This week was odd for me, I think the full moon effected my mood because some days I was in a funk/and a little cranky, but after working out and running I felt A LOT better. I even found an item I had been missing for a year and an nostalgic item that I forgot I had, who doesn’t like that? So that was my inspiration for this week’s post!
For my workouts this week, my cross training plan from last week continued on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thankfully I wasn’t as sore this week. I chalk it up to making sure I ate a banana everyday, which I didn’t do last week (or it could be I’m getting stronger :-p).
For those interested, this is what my Thursday workouts look like, which take me a half hour and I am able to complete during my lunch hour. It really helps break up my day and I return to my office really energized. (disclaimer: this workout was personalized for my fitness level)
For my running this week, Monday I had a tempo run in my mind, and after the success of last weeks 5K PR, I wanted to see how well I could do running 4 miles. After a .25 easy jog, and some dynamic stretches I started running and felt good. After a few laps, I wanted to run by feel and tried not to look at my watch too much. The end result was 4 miles in a record time, beating my previous time from 6 weeks ago by 6 seconds per mile. It was so nice to see the improvement.
Wednesday I decided to get back to some interval work, inspired by my improvement in tempo runs, I hope for good things with my interval runs. I ran on the campus track, and had a few obstacles in the way- the field was set up for this weekend’s graduation ceremony so some of the chairs overflowed onto Lane 1 of the track, and then there were anchors/tethers holding the stage in place where I had to run in Lane 1 in order to not get clothes-lined!
I did a 5 minute warmup, then I did 8×400, averaging 1:44.06. (1:51, 1:43.7, 1:43.9, 1:46, 1:44, 1:45.4, 1:45.4, 1:47.4, 1:39.1) which was more consistent than when I ran the same workout on March 30th. The last few were a little tough, but I pushed through and nailed it on the last one! I felt really good though.
My last run this week today, (Saturday), I planned to run 7 miles at my goal marathon pace (9 min/mile) since my legs felt good and I wanted to challenge myself. I started off right on pace, running a usual loop around my apartment, not completely flat but no big inclines but some downhills. Mile 4 was my slowest but it was basically all up hill (200 feet gain) but then I hit downhills again and kicked it in gear for the remaining 3 miles. I felt SOOO much better than last week, but a lot of it was mind over matter. I was determined to run strong and I did.
My run on Wednesday made me feel so good afterward, that I felt a desire to want to start keeping a handwritten running journal- even though I have this blog and a Garmin GPS watch that tracks everything there is just something about being able to see results all together on 1 piece of paper in my own handwriting. So when I got home for my run I went to pick out a journal to use (I have a whole bunch because I receive one from my grandmother every year for Christmas). She always puts a quote or encouraging poem inside, so I wanted to pick a journal that I felt best relates to my running journey. When I was digging through them all I found a running journal I started 5 years ago when I first started running, which I had TOTALLY forgotten about. My first entry was in February 2011 and I wrote about how my friend Kelly had just finished the Disney Princess Half Marathon and she inspired me to not only run more but someday run that race (that race is still on my bucket list, and Kel you still inspire me everyday will all you do xoxo). But this journal ended in August 2011 due to some health issues I was going through at the time, so there was still plenty of pages for me to continue using this journal. I flipped to a blank page and started off fresh; writing a brief summary, and set up 2 side by side pages to listed my interval and tempo runs.
It does give me one more thing to keep up on but I feel this is a worthwhile project for myself as I am a very visual person.
The poem inside the cover of this journal is still a favorite relating both to life and running: You are Braver than you think! You’ve made hard choices and taken chances. You’ve met challenges and weathered changes. You’ve opened your heart ever when you knew it could hurt, and you’ve faced obstacles that might have stopped others in their tracks-but not you! Life takes courage and you’ve got it
Of course I had to reread what I had written 5 years ago and I was realized is that I was doing faster interval work on the treadmill than I started off this year doing. At first I felt like I really hadn’t made that much progress. Yet every year and pretty much every race I done, I have always dropped time, so even though my speed work isn’t too different, it was the miles and consistency that has helped me improve.
My ‘running story/journey’ officially started in the spring of 2011, but in the fall of 2011 I had health issues and a surgery, so I couldn’t run for 4 months. 2012 I focused more on distance training for my first half marathon and 15K and was still working through the surgery recovery. 2013 was a rough year emotionally for me, I felt very lost in my life, so I was just glad to get runs in when I could, as I didn’t have the mental capacity to run intervals. In August 2013 I started pursuing an MBA part-time while working full time, so for the next 2 years I was just happy to get runs in when I could. In April 2015 I started a new job which came with a 50 minute commute, and I was still finishing up school, so it was an adjustment in time management and shifting priorities. These aren’t excuses but me just working through why I haven’t done as much speed work in the last 5 years that I should’ve and could’ve been doing. In fact my Dad still tells me the same thing now that he did 5 years ago, and I wish I would’ve been more consistent because it makes me wonder where I could be today. Then again maybe I would’ve gotten injured, maybe I would be drained and have no desire to still want to run, I don’t know but my story has worked out how it was supposed to. I enjoy running and the escape it gives me, its a way I have ‘found myself’ but I just haven’t focused enough to really set an ambitious goal and work to achieve it. Over the last few years, I would run and usually just hope for the best in a race, thought secretly always wanting to PR. It wasn’t until this year (2016) that I have been able to really commit myself mentally and physically to speed work, and I’m ready now. I am ready to challenge myself to complete a marathon, I am ready to put in the work to get results. I’m ready to really see what I am capable of. I’m ready to make running even more of a priority than it was before. This is why I feel its important to share this with all of you.
The more I run the more I love my body. Not because it’s perfect, far from it but because with every mile it is proving to me that I am more capable of more than I ever thought possible
This week I also bought myself a $9 bracelet that says ‘she believed she could so she did, 2016’ as a reward to myself for my recent half marathon and as form of constant encouragement to train for and finish my first marathon this fall. I want to remember this as the year I started to really push myself consistently with running.
To support this dedication, over the last 2 weeks I have cut back on the number of nights I coach swimming after work (from 2-3x/wk to 1) so I could spend time working out after work (vs waking up early before work to do so), and its been great. I enjoy coaching, but I just feel like I really need to do this for me right now. Coaching is almost a year round gig (mid-Sept-end of July,40 weeks of the year) so by this time of year the coaches start to get a little drained, and I feel that way. I’ve noticed that working out energizes me and I feel like I needed these reduced hours to be able to do something for myself. I plan to only cut back on coaching through September when I finish my marathon, then I will reevaluate. But right now I am riding this running motivation high and I want to see how far it will take me.
This is one of my longest posts, so I will wrap it up for this week. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a great week
Recommended article that I LOVE- How Miles have changed me
What has running or working out taught you? What would you love to commit yourself to? What is holding you back?