Tag Archives: running

That Running Obsession

August 6, 2014

August will be my highest mileage month for running.  This means I will run at least 57 miles this month.

I came into summer telling myself I would run just about every day and I would kill the 56.6 miles I ran in May.  Then the summer heat and humidity hit in July and I managed just 41 miles.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty pleased with that mileage, but I had really thought I’d be running longer runs, if not more of them.

Back in June hubby and I ran 10 miles.  Our longest run EVER!  It was exciting and I thought this was the beginning of longer runs across the board.  WRONG!  While I felt great during and immediately after that run, my legs seemed extra tight for weeks after.  My IT bands seemed to act up off and on and just always have this dull ache.  Whenever I went out for a run I needed to walk a good part of the hills to “baby” my hips and IT bands.   During this time I started PiYo and have found that it helps tremendously with stretching and flexibility.  It’s also making me stronger.  I’m back to running most of the hills, which is a problem because that was also my drink break. LOL.  I love the strength Piyo  is gaining me through my core and hips too because the more I pay attention to my form when running the more I realize my hips, core and glutes  are SO important in my runs.  When I get tired and stop paying attention to form I immediately start feeling the twinges in my knees.

I don’t know if it’s the slightly cooler temps and less humidity lately but I’ve been enjoying my runs a bit more this past week.  Now that August is here I feel like it’s a fresh start and I’m really “craving” the runs.  I went out yesterday because I just physically felt like I had to run.  I don’t really know how to describe the “craving” a run thing, but I suspect other runners understand.  It wasn’t a good run.  My whole body felt like it was lead running through sludge.  I’m not completely sure why.  I ran 5.5 miles the day before and haven’t really run back to back days all summer.  The weather was also warmer and more humid than it had been the day before.  Who knows why it was a bad run.  It just was.  I told myself yesterday that today would be an off day from running.  Yet, today I have that “craving” to run.  I made myself get a good Piyo workout and stretch in because I know my body really needed that.  Now all I want to do is head out for a run.  I’m telling myself to wait until later tonight and see how I feel then.  I’ve gotten a good workout already today and have a huge to-do list.  Maybe a run tonight will be my reward for crossing off everything on the list 🙂

Happy Running

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Turkey Trottin’

Slattery's shirts

33rd annual Slattery’s Turkey Trot

November 24, 2013

Well, my second Turkey Trot is now behind me/us.  My awesome hubby ran it with me…and some of our friends too.  I’m so happy with my finish time and with how great I felt during the run. I’m also so proud of Hubby.  He’s only been running since late spring and is doing awesome!  It’s been a great summer and fall having the occasional running partner.  We are actually a good team when we run.  We tend to help pace one another. I think he paces me more as his overall pace is actually a bit faster than mine so it’s pushed me to get faster.

I will admit I was a bit worried going into the run.  First of all the weather was so NOT what we had hoped for.  We’ve had some cold days this Fall (it is Fall in New England so it’s to be expected).  But, it’s Fall in New England so you just never know.  We’ve also had some pretty mild weather over the last couple weeks (including yesterday for that matter) so of course we hoped today would be the same.

Not so much. A friend who ran with us posted this pic from her weather app this morning. It was expected to be in the 20’s and very WINDY.  The wind is what worried me more than the cold.  I’ve run in some cold weather and was fairly confident that once I started running my body would warm up and I’d be fine.

weather I wasn’t sure about the wind though.  It’s hard for me to get control of my breathing when the wind is whipping in my face.  On top of that, when the weather is cold and my body warms up while running my nose gets, let’s just say, drippy.

My other concern was some aches and pains I’ve been having lately.  I’ve been super tight in my hamstrings for over a month now and it seems to be wreaking havoc on the rest of my body.  I’ve been trying to stretch, but I know it hasn’t been enough. I’m committing to fitting stretching and yoga into my week more often from now on. But that’s another post.  Last Friday on a 5 mile run around town I had some pretty bad knee pain kick in right at the end. I didn’t worry too much about it until it was still bothering me days later.  I rested as much as I could-no runs, but tried to fit in my other workouts that didn’t seem to bother it too much.  I did a short 3 miles again this past Friday to try it out and it was okay, but last week it didn’t hurt until the last 1/2 mile or so. I continued to worry about it.  Every little twinge made me wonder if the run was doomed.

Overall, I kept a pretty positive attitude about today’s run and my expectations.  My BIGGEST goal was to break the hour mark AND to run the entire thing without walking.  I ran this same race 15 years ago and I knew going in today that I was in much better shape than I was then. I also knew I had recently been able to run 5 miles in around 50 minutes.  I was mostly confident and determined.

When I ran this 15 years ago I wasn’t as ready.  I hadn’t been consistently running and went in to the race knowing I was probably going to have to walk.  I don’t remember having any time expectations either.  All of this would have been perfectly fine with me.  I don’t believe there is any shame in needing to walk in a race.  I’ve done a few 5k’s where I needed to walk a bit and I was and am perfectly fine with that.

When I really started getting into running a few years ago, one of my goals was to once again run this Turkey Trot.  Heck, after I finished it the first time I told myself I WOULD run it again someday.  BUT not unless I knew I could run the ENTIRE route without walking.  Why did the walking bother me so much in that race?  I slowed to walk multiple times along the route and in at least 3 places along the route I encountered some kids (probably middle school aged) along the sidelines “encouraging” me on with things like “why are you walking? This is a race. You should be running”  I’m not sure why it bothered me, but it did.   Those kids quite probably weren’t even trying to be mean or discouraging, but that’s how it’s played out in my mind ever since.  It’s also part of what pushed me to get this race done so maybe it was a good thing?

We bundled up.  Maybe a bit too much even.  We’ll remember that for our next cold weather race.  We had a great time.  I actually ran with the hubby and a friend pretty much the entire time.  We all finished within 20 or so seconds of each other.  I can’t wait to get out there again, even if I still haven’t warmed up yet.

turkey trot Our official times:  Hubby finished in 52:09 and I finished in 52:26.  Next year we will break 50:00.

Running Inspiration

I’ve been running for a few years now, although not nearly as much as I’d like.  It’s always hard for me to fit a run in when I’m trying to keep up with a specific workout program.  Even when I’m craving a run, it just doesn’t always happen.

I’ve been able to increase my distance and my pace over the last couple of months and have been very happy with that.  Unfortunately with the school year back in full swing I’m left with very little time to get myself out for a run.  It’s been averaging once or twice a week this month.  I’d love to add at least another day a week to that.

I’ve got some races planned for the near and not so near future so I sure need to keep the runs going through the fall and winter.  Thankfully I’ve found that I actually like running in the colder weather so there’s no excuse with that. Sometimes I just need something to inspire and motivate me to get out there.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve found two different ways to keep my inspiration going strong.  The first one and the one I am most excited about is a group called I Run 4 (IR4).  You can find them here:

IR42

http://www.whoirun4.com/

and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/irunformichael/

IR4 was founded by Tim Boyle when he found inspiration running for a friend of his with Down Syndrome who was suffering from hip dysplagia and couldn’t run himself.  The group matches runners with special needs people of all ages who just can’t run.  Runners and their matches connect through Facebook and inspire one another.  As runners we dedicate our runs to our match/our buddy.  There are many people in the group who dedicate their walks, rides and other workouts as well.  Runners often make shirts with their buddies name on them, they may write their buddies name on themselves or running sneakers etc.  Many send race medals and/or race bibs to their buddy  after a race.  Really whatever way you work out to let your buddy know you are thinking of them works great.  I haven’t even gotten my buddy yet (I probably still have a good 4 weeks left on the wait list), but I have already been so inspired by both the runners and the buddies they run for.  Reading about all of their lives and workouts has been so inspiring and motivational.  I just can’t wait to meet my buddy.  I’ll share what I can about that journey once I have my buddy and we get going.  I’m hoping that I get matched in the next few weeks because I think it would be AMAZING to dedicate my Turkey Trot run to him or her.

I’ll keep you all posted.

 

The other piece of inspiration I found was an app called Charity miles.  They can be found here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharityMiles and on your phone in the app store under charity miles.  This is a free iPhone/Android app that lets you earn corporate sponsorships for charity whenever you walk, run or bike. Bikers earn 10¢ a mile and walkers and runners earn 25¢ a mile.

charity miles

Every time you log in to start a run, walk or ride you can choose which charity you want to put your distance towards.  I love this because as I scrolled through the list I had a hard time deciding which charity I should choose.  I’m happy to be able to choose different ones each time and spread the donations around.  For my first time out yesterday I chose Autism Speaks- a charity close to my heart.  There are others almost equally as close so they will all get some of my time.  In fact I think tomorrow I will run for The Michael J Fox Foundation because this weekend each mile run will actually raise $3/mile!!

Here are the current organizations you can raise money for:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Feeding America

Wounded Warrior Project

ASPCA

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

The Nature Conservatory

Every Mother Counts

Autism Speaks

Soles 4 Souls

Special Olympics

Habitat for Humanity

World Feed Programme

Girl Up United Nations Foundation

Partnership for a Healthier America

(Red) To Benefit The Global Fund

Pencils of Promise

Shot at Life United Nations Foundation

Vision Spring

Achilles International

Nothing ButNets.net United Nations Foundation

She’s the First

Do Something.org

Ironman Foundation

Stand Up To Cancer

See what I mean? LOTS and LOTS of great organizations to help.  So get out and walk, run or bike.  It’s not just good for you, but others too.

 

Please share this with anyone you think might want to take part in either of these.  The wait for list for IR4 runners is about 6-8 weeks so if you know any special needs kiddos and their families who may like to participate please share this with them.  Of course share with runner friends as well.

End of Week 4 and a 5K

This past week was week 4 of T25 Alpha phase.  Only one more week to go in this phase. I can’t wait to move on to the Beta phase.  I’ve heard good things about it from friends who are already on it.  I’ve been weighing myself every couple days even though I know I shouldn’t.  I am just about out of one weight range and into the next which is incredibly exciting for me.  I’m hoping this last week does the trick.  I’ve decided to fire up my Body Media for the week to track what I’m burning and taking in.  I have been successful without it since giving it a vacation back in late spring. I hope I don’t get too obsessed with it again, but feel like I need to find out where I stand with calories in and out.

I’ve been averaging about 1 run a week over the past couple weeks.  I would love to be able to get myself out the door at 5:30 am for a quick run before work at least a couple mornings a week, but have yet to get it done come morning.  Come afternoon I need to choose what my 30 minutes will be: run or T25. Since I’m determined to follow the schedule as is, guess what wins? Yup, T25.

Yesterday Hubby and I ran an awesome 5K called the Huff&Cuff.  It was his very first race since starting running back in the spring.  I’m not sure but I think the fact that Wachusett Brewery was a sponsor and gave out free beer following the run may have been part of what convinced him to run it.  photo (11)

He did fantastic, finishing a minute before me with a time of 29:41.  I finished at 30:40 which was a new PR for me.  I had hoped to finish under 30 minutes but I’m still very happy with this time.  I didn’t feel quite as good as I have on other recent runs and I’m not quite sure why.  It was a flatter course than our usual routes, but I was struggling to get my breathing under control and to find my groove.  I was surprised to find I ran as fast as I did because I sure didn’t feel like I was while running.  All in all it was a great race and a great day!  We can’t wait to do it again.

1380050_10202121105259094_1685587305_nThe girls are all saying they want to run it too next year.  They did the kids fun run which wasn’t quite what we were expecting. More of a quick sprint down and back on a field.  They still had fun and got a medal, but I think they felt it was for much younger kids even though running a full 3 miles would have been a bit further than they’ve done yet.

photo (10)

We are thinking about doing another local 5K in a couple weeks.  Surprisingly it  works out that we can all do it together again without any schedule conflicts.  Here’s to creating a running family 🙂

3 Week Progress and NSV’s

Well, week 3 of T25 is done.  I actually wrote most of  this post last week at the end of week 2, but never got it finished. Yup, that whole life getting in the way thing again.  I’m happy this was all that got pushed to the back burner and not the workouts.  HUGE progress right there!

I’m feeling pretty good about the last 3 weeks. I’ve lost about 4 pounds (the trouble with weighing daily is one day I was down a total of 4 pounds, the next only 2.) This is a big reason why I will tell people to weigh only once a week at most or you will go crazy. Yes, I need to follow my own advice.  I plan to be better with that this coming week.  Along with the 2-4 pounds down I also lost a total of 5 inches. 

I’d be feeling really good even if my only progress were these numbers, but I’m even happier about some NSV’s.  Over the years that I followed Weight Watchers we often talked about Non-scale victories (NSV’s). It’s easy to get so caught up in what the scale says and whether it’s moved at all and if it’s moved in the right direction.  We attribute our success to the scale going down, but if it doesn’t,  we sometimes lose our minds, and our motivation thinking we are doing something wrong or the program isn’t working.  The reality is there are so many different reasons why the scale didn’t move. It could be extra fluid if your body is getting used to taking in more water. It could be that you did a killer workout and your muscles are repairing themselves. They retain extra fluid to do this.  I always know and have seen pretty consistently when I am extra sore the scale is up.  What you should be tracking is how your clothes fit.  Take measurements, find a piece of clothing that is tight and try it on periodically.  Pay attention to other changes too.

The following was written last weekend. I’m keeping it in as is because I was and still am extremely excited about this run.

Hubby and I have been running together whenever we can.  Today we decided we needed to push through and add some mileage.  We’ve been stuck at 3 ish miles for a while now.  Whenever I’ve tried to get past that it’s a struggle.  On my last couple runs I’ve started to notice that my breathing has been easier and I’ve been able to talk here and there.  That has NEVER been the case before.  In fact I always wondered what I was doing wrong because whenever I’ve read anything about running and what your pace should be it always says you should be able to carry on a conversation.  What!?  I’d have to walk to do that and even back when I was just walking it was sometimes hard to carry on a conversation.  Well, I’ve been able to have short, couple sentences here and there conversations.  AND I’m noticing I’m doing this while running at a faster pace than I had been just a month ago. Huge NSV for me.  I’ve been on cloud nine all day, thinking about how great that run felt.  We made it 4.35 miles!  I definitely felt that was as far as I could make it, but it was just the last .25 mile or so that I struggled.  Very good day!

I honestly need to credit T25 for some of these victories.  I am finally seeing definition in my legs. Squat and lunge workouts have gotten easier. I almost like them now…almost.  My legs feel stronger when I run and  feel better after a run too.  My breathing is SO much better when I’m running and I know all the cardio from T25 has played a part in that too.

Next weekend Hubby and I and the kiddos will be running a local 5K.  This will be his first 5K and I’m so excited to get to run it with him.  The kiddos will be doing the kids race so not a full 5K. They all talk about running with us, but haven’t yet put in the time to get themselves to that point yet.  They do so many other activities it’s hard to fit in running too. I do hope they enjoy the race though.  I just want them to have as many physical options to keep fit as they grow.

Wish us all luck next weekend.