Speedy Quick

Holy bananas!

My, has it been awhile!

Life has been busy – with getting married, buying a house,

and training for a half marathon.

Yep, I said it.  I’m back in the game!

I signed up for a half marathon in late November,

which is dedicated as my “comeback run” after being basically injured for a year.

Training has already had its ups and downs.

This Sacramento weather just can’t make up its mind.

One day it feels like summer, another feels like fall.

So my after work runs have been a little hot and slow.

But I’ve been crossing miles off the training schedule,

and that’s all that matters!

Last weekend I nearly had a crying fit because I missed my long run,

so this morning I had a little more amp in my step.

Well!  What a glorious long run it was!

Sometimes you need a little motivation to push yourself to your best,

and today it was the girl who was running faster than me up ahead the trail.

I consider myself a medium speed runner – usually a 10 minute mile,

so people who pass me usually don’t get to me.

But for some reason, today I was a little irked,

so I pushed myself to go faster.

Long story short, I finished my run with 9:15 splits!

Who knew I had it in me?  I certainly did not.

My best half marathon time was 2:02,

but just after that is when I injured my knee.

I’ve been dying to get back to that kind of shape ever since.

Maybe my comeback really is here.

And it feels damn good.

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Runner Problems

Driving home from getting a scoop of ice cream,

(Have I mentioned that it’s blazing hot around here lately?)

still on a high from my run this morning,

I was filled with a surge of energy,

partly from the sugar and partly from the high of the run,

excited to brainstorm a plan for another run tomorrow morning.

But then in dawned on me.

Tomorow’s either a cross training day or a rest day.

Blast!

There is seriously nothing I hate more than cross training days.

You’d think I’d learn to like cross training by now.

After all, overuse is completely to blame for my nagging Runners Knee.

Yet, I really can’t stand cross training.

I guess maybe I just haven’t found an element of cross training that I connect with.

I’ve done hot yoga, spin class, Zumba. Even Jillian Michaels videos.

But really, nothing gets me going like running does.

It just isn’t the same kind of feeling.

Half the time I end up talking myself out of it, and justifying why a run will be fine.

But I guess I’ll never say goodbye to Runners Knee if I keep that up.

So I guess I’m here looking for suggestions.

What do you do on your cross training days?

And if you’re not a runner, what exercise do you love that I should give a try?

If I dissed your fave above, motivate me to give it one more try.

I need some inspiration.

So sadly tomorrow I won’t be running.

My grumpy butt will be going to the gym to find a cardio machine that calls to me.

I can only pray this half sugar, half runners high will get me through tomorrow’s workout.

I guess this is what we would call “Runner Problems.”

Run now, sleep later

I awoke this morning already sweating.

Sacramento is experiencing a heat wave that we usually don’t get in June.

Multiple days of over 105 degrees, and no relief in sight.

It’s summer vacation – I should really be sleeping in.

Most people would have looked at the clock,

which read 6:56, and rolled back over and forced themselves back to sleep.

Me, on the other hand, decided that I’d much rather sweat while running

than sweat as I unsuccessfully attempt to go back to sleep.

(For my adorable little apartment does not have central AC.)

Though this early morning run was far from cool,

it was, in my opinion, the best way to start this day.

Since returning to running from an injury,

I haven’t quite gotten that feeling yet that I’m back where I used to be.

There was a time that I was approaching 9:15 minute miles

and was close to making that my norm for my training runs.

I was on the edge of breaking a 2 hour half marathon

and 3 miles was a joke of an easy run.

But now, my pace has slowed to a respectable 10:15-10:30 mile

but 3 and 4 miles are definitely challenges at times.

However, today was the first day that I ever felt like I could return to the runner I once was.

My knees did not ache, my pace was up, and I never felt tired.

I’m not sure if it was the haze of the heat or if my mind was just in the right place,

but this morning was one of the best runs I’ve had in a very long time –

to the point that I said a little prayer of thanksgiving when it was over.

Thank you for this run.

This run makes me feel clarity, feel strength, feel peace.

I feel ready for this day!

So cheers to feeling like the runner I once was,

and hopefully the runner I’ll always be.

Strong. Healthy. Free.

And now I will retreat to my couch,

where I can feel the cool breeze from the wall AC unit

and return to slumber.

Be tough. Be strong.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

I only ran 3 miles and did intervals of 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

It was hot, my lips were mostly chapped,

and my pre-run half a bagel was probably not the best snack choice.

Due to the weather, there wasn’t much people watching today either.

Most of the time, when the beeps sounded for my walks,

I was thankful.

But I promise, it was a good run.

Starting from scratch isn’t always fun,

but today I was reminded how much running disciplines me.

It toughens the mind and makes the heart feel strong.

On runs like today, when I am mostly coaching myself to keep going,

it is the end of the run that is the most satisfying.

As my stomach ached and I licked my chapped lips,

my mantra became “Be strong. Be tough.”

For I could remember days long ago when I was just a running newbie,

and may have given in to the negatives surrounding this run.

These are the runs that train me so I can have the best runs.

The hard work of today will pay off tomorrow.

This evening’s run was not one of my favorites,

but it was definitely a good one.

Nothing can stop me now

I felt like a little girl on Christmas Eve.

I knew it was well past time for bed,

but I just couldn’t sleep.

For the excitement for the coming day kept me awake,

but then again, so did the never-ending question, Is this really a good idea?

Sooner or later slumber greeted me, but morning arrived quickly.

photo-17Since returning to running I’ve been sticking to a slow and steady return.

April and May were meant to be ‘run for fun’ months

so that I could build up a base and really test my legs to see if they were ready.

But when my aunt invited me to run a Race for the Cure 5k with her,

I just couldn’t resist.  I signed up.

It was just a 5k, right?  I’d be fine. I prayed my legs wouldn’t fail me.

race for the cure

Brewing a small cup of coffee, the zing of race day surged inside me.

I couldn’t wait to arrive and be among the people.

Though I always arrive way earlier than I should to races,

there’s something about the atmosphere that calms me.

The pre-race music, the people watching, and the children running about.

As I walked around the sea of people, my nerves became calm.

I started to feel more and more ready.

Bring it on!

This race definitely felt different.

For once, I wasn’t the least bit concerned about my overall time,

rather just curious what pace I could hold.

I decided to let my aunt do the pacing, and I was just along for the ride.

I wanted to take it in, and return to this happy place of mine.

Gliding along the pavement, and letting my mind run free.

The first mile and a half felt amazing!

We were zipping through the course,

and I could tell by my breathing that I was actually ready for this.

Then mile two hit, and I had to really get serious.

I started to feel tired, but I just couldn’t slow down.

I had to reach that finish line and feel good about it.

Push. I’d tell myself. Push.

I reminded myself to push because I knew I could hang on,

not because I wanted to push myself faster.

I just wanted to run, and keep running.

The finish line grew closer and I could feel the relief inside me.

I’d made it and I had no care to even look at my watch.

It’d been a year since I’d crossed a finish line.

But in that moment, I felt more unstoppable than ever.

photo-16

My PR for a 5k is 28:04. Looks like I almost broke a PR on accident! Not too shabby!

The name of the game is still slow and steady

as far as training is concerned.

But it makes me feel good to know I still got it!

All I wanna do..

Lately my motivation for the day

is that I have an afternoon run waiting for me.

Most people would read this and think

that maybe I’m stressed out or that life has been a little hard lately.

But it’s really not that.

It’s more that I’ve missed running so much, and I’m finally able to run again,

that it’s really all I want to do.

And when I’m not running, its on my mind most of the time.

I feel like a seventh grade girl who can’t stop thinking about her crush.

When I wake up in the morning and realize it’s a running day

there is an instant buzz inside me.  An anticipation.

Though it’s frustrating knowing the run distance is minuscule

compared to my runs of the past,

I’m just happy to be out there.

I thrive on the feeling I get when a workout is complete

and I wholeheartedly believe in the “Runners High.”

There’s nothing like it.

Running clears my head, brings positivity in my heart

and makes me feel like a champ.

There’s nothing I’d rather do.

My next scheduled running day won’t be for a few days.

After all, I am trying my best to ‘take it easy.’

(Easier said than done.)

But maybe this slow and steady start

has allowed me to appreciate my sport, and cherish it, that much more.

A Runners take on Boston

Aside

 Running for me is about the challenge.

It’s about those moments when I overcome the thoughts of “I can’t”

and replacing them with, “Yes, I can!”

That surge of energy when the finish line is near

when I can see it, and I push myself to get there.  Faster.

As I was camping this weekend,

I read all about the Boston Marathon in the May edition of Runners World.

It was really the first time I ever read about the race and thought,

Man, wouldn’t that be kick ass if I could somehow qualify for that?

The thought never even crossed my mind.

Hell, I’m just trying to get strong enough to finish my first marathon.

But yesterday, when I read those horrible news stories about

the tragedy in Boston, my heart dropped.

It’s hard for me to imagine

training for months and months to even qualify to run the Boston Marathon

then train even harder to be sure I crossed the finish line with pride in Boston,

THEN have it all ruined by a horrible, horrible ending

or not even an ending at all.

It leaves a pit in my stomach.

People are cruel.

And sometimes they ruin the fun for everyone.

Let this not ruin the camaraderie that races bring.

The “We can do this!” attitude

and the idea that we all look out for each other on the course.

Races are supposed to bring people together.

Let’s stick together and not let that fade.

Whoever did this should not take all of that away from us.

The next time I cross a finish line, I’ll be thinking of those runners.

The ones that crossed the finish line,

and sadly, the ones that didn’t.

Those that ran the race, and then had the strength to be a hero and give blood.

I will run for them.

Talk about something to push me across that finish line faster.