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The Fear Monster.

15 Jan
On Friday evening, I wanted a challenge. To run faster. I knew I was ready, but something inside me say “don’t even think about it”. I knew that if I wanted to achieve big things, I had to at least try. That if I tried, I couldn’t fail. But if I somehow quit on myself, that I couldnt achieve big things that I dream of.

Stepping on that treadmill was scary. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew that running at my comfortable pace of a 4.5mph wasn’t going to cut it. I had the music. I had everything going for me. There was nothing stopping me, except my mind. What did I have to loose? Nothing, but I had everything to gain. I started running. Pushing myself a little faster. Faster. Before I knew it, I was crusing at a 6.0mph. Fast. Somewhere in betwen the excitment of “running faster”, I found myself crying I found myself in the middle of loving this challenge, but also wanting to quit at the same time.

The point is, you can’t quit on yourself. If you do, you won’t achieve anything. Sometimes you find yourself in a moment of doubt when you’re afraid of what might happen. That’s why I love challenging myself with running. I love putting a big hairy goal in front of myself, and conquering it – even if I suck doing it.

The goal? Conquered. 2mi 23min 11:26min/mile.

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Winners vs Losers.

2 Jan
Over the past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. It’s beyond me to think that just last year, I was focusing on running one mile. It sounded beyond challenging. It was so hard that when I finally ran that one mile, I felt on top of the world. Sure, to other runners that one mile my not be as awesome as their half marathon, but the fact that I went out there and continiously worked on it, does count for something.

It makes me think. Why doubt myself when it comes to running? Over the past few days, I’ve really doubted my “skills” when it comes to running. I am not a professional. I’m not a beginner, but I’ve gained enough experience to get an idea of when to push myself and when to stop. That knowing doesn’t come overnight. But, what really gets me… is that longer distances can be so challenging that I really do question myself. Am I really ready for the next step? Yes, yes… dubbed “Pink Warrior” was spontaenous. I am still so impressed with myself that I finished. I finished. There was only one runner (it was me) and I definitely was the true winner.

But when it comes to winners vs losers, if you finish… you’re a winner. I don’t run these races to come in first. Gee, I am no where near coming in first. But I do get midly excited when I place before a 91-year old man, or place before an 8-year old boy. I like to think I can beat the boys. I’d like to think I can beat the girls. I’d like to think that I can beat myself. On the flip side, running isn’t a win-loose. I love seeing people active in the neighborhood. Just out there, doing something. If you can get your sneakers on and get out there, you’re a winner. I hate feeling like the only person out there, doing what I love. Except, on occasion in bad weather (ie: snowstorms) I am out there, running. Yes, in the snow. Flurries all around me, as if I’m running in a snowglobe. It’s fun.

Whatever it is you love to do, do it. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Who cares if you’re a slow runner? Who cares. Do you care? If that’s what you want to work on, work on it. I certainly did not have a training plan or a workout buddy when I started. The only person who I had to compete with, was myself. If I can’t get myself out there to run/train, nobody will do it for me.

I’m all about self-empowerment. If you try, you’ve already won.

Pink Warrior Remix.

30 Dec
I think BIG. I like to think that I’m capable of bigger than life things. Things that probably I am not mentally prepared for, but physically I’m ready. And when I get that idea, that thought, I need to follow through.

I’m running the Tufts 10K for Women on Monday, October 10, 2011. It’s weird. It’s crazy strange. I know that I’m physically ready, after running 250mi+ this year alone. But there’s that part of me that instantly questions myself “is it time?”.

October 10, 2011 is far away. I decided to purposely give myself a 6-week cushion in addition to my 16-week training program. There’s always that thought of “what if I…” get sick, and even if I get injured. Aside from my worries, I will start training mid April.

Until then, I have a few goals.

Pre-Race 10K Running Goals:

  • Increase my base to 15mi p/w
  • Add cross training 2x p/w
  • Aim for 12:15 pace

Let’s get this party started.

I Run for Cupcakes.

29 Dec
On a fitness related interview I said, “running zero miles is a failure, but running one mile is a success”. It’s true. When I think about my experiences in running, I can’t look and justify me running over two hundred miles in one year. Yes, it’s a success. But I couldn’t of been able to make leaps and bounds without taking the first step. Sometimes it’s just that simple. Putting on your run gear, your sneakers and have some good tunes to fuel the ride.

Of course, when I started running I thought about the mileage. It was a dream of mine to run five. But, not really sure what to do, I put on my sneakers, took my iPod with me, and just went out. I ran. I can’t sit here and say it was easy. I felt silly at times. Who was I, kidding myself… that I could be a runner. I really started running in January. I started running because I was bored. Because I wanted a challenge. Yes, running is a challenge. Once I hit bigger mileage markers (five miles, a 10K and running nine and a half miles), I felt a success.

I don’t like using numbers as a success marker. I feel so inspired by my own running that I want others to “see the light” for themselves, and realize their true power. You can do it. It won’t be easy, but you are capable. I’m the girl that for years I was told I could never be a runner, and here I am… just in October, I ran a half on a whim. Yeah baby, 13.1 miles of pure lovin’. McLovin’ if you want to get funky with it. The point is, you have to start somewhere. So what if you’re focusing on running that one mile? You’re starting. You’re not saying “forget it, I can’t do it”. If you go into that run with a negative attitude, I’m sorry but you won’t get far.

Sometimes all I need is a bad day to kill it on the pavement. From experience, bad experience and negative things really fuel my dubbed “quick and dirty” runs. The kind of run where you run your heart into the pavement, leaving your soul buried inside, only to crave more and more. I love those. I love the feeling of leaving myself into the pavement. It’d kind of a philosophical way of looking at it, but I can run anywhere. I don’t need fancy gear. Alright, so I’d like to have my Garmin with me and my iPod shuffle. But I can do it anywhere. The feeling that I get from a single run is amazing. It’s unbelieveable. Sometimes I really surprise myself. Going into a run with an open mind, keeping myself spiritually and mentally open, and then out of nowhere – I pull a fast split. I have to keep myself open. I can’t go into it with some judgement on myself, thinking about how “bad” or how “imperfect” the last run was. Each run is different.

Running isn’t perfect. Running teaches me to be less critical of myself. If I can let the little things go, everything else will fall into place. I love, I crave those days where my spiritual Self (notice the capital “S”) and my mental awareness, fall into place during a run. It’s like, I could run for hours. Because I’m in the moment. Nothing else matters because I’m doing what I love to do. See, this is what I crave. That feeling of being one unit, one being with something that I am so dedicated to.

Dedication will get you far, but lazyness won’t.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

26 Dec
I’m a runner. I love running. I used to think “I can’t run outside because it’s cold outside”. It’s funny, I found myself making excuses why I couldn’t and then realized, I had more reason to, with the right mental attitude instead of talking myself out of it. Except, little did I realize… that not only is it important to be mentally focused and physically in the moment, but to be layered up appropriately.

Yes, were in a blizzard warning. Yes, we are under a state of emergency. But, I found myself feeling inspired because well, I love running, and I find running in the snow exhiliarating. As a bonus, I was itching to try out my new dubbed “Winter” running gear. In times before, I wasn’t sure what to wear. Thinking and knowing I needed to layer up, but the questions of what to wear always swirled around. Except, I think I finally got it right this time.

winterlayers

Let it be known, it was 23ºF at the start of my run. To the best of my ability, here’s what I’ve discovered that could somehow be useful for your colder temperature runs, whereever you are. I always start with a base layer. I’m wearing my Lululemon Run Swiftly Tech long sleeved shirt. I love this top because it’s form fitting, and I’m a big fan of thumbholes. It’s one of my favorites. Because it’s cold outside, I wore a second layer over my long sleeved top. It’s a lightweight running jacket (can’t remember the name of it). No matter what temperature, I always wear a running jacket of some kind. Today, I decided to try out my Athleta Interval Jacket. Overall, I felt really warm.

Next up, bottoms. It does matter. I used to run in Yoga bottoms, which left me nothing but cold on the bottom. Speaking of Athleta, I was given a pair of leggins that are brushed on the inside. Don’t knock it until you try it, but they are amazingly warm and comfortable. As you can see, I’m wearing argyle socks. I don’t care that they don’t match my outfit, but hey sometimes you want to get a little funky with running.

brushedpants

From trial and error, don’t forget the neck! Protect it. If I keep everything else toasty warm and forget the neck, I’m forgetting something huge just as if I forgot gloves. I really can’t see myself running with a scarf, so instead I use a neck warmer. Mine is from Lululemon, and I can cinch it at the sides to snug it really tight around my neck, or keep it nice and loose.

And.. here I am, post run…. and not as frosty as I would of thought.

outside-run

Now… it’s snowing like crazy, but I got in two miles so I did it.

Earn Your Turkey 5K.

25 Nov
So I ran this race. And even though I earned a new PR, I’m not ready to talk about it. You see, I understand that running isn’t perfect but this run was flat out challenging emotionally. I’m having trouble finiding the words, and I’d rather not even attempt to put my feelings together. But it was one of those races where you feel so damn defeated on the inside, hitting the wall so early on, and questioning my own strength. Yes, there’s more to it… but that’s the jist of it.

runaff

I should be happy with 38:29 12:25 pace, but I can’t. I wanted more.

Eat Live Run.

11 Nov
Believe it or not, I’ve only been running since January 2010. Whenever people ask me about my fitness habits, the first thing that always comes out of my mouth is that “I’m a runner”. I usually get the weird stares as in why, as if they couldn’t even comprehend the why of running, but sometimes there’s one person in a group who gets it. Those who get running, I swear… we need more of you around! But yes, I’m a runner and my path to running has been a difficult, challenging and rewarding experience.

In the past eleven months (and counting), I’ve ran a total of 224-miles! Just recently, I completed my first official race, only to begin training for another race just in two weeks! Because of my incredible success at my first race, finishing in a 39:30 a 12:35 pace, I have big goals for my next race. Secondly, training has just begun and already, I feel like I’m off to a great start – but of course, I want to avoid burn out.

PS: All I want are juicy fruits and carbs. Gotta love training for that.