There have been a number of things I’ve wanted to write about since my last post. A lot of cool developments and things of that nature have happened over the past couple of months.
Namely, as it pertains to my half-marathon training, I’ve decided to stop ‘training’ and just run. What I had been doing over the past couple of months is holding myself to a rather strict schedule of running which included doing distances that I just wasn’t mentally into doing. I love to run…but sometimes I don’t want to or have time to do 7 miles in the am knowing I’ve got to be at work later on in the day. My runs over the past couple of weeks have been varied, imperfect, sometimes trying, but overall fun. Mostly because I’m not focusing on the distance or on my speed, but just on the idea of running. I just go. And what ends up happening when I just ‘go’ is that I go further and sometimes faster. I’m ok with running without music now – it allows me to think. I’m paying more attention to how I feel when I run, more alert to the cues my body gives, and more able to figure out when I really do need to stop and walk or stretch. Best of all, I’m learning to push past certain ‘walls,’ pains, and the nagging discouraging voices that sometimes pop into my head.
Last week I ran 7.65 mi out on a lovely trail. The view was breathtaking and I found so much peace along my route. I was encouraged by bikers and other runners, one runner in particular really helped me through my final push towards the end of my run! It was a great run, but the return trip back was a little painful. Being the stubborn genius that I am, I decided that day that I would run to the end of the trail before turning around to head back to my car. Normally, my miles include an out and back trip, with about a mile left at the end as a walking cool-down. Well, that day I went out the full 7.65 mi to the end of the trail. Can I say, for the record, that it’s not the best idea to run a brand new trail without properly researching it. The trail I ran, while lovely, was filled with hills and inclines, including this massively steep incline at the end. The thing about not doing research…it leaves you somewhat unprepared, and in my case wiped out at the end of a run. I finished my 7.65, took a breather, stretched a little, and realized that there was no way I was gonna run the 7.65 mi back to my car. I was too exhausted and mentally just unwilling. And so I walked…tired legs, sore feet and all. I walked back to my car, cheering on other runners along the way. By the time I got home I was spent, but I was also very proud of the total mileage I covered that day. I recovered well, nothing seemed to be out of place, and I was still able to hit the gym for some weight training a few days later.
Ah, yes…weight training. I’ve integrated weight training back into my workouts once more. It’s been awhile, but I felt as though it was necessary to make myself a stronger and better runner. I’d been slacking off majorly in the weight training department, and I see how some runners can get very much into running and running alone. Personally, I do not want to neglect any body part from ‘feeling the burn,’ nor do I want to become overly strong in one area of the body, throwing off the balance of my body’s strength overall. So now I’m back to weight training about twice a week, and I try to do yoga at least once a week and so far, so good!
Lastly, I’ve been incorporating more ‘running for fun’ events into my schedule. In June I did something called the Warrior Dash, which was a very….VERY muddy 5k obstacle course. It included everything from crawling through mud pits to crawling up and over high walls and jumping through fire. It was AWESOME! In a few weeks I’ll be doing my first ever twilight 5k with a friend. I’m looking forward to that one as well, as I think that sometimes you just need to switch up the kind of races you do in order to avoid falling into a racing rut.
All in all, I’m doing well! Here’s to a Happy 4th! 🙂