Tag Archives: run-imations

Run-imations: run-volutions.

I haven’t done a ‘run-imnations’ (ruminations – get it, I’m so punny…) post in awhile and on the last handful of runs I’ve had, I’ve really thought about my ‘run-volution’ of sorts over the past few months in particular.

Coming back from a bit of an ITBS injury that kept me not running for almost two months and slowly coming back into my regular runs (3-4 days a week), I am amazed at how differently I run now. Not only physically run, but mentally, too.

It’s no secret that I am a mental runner. I am almost always fighting being too in-my-head, fearing a bad run, stressing over steady breathing, a side cramp, anything that would inhibit a good run.

But now?

If I start to head down that path, I ask myself “are my legs ok?” The answer is almost ALWAYS ‘yes.’ And it’s mental. My legs feel happy, strong, NOT tired, so why am I worrying?

Run on.

I used to mentally add up how many miles I was running per week and aim for XX miles, adding too much emphasis and importance on a number than just having a good run.

But now?

I don’t run in miles. I run in minutes. (a la Lindsay, who does this oh so well and inspiring!) And I run happily whether it’s 30 minutes, 45, an hour, or more.

Run on.

I used to panic when I start breathing weird, or just struggle with breathing, depending on the air conditions (too cold, or too humid are typically my vices!) and get mad if I needed to walk it out.

But now?

I will stop and walk a few minutes to even out my breathing and – this is the key – not label the run bad because I had to stop. M is constantly reminding me of this when I try to call a run bad if I stop and walk it off, and tell me that we are ‘just running’ – it’s okay if we stop, we are just enjoying the run and the time together. Yes, yes, he is so right. Every time I try to venture down that path. (side note: M truly IS my run-sherpa and lately, I have realized that more and more, I am so grateful that we do almost all of our runs together each week, it truly is a special time and I adore every minute of it!)

Run on.

I used to want to ‘run happy’ and actually BE happy when I was running. And more often than not, I’d find myself in my head, struggling, breathing wrong and well…unhappy.

But now?

I run happy almost always because I am SO happy to be running, to not be sidelined with an injury, and now, to be running outside, fresh air, working hard with that ‘legs feeling worked’ oh so good feeling, and sweat dripping down my face. THAT is happy running.

And it is something that I don’t think I ever truly achieved before I couldn’t run.

It’s amazing what an injury can do, no matter how big or small that injury or recovery is.

And today, as M and I finished our run and I almost run into someone running in our direction – because I was SO letting go and just running, I didn’t even notice – that never would have happened before!! – I thought ‘that was a tough run’ but instead of a frown, I was smiling. A tough, but GOOD run. A happy run.

bed8edde0b6796de594c47253b276435

On running, tragedy, and inspiration.

I almost chose not to write a post about yesterday’s Boston Marathon tragedy, but the more I read, the more blogs, tributes and gestures, the more I fall in love with running even more than I ever thought I could.

Because I’ve always been teetering on the fence of love-to-run and love-to-hate-to-run, despite my best efforts to get rid of the ‘hate,’ there are still days I struggle. With breathing, with pace, with ‘in my head-ness’ and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever love the sport as much as others will.

But the truth is? It doesn’t matter. And it never will. 

What matters is that I do it because I DO love it, at the heart of it, because it is the one sport, I truly believe, that never gets any easier, no matter if you are an elite, a jogger, or somewhere in between. You run because it is a challenge. Every.single.time. There is no such thing as an ‘easy’ run. (despite those that call their runs an ‘easy run day…’). You may run with ease, but the act of running itself? Not. Easy. Ever.

But my point with all of this is…after yesterday’s tragedy, I honestly don’t know that I have seen a community come together as quick as this, to respond, react, support. From instagram, to Twitter, to Facebook, to tributes, to candlelight vigils, to worldwide support in every single way…there it was. And it was, and still is, beautiful. Every single time I come across something else beautiful, in light of tragedy.

644286_10151551057435682_187440104_n

This quote (Runner’s World):

“It’s the only sport in the world where if a competitor falls, the others around will pick him or her up. It’s the only sport in the world open to absolutely everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or any other division you can think of. It’s the only occasion when thousands of people assemble, often in a major city, for a reason that is totally peaceful, healthy and well-meaning. It’s the only sport in the world where no one ever boos anybody.”

This act of kindness.

And this ‘virtual’ run that has spread so quickly, so virally. And you better believe I ran this morning. M and I ran and ran, in silence, our longest run since the fall. It was tough. I was in my head at the start, but by the end, I felt accomplished, happy, and in a way, paying it forward.

521807_10151537915436170_396945131_n

Take a minute. Pay it forward. Tell someone you love them. Run. Walk. Smile. Do something. Be inspired today, and take one step in front of the other, onward.

 

 

Musings on the (mostly recovered) knee and running outside.

I’ve been waiting to talk more about my knee until I felt as though I was (mostly) recovered (partially also not to jinx it, of course!), but after two fantastic outdoor runs this weekend, it felt like the perfect time.

What I’ve learned so far?

Patience is a freaking virtue. I hate to admit it, because it was incredibly difficult at first. Despite this injury being relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, and of knee injuries generally, I consider myself extremely fortunate that it’s really only taken about three months since the pain first started (December) through physical therapy (starting in January for 8 weeks) to being back to running almost as regularly as before.

Leg strength and those PT exercises really do work wonders. I actually really enjoyed going to physical therapy and learning where I have some weaknesses (a little in my hips, left quad only [odd!] mainly) and how to work those areas, and the opposing areas to strengthen and improve my legs overall. While I went into this thinking my legs are strong – and they are – knowing that there are small areas of weakness that, with a little strengthening daily, really REALLY makes a big difference!).

Slow and steady wins the race. Okay, that statement never quite made sense to me in the literal sense, BUT, this approach has really helped me a) not get frustrated that I am not back where I was endurance, distance and speed-wise as before and b) steadily work my way back to 3-4 runs per week (4 has not quite happened yet, but that’s also due to teaching a lot of classes lately each week – wheeee – and I am trying to be smart about it and not overdo it!) and steadily increase my pace. Not that speed is important to me, because it is not, but I lost a lot of my ‘regular’ treadmill pace in those months of not running and I am realistic in knowing it’ll take time to get back.

What did my outdoor runs this weekend teach me?

I feel so much more satisfied running outside than on the (dread)mill. Even though my runs were shorter, about 3.5 miles each, my legs just felt so much more worked than when I run on the mill. I LOVE that feeling. Absolutely adore it. Every area of my quads, glutes, hammies and shins felt it. I am sorer today as a result and ya know what? That hurts so good. THAT is what I missed about running on the mill this winter and not running at all. I LOVE that feeling.

My legs feel stronger and sturdier post-PT. I was amazed at how much stronger I felt as I ran. Saturday I ran for the first time with a (soon to be!) instructor at barre n9ne (she is another 60 day transformation story – check her story here, side note/plug!!) and it just felt like a good run (sans one side cramp). Happy, not stressy or hard in a bad way (struggling way). Sunday, I ran with M post teaching at the studio, and the run felt amazing. Every stride felt good. I didn’t feel tempted to stop at a few spots I usually do on the route we took. Strong and sturdy. Slow and steady. Wins the race. (see, I guess that statement does work…hehe)

And I can’t wait to run outside more, more, more!! After only running once outside before this in 2013 (gah!), with this girl (kindred!), it’s making me itch for more outdoor runs. The more, the better. Consistency will be key for me now. Come onnnnn spring!!

On that note, I hope you all had a great weekend…we certainly did, much more to share on that soon, but lest I jinx myself, I shall leave it at that 😉

bed8edde0b6796de594c47253b276435

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!

Run-imations: The turning point mile and the bunny sighting ‘rules’

*The second 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*

This morning, M and I set out on a quick 5K(ish) run after I taught my 6 am barre n9ne class. While I try to avoid planning most of my runs right after teaching (or taking) a barre method class (specifically, since there is a lot of lower body work), I made sure to show more than do so my legs would feel fresh. We set out for a short run, regardless though, and off we went. The route we took, down a really long side road that is basically 1.5 miles one way (longest side roads ever, where we live – my sis can concur!), so we planned to run up and back.

I prepared myself to just ‘know’ that the first 10 mins or so might suck, as they sometimes do, but surprisingly, my legs didn’t feel like lead (chalking that up also in part to yesterday’s rest day). I read in Runner’s World yesterday how to warm up during a short run, and treating that first mile as less warm up and more as if it’s what it is – the first mile of your run, run it strong, and I think that really helped me mentally, but physically too. However, about 2 miles in, my breathing labored and I started to feel it, but instead of getting frustrated? I felt it, but let it go by. I realized then that my ‘turning point’ mile lately has been around mile 2.5-3. That’s when I really start feeling great and into the run. It made me wish our run was longer, and if we had time, I think we definitely would have gone farther today.

Isn’t it amazing what a rest day does for your legs when you run the next? Or even just an off day from running, period? 

Isn’t it amazing what being in tune with your body is, rather than just letting the mental-ness take over? 

And isn’t it amazing how much you can learn just by simple tweaks like that?

#rum-inations.

Speaking of running…M and I have concocted quite the fun game. Bunny sightings. Who sees them first (wins, obviosuly), and how many we see on each run. It has led to us looking like full-on bunny creepers, as we scan the yards, left to right, and then looking back into crevices, behind bushes etc, as we run, but it also helps keep my mind off the run and we both get pretty competitive, I must say.

So, here are the bunny sighting rules, for your reading pleasure 😉

  1. You see it first – it counts…but only if you point, and say ‘BUNNY!” (true story)
  2. A ‘fake out’ bunny sighting never counts. Even if you swear you saw a bunny. (and then it just magically dissapeared)
  3. A bunny sighing ‘repeat’ (seeing the same bunny twice – which really only happens on a short run, like today’s, where we looped back within 5 mins of seeing said bunny and saw him again, almost the same spot) only counts as ANOTHER bunny sighting IF the person who saw it again is not the original bunny ‘sighter’ (this was M’s rule and it totally backfired on him, as I scoffed, but then we saw ANOTHER repeat bunny and I called ‘BUNNY!’ and he said no, it doesn’t count, we saw him already. And I said, it sure does, because I saw him THIS time, YOU saw him last time! #winning).
  4. You cannot count a bunny sighting from the previous day in your ‘bunny count’ – it just doesn’t count, plain and simple. M tried to do this on Friday, but I didn’t let him slide 😉
  5. The winner of each day’s bunny sightings gets an ass slap (hey, everyone wins in this rule, don’t we?!)

That was fun to write 😉 I didn’t realize we actually had so many rules when I first thought of this post, this morning, after M’s bogus ‘bunny repeat sightings don’t count’ rule. (which I of course posted to Facebook to see who agreed with me!).

But it just goes to show how much fun M and I really do have running together and how much a bunny sighting sometimes truly gets me through a run.

If I haven’t said it before, I love summer running. Like whoa.