Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance … you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet. But when you are through, exhilarated and exhausted, at least for a moment everything seems right with the world…

Monday, October 15, 2012

My First Run in a New City

So I've been in Tirana for about 7 weeks now, which would put my last run at exactly 7 weeks ago.

The last run was a rough one. It was 2 days before I left the states. I went about 3 miles and my arch in my ankle was searing with pain, so when I say 3 miles I mean walking/running. Only about a mile of it was ran. I just couldn't pin point my emotions, and my mind was pacing back and forth between 2 worlds. At the time, I didn't think it would take me this long to get back into it. I mean Albania is full of mountains and beautiful sights, which means people must run all the time right? Wrong. Since living here I have seen 1 person out on an actual run in actual clothes. One. Singular. I did a double take and almost followed him just to be sure he wasn't running to catch a bus or something.

Tonight I went for my first run in Tirana. I've posted some info below.

Total time: 15:58 (pretty good considering it has been 7 weeks.)
# of stops while running: 1 (below average)
# of songs listened to: 4 (one was repeated a second time.)
# of people who laughed at me: 4 (above average)
# of stares: I'd say in the hundreds. About 75% of the people I passed stared at me.
# of man-holes I almost fell into: 2
# of time I almost got hit by a car: 1
# of times I almost tripped: 2
# of face wide smiles: 5
# of amazing views: 1 (mountains. I'll take a picture one of these times.)

I couldn't repeat the path ever again. The roads are far too curvy. I attempted to take the same path home and ended up 2 blocks away from where I started on the main road. Not the best experience of my life, but one I will probably try again.

In the words of Ryan Adams (which I listened to) "I didn't travel far, but my feet were moving."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Set myself up for failure

I have failed yet again. So I did start training after I wrote my last entry, but I only made it through the first week. A few short 1-2 mile runs and then one 3 miler. Half way through the 3-miler I was in so much pain I sat down and broke down weeping. I really set myself up for failure on this one, because there was no way my ankle was healed. So I took another 5 weeks off, and did a ton of walking during this time. Since then I've been starting back on my running, but I'm taking it easy. I've still been doing a lot of walking, and have been adding in a mile of running to a 3 mile walk. I've also tried a couple of 2 or 3 milers, and I've been doing okay at them. It's hard to get back into it after such a long time off, and I have to take a lot of walking breaks.
The main problem I'm having now is that I don't really have time for a half marathon. I have enough time to train and all that, but I'm moving. To another country. And I leave the cities in 6 weeks. Insane. Not to fret, hopefully I'll be able to find a fun marathon to race in Europe.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why I've been gone.

Runs have been few, and bad recently. About 5 weeks ago I went out for a run on a slightly cloudy day and took my iPod with me. About .5 miles from home it began to rain. I sprinted the rest of the way to protect my dear iPod and my ankle has been hurting since. I gave it about 2 weeks to heal and tried a short 1.5 miler, and was in serious pain. I've given it another 3 weeks, and in the meantime have been spending a lot of time walking. I haven't tested it out yet (other than the walking which is great), but I'm hoping I'll be able to begin running again because I created an 8 week half marathon training program, and the half-marathon I want to run is 8 weeks from Wednesday. I haven't officially signed up yet because I want to see how the first 2 weeks go.

Hopefully you will be hearing more about my training soon. I've been dying to get back out in the beautiful weather....unfortunately this week looks rainy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Break Down

I had a great/rough run today. Those are the best. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I chugged down too many vodkas last night, or the McDonalds I had on my way home from the bar, but my stomach wasn't feeling too hot, but the music was great. So I kept on running, and suddenly I just broke down. To the following song:

So what did I do? I ran to the nearest park (thankfully 2 blocks away), gasping for air and fell down on the swing. And I sobbed for 2 minutes. And then I got up. And I ran home feeling so very much better. Who knows why I had a mental breakdown, but I did. Sometimes I think they are just required to happen so I can release my pent up angry/stress every once in awhile. But I love it when it happens when I run because I have a great way of recovering from the break down.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

winter running

So I've been running outside a bit recently and really enjoying it. Okay....that's a lie. I've been sort of enjoying it. It's too cold for my liking, but still nice. It takes me awhile to get my body warmed up. The benefit of the cold is that I don't have time for walking. I have to keep moving.

The funny part is that it's not even cold. today it was 33 degrees when I went out. I enjoyed the 2nd mile of my 3 miler. the first I was frozen and the last I was too warm. It's hard to decide what to wear because you want to shed layers, but can't. It's also hard to go and listen to music because my earbuds get stiff. And I can't run alone without music. that would be an awful experience.

I want to get out there more, and it's not too hard when it's sunny out, but when there are patches of ice I get nervous. and when the sky is gray it makes me sad. But I've just been sad in general recently. Life has been tough this year, and I have to say that running has been a very serious portion of my sanity. So I'd like to thank the belly I received freshman year that convinced me to start with the simple 1 milers. And I'd like to thank all the many people who have given me advice and gotten me up to those 3-4 mile average runs, and one wonderful 7.5 miler. I'll get to that half marathon soon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

trying to enjoy the miles

Wow. It's been awhile since I've written and I have a really good excuse. Life has been utterly crazy. Running has been pushed to the wayside, and therefore I have essentially nothing to blog about. But I've been going through a decently rough time recently, and while trying to work through it I came up with this quote. "It's not about finishing the race, it's about each and every mile it takes you to get there."So I'm trying to remember (as I count down until the days I'm done with Grad school and student teaching) that I need to enjoy the miles.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


So heres what has happened in the last month. the Friday after I ran that 7.5 miles I got seriously ill. Could not move and just slept for 32 hours straight. I had a cold for the whole next week that was pretty bad. I tried to run on Thursday and Friday figuring if I could pick up a 3 mile, 4 mile, and a 5 mile on Sunday I would be able to do the following long runs over the course of 5 weeks: 5 miles, 7 miles, 9 miles, 11 miles, 6 miles, and then 13.1 miles. Unfortunately I was so sore on Saturday that I didn't think I'd be able to do 5 miles on Sunday. Then, on Sunday, I accidentally skipped a step on our stairs and twisted my ankle. I had to take another week off of running, thus ruining my chance to complete my training and not overwork myself. It has been so hard to find the time to even run 2-3 miles on a week day that I really just think that training right now is not going to work. I think I may have convinced a few girls in the Elementary Ed program to run one with me next spring/summer. So heres to hoping.....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's not hard to fall, when you float like a cannonball

Long run today did not go so well. I'm just too exhausted. I got 8 hours of sleep last night, but it's just not enough to catch up for the whole week, and I need more hours in my day to get everything done. Seriously. Anyway I ran over what I used to call the "bridge of death" and back. The bridge wasn't that difficult. Unfortunately my foot fell asleep a few times and during the last mile I seriously felt like I was going to pass out. But I completed the 7.5 miles. I might take an extra rest day this week, just because I have something going on every single night this week.

There is too much going on in my life, and I don't want to give any of it up, but if something ends up going it's probably going to have to be running. I wouldn't give it up completely, but I might have to cut back.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Under Ten!

I ran 4 miles yesterday and I finally got my mile time under 10 minutes! This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but this is really good for me, considering it was a 4 mile run.

One super annoying thing happened though (so I had to take a short 2 min break in the middle of the run.) My right foot fell asleep. I was wearing my new shoes, so I wonder if they just need to get worn in? I stopped to adjust my sock, massage the foot for a minute and loosen the laces in the shoe. I was then able to run my last 1.2 miles home. I hope this problem doesn't consist. I also hope I can keep up with training, because my schedule is going to be absolutely insane. This week I've been getting done with student teaching early and starting late. Since most of our week has been getting to know you activities and going over rules and routines there hasn't been too much to prepare for teaching, so I've been getting done at about 3:30 or 4 instead of 5. Hopefully I can keep up as I get to some of my longer weekday runs. Tonight is my first speed work training. I know you don't need a track to do speed work, but I found one that is about a mile from my house, so I might do a run there as a warm up and then a jog home as a cool down. We'll see how much time I have. The Packers are playing tonight, so I really want to watch their game. Go Pack Go!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Runners High!

My first long run was splendid. I've been logging my runs on I planned a route from my house, over stone arch, to a playground, and back. Unfortunately this route was closed because there was a half marathon going on (the one I was originally supposed to do.) This, however was super motivating. I ran to Marshall street and back, and really wanted to keep going (runners high), but didn't want to injure myself, so I stopped. Turned out I had ran 5.5 miles. Woohoo!

The rest of the week was insanely stressful. I didn't run at all again until Friday and this run was not good. My feet are so sore (from standing all day) and full of blisters (from new shoes) plus my new shoes aren't worn in yet. I only did 30 minutes of running and was completely exhausted. We will see how the rest of training goes. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with the schedule.