Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baby it's Cold Outside!

I had a fantastic 4+ mile run this morning.  I got out about 8:30, to get ahead of the impending snow storm.  It was 14 degrees!  I realized that I am pretty hardy when it comes to running in the cold, as long as it's not windy.

I wore running tights, with lined wind pants over the top, a tank, long sleeved shirt AND a jacket.  Of course a hat and mittens, too.  After the first mile I was warmed up and very comfortable.  OH!  And my favorite accessory of choice, toe warmers.  I buy a huge box every season for skiing and realized last year how great they were to run with.

There were flurries, and fresh white snow coating everything.  It was slippery, so I tried to stick to the sidewalk where the tree cover made bare spots.

Every runner I passed waved.  I really felt like part of a community today.  Running is awesome.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Feeling stronger - GapFit Capri Review

With the exception of one, my runs lately have felt fantastic.  And strong.  Since my broken foot, I'm not sure if it's the cross training or what, but I've managed to push myself through the 10 minute mark.  Yesterday's run was four miles, at a 9:56 pace.  My best so far.

I treated myself to some new running gear last weekend too, and I am in LOVE with my new capris from the Gap.  They're called GapFit gFast Distance Sprint capris.

I have really big calves, so they do bunch up a little, because they just barely cover your knees, but I like that.  The reflective stripes are actually flattering and they have this cool raindrop effect on the back of the legs.  They wash really well and are just the right medium weight fabric.  Not thick, but not embarassingly thin.

They are even on sale on the website!  I went on Friends and Family day and got them at 30% off.  I will for sure be going back and getting more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Patience is not my strong suit

I signed up for this race a long time ago with my friend Kari.  I ran it last year, and was able to run the whole thing (S-L-O-W-L-Y).  My mileage was where it needed to be, and we decided to do a run-walk, just in case.

It's called The Devil Made Me Do It, and people dress up.  It's a 6.66 mile race (or, a 3.33 mile race for those "less devilish").  Like a great buddy, race day Kari picked me up, costume on, ready to run.

By mile 2 my previously broken foot was screaming.  I decided to back off, and only run the 3.33 miles.  My awesome friend stuck with me.

I think it was a good decision, because I've had 4 runs since then, all pain free.  What happened??  Was it the first cold run of the season?  Did I psyche myself out?  Was it just not my day?  Later in the day, after my beloved ice bath, Kari texted me "patience grasshoppa".

Yeah.  Right.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Running Even Cures a Broken Heart

I drove to NY this weekend to bury my father.  He actually passed away some time ago, and it's a long story, but we just had our small family service for him this weekend.  He was buried with his mother and grandparents in Westmoreland, NY (which is basically ridiculously far from everywhere).

He was not the best father.  His demons had a strong hold on him for most of his life.  The periods that we were close (and I was his only child) were never very long, and weren't very often.  You would think that might make it easier to say good-bye to him, but it didn't.

Saturday morning before we packed ourselves into 2 cars to drive there, my cousin Amy and my cousin-in-law Cindy and I went for a run.  It was the best possible thing I could have done to clear my head, and work out some of the anxiety, and focus on really being present for the day.

We were running on small country roads around the lake, so there wasn't a lot of shoulder.  This was my view.  These fabulous women pulling me along as I ran behind them.  

 It was a very pretty morning.  There are some gorgeous old buildings in Cooperstown.

We are in various places in our running.  Amy is officially signed up for a full iron-man.  Cindy is beginning to train for a marathon in the spring (she just finished her Phd, she's been busy), and I'm building my milage back up from my broken foot.    But we ran together.  And talked along the way.  It was exactly what I needed.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I am the Reticent Runner

I am 43 years old, and have been running since December of 2011. Running has changed my life in amazing ways. These are the stories of my running journey. I hope you can identify. I would love to hear from you.

My Ironwoman cousin Amy (left) and me (right) pre-race.
Last Saturday was the ING Hartford Marathon (and half marathon, and 5k). I signed up for the half marathon in July, one short week before I took an epic fall in the parking garage stairwell at work and fractured my foot. You might think that means I didn’t get to run last Saturday. But you would be mistaken. I didn’t run the half, like I planned, but I ran the 5k, and beat my personal best time by 15 seconds.

Race day in Hartford in front of the Capitol

So goes my life as a runner. Wild ups and downs. Within the first month of running (well, I was walk- running using the Couch to 5k app on my phone) I ended up with runners knee and started the first of what would be multiple rounds of physical therapy.

What’s most important to me about last Saturday isn’t that my time was good, but that I ran at all, 12 short weeks after having broken my foot. What’s important, is that I did what the doctor told me to do, I didn’t give up, and I clawed my way back to running in the shortest possible recovery time. With no pain. Amen. This from a person who truly believed they “couldn’t” run.

Post race smiles! with medals!

I’m a mother, a wife, I have a (big) full time job, and I have other hobbies besides running. But honestly, running is what keeps me sane. It’s the time when all the noise of my daily life (my 1st world problems) disappears, and I begin to see the possibility of all the things I could accomplish. If I can persist through the nagging voice in my head that says “STOP RUNNING NOW”, I can, in my mind, literally do ANYTHING.

I have learned to take time for myself. I have learned that my family’s growth and health depend on my growth and health. I can’t give much when I’m feeling weak and broken.

This is my journey. I am so glad to share it with you.

My time for the 5k last Saturday was 30:50, around a 9:57/mile, a huge breakthrough (to average under the 10 minute mile). My next official race is a 6.66 miler called “The Devil Made Me Do It” on October 27. The pictures for that one should be great.