beyond what I should have done.

I know now, I should have stopped, but at the time I felt like I could do it.  Heck, I’ve done it before .  That is what the problem is.  I know what I have done before so I should be able to do it again.  Understand what you body is capable of doing, as well as to what degree of that ability is extremely important.  You can’t be too over eager and not listen to your body.

Everything is a process and takes time, I simply need patience.

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Slowing down.

Why is it that everyone seems like they are always in a hurry?  The sooner I do this, the faster  I do this, then I can be there, and be finished with that.   Today’s society is moving at such a high fast pace it is contagious to everyone.  Even with smartphones we are given the ability to work faster.

Everything seems to be measured by how fast you can do something.  How long does that drive take?  How fast can you get this done?  When will this package arrive?  How long did it take to run that race?

I’m doing my best to try and enjoy the slower pace when I can.  Running doesn’t have to be fast and that is something I’m learning and trying to accept.  It is tough, and frustrating to not want to run faster.  Everyone always asks me, How long did race take you?  How fast did you run?  Everything is measure by speed and placement.  Why can’t we simply enjoy the moment?
I run with a watch but i’m learning to use it for distance and not how fast my last mile was.  I would always think, “Run the next mile faster”.  I would always try to run the same route faster than the last.  The trouble I ran into was that I wasn’t allowing myself to recover, rest and heal.
I’m more of a silent runner right now.  I don’t want to post times, I’d rather not say how long some run took but I feel like i’m being judge for my ability.  I don’t want to say how fast or slow I ran and have to feel like the answer has to be accompanied by an explanation.

The bottom line is that we need to take the time to enjoy what we have, celebrate our abilities and not hold a pace as a means of excellence.  I hope that as I get older, I can still run and be accepting my likability and not of my pace.

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