Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today is not about the running

Yesterday was my dad's 80th birthday. If you are a Facebook fiend like I am you can see some great pics of him on that day there. My sister sent out 75 letters to friends, family, congregation members of past churches and others asking them to write a favorite memory or story about dad. He's a colorful character who has always marched to his own drum while being a loving and attentive father to us and husband to our mother.
He has always been difficult to buy gifts for. He has expensive taste and usually will choose his gift and tell us how much it is. HA! We are always happy to do that because the alternative is always something he wouldn't like.
The responses came pouring in and my sister compiled them very creatively into a scrapbook. His reaction was priceless. This man who loves designer clothes,sports cars(has a prized 1990 two door jaguar in the garage)and the finer things in life was speechless.
I don't think he realized how valued he was,how many people he had influenced throughout his 80 years. His response later was a classic. He said "If I'd gotten this book at age 30 I would have lived my life a little differently."
I think that's true of all of us. If we knew those that we helped along the way and HOW we helped them...wouldn't that make it easier for us to follow that "good path"?
Maybe we should live like someone is going to fill our scrapbook when we are 80 with the things we did to help them along in life.
It's food for thought, that's for sure!

Monday, January 26, 2009

So, I guess this is week 25 but there's no week 25 in my book! Yikes!

Today I began week 25 of running. I ran for 30 minutes. I ran out of running log entries in the back of my "Beginning Running" book. Fortunately, when I subscribed to Runner's World magazine a while back, they sent me a Runner's logbook. It's a little more complicated but I can see where it will help me improve my running. There are all kinds of things I can add in now that I've hit the 30 minute mark averaging 2.2 miles right now. One thing I thought was interesting was something called...well I forget what it's called and the logbook is's something that helps you prep for running a 5K. Details later when I RE-read it.
So, I guess I'm a runner. I am technically an Athena runner because I weigh over 145 pounds. I wonder why that makes me feel less of a runner. Maybe because all I see are lean runners in the magazines. Surely, I'd LIKE to be one of those lean runners. My legs and arms are already lean but parts of me...ummmm...NOT so lean!And, thankfully, I'm not really running to lose weight, though I'm watching my calories because the lighter I am the better the run. I'm running because I LOVE it! I love how I feel when I'm running(most of the time) and I REALLY love the way I feel when I'm doing a post run stretch session and I REALLY REALLY like the way I feel emotionally about myself and who I am now. THAT'S the best...the greatest reward I've got going right now. And that's enough for me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today I ran 30 minutes straight!

Today I ran 30 minutes straight. I've never done that before. It was 2.2 miles so, what's that? A little under 15 minute mile? I'll take that. I ran the 5K route I'll be running in May. Obviously I didn't run the whole thing. There are "dog issues" on the leg of it I didn't run. Gonna have to borrow dad's doggie mace he carries when he cycles. So, if I ran 2.2 in 30 then surely I can finish a 5K in 45 minutes or less, hopefully, since I have until May to increase time and mileage,right? Clearly I need to do some tech reading about running.
It was surreal, symbolic and has not completely sunk in. I read back through my journal that began in August and how I struggled and how much I've learned.
One favorite comment I made:
"Went to Cracker Barrell for breakfast and then to the track for my morning run. I felt like I was running with bricks in my stomach." Valuable lesson learned, don't tank up on food before you run, idiot!
Another favorite memory was the first time I ran in the rain. I always thought you cancelled if it rained, but you don't! I've run with ice, rain, wind so strong I ran with it instead of against it, hot muggy mornings, crisp cold fall mornings, mornings hungover after too many mimosas at a christmas party, hungover with too much FOOD from a christmas party, Christmas's just shown me that if you want to do something, you do it. If you don't, there's plenty of barriers just waiting for you to throw them up in your own way.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today it was 11 degrees when I ran and I didn't feel my feet for the first mile!

I'm not so creative with my blog entries on running these days. I am putting in the time, putting in the miles, filling the running prescription I was given in the book. I hate the fight I have with my mind on cold mornings. My mind says stay in bed and my body is ready to run. It's interesting...this concept of mind over matter...the mind runs the show, that's for sure! If I ever get the running clothes on...I'm in good shape..the actual run is always enjoyable and challenging in a good way. So today I ran again on a rest day because I didn't want to play the mind games I always play on rest days: "was that your last run?" "are you going to quit now?""if you eat that your run will suck tomorrow". There's peace after I run...a personal peace with myself. It's like going to some kind of confessional or something. I feel pure like you do after having done the right thing. I am easiest and kindest on myself after a run and give myself break. The further away from the run, there's probably a little fear that I won't do it again. Why, you ask? Because I have started and stopped a bajillion diets and exercise regimes since I was 13 years old. Ah, but that's another subject probably NOT for another day! HA!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Schizophrenic Runner That I Am, Today I HATED Running in the "Brisk Cold"

What a struggle I am having this week. My mind is really battling to stay in bed on these cold mornings. It is SO hard to throw the covers back and get up and get dressed to run. Here's the thing, though. Once I get outside there's a smile in my heart about running. So, what that tells me is I have to ignore the lazy voice inside that says "Snooze button...just one more time." I also think there is a part of me that's scared to get to the next level...which will be "run 30 minutes". Strange, huh? Wonder why that scares me. Not something I can figure out here in this blog, but food for thought, definitely.
For the record, I did take my underarmored self out into the elements to run this morning and felt so much better when I did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am loving this running on a brisk cold morning!

Today was Monday. Usually a hard transition from lovely weekends,but today my run helped me start the week out in a positive way with brisk cold weather and feeling so great while running. I have a hybrid route now. One that splices together an old running course with some new territory. I am finding that it's important to switch up your route to avoid boredom. I enjoy seeing new things and stretching the run out for longer distances. This weekend I'm going to try to run the actual 5K course that our town will do in May. Right now it's a stretch for me to go much past 2 miles in 30 minutes.(Though it was somewhat discouraging to read in a running book I have that 14 minute mile was as high as the "if you run a timed mile this is how you'll run a 5K, half and full marathon"chart would go)Nevertheless, to be close to 15 minute miles almost everytime now is a great encouragement to this fledgling runner. In a way, I'm glad the book presented it that way because that gives me a reference point for what they consider a "slow mile"...clearly it's 14 minutes! So, I will keep plugging along, almost like taking a pill methodically and correctly, and by Spring Break, I should see a faster mile coming my way. Keep the head straight, put in the time and it falls in place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week 23-Run 28/walk 1/run 1

Today I started week 23. This is significant in that this is a 24 week plan. Next week I will be running 30 minutes straight! If you read back to my last entry and what a rough run it was, it will make this entry all the more meaningful. This was one of the best runs of my life!(Of course, the true context is the last 6 monthes 'cause that's all I've ever run in my life.) I felt like I was running on air, it felt good, the tunes playing in my ear were vintage high school favorites and I found myself smiling as I trucked on down the road. Too bad the crossing guard wasn't out there because I KNOW he would've said:"Running fast today, aren't you?" Will I really find the courage to run in "public" at a 5K? That's my next hurdle in this mind game called running. I can't say that enough! It is a HEAD GAME!I can't wait to run again on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How you know the town's taken notice that you are a runner

This morning was a struggling run and it was all I could do to finish it. So, I've made my big loop of the run which passes back by my house and as I turn the corner the school crossing guard says(who, by the way, has NEVER spoken a word to me before) "Running kind of slow this morning, aren't you?" Honestly!!I wanted to say "H*** yeah I'm runnin slow!" But I didn't.I just reminded myself that at least I was out there and that I wasn't running for anyone else but myself and it didn't matter what anyone in this WORLD thought about how much, how long, how fast, how slow I was running. Once again I was reminded that it is a MIND GAME! Running is in your head!If your head is right, the run will be right. It is shocking being back at school and having to do the early runs again in cold January. It is also gratifying to return to work and have those you work with notice the continuing change. So, all in all, not a bad day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Week 22- Run 26/walk 1/run 3

I'm starting week 22 a bit late(Thursday) as I was out of town and well...just got lazy! So today I fully expected running to give me a swift kick from being out of the routine but it didn't! Today, running cut me some slack for my evil eating ways. Who'd of thought it!Just goes to show the contradictory ways of trying to get healthy. Regardless of the dread of returning to the road after a hiatus of three days,I pushed myself out there, expecting a HORRIBLE time...geez! When will I learn? I am still green behind the ears, but one thing's for sure, I am still madly in love with running! This time last year...last new year's day..I couldn't have run 20 seconds! Unbelievable!I really hope I find the courage to run a 5K! Running is so solitary for me that I fear getting in a crowd with it! Ah, well. I'll keep ya'll posted! Thanks SO MUCH for the encouragement! It helps!