March 29, 2011

Runner's High

I don't think I've been so sweatily happy since the first time I discovered running in fresh snow!

3 miles, 28 minutes. THAT'S A RECORD...for me! Usually, a 5k in 30 min is pushing hard for me, so how on earth did I manage this?!?! I think a few good things happened to encourage my inner speed demon (don't worry, I got slapped on the wrist for it later).

1. Being asked out on a date does wonders for your esteem, PLUS...it kept my mind occupied during 80% of the run planning out what to wear and mentally going through my closet, hehe

2. Conditions were just right. It was a little brisk out, but I was (mostly) dressed for the weather. Probably could have gotten some use out of gloves...

3. Guilt. Knowing I didn't run my "long run" this weekend really made me push to get the 3 miles done.

4. I park beside a high school and the neighborhood I run through allows you to hear the warm-up and game music for the soccer and baseball games during parts of the route. It's like my own personal theme music.


There's a baaaaaby hill right in the beginning of the route, after a .1 stretch of flat road, then you go downhill around a curve, then a subtle, long uphill battle to get back around the curve. It's a 1.5 loop.

The first time on the loop I was trying to keep a steady, slow pace so I kept enough gas in the tank for the second half. I ended up doing the first loop in about 15 minutes. I was coming off of a small downhill for the turn-around and I was feeling good, breathing was even. I looked at my watch and figured, 15 minutes is awesome for 1.5 miles.

Then I began the second loop, cruised up the first baby hill, reeally cruised down the curve, and I thought I was slowly chugging back up the curve. Apparently, my feet were moving faster than I was aware! I got back to the car in 13 minutes, allowed myself a very awkward jump in the air, then looked around self-conscious of who could have seen my victory dance...because I know it wasn't pretty.

I finally feel like I'm getting back to where I was, and that feels incredible. I actually believe I will be able to run these 26.2 miles come October 30, and I just might whoop it's ass.

Okay, let's not get carried away....

March 21, 2011

Back in the saddle


Whew, I JUST finished reading a few articles of mad men spouting off whatnots about 'how can barefoot running be good for you if everyone says to start out slow or you'll get hurt'.

NEWS FLASH DUDE: Ever think that it's because your feet are no longer used to the way nature intended?

Now, I know I only just bought my shoes on Sunday, and they are still under a trial period to win my complete affection (we're already at about 90% love), but don't go writing pages worth of a rant that supports the big shoe companies if you don't even know what you're talking about (not that vibram isn't making bank off of the bfr movement).

Now that I've gotten that of my chest, it is a workout merely getting the vibrams on, but I'm told it gets easier after more use. The shoes make me feel like a kid, giddy to go play outside, light as a feather on my feet, and connected to the world. (Yeah, okay...I drank the koolaid) I can't wait til I am capable of running more than just a few blocks in them! No sense in pushing too hard right away and killing all the joy! (AND MACHINE WASHABLE?!?! WIN!)

I LOVE buying running gear and gadgets when I start to feel a drag or lull in my motivation. It's probably a horrible idea to go out and spend money just to get myself excited to "lace up", but it's something that works for me. I feel renewed in my love for the road when I have something shiney and new to put on!

Tonight I'll go for 2 or more if I feel good with my Brooks Ravennas, then come home and slip on my wonderful fivefingers.

This helps me get over the fact that this morning, despite me showing up at the Capitol 25 minutes early for the BoMF Birthday Run, I was unable to locate where the entire group was and ended up just heading into work super early. I was looking forward to running with all the teams :/ Better luck next year. At least I get to get all dolled up and cut loose on Thursday at the BoMF Birthday Bash!




***UPDATE***

So traffic was super zippy and I made it home in record time...decided to change in my car in a semi secluded area into my running gear, and took off for a mile in my VVF and how GLORIOUS! Then I ran back to the car, switched into my Brooks for another mile-ish...WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Once I put the 'real shoes' on, you could totally feel how much cushion was in there! All in all, awesome run today, excited for tomorrow!

March 09, 2011

The hills are alive...

...with the sound of huffing and puffing.

This past Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely day in Georgetown. I attended a great free seminar at Lululemon about trigger points (very, very informative) and got a chance to chat about running and my plan for the marathon. I am extremely grateful to have someone so enthusiastic and understanding coach me the whole way to the finish line. There is definitely something to be said for accountability.

But as great as accountability can be, sometimes it leaves me feeling guilty or scared :) Monday marked the beginning of my long haul to October 30, my pre-training to the real training. Let me just begin by saying that I am extremely stubborn and hardheaded when it comes to running. I also expect to be super woman and be capable of running miles and miles even though I've been out of commission for over a month.

Monday's schedule read: 2.5 miles
Monday reality: 2 miles

Tuesday's schedule read: 3 miles
Tuesday's reality: 1.5 miles (yeah, I pretty much whimped out)

I was nervous about emailing the coach to tell him I had fallen short, but the amazing thing about naturally encouraging people is that they won't berate you for not doing something you are not capable of at the moment. Instead, the email I got in response was telling me to relax, we have time, let's start smaller and we will get there eventually...exactly what I needed to hear.

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have wonderful people around me. I know that no matter what, I can count on my friend Erin to smack me in between the eyes, nicely, and make me realize I shouldn't be too disappointed. No one can go from zero to 26.2 overnight...

... and I have time.

When I feel like I can't get out for a run, I recognize that "I'm hungry, I'm tired, I'm..." are excuses, not reasons. And I refuse to make excuses to get out of doing the work...that's the whole point anyway. Challenge yourself and you will reap the rewards.


"Maybe the most important preparation takes place when no one is looking, when no one is there to say 'better hurry up' or 'good job.' It's simply us and the task at hand. We can choose to push it or blow it off, and no one but us will ever know the difference.

But there is a difference, and it's a big one.

This is what I want to honor in myself. This is what I want to teach my children, even if I am stupid and ancient right now (ha). I want to prepare for the quiz. I want to be the same person, willing to exert the same effort, whether anyone is looking or not. I want to be present in every lap of my life, without belittling myself for time lost on a previous lap, or undermining myself by thinking about all the laps ahead. I want to run this lap, just this one, right here, right now. If I can do that, maybe, just maybe, I can begin to understand what it means to get out of my own way." Kristen Armstrong

March 02, 2011

The best kind of morning...

...is one where you can inspire yourself. Inspiring others is wonderful, but I think it's important that we remember we need to be able to rely on ourselves and give ourselves the motivation to get through things. Haha, as Sugarland says, "It'll be alright again"

I am having the best morning in forever! I'm not feeling AS sick, and I woke up at 0430am to run with the ladies (and two men)...and somehow I got voted non-res member of the month! It's amazing how three mornings a week can have such an impact on your life. I knew I missed my morning runs with the ladies, but I didn't realize HOW MUCH I missed it until I showed up and saw everyone again. Flu sucks. Get your flu shot, for real.

I left with a big ole grin on my face, and I even ran the whole way back to the metro...which doesn't sound like a big deal, but after the month I've had...

March promises to be an incredible and busy time. Between running happy hours, my DC best friend's engagement party, volunteering, birthday bash for BOMF, etc...

When did my life become so great?!

March 01, 2011

Terrified to Train

Sick for almost a month now. I'm finding it very difficult to sit inside and nurse my sickness instead of going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having. I want to run so badly that last night's drizzle seemed like it would be pleasant to run in. We're getting into such a great time of year, the sun is up earlier, days are warmer....I hope I can hold on to this feeling of strong desire to run when the training days start stacking up.

I finished a very rough draft of my 18 week training plan for the marathon, which includes hill repeats, Yasso 800s, track ladders, and fartleks...along with the easy, long, and tempo runs, and cross training. It's going to be a loooong 18 weeks. But before I can even begin that, I need to start my pre-training, post-sickness plan to get in shape to train for the marathon :)

Once I am back to running 5 miles comfortably, I am planning on a once a week run with DC Capital Striders. I think running with others will be a big part of getting me through my training. I'm not sure how anyone runs 18 miles alone...but then again, I ran 13 that way.

Between being sick, pre-training, starting back with BOMF, regular training, I have my hands full!

Next race: May 21, DCCS 8k to support Wounded Warriors and Back on My Feet, and High Cloud Foundation.

Support my marathon:
http://www.active.com/donate/semperfifundmcm2011/fundSwalker



Fartlek: Pick up the pace for segments of 30 seconds to four minutes, interspersed with easy-paced segments of similar duration.

Kenyan Outbacks: Like tempo runs, a few miles at a challenging pace, but with the second half much faster than the first.

Track Ladders: Do a track workout up and down the distance ladder: Run 200, 400, 800, 400, 200 with slow jogging in between each faster repeat.

Yasso 800s: Run four to six 800-meter repeats with 400-meter recovery jogs. Try to get up to ten.

Hill Repeats: Run repeats on a moderate hill of 100 to 200 meters, walk or jog down. Later in training, just run tempo and long runs on hilly routes.