Tag: miles

More Mental Than Physical

Week 8

Now that I have my horrible week of training behind me, I’ve taken time to reflect and stop beating myself up. I realize that running is so much more mental than physical and I’m my own worst critic. Rather than feeling disappointed in myself for missing ten miles of training, I should be happy that I was able to complete what I completed. I need to remind myself that training provides you the opportunity to try things before race day. This includes figuring out what recovery methods work best. The biggest thing I learned was that when the pavement is too much, try the treadmill. I also believe that a recovery walk the following day would have been helpful. I spent too many hours following being inactive.

How will this week be different? I plan to complete 40 miles this week. I will do as many miles as I can on the pavement, hopefully increasing each day. I will finish the miles on the treadmill if I need to so that I am prepared to do my entire long run on the pavement Saturday morning. I will revert to my previous post long run ritual of taking an ice bath. I’ll add ibuprofen and then I’m going to a street festival to keep moving. I also plan to incorporate daily yoga to aid in stretching and strengthening my body.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Week 8 Day 1

I started my run with .25 on the pavement. I didn’t go very fast, but I also ran the entire distance with no pain. When I arrived at the treadmill, I decided on a two minute run / thirty second interval. I felt great until I looked at the time and distance. It was slightly discouraging once I realized how slow I was going. I had to convince myself that speed wasn’t my goal today. Instead, I needed to focus on just completing five miles with no pain. I realized when I increased the speed on the treadmill, I experienced no pain, but discomfort at a 1.5. When I decreased my speed, discomfort also decreased. This is when I really decided to focus on my breathing, my form and finishing.

I ended up running twenty minutes straight. I left the treadmill at slightly less than four miles with the intent to complete my mileage on the pavement. I ran more than half of what I had left with no discomfort. I waited impatiently for Nike to tell me I had completed my training miles. But he never said a word. Maybe he thinks I’ve quit. Even with no words from my app, I finished my run feeling victorious. I was a little down when I saw that it took 1:29:36 to complete five miles. But I put it in perspective that at least I was starting the week off completing the required amount of miles.

I followed through with my post run activities. I prepared a smoothie and found a yoga post run video on YouTube. The stretches felt so good.

Next up, eight miles. I may split it and do five and three as the newest running shoe store in the area is hosting its first group run. I think I want to go.

Week 8 Day 2

Before I started my run, I did something I never do. I stopped for coffee, pumpkin spice coffee. It instantly became a major win when the guy behind the counter told me it was going to be free. I returned to a trail I hadn’t run in a while. My plan was to complete five miles on the pavement with no pain. I knew I would need to take it easy. I set my intervals to 2:1. When I reached the mile one marker, I was happy with my sub :14 pace. I took my time and decided to go in the direction of the hills because I would get to see the horses. I decided to walk the hills and felt fine. No pain, discomfort at a 1. To my disappointment, when I arrived at the pasture, there were no horses. Oh well.
I hadn’t heard Nike in a while and I decided I wouldn’t look even though I was curious of not only my splits, but also my distance. Although there were no mileage indicators coming from my app, I was quite pleased to get all the cheers.

5 miles later, I had completed this run17 minutes faster than yesterday.

My training planned called for eight miles, but I had decided I would split my run today and join a new local running group later in the evening.

For the first time in a million years, I experienced a feeling that seemed so foreign; intimidation. I arrived early at the group run and I was obviously the first to arrive. I sat in my car doing idle things as a few people began to appear at the designated starting location. My prior enthusiasm took a downward turn when I looked at the people that I would run with. What I saw were cross country and endurance runners who always placed in their age group. Even if that wasn’t the case, that was my observation and it made me uncomfortable. In my mind, all I kept thinking was that I’d never be able to keep up. I don’t think I’ve had that feeling in a running situation since the first time I toed the start line of the two mile run in high school. I knew I would be last to finish. Would the outcome over twenty years ago have been different if my thinking had been more positive? Unfortunately, I’ll never know. Yes, I did cross the finish line last that day. But that day, I also felt a sense of victory. I had done something I didn’t want to do because I didn’t think I was good enough. But I was good enough. I wasn’t fast enough or confident enough to place, let alone win. But I was determined enough to finish. I let myself get inside my head that everyone else was faster. I ran with the people on my team, they were faster. But I let my thoughts also think that about the runners from the other team without ever seeing there ability. That race was the last time I finished that distance last. What I lacked in speed, I made up for with determination. In my mind, I just needed to finish before the last person. As my determination increased, so did my speed. I was never the fastest, but each race my time was faster than the previous. And I was never last again.

I left the group run feeling defeated. I still had miles to run. I decided to complete them on a nearby trail. It was mind over miles. Each mile was faster than the previous. I had beaten my times from previous weeks and I had finished ahead of my biggest competitors; my thoughts and myself.

Week 8 Day 3

I switched my training schedule again. I traded today for tomorrow since I’m running well over my training plan this Saturday. It’s now three today, six tomorrow and no more than two on Friday. It was nice to use today as a stroll. Since I was going a lot slower, I was able to pay more attention to my surroundings and take advantage of the sights of the leaves beginning to take on the season. I love fall and the orange leaves are icing on the cake.

Week 8 Day 4

I did something I haven’t done on a consistent basis in a while. I woke up before the sun. It took me over thirty minutes to actually get out the door. It was rough. When I did exit the house, I was greeted by near perfect weather. The cool air on my face was a pleasant start to my day. My glimpse of the moon was an added bonus.

I walked passed a young guy at the bus stop. He was on the phone. I wondered who he was talking to so early. The list of people I’d want to talk to in the wee hours of the morning before my coffee is a very short list.

Week 8 Day 5

Guess how many miles I did today? Zero. Today and tomorrow had a combined total of 19 miles. Since I’m doing 18 with my friend tomorrow, I decided to take the day off.

Did I tell you I found a race to replace my half? It’s not actually a half. So my plan is to complete the suggested amount of miles each week (even if it’s slightly out of order).

Week 8 Day 6

It’s long run Saturday and even though I felt like my alarm rang thirty minutes after I entered rem sleep, I was ready to go. We drove to our starting point. The first two mikes seemed to drag and for some reason, the humidity felt different. I was drenched in sweat, wishing I had made a different clothing choice. It was odd to me because it was only sixty six degrees which is usually perfect for running.

I had only run the portion of this course to about three miles. Most of my running here has been relatively flat. In fact, I wondered where all the hills were. I found them today. My running partner, Kat, gave me the stank eye a few times. She had been sick all week and had heard me say “this city isn’t that hilly”. Today’s run made me out to be a liar. Oh well. We pressed on. As we ran, I gave her a city tour when we reached landmarks (the a Beacon and Denny’s headquarters). She seemed interested, but secretly, I knew she hated me.

Our run took us downtown. It’s quite eccentric there and I knew she’d enjoy the scenery. She liked all the bike rental areas and the water fountain that had turned the water pink. Six miles later, we reached the Mary Black trail. It was flat here. Yay!!! We completed most of the trail before turning around. By thus time my water was gone. We headed back and I stopped in a convenience store for water. She got coffee. Here, we decided to take a slight short cut. This was great. By this time, I just wanted to be done and back at the car. It was getting warmer and the hills were doing a number on me.

At mile 14, we noticed a sign with orange treats. Bruster’s had pumpkin ice cream. Yes, we stopped to get two cones. About five minutes after we got them, my ice cream was running down my arms . She took a good lick of her cone and all the ice cream ended up on the ground. Her face looked like that of a five year old. I shared my ice cream with her. We finished our ice cream on our cool down. Yup, I’m declaring it was a cool down. 15 miles later, mentally and physically, I was DONE!!!

Hurry Up & Wait

Week 5/12 Day 1

Yesterday, I was excited to look at my training plan and see just five miles for today. I was even more excited to look at the remainder of the week and discover a day with two miles.
Weeks one through three, my average pace for the entire week had been consistent. Last week, it dropped down a bit. It doesn’t bother me too much as I realize that waking up in three different states for three consecutive days was a bit out of the normal for my training. I got most of the mileage in and I’m ok with that.
This morning when the alarm sounded, I had lost a bit of my enthusiasm. I got up and got dressed and then I got back in the bed. This was supposed to be for five minutes. But when I finally got up, enough time had passed for me to have completed two miles.
I think it is really sinking in that I have put in 125 miles of training for a race that I will potentially not even have the chance to run. I’m awaiting information to confirm a graduation date. In the event that this actually occurs, I’ve been looking for a replacement race either near me or in the city of graduation. Doing so was causing me a bit of anxiety. And there honestly is no need (yet) to look for a race when I’m unsure of the date. Gotta love the concept of “hurry up and wait”. I should be more clear of my plans within the next ten days.
Because I have also set my goal of one thousand miles this year, I still need to get in my miles. I will continue to train as if the race will happen.

Week 5 Day 2

Today, I was scheduled for eight miles. Since I had to go to Greenville, I decided I’d go to the trail there. It was nice to be somewhere different. It made for an interesting run. When I started, it was already over seventy degrees so I knew I would be in for a challenge. The waterfalls were breathtaking. Of course, I stopped a few times to take pictures. There were mile markers along the route. I saw one that said mile 35. I wondered the total distance of the trail. I think one day, I will attempt to complete it……maybe. If I find out it’s over fifty miles, I take back the previous sentence.
Parts of the trail was lonely. But I enjoyed the serenity of it all. It was just what the doctor ordered. The cool breeze, the water, the flowers, the people I encountered along the way; all made my run more enjoyable. I look forward to doing it again next week….but I have to go earlier so I can complete better intervals. Today’s intervals were changed to run in the shade and walk in the sun. But, I got it done!!

Week 5 Day 3

Today was a make up. I was supposed to do six yesterday and rest today. I overslept and didn’t feel like running when I got off at seven so I decided to switch the days. My run today had three goals; 1. Complete the mileage 2. Run for an hour 3. Don’t stop until sixty minutes have been completed. This would be my longest time running without stopping in a long time. I was on the treadmill and there was a lady on the elliptical. Yes, I was racing her. In my mind, it didn’t matter how long she planned to be there; I wasn’t going to stop before she did. This was a fun game for me to play. I wonder if she knew she was a contestant in my running game. At about thirty minutes, she ended her workout. I was closing in on the three mile mark and knew I’d have to push to finish in an hour. It didn’t happen. At 59:59 I wasn’t quite at five miles yet. But I still felt accomplished because I didn’t stop. A little over an hour later, Nike congratulated me on completing my miles. After patting myself on the back, I got excited because I know tomorrow’s run is only two miles.

Week 5 Day 4

I was excited for three reasons about this morning’s run. The weather was perfect, I could run outside and I would finish in less than thirty minutes. Everything was perfect. The sky was completely dark. The only illumination I had was provided by the street lights. It was just me, the sound of my footsteps and my breathing. For a moment, the thought of my twelve mile long run entered my head. I quickly shook it away to try to focus on the current run. My pace wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped it would be, it was consistent with my reality.
Another training run in the books. I’m only six miles away from 100 for the month. WOW!!!!

Week 5 Day 5

It’s a twelve mile kind of day. My running partner and I started our run before sunrise. For safety purposes, we altered our route for more light and visibility. We decided on a 1:1 interval. This gave us approximately a fifteen minute mile. It was a little slower than I wanted but I enjoyed not having to run it solo. At about mile six, she began to feel bad so we cut the run short (about 7.5 miles). Part of me was ok with that since I’m no longer officially training for anything. But the other half of me was determined to finish. When she dropped me off, I went in the house to refill my water bottles and decided to run laps around the parking lot. This was tedious to say the least. I dislike running circles more than I dislike the treadmill. But the weather was too perfect to go inside. Shortly before I reached the ten mile mark, my phone died. I felt defeated as I knew I didn’t want to run miles that weren’t being tracked. I prayed that the miles I logged would appear once my phone recharged.

I went inside, yet again; to get my phone some juice. I knew I had less than an hour more to run and fifty percent should be enough to do it. This was turning out to be the worst run ever. Again, the waiting time allowed the “you’re not training for anything” thought to creep into my head. I turned the phone back on and was happy to see that Nike+ hadn’t let me down and my mileage was still there. I still wasn’t 100% sure I was going to finish my run. I put the phone down and it rang. On the other end was my son calling. I hadn’t heard his voice in ten days. He was in great spirits and when I hung up the phone, I knew that I would complete my run. We’re a house of finishers.

It took me 3:18 to finish (much slower than my slowest half marathon time) but I finished!!

Mind Over Matter

Week 2/12 Day 1

I felt extremely refreshed after my rest day. I got out of bed with the expectation of an amazing run. I parked my car at one of my normal running spots but decided I’d alter my route to keep it interesting. What I found when I turned left instead of going straight were beautiful brick houses in a neighborhood still being developed. I pictured myself living in one of the houses. The other thing I found on my newly explored route….hills. I was half happy and half sad at my discovery. I had to laugh at the irony of it all. I had just asked members of the local running group where I could find some hills to run. Leave it to me to find them on my own. This was a great start to my second week.

Week 2 Day 1

Today’s run would be the second longest of the week. Six miles. One mile warm up, three miles 4:1 intervals, easy two mile cool down. I was excited about this run. I had gotten a good night of rest, I was properly hydrated and I was ready to rock it. It was already really warm and sunny when I got up so I took my run to the gym. I did my first mile with ease. The intervals went well. I was giving 100 percent. When I was down to just two miles to go, I was elated to have done such a great job but annoyed that my app hadn’t given any updates. I looked at my phone and my spirit was shattered. My app read 1.68 miles. I could’ve cried and I wanted to just end the run. I’m usually the positive one in the group, the one that gives everyone else the brighter side. Now, I needed to be that person for myself. I told myself, at least the treadmill had calculated it. I was upset but I kept going. Week 2 Day 1 had some technical issues but it was done.

Week 2 Day 3

Easy breezy was what I had in my mind. I could knock five miles out in a little over an hour. It was mind over matter. I struggled to get out of bed. I knew today was about distance and not speed. I just needed to get it done. I kept laying there and it kept getting later. Wednesday is not the day to play around with time, because I don’t have much extra to spare. For the past year, my Wednesdays have been filled for thirteen hours each week. The option of after work just isn’t an option. Just when my own voice was trying to assure myself that I’d figure out how to get it done much later today or make it up on Sunday, another voice came chiming from the bathroom that said, “You’re going to kick yourself later if you miss this run.” Sometimes it’s nice to get a second opinion. Aside from the race training, my goal of one hundred miles this month is just ten miles and three days away. As much as I would’ve preferred to lay there for another hour, I was happy to just go and be done.

Week 2 Day 4

What comes in a close second to rest day? A short miles day. I was dancing a jig in my head at the thought of “just” three miles. We started at 5:30 and enjoyed great run chat. I was surprised to see so many people out so early. I was also happy that I had on my headlamp. Places that were usually lit had lights out and was dark. After finishing my three miles, I went to fill up my tank. While I was pumping I synced my run an realized I was less than 1.5 miles away from reaching my 100 miles in August goal. What does a runner do when they’re that close and still have three hours until work? They go and tackle that mile plus. Thirteen more miles to complete training this week. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Week 2 Day 5
I didn’t have anywhere pressing to be until later in the day, so I slept in longer than usual. I got out of bed refreshed and ready to tackle my five miles. When I arrived at the trail, I started my app and was more excited. I had one less mile to do than I thought. Win!!!! I decided I’d run the entire time to get to the turnaround. This worked well. In my mind, the quicker I finished, the sooner I’d be able to shop for a bridesmaid dress. After the turnaround, my mind shifted gears. I was initially so focused on my turnaround that I ignored the temperature. I looked at my phone and realized that the temperature was increasing. As it went up, my energy and my water went down. I was happy to be closer to finish than to start. I got back to the car completely on E. No energy and no water. It was too darn hot. My cool shower was amazing. Sleeping in has been nice and necessary. I haven’t gotten in bed before midnight any this week. I’ve been staying up with my son who is leaving for the Navy next month. One day I’ll be training for a race in whatever city he’s stationed. If I’m lucky, he’ll even run it with me. Probably ahead of me, but shhhhhh, don’t tell him I said that. Any time we discuss running, I swear I can beat him.

Week 2 Day 6
Eight miles. I can do this. It has been quite a few months since I’ve done this distance. But I was mentally prepared to do it. I was happy one of my sole sisters decided to join me. She hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before and warmed me that this probably wouldn’t be a fast run. I was ok with that. Today, Nike told me to “just do it”. We took to the trail just after sunrise and had great conversation along the way. After 4.5 miles, we had run the entire length of the trail. She decided she was done for the day and I continued for round two. I was excited to go about a mile down to be greeted by a woman who has seen me on the first trip. She commended me for hitting the trail a second time. It was a little lonely running by myself but by this time, more people had come out so I wasn’t really alone. I did notice everyone wearing Clemson orange. I’m a fan of college sports but don’t have a favorite team. I was told in North Carolina I needed to choose a team and be loyal. When I was in Durham, my choices were Duke, NC State or Carolina. When I was in Greensboro, football season meant I’d hear “AGGIE Pride” yelled throughout the city. I never did pick a team. I usually tell people I like whoever is winning. Lol. Eight miles later, I was done and anticipating my Sunday rest day.

Some days you just don’t feel like it

June 16

Today was one of those days.  My bed was feeling extra good and I wanted to hug my pillow longer. But last night, I set my goal to get to fifty miles before the end of next week. I knew I needed to add in some extra miles on my own. I rolled out of the bed and into some workout clothes to let me moon shoes taste the pavement. No running today.  I just wasn’t feeling up to it. But walking would be better than staying in bed. I did a quick 1.49 miles. I’m just 5.33 miles away from my first mini milestone.

Queen City Run

One of my biggest inspirations to get fit is a participant in the most miles challenge. This woman has logged over 200 miles in less than 30 days.  Most of her friends think she is insane.  Since she had exhausted her walkers in the area that weren’t participating in the challenge, I decided to join her. I thought I’d do for her what I had been asking my friends to do for me – join me foe a few miles. We walked and jogged the perimeter of her job.  It was great fun to have new scenery. At the end of the workout, I had logged 3.92 miles.  She kept going, as her challenge would be ending in less than 72 hours.  So proud of her and so proud of me.  Thanks for the workout Angie Bell.

Get out of the sun

June 28

Today, we had a baker’s dozen.  Thirteen ladies came out to be slightly roasted and toasted in the ninety plus temperature. Every step was a monumental celebration.  It was hot AND humid. This run was very hard for me. I kept a steady pace until I hit the sunny areas. The sun beamed down on me and I felt I was in the Sahara longing for water. I didn’t want just a drink to quench my thirst, I wanted to submerge my body in anything cool.  I quickened my pace only to get out of the sun.  I didn’t think I could run another step in the heat. I was worn out. I walked for about two minutes as i concentrated on collecting my thoughts and catching my breath. I had a quiet heart to heart with myself to get me through the rest of my run.  When I got it together, I started to jog again. When the group turned around at the halfway mark, I was more than excited.  I ran more than I walked, though I did walk quite a bit. But, I made it through the 2.89 miles.  Heat and all.

Better than zero

June 2.  I got on the scale before my run.  I’m 180 pounds.  Eighteen pounds less than when I started my weight loss goal.  Yay Me!

Today I woke up thirty minutes before my alarm clock.  I lay in bed trying to will myself from under the covers to go work out. I had lots on my mind when I went to sleep.  And when I awoke, my brain was still on overload.  After thirty minutes of convincing myself, I decided on a brisk walk.  I jumped in my grey sweats and long sleeve tee to hit the pavement.  This walk allowed me to clear my mind.  The only noise I heard was that of birds chirping and squirrels climbing trees.  It was so serene.   And when my walk was complete, I felt rejuvenated.  Glad I had gotten out of the bed even if I only put in 1.44 miles.  It was better than zero.

Mirror Mirror

Tuesday, May 29

Today the sky opened up just as i was ready to run with the girls.  I decided not to go, not because I didn’t want to get wet.  I love the rain!  But I didn’t want to get there to find out the run was cancelled.  I looked at my run guide and decided I’d do the workout at the gym.  I was already dressed.  I just had to walk over.  I was determined not to let the weather hinder me.  So I downloaded the app on my ipad, grabbed my umbrella and went to meet my workout on the treadmill. 

The thing I liked about today’s run were the mirrors.  I watched my form and it looked good.  I checked out my hair and although drenced in sweat, my natural culrs were looking pretty good too.  The thing I liked more than what I saw in the mirror than the things I thought looked good was my smile….an indication that I also felt good.  That feeling alone that I got from my reflection in the mirror was worth missing the group run-today. The miles were down today.  It was hot and sweaty in that gym.  But I got in 1.5 miles.

Holiday Run

It’s a holiday and I guess people were in the pool or still eating bbq food.  When I arrived, the “pros” had just finished a run in 87 degree weather.  They were all drenched in sweat.  I felt a little bad that they had just finished a run in such heat, yet were still committed to running with the C25k’ers.  When the other beginner fell behind, she handed me the workout whistle and I continued solo with the rest of the pros following close behind.  Moments later, i heard footsteps behind me.  I had a new partner who pushed me.  Today’s challenge involved hills.  I wasn’t sure I could make it, but she ran one step ahead of my pace and encouraged me to continue.  During the walk periods, we talked about her first 5k (she finished in the top ten) and the two half marathons she had completed.  I thought to myself, with a year to train, I could actually do a half marathon. She was such an inspiration.  At the end of the run, the pedometer said 2.40 miles.  Bringing it in and finishing strong.  No finish line, just the thought that I had to make it the bleachers.