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…

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Heart Hills

I've been doing a lot more running recently thanks to my awesome running buddy. The best part is that where I used to be running 2 or 3 miles almost everyday on my own, I'm now running 4-5! incredible! The best part about these runs in definitely the hills. haha....

So, I hate hills. I always feel like I'm going to die when I get to the top of them. So John, being the nice guy that he is, tries to speak words of encouragement to me as I force myself to the top. First he spoke utter nonsense about becoming one with the hill and focusing my energy and breathing. This didn't help. Then, one day he told me that I just had to convince myself that I love hills. And....well, I'm trying my best.

Anyway after getting my topic proposal back, and severely critiqued at class last night, and thereby having a serious mental breakdown after arriving at home, I thought about what a great motivation this would be for all of us in life. Why not tell yourself, "I love hills. I love the obstacles that stand in my way."  Really, that's all these rough patches are. They are just hills, and once you get to the top of them you will feel like you have accomplished something truly great. So this is how I want to try to approach life from now. With an "I love hills!" attitude.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Improvements and Failures

I'm super happy because I'm finally starting to feel the benefits of all my hard work. Recently I've been able to run further distances. I used to feel like 2 miles was long, but since I've been working on pacing myself I've been going further distances. Thursday I went hiking at Minnehaha Falls with the kids all day and thought I'd be way to tired to do my long run. I set out to do 3 miles and ended up doing 4.5. And if it wouldn't have been for the mountain of homework waiting for me I might have gone further. Friday I did about 4.5 miles again. So happy :)

Minnehaha Falls was a blast, and I think I might try to get a group there to do some trail running. I've been running with some guys who are training for a half marathon in the end of July. I go on there 3 and 4 mile days with them, and while they've tried to convince me to do 6 miles with them I refuse. It'd be nice to take a group to the Falls, because there are portions of it that would be dangerous to run, but also very fun.

In other news, I accidentally ate meat on Friday. Just a small piece of ham on pizza, but I've decided I'm going to start re aquatinting my body with it. At work I just eat whatever they provide for me for lunch, and it hasn't been super difficult yet, but I know it will get harder as time goes on. I'm still going to eat mostly vegetarian, but I want to get back to the point where I can eat meat, if I want to, without getting sick. I had a tiny bit of beef last night, and my stomach is killing me today (although this could also be from the insane amount of alcohol I drank last night.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Schedule

My summer schedule is about to get a bit more crazy. Tomorrow I start, not only my full time summer job, but also my writing intensive summer school class. This is going to make it a bit more difficult to work out. Monday and Wednesday will consist of work all day and class all night, so working out is probably out on those days. So here is the schedule.

Monday- exercise as much as possible at work with kids. They either walk to class and ride bus home or bike to and from class. Try to run or walk a mile in the morning (if i'm not too exhausted.)
Tuesday- 3-4 mile run
Wednesday- Same as Monday
Thursday- Run 5 miles
Friday- run 3-4 miles
Saturday- Run 3 miles
Sunday- Run 4-5 miles

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The "Running Club"

There are so many things to be gained from becoming a runner. I know I discussed my top ten reasons in a previous post, but there is one main thing I forgot to mention.

If there is one thing you can count on as a runner it is that at the end of every bad run, and at the top of every rough hill there will be someone to encourage you that you are better than you think you are, and that you can run faster, harder, and farther.

There is such a thing as a "running club." Some people you may meet with to run often, others, every once in awhile, and there are some people you merely chat with about types of shoes, trails you enjoy, or races you hope to someday enter. They come in various shapes and sizes, with very different experience, all with one common interested: Long Distance Running. But once you are in this club you will be hard pressed to find a way of escaping it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Running With Dad

Yesterday night I ran with my Dad and his running buddies. We drove out to the country, and went for a 5 mile run. I ran with his old assistant cross country coach, his current cross country coach, and a girl who is training for Grandma's marathon in 2 weeks.

So I was able to keep up for the first 1.5 miles and then started falling extremely behind. I ended up walking a lot of the hills, but my dad was super nice and kept running back to check up on me. I was happy I was even able to finish.

We ran out on the country roads. It was strange to run on gravel instead of concrete. Afterward my arch on my right ankle was super sore. I rubbed and stretched it out good, but it hurt a little bit this morning. Hopefully It won't turn into anything too bad.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cheese Chase Race

Length: 2 miles
Time: 19:36
Mile time: 9:33
Place overall: 90th out of 297
Age/Sex place: 3rd out of 41
Comments: This was a good first/easy race. It was 80 degrees and humid, so awful running conditions. I took the first half mile fast, and then had to stop to take a few 15 second walking break. It was just too damn humid. As soon as Damien Rice's rootless tree came on my iPod I sprinted. When I saw the clock I was hoping to make it in 19:30, but I'm still proud of this time, considering Junior year of high school my mile time was around 11 minutes. Afterwards we got dilly bars, and were supposed to get subs, but they had no vegetarian options :( We then stopped to get a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Pre race picture

Post Race Picture

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pacing/ Eating Healthier

Things are already getting way crazier than I want them to be. And worst of all, I'm under way more emotional stress than I would like to be. Thankfully I've had time to run almost every single day. I haven't been running far, but I am able to do 2-3 miles a day, and once in awhile i get up to 3.5 or 4. I've been trying to work on my pacing. I'd rather be able to run further distances at a slower rate than to take constant breaks from running to walk.

This weekend I run my first ever race, and while it is only 2 miles, I've put a lot of thought into how I'm going to pace myself. So, I present you with:

The Cheese Chase Mix
One More Love Song by Leon Russell
Breathe by David Gray
Fix You by Coldplay
Brokedown Palace by the Grateful Dead
Rootless Tree by Damien Rice

I've ran at a slow pace for most of these, and the last one just makes me want to sprint, because i feel it so much right now. this will be the perfect way to end the race.

I've also been trying to eat more healthy. More fruit, and more veggies. I try to have fruit and veggies at every single meal. My problem is I still always crave sweet/ creamy things at night. This is a habit I really need to kick. I've tried to stop eating after 8 pm, but today I didn't even get around to eating dinner until 8:30, and for some reason I really enjoy late night snacking (also a habit I need to kick.)

My Dinner on Monday night: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots, grilled in butter and garlic. served with 2 pieces of rye toast.  

The best breakfast ever! egg and cheese on a bagel with a side of blackberries and yogurt. Served with coffee and the 5th Harry Potter book. I'm really gonna miss my mornings off....