Friday, September 6, 2013

Hello again, after so long!

So...It has been a while.

Not only has it been a while in terms of time (over a year! I know, I know, I'm bad)-- but it also has in terms of how far I've come as a runner.

Since my last post, I ran a host of themed 5k's with the RACC winter running series in southeastern Wisconsin, which was wonderful. I ran almost all of them the first year, shaving minutes off my time, though running slower than I could when I was with friends and family to keep it fun for everyone.

March 31st of 2012, I ran my first half marathon with my brother, Ben. Ben had not been strictly a runner before (though involved in sports with lots of running, such as rugby and soccer) but had started training so he'd be able to run with me. He and I completed the half marathon in 2:19:11, which is a 10:37 minute per mile pace. What's especially impressive to me is that I was reading one of my old blogs on here, and saw that I was impressed with myself for keeping the pace of around 10:30 for two miles.

The next big milestone was that after that, I went out and ran the Chicago marathon in 2012, at a total of 5:45:11 :] It was a super incredible experience that I can hardly even describe in words, though I wrote down (in a notebook) my entire experience which I'll have to transcribe here at a later date.

After that, I've since run two more half marathons (one with a new runner and friend, the Rock 'N Sole half marathon in Milwaukee, with a time of 2:43:26, and the Madison Mini Marathon with the same friend, at a time of 2:19:11...again!) and am training with my husband to run the 2013 Chicago Marathon!

Not only has my running life changed, but being able to run what I did and as much as I did completely changed my view of myself. After realizing that I could honestly do anything I set my mind to, I went out and auditioned for a play, and got a lead in a musical, which led to a wonderful run of wonderful roles in shows that were just a blast. I had more confidence in everything I did, not just my body or running ability.

Honestly, and this is where it borders on unbearably cheesy, running has COMPLETELY changed my life. I have become such a different, better person, who challenges herself at every opportunity I can, rather than hiding from the possibility of change.

If I were to give any advice to any one who is even thinking of taking on the challenge of running, I'd say: GO FOR IT. Just be prepared for your life to get a whole lot better :]

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Things Change...or, I Love Running.

I decided today, during my lunch break when I found a little bit of free time, to update my blog. Normally on Thursdays, in between my therapy shifts, I've been going for a three mile run. Today, however, I'm getting in my run tonight, with the husband.

So much has changed since I was last here. Running has become something incredible for me-- I did my second 10 mile run this past Tuesday, and I feel like I could have run for at least another three. I'm in no ways the fastest runner, but I can go on and on and on...

I did a 5k on New Years Eve-- the Race Into the New Year-- and I loved it. I completed it in 31:46, at about 10:17 per mile. For me, that's incredible. Even better is the fact that the race was the third day I had run since having a week-long stomach flu, and having to take a break for just as long. It was also the first time since the sickness that I had run over one mile without stopping, which made it a bit challenging.

I'm now able to run 6-8 miles non-stop, and I almost did my 1 mile run the other night non-stop-- I believe I walked twice, which makes me feel fantastic. My husband has started doing a few miles a week with me (once we accidentally did four, and I don't think he was very happy with me) and then he bikes the remainder that I want to run, which is nice. I work very well with a running partner. I feel like I can run longer, and that it's easier. Which isn't to say I don't enjoy my lone runs (I may end up having one tonight) but I like the company.

My husband and I are signing up for our first race together (a 5k not this weekend, but the following--at a zoo!), I'm signing up for a 10k at the end of the month, and I'm aiming for a half marathon at the end of March, as well as a full marathon in May.

Never, in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined that I would be able to come so far with my running. Part of it is the shoes. I got a new pair of shoes a little over a month ago, and they made all the difference. I run with Reebok RealFlex shoes, and they are light and let me move how I need to, especially when I'm on the trails.That, and taking it slow. I'm never concerned with my pace (only effort and distance) and I've found that with the work I'm doing, my pace increases by itself.

Also, and this may just be all in my head, I believe that I run better at night. I feel as though I can run faster and farther-- but then again, I've always enjoyed nighttime rather than daytime, and I do have a slight sensitivity to light.'s possible, I suppose. Though I do love getting my daily dose of Vitamin D.

This post has been a bit of a run-on, long-winded one, but there's a lot to catch up on. Hopefully, I can keep up with it this time, updating my efforts as I go.

I love running. It is my time to clear my head, stretch my muscles, and do things I never thought possible.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Running

I've got a cold and I'm a bit on the slower side, but I've already run 17 miles this week, and I made my holiday running goal for the week! I'm participating in AskCoachJenny's Holiday Contest-- you can check it out on facebook, here!

Back to eating garlic and vitamin C, and sleeping a ton so I can keep running, perhaps even tomorrow!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Slowly Turning Into a Runner...

I keep feeling as though someone is going to see me running and say, "Ohhh, she's not a real runner! Don't be fooled, everyone! She's faking it!"

However, I'm getting closer and closer to the point where I feel as though I will be able to tell people, "Yes. I am a Runner."

I'm not sure when that point is going to be-- in the past two weeks, I've run just a little over 40 miles. Will I need to hit one hundred miles? Will I need to have run for a full month, first? Will I have to run a mile in under 10 minutes?

I'm not quite sure what it is I'm waiting for. Maybe it's that I have no cool running gear? I've got a few pairs of leggings, one race shirt, and a bunch of random 'big shirts' that I wear, an old bra. a very tight sports bra, and a pair of 12 dollar running shoes. Maybe once I get myself a new pair of running shoes and a tech shirt, I'll call myself a runner?

Whatever the goal'll happen.

But just to be sure, I'll make sure I run another 30 miles in the next week, try to run under ten minutes on my short run, and perhaps buy a cheap new pair of running socks.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Trot!

So tomorrow, I've got my first Turkey Trot! I hesitate calling it a race, since it's only 2 miles, and not even a 5k-- nor am I going to be able to beat anyone (I don't plan on running very fast-- just fast enough to finish!). But I am, all the same, very excited! I went and picked up my first packet today, and got my first race shirt! I'm not quite sure why I'm nervous-- I ran 5 miles a couple of days ago, and today, I ran a very quick two miles (well, quick for me!) and I don't doubt I'll be able to make the two miles for the trot tomorrow. I think it's just excitement of the day-- I'm also very excited at the idea of not just running today, but also running everyday until New Years. I also got an advert in my packet for the Wisconsin Marathon and Half-Marathon, which I think I might sign up for! The idea that I think I could do a half marathon is kind of shocking to me, but also very exciting!

Tomorrow, with two different Thanksgivings to attend, I'm hoping I can do a good job with portion control. My normal diet is very healthy-- probably about 50 percent raw, and the rest as non-processed as possible, with a nice dose of protein. Though I've been eating healthier like this for the past three months or so (maybe longer?), I still have a super difficult time limiting myself when there is food in front of me. I have a hard time saying "no", especially since I love all of those foods! My goal is going to be to feel free to try everything, but a VERY small amount of each--excluding veggies, of course.

Anyways, I'm excited for tomorrow, and I'll be posting pictures of me running!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Butt Massages

It must be the way I land with my left foot (a little more on the outside than flat on), but after my long runs, my left butt cheek is sore. Never my right.

Luckily for me, my husband must have snuck in a "butt-massage" class somewhere. And you know what? I'm not upset about it at all. In fact, quite the opposite.

My happy butt dedicates tonight's smile to heating pads and Mikey.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mind Over Matter/Hello, Collarbones!

I can see my collarbones. Clearly. Not in a creepy, I'm part skeleton kind of way, but in a "wow, now that my fat is disappearing I can see my skeletal structure again!". My body is finally reaching my ideal for myself. My body is still curvy, and I look womanly, but I'm more...compact? I want to start doing some yoga, and more toning exercises to kind of tighten up. I'd be happy to stay at this weight, and get more athletic and capable of working with my body, rather than against it. That being said, losing another five pounds wouldn't depress me ;)

I took my husky running today again, and it didn't go so well. Part of the problem, I think, is that Bandit was used to pulling me, on rollerblades. I could skate as fast as he could run, so he'd get to sprint, and I'd even let him pull me for a while. I mean, he's a husky. That's what he's built for, and what he loves to do. I can't wait until it snows a lot, and I can go ski-joring/cross country skiing with him. However, for running, I don't want him pulling-- I want him on the side of me. When I switched the leash to the front of his harness, he was better. I think what I need to do is teach him that when the leash is hooked to the front of his harness, he doesn't pull, but when it's on the back, he can.

I actually ended up calling my husband to come meet us and pick him up, because I was becoming so frustrated, that it wasn't enjoyable, and probably not so beneficial for either of us. Once he picked him up, I was left driving by this really barren field, and so the wind was so difficult to run against. I started feeling exhausted, and frustrated-- I just felt like falling over when I got home and crying. When I was less than half a mile from my house, however, I decided that I didn't want to do another "re-run" later on in the day because I didn't like the way my first run went. The only person who was going to make my run shitty or a success was me. So, I bucked up, ran past my road, and went for another mile. And you know what? I was tired, but the rest of the way was great. Whereas before I was running only 1 minute and a half stints, I was running 5 or 6 minutes no problem, and walking for twenty to thirty seconds before running again. My body wasn't too tired, my mind was-- and when I decided to run, and not let my mind give up, it was a great run. I can push my body to do many things, but I think what I need to work on is making myself agree that I can.