Category Archives: working out

13.1…my way.

Today, I ran ‘my own’ half marathon.

Almost exactly two years to the day since my first half marathon (that was, in my mind, botched).

Just over a year since my second half marathon (that proved that I am *not* a racer).

I finally proved to myself that I can run 13.1…my own way, in a time that I knew I could (yet never quite achieved in aforementioned half marathon race environments!).

It was my do-over that I have had in the back of my mind ever since that botched second attempt at a half marathon.

And I did it with no fanfare, no stated goal, nothing. (just a few quiet sherpas pushing me along – thank you ladies, you are truly, truly the best. Especially that 5:30 am text message from this one, who I love so!)

Because that’s how I roll.

Some say a goal isn’t ‘real’ until you write it down.

I call bullshit on that and say a goal is a goal no matter if it’s on paper or not.

So, I give you…13.1…my way. 

***

Up we woke, at 5:30, pitch black, but thankfully, relatively warm (57 degrees), clear skies, no rain (windswept rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, egad!).

Out the door by 6 am, and it was still dark, and honestly, that first mile in almost darkness felt so bad ass, I loved it! (though I was straining my eyes to find bunnies, since I knew it would be prime time for them!)

I probably went out a little too fast, feeling all bad ass and stuff (LOL), and after the second or third mile, I started to go into mental brain mode, but a spate of 6 bunny sightings perked me up.

I started to break the run up in my head into pieces, and just think of the next ‘spot’ along the route I’d created that I would be happy at, while chanting ‘let the run come to you’ (also a la this girl!) and ‘run the mile you’re in’ over and over in my head.

Somewhere around mile 7 or 8, I started hitting a wall. Too early, in my book, and I started to wonder if last week’s 12 mile redemption run would be my best run of this ‘secret’ training and this one would soon turn shittastic.

Well, it didn’t hit the shittastic zone, but there were a few miles in there that I was thisclose to a bit of a hissy fit. My legs felt so.tired. And I stupidly (in hindsight) wore my new replacement Brooks Ghost 4s (thinking – same shoe – shouldn’t matter that I haven’t worn them yet) and was feeling blisters forming. On. Both. Ankles.

A different fueling strategy (one Honey Stinger around the one hour mark, a Healthy Bite a la this girl around the 8 or 8.5 mile mark, and one more Honey Stinger around mile 11, with water, of course) seemed to helped, but I just kept burning out fast.

Saving grace was a bit of a walk ‘stop’ as M got two pages (did I mention he was on call last night and this morning? trooper, my sherpa, isn’t he?) and I tried to talk myself down. I was again, thisclose to hissy fit status and almost wanted to cut out the little loop add-on I added to get us to 13.1 (reasoning that 12.8 was ‘close enough’ even though I knew I’d be pissed at myself after). What did M say to that?

“We are running 13.1 miles today. If we don’t do that loop, I’d call that a fail, wouldn’t you?” <-man, does he know how to turn my mental wacked brain back on to myself, doesn’t he?!

After that tough love talk, we powered through the last of our run, two bloody heels and all, and did it. Stopped, held hands, caught our breathe and realized we did it….

In 2:18. 

My ‘secret’ goal? Anything under 2:30 and I would have been thrilled.

2:18? 

Frigin awesome.

Today, we ran a half marathon. 13.1 miles. My (our) way.

And I couldn’t (again) be more proud.

On run sherpa’ing.

Today, I ran 9 miles with M.

9.

Suddenly, my mileage has crept up without even so much as planning, just quietly adding on to our usual route the past few weeks, one more mile each week.

And why? 

Because I quietly want to support my sister Jess and brother in law Scott, on their quest for 26.2.

So I anointed myself ‘virtual sherpa’ duties. To run ‘out of my comfort zone’ every Tuesday morning as they set out for their long runs, runs that each week set them out of their comfort zones into continued PDR territory. 16, 18 and today, 20 miles strong.

I’ve gotten up, laced up my sneakers and simply ran, these past few weeks, in particular, strong(er), happy, and sending as many vibes, strength and faith their way as they conquered more miles.

And unintentionally and unexpectedly, I’ve found myself embracing longer distances. Slowly ticking away. Gaining confidence. And wondering. How many more can I tack on? M and I ran quietly much of the time today, calling out bunnies (fewer and farther in between lately, sad face. But I told Jess I sent them her way this morning, as they saw NINE bunnies on their run. See? Even the bunnies are sherpa’ing!), and having my own personal jukebox as M sang out random tunes that were stuck in his head.

I ran proud. For my sister. For my brother in law. For M. And last but not least, for me

Quietly sherpa’ing. Quietly supporting. And being the proudest sister I think I have ever been. The spotlight’s on her, and I love it. I love every minute of it. No comparison games, no ‘wishing it was me,’ just support. And that feels incredibly rewarding in itself.

Run-imations: run-mesia

*The third in my mini-series on my ruminations run-imations on running: A snapshot into my brain, on the good, the mental, and even, the bad runs. What I learn, what inspires, what challenges*

It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s 75 degrees at 7 am and 87% humidity. The air is heavy.

Yet you told yourself you were gonna run after teaching barre n9ne.

Even though M isn’t feeling well so this will make it a solo run.

You venture out. First few steps are okay, surprisingly. You let up the tension in your neck and set out at a good pace, not too fast, not too slow, watch the breathing.

And then, about 10 mins in, all hell breaks loose.

Every step feels ridiculously hard. Breathing labored, heart racing, sweat already pouring down your face.

You question why the eff you are running. It’s way too humid.

You question WHY you run. It’s too hard. It’s not fun. It’s too hard.

You swear at every step. You curse the wind (too hot), you curse the sun (way too strong for 7 am!), you curse your breathing (akin to running sprints yet it’s a slow and steady pace, wtf).

You want to stop. You want to quit. You seriously question your sanity.

Why run? Why do you like it? You clearly hate it. So stop, stop running. Right now.

It’s too hard. It’s too hot. The sweat is pouring down your face, and to top it off, no bunnies in sight.

(you snort to yourself…it’s even too hot for the bunnies to be creepin’!)

And then? You’re at the turnaround point to your quick and dirty 3 miler and you push it out of your head (it’s ‘only’ 3 miles and you are struggling? Stop being a wuss).

And you feel better. You feel stronger. You feel past the point of sweatiness where it doesn’t even matter that you’re sweating, and gross, and breathing hard.

Because this is what running is all about. Drenched in sweat from head to toe. Every muscle in your body doing its job. Working.

You look around at summer in full bloom everywhere you look. You embrace the heat, the hot sun, the warm breeze.

(because come winter? You’ll be pissed at yourself that you were actually bitching about that when you have snot – TMI – frozen to your face!)

And sure, you don’t see any bunnies today, but you usually do. Their ears peeking out from the blades of grass, their velvety fur and white fluffy tails.

You stop. At the end of your 3 mile run and you smile. Even with the sweat dripping down your body, including your upper lip (so sexy – not), the back of your neck and all through your hair. And smile.

THAT’s what running is about. THAT is why I run.

The end game. The feeling at the end of your run when you got through the mental game, and the physical challenge that running puts you through like no other.

And you realize that it’s yet another case of run-mesia (= run amnesia), as you walk up the three flights of stairs, legs burning, but mind, body and soul lit up, happy, content and proud.

Run on my friends, even when it sucks. It’s still worth it. 

That is why I run.

You might see the sweat, but I see the run-mesia setting in 😉

~~

On a quick note? My weekly chase goal – one and only – is to run like the wind this week. Embrace it. Get four good, solid runs in (checking one off that list today!) and don’t go into it dreading it…because what’s the point of that? Self-fulfilling prophecy, no? I need to go into my runs with that end game in mind – harness the run-mesia. So, that, my friends, is my plan this week! Check out some other weekly chase goals on Melissa’s blog!

Thoughts and stuff. In bullets.

‘Scuse my uber boring title of this post, but it’s what I got tonight, folks 😉

I give you…thoughts and stuff. In bullets. 

  • Ever since I proclaimed about living more and chronicaling less, I’ve felt like I’m in a weird limbo with this blog (though, note the pretty new layout? Thank free WordPress template – lol – but it’s pretty, right??). How often to write. What to write. IF to write. So I’m sure when I post will continue to be random and topics will be all over the place. I apologize in advance? I’ll find my groove again, I think, I’m just ruminating (and living!)
  • I have barely seen M all week. We have had opposite evening schedules this week and a few unexpected meetings for M, including one impinging on our weekly mid-week date night in (insert sad face). Needless to say, our Friday night date night in can’t come soon enough.
  • I’m having a hard time not can’t wait-ing for the weekend lately. Sometimes I guess we’re ‘allowed’ to look forward (a little too much) to the weekend, right? I am working on shifting my focus and getting through some frustrating work stuff and focusing on things I am loving, like all things barre n9ne of course. (lots of teaching coming up, love!!)
  • Speaking of barre n9ne, check out this Q&A with one of our rockstars, Amanda. We celebrated one year since the 60 day challenge officially rolled out and she’s been doing it since day one. 53 lbs down people!!! The new challenge kicked off today and I am loving all of the before and after pics I am seeing of everyone doing the challenge now, it is absolutely incredible. Go b9’ers go!!
  • I had a hilarious feigned Twitter ‘fight’ with my sis today to snap us both out of grumpy moods. It was hysterical, you’ll have to check it out for yourself but I’m still laughing 😉
  • I love impromptu me nights. Like tonight. See aforementioned bullet on not seeing M much this week. That’s pretty much the only upside, having a me night tonight and catching up on Chopped 😉
  • As we enter August, I’ll be damned if I am going to let the summer days and nights slip away. There will be lots of living-the-shit out of summer up in here. Complete with a day trip to Maine this weekend, another #lakation coming up, and more 😉
  • Since writing about my challenges anew, I am still debating on WTF to do about a bike. I DO have a mountain bike stored at my sister’s and I am starting to lean towards testing the waters (er, roads?) with that first and seeing how I do. Then investing in a bike. But we’ll see. I really just want to get out there and want M to as well, and budget-wise might be the way to go this season and invest next season…and hopefully a house won’t be *that* far out of our future where we can properly store them etc…#ruminating
  • On the topic of aforementioned challenges, I had a few killer runs this week! *patting self on back* Sometimes renewed focus helps me mentally I guess huh?
  • I booked a quick trip to Tampa in February to visit one of my closest friends who I NEVER get to see and I couldn’t be happier!! Finally found a great price and while it is 6 months away, February HERE vs. February in FL will be glorious. As will M finally meeting Amy and her husband Eric (and us both meeting their son!!). I am pretty sure M and Eric will have a bromance. They are SO similar in humor and personality. Cannot wait. 😉

Holy cow. I guess I had a lot of little rambles on my mind. I kinda dig bullets. They’re cool. 😉 Now if you’ll ‘scuse me, I’ll go back to my me night now. Thanks for reading 😉

Challenges anew.

I give up.

I need a new challenge.

I love ‘running to run’ and I love my commitment to the barre (and recommittment!) and continued focus in a healthy, fit and happy lifestyle. But I feel like I am going into a bit of maintenance mode and whenever I hit that I fear one thing: stagnation. And challenges are what drive me, let’s face it. Everyone needs a break from a challenge, whether it be physical, career or life-related, but then there are times where you want to – as one of my besties says – amp it up and challenge yourself.

So, this is me, challenging myself anew.

There are a few things I am toying with, mind you. One of them?

Running, of course. Relearn to breathe in humid conditions. Don’t let myself get to the panic point where the only way to calm myself is to stop running. (sometimes that’s just unavoidable but most times, it can be controlled before it gets to that point – that is the point I need to get to). And? Run farther. I’d love to hit 10 miles again. And I’d love to do it ‘sherpa-style’ and run with my sister on one of her long marathon training runs. So that’s my goal. Fix the breathing. Hit double digits. At least once before the summer is over. Just to prove I can do it (again). Faster, stronger, more confident.

The other challenge I am toying with?

Getting a road bike and – gulp – ride…clip-in style, to boot. (go big or go home, right??). I have a bike, but it’s not a road bike and I don’t even need a fancy one, just something beginner, something used, no bells and whistles (friends! any suggestions on brand, type etc?? Locals – recommendations where??). I want to ride. I want to feel the air rush past my face as I whiz past those runners (since I always swear at them as they glide along past me as I am trudging along feeling uber slow in comparison!).  I just think it would be the perfect complement to running and barre and an opportunity to also go long. Explore the area I live in. There are SO many great areas to ride here and running can only take me so far. 

So that’s my goal. I need to investigate and do some research but any tips and suggestions would be awesome. I think M will get one with me and it’ll be such a fun way to work out together, in addition to running together.

Challenges anew. Let’s do this!

(hop on over to NEW half marathoner (woohoo!) Melissa’s blog to see the Weekly Chase in Action – I completely forgot to add this earlier when I blogged this, so here you go! Mini update! Check it out and get motivated!!)