Friday, August 15, 2014
The first week of August, I was off from work. I did one training run which was horrible and I honestly shouldn't have done. But I went out and did it and it got done.
Last weekend, I ran the Bobby Doyle 5 Mile Summer Classic in Narragansett, RI.
I was very nervous. Everyone around me was definitely a MUCH more seasoned runner than I was. But I reminded myself that I wasn't there to run against anyone. I wasn't there to compete with anyone. I was there to run my 5 mile training run in a beautiful and fun environment, and keep pushing forward in my training.
I finished and I got that amazingly awesome medal. And I finished with an amazingly awesome time. But wow, was it HARD.
It was a warm day, but not majorly humid, which was amazing. We've been really lucky up here in Rhode Island lately, because the weather has been AMAZING. But what made this whole race so difficult for me were the hills and the sun.
The course was very hilly. I've only done one hill training run, and typically I'm on the flat East Bay Bike Path. So I was totally not used to the hills. So that was tough, and definitely caused some pain in my calves and shins. Then there were quite a few long stretches of being in the straight sun. Which again, I'm not used to as the bike path is fairly well shaded in most spots.
Oh, and lets not forget I was also battling a bit of a cold.
But I pushed myself. I challenged myself. I listened to my body if I needed to and walked through run intervals as necessary. I wanted to make sure that I didn't push myself too hard, didn't hurt myself, didn't sideline myself.
And I did exactly that. After the race, I made sure I took care of myself. Iced, foam rolled, and made sure my muscles were well.
I am very proud of that race. I haven't run since, due to a few circumstances out of my control, but I have felt good since. And tomorrow morning, I'll be getting out there for another longest run ever...6.5 miles.
Are you training for a race? How's it going?
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Top two pictures are runs 7 and 8. Those runs were horrible. There was pain, there were tears of frustration, there were thoughts of, "I can't do this. Why am I even trying." Bad.
So I took a few days off. I rested. I stretched. I foam rolled. And this morning, in the rain, I hit the pavement determined. Determined to do the scheduled 4 mile long run no matter how long it took. No matter how much I had to walk it. Determined.
I wore my compression sleeves today, hoping maybe that would help with the pain. Maybe they would provide some relief and much needed support. And they totally did.
I felt so strong on this run. I concentrated on pacing my run intervals so I didn't push too hard or go too fast. I concentrated on feeling as strong in the last mile as I did in the first. Concentrated on breathing and posture. And I felt like all that concentration paid off.
I truly felt amazing. Running in the rain is awesome, almost cleansing. Yesterday (Friday, August 1) was not a good day despite the fact it was a day of new beginnings and of moving on to bigger and better things. I woke up angry, I felt angry and crushed and discouraged all day. But this morning, in the rain, that all washed away.
My run intervals went by so quickly on this run, that I think next week I can up them a bit and go a little longer. I felt strong and never labored. I had some pain, but it always worked itself out on my walk intervals and as of right now, it isn't lingering.
This run came at a time when I needed it most. When I was getting discouraged and sad and down on myself. When I was filling my head with a lot of negative self talk and intrusive thoughts. This run showed me I can do this. I am strong. And I will finish that half marathon in November.
Is running like therapy for you? Because it feels like it is becoming that for me!
Friday, July 25, 2014
Thursday as my first run since the 5k on Sunday. I skipped Tuesday because my legs were still sore, and I figured giving myself a couple extra days to recover wouldn't be so bad.
Benjamin and I headed out after dinner on Thursday, and from the get go, things were bad.
I had horrible pain on both legs, on the inside of my calves. I've never had pain there before, so I was very frustrated. I ran when I could, but mostly walked. The pain was consistent and so bad, I absolutely had to turn around early and cut this 30 minute run short.
I'm really hoping that I didn't push myself too hard in the 5k and set myself back, or injure myself in any way. Since getting back home on Thursday, I've been icing and stretching and foam rolling and really focusing on recovering my muscles. They are feeling a lot better, so I'm hoping that by the time Saturday morning and my 4 mile long run rolls around, I'll be feeling good and will be back on track.
This has definitely been a learning experience though. A few things I've learned from this prolonged pain:
1. Stretch, stretch, stretch!!! The beer fest after the 5K on Sunday was fun, but I didn't take the time to stretch before I went to it. After the beer fest, I had a birthday party to go to. So by the time I got home, and got Benjamin in bed, I went to bed myself. And never stretched. Never iced. Never foam or stick rolled. I'm convinced this is a major factor in why I'm still in some pain 4 days later.
2. Pace myself. Pushing myself in the 5k felt amazing. But I think I pushed myself too far, and I'm paying for it days later.
3. Not every run will be awesome. Sometimes I will blow my own mind. Sometimes, things will just suck. I get discouraged very easily, and have to remember that this is a long term goal, and will take time. I'm going to have stumbling blocks, I'm going to have set backs, and there's going to be days where I just don't want to do it. But I have to keep going, and remind myself I CAN do this.
So those are my big lessons this week. What have you learned about yourself as you've trained, or as you have started something new - even something non-running related?
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
So instead of just a normal old 3 mile run, I did my very first 5k EVER.
When I heard about the Craft Brew Races Providence back in May, I knew I had to work it into my training.
The morning of the race, I was so nervous. Being the first race I've ever run, I was somewhat worried about how I would do against the rest of the field. But as the time neared for the starting gun, I lost my nerves and just ran on adrenaline.
When I crossed the start line, I took off. I used my Jeff Galloway app to keep my walk/run intervals, but when he told me to walk for the first time, I didn't. I just kept running. I was swept up in the excitement of the race, of the other runners, of pushing myself.
After that first minute and a half or so of running, I slowed down into my intervals. For the most part, I kept them pretty consistent.
But those super high and super low peaks? Let's just say my fastest run pace was 7:06/mile.
So I loved the rush of the race. It was awesome. But something I really need to work on during these long runs is pacing myself to try to stay as consistent as possible. For a shorter distance like a 5k, having those runs where I really push myself isn't too bad. But as I keep adding distance, I'm definitely going to have to work on making sure I stay more consistent.
The race itself? It was a blast. I truly felt awesome. I felt so strong, and like I could do anything. As I approached the finish line, I saw my cheering section - ie. The Yankee Fan - and couldn't help but get this big silly grin on my face. I did it! I had someone supporting me and cheering me on! And I felt awesome!
My next long run is 4 miles on Saturday, and in a few weeks, on a 5 mile weekend I'll be running the Bobby Doyle 5 Miler in Narragansett. I can't wait for that next race! Runner friends have told me that you can become "addicted" to the excitement of the race, the feeling of everyone else running...and it's totally true. After one race, I feel it! And I can't wait to get stronger, and better.