No Spring Chicken

The funny thing about saying you feel old is that someone, who is older, will always deny your statement, no matter how old you are. Well, today, I feel old. Now I realize that I am still young and healthy. What I mean by declaring this statement, is that running does not get easier as you age.

I stayed fairly active as a kid through the school years. I was no star athlete by any means but I wasn’t a couch potato either. Through my various activities, I never experienced any serious injuries. I was always able to push myself and go with no serious consequences.

Training for this half-marathon has brought new challenges to me. Today, I sit on the couch with my left knee aching. What does this mean? Is this serious? Can I still run tomorrow? Should I take a week off? Should I start strength training? How will I find time for that?

I don’t consider myself a competitive person…with other people. However, I am my biggest competitor when it comes to running. I love pushing myself to go further and run faster than I did last time. I know that I’ve been pushing my pace this week and I think I’m paying for it. So now I face my biggest challenge thus far, the challenge to take it easy.

As long as my knee is no worse tomorrow I will plan to run. However, I will force myself to slow my pace. Tomorrow I do my first 3 mile run. It may take a while, but I want to get this done. I want to keep training. I want to run 13.1 miles. I want to cross the finish line.

*The picture is of me stretching at a college fitness center. See all of those young and fit college students? They make me feel old, but they also push me to prove that I can run just like they can.

 

January thaw

The honeymoon phase is over. The excitement about signing up for my first half marathon has worn off and now I find myself with an intense running schedule and not-as-motivated attitude.

Doubt crept in this week. At some moments it crept in and made itself at home. I second guessed this decision. I wondered if I was physically capable to handle this training. I wondered if I was being selfish by wanting to accomplish this goal. I almost looked up if I’d be able to get a refund from the race.

It’s probably no surprise that when doubt creeps in to one are of your life, it often barges into other areas as well. Thankfully though, a few things pulled me out of my “down in the dumps” attitude.

First and foremost, I picked up that little devotion book that sits right in my living room. You know, the one that is in plain sight and only takes two minutes to read? The one that I’ve ignored for more than a few days? Today’s devotion reminded me that God carries me through life’s challenges.

Second, my ever loving husband wouldn’t let me give up. He made sure I got time today to get my run in. He encouraged me and he was also just there to listen as I vented my frustrations to him. I can’t say enough about how much he helps me.

Lastly, the weather. We had a January thaw today as it hit 42 degrees. I laced up and ran outside. After training on a treadmill for the past few weeks, this run was a dream! Living through MN winters, you really can forget what it’s like to be outside other than the freezing seconds it takes to buckle your child into their car seat. Running outside today felt amazing.

So while this week had some challenges and doubts (okay, lots of doubts) I was reminded to run the hills. God will carry me through, and He’ll do it through some pretty wonderful blessings.

Run in Circles or Run in Place?

Because it’s 5 degrees outside and the sidewalks are full of ice, I chose to run indoors. Thankfully, New Ulm has an rec center where I can work out. It has the option of a track or treadmill for me to use. While my first preference is always to run outside, my next preference is definitely the treadmill over the track.

The track where I run is not full sized. In order to run 1 mile, you have to run around the track 10 times. That doesn’t sound so bad but when you have to run anymore than 1 mile at a time, it gets very hard to keep track of which lap you are on. Plus, the track is only three lanes wide which makes it so that I’m constantly zig zagging around the walkers and other runners.

I don’t want to complain though, I’m very thankful to have this option. When I start getting up into the higher number of miles, I may end up using both just to switch up the scenery. Hopefully, I will be able to be outside by then though.

My run today wasn’t my best but since I’m a little under the weather, I’m just happy that I got it in. I purposefully slowed my speed and even walked a couple of times. I’m looking forward to feeling 100% again so that I can push myself.

Well, time to go draw with my 6 year old. He’s been waiting patiently for me to be done writing my blog. 🙂

Beating SAD

I believe that SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing. January has always been a tough month for me to stay upbeat and energetic. It happens every year but this year I’m trying harder to beat it. Getting out of the house to run three times a week definitely helps me to stay positive and feel better. It’s not a perfect cure obviously, but there is a noticeable difference.

Yesterday I ran my first 2 mile length for my training. It felt pretty good. Vogel Arena, where I run, was packed full of people donating blood for the Red Cross. I laughed as I saw the free beer being handed to those who donated. I remember when Dad and I donated together once and Dad enjoyed a Schell’s and I enjoyed some 1919. Ah, New Ulm.

Another way to beat SAD is to laugh. Sounds simple. Last night I went to a surprise birthday party where we had to dress like we were in a beauty pageant, or Miss Middle Aged Pageant. Even though I didn’t feel like going out on a windy night after the kids were down, I’m so glad I did. I was able to laugh so hard all night long. Although I’m a bit more tired today because of my night out, it was worth it just to have some more memories to smile about this month. 

So my unprofessional advice today is to try to be active a few times a week and also to laugh as much as you can. Also, coffee. Coffee is always good.

Yes, I am wearing my wedding dress and yes, I wont the Best Dress Award. 🙂

Be flexible

I often tell my kids that they have to be flexible. I tell them that they need to go with the flow when things are out of our control. It serves as a good reminder for me too. Today, I needed to be flexible. Here are some reasons why…

  • My baby decided to wake up every hour last night, so when 5:00am rolled around and she was actually sleeping, I opted for sleep instead of my run.
  • My husband (hi hun!) was flexible and took all of the kids to music lessons so that I could run this afternoon. (Thank you!)
  • My phone had some work done to it and I forgot to put my playlists back on so I was stuck listening to the fitness center tv. Thankfully, Ellen was on.
  • Watch out for the emergency stop chord on the treadmill or else you will have to restart your run when you’re half way though.

All these things forced me to be flexible. Today started out looking tough, but it ended up to be a pretty good day. For someone who likes to be in control of her schedule, (me), perhaps I should remember that going with the flow isn’t so bad once in a while.

Oh, also remember to stretch after you run. That’s another type of flexibility that you also want. 🙂

I’ve got this feeling

Other than this being one of my favorite JT songs, which happened to play during my run,  I do have a feeling that this will be a good thing.

I did not sleep well last night. Besides being up with the baby three times, I didn’t sleep well because I was worrying about this new adventure. I kept wondering what I got myself into and if it was worth it. I even dreamed about not waking up in time for my run. When I got the baby back to sleep around 4:30am, I just stayed awake and got ready for my run.

However, as soon as I stepped outside and into the cold, I got excited. It was so peaceful and quiet and I felt motivated. My run went great. It went so much better than the previous one. I already felt stronger so I upped my pace for the last two minutes. I finished my run feeling on top of the world.

I love the runner’s high. It’s such a great feeling. Now if only that feeling lasted longer than an hour after my run. Sadly, my high came crashing down and I felt the effects of the night before. Ah well, at least my workout is done for the day and there’s always the hope that tonight will be more restful.

See you on Monday!

*I did not run outside even though the picture shows me outside.

1 run down…

Hello! Thanks for joining me on my training journey to a half marathon. Are you on the side that thinks I’m nuts or the side that’s already done multiple half marathons and you’re now training for your fourth full marathon? No matter what side you fall to, I appreciate you taking time to read yet another running mom’s blog.

Yesterday was my first run of the new year. I went in thinking 1.5 miles would be no problem at a decent speed. Silly, naive, me. It was a painful 1.5 and it was at a slower pace than I had hoped. However, I got done and felt like I had conquered the world. That’s the feeling that keeps me going. I love the high I get from accomplishing a goal, whether it be a 1.5 mile run or a 13. 1 mile run. (Eesh, I’ve got a ways to go.)

Tomorrow marks my first early morning run. I don’t enjoy getting up early but if I don’t get my workout in before the day starts, I’ll never last through 19 more weeks of this. The forecast tells me to bundle up for my drive to the fitness center as it will be -12 out. Oh, Minnesota, maybe one day I’ll be one of those crazy runners who run in -12 weather, but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I just hope for another 1.5 miles.