The Runners High

    

imageEver since having C, my running had been pretty lackluster in the mental department. I would be able to get in the run but never felt awesome and didn’t feel like it was what I wanted to be when doing it. I would try to relax and take it easy and enjoy it, but I just felt like a foreigner running along the street. I didn’t feel normal and I couldn’t focus on anything besides how awkward I felt and how much I wasn’t enjoying it. I tried to think back to when I loved running and if I was doing anything differently to make me like it then. It just wasn’t fun and I felt like how most normal people talk about running. “I HATE running. How can you like it? You like to run? Ugh, it’s horrible.” I tried to think back to that runners high feeling but it’s been over a year since I had experienced it and I almost had come to believe that it was all in my head. Maybe I didn’t even like running?! I even told B, “I think I’m just going to stop running. It’s just so much work and I don’t love it.” 

I have been back running for a little over a month and each run seemed like such a chore and I was dreading most of them. It was a lot of work to time everything perfectly, get out there, and then come home sweaty and not feeling great. I don’t know if it was because I am a little bit heavier than what I was that things just don’t seem like they used to or what, but it was just frustrating to keep doing something that I used to love and literally have no feeling of any enjoyment at all. It’s also been interesting with coaching because I would tell the kids to push through and to keep focusing on the last 200 of the 800 meter workout, or things to try to motivate them but I almost felt hypocritical because I wasn’t doing the same thing to myself when I ran. I just felt so blah about running in general. My love for it was definitely still missing.

We had a great practice the other day and I was motivated by the kids and how hard they were working. Some days practices are so easy and just click and this was one of them. The majority of them were on their clocks, pushing themselves and looked great. They were listening and working hard which is so nice to see when you’re trying your best to help them improve. I was so proud of them and how they treated their workout and got it done without much complaining.

I had a 30 minute window while B was home before dinner and I decided to begrudgingly lace up my shoes and head out for another disappointing adventure. I went my normal 5K route which is through the neighborhood, along the riverbed and then back home. As I ventured out, the weather was perfect and I started to feel good. My music was going and I was feeling motivated to just breathe and try to relax.  The first mile felt pretty good, and as I rounded the river bed to begin my second mile I started to feel like everything was clicking. I wasn’t out of breath, my legs didn’t hurt and they moved effortlessly. I just glided forward without much effort. 

I thought about the kids I coach and how we tell them there are no excuses when it comes to running. You put in the work or you don’t. I felt like I had put in some work and was reaping the benefits now. The hard work I had banked for over a month was paying off!

I hit my stride and ran right into the the third mile, which was pure magic. It held the feelings that had alluded me for some time. It was euphoric and everything I was missing when it came to running. I ran and it felt so easy. My legs just went forward, my arms fell into place and my music had the perfect beat. My breathing was consistent and I didn’t feel like I was gasping for air. I just kept going and didn’t have to think about how much work it was or what was going wrong, because everything felt so right. It was the feeling I had wanted to once again experience. Finally, I got off the river bed and knew that my run was almost over. As I rounded the corner to head home I felt my breathing becoming heavy. Not because I was tired or winded, but because I was tearing up at finally having that feeling return. I remembered why I do love to run. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

January Recap

    

My goals for the month of January were:

1. Sign up for a race – Done! It did motivate me to sign up for a race and give me a lot of drive to train for it! I think I will try to run another race in March and will keep signing up for small 5Ks and 10Ks to keep me motivated. Once C gets into the Bob without the carseat I know running will be easier to put into our schedule!

2. Run 3 days a week – Done! This was actually challenging so I know 3 days a week is good for me right now. There were some REALLY challenging runs in this too which I know is because of the lack of sleep I’m getting. So I am going to keep this goal the same for the month of February. I’d like to get in one ‘long run’ a week though.

3. Eat Healthy – I actually did fairly well with this too. Less drinking, more smoothies and a good amount of cheese. I started tracking my food too which always makes me eat much healthier.

4. Blog 3 times a week – I am attempting to do this still! I’ll be happy with 2 times a week. I did much better last month and then my laptop stopped working, so we are working on getting that fixed!

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.38.19 AMOverall, I ran 32 miles and walked 10 miles, which I am happy with. My average pace was probably right around 9 minutes per mile which, to be honest is a bit discouraging, but I know it will just take time and I’ll be back to my 8:30s soon. I know the biggest thing these next few months is going to be consistency to start feeling back to my normal self.

I am thinking of running a half marathon come fall to see where I’m at and give me a big goal to train for. I just don’t think a marathon is in the cards this year with so much adjustment to schedules and figuring out life with this little monkey, but that’s okay, a half marathon will be fun and a good goal to shoot for.

We also had a good month as a family and are getting back into the swing of things of B working and being gone and my schedule with practice. We even had the chance to head to Knotts Berry Farm to visit Snoopy! It was pretty fun. Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.38.10 AMOnto this month… My February Goals are to:

1. Run 3 times a week including 1 long run (6 miles or more) I know the key to getting in the long run is going to be scheduling a time to do it, no matter the day. I also know I need to just go run when I have the opportunity instead of being lazy.

2. Do 1 strengthening workouts during the week. I haven’t done this before but I think doing some weights during nap time will help with getting my body back into shape. Nap time would be the perfect time to try this out and will also prepare me for going back to the gym which I hope to do in the near future. I am going to try to do some videos online or DVDs I have. We’ll see how this works out.

3. Purge a huge chunk of my closet. I know I have a bunch of stuff that I don’t wear and I just need to get rid of it, instead of holding onto it for ‘that one time I might wear it.’ I do this a lot but it’s time to get rid of most of it and reorganize my shelfs in there. Boring but true! Another nap time chore.

Here’s to a great month of LOVE! :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Run to Remember LA 2016 Race Recap

    

So this past weekend I ran the Run to Remember LA, which was an inaugural race. It was pretty fun and benefitted a great cause that is close to our family. I went into the race just hoping to finish in under an hour. It started at the Grove in Los Angeles, which is about a 40 minute drive from my house. The course claimed to be flat and it was not too bad, but I’m just out of shape. I laid out my clothes the evening before and packed my bag with everything I needed. It’s always helpful for me to lay everything out so I don’t forget anything the morning of. I wore B’s “Station Shirt” and ended up not wearing my ear warmer headband because I thought it might get a little to warm for that.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.43.29 AM

As I was getting ready I realized in 2015 I didn’t run one race… It made me nervous thinking it had been so long since I’ve raced! The morning started out okay – but I did have 2 middle of the night wake ups, in which I just put her pacifier back in her mouth and she goes right back to sleep but still… that 4:30 am wake up time was a bit to early for my liking. I definitely didn’t take that into consideration when signing up for a race. I drove down to the Grove and there was absotluly no traffic, but once I got off the freeway it was pretty backed up heading to the Grove to park. I was stuck in the line for over 30 minutes and hadn’t move more than a mile. Even though I had allowed myself over an hour and a half to get to the start line, I started to think about parking on a side street and jog over to the starting line. As the time was ticking away and I still wasn’t moving, I just pulled onto a street and parked. I made sure to drop a pin on my iPhone so I would know how to make it back after the race. A bunch of other people were making the same decision and everyone was getting out of their cars and putting on their racing gear.

Once I got to the start line it was smooth sailing. The portapotty lines were a little long but normal and after I went to the bathroom, I got into a corral by the half marathon 10:30 pacers. I was excited to run a race again and got butterflies in my stomach! I hadn’t experienced that feeling in a long time. Finally they called Wave 4 up to the line and we were off. I took off like a rocket, which was a poor choice, but oh well, the adrenaline and excitement got to me.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.45.59 AM

We went through a bunch of main streets in LA and it was fun to see all the little stores and coffee shops lining the street. The turn around was through Paramount Pictures studios which was actually really cool because they had a tribute area to the fallen First Responders and a bunch of old Fire Trucks and Police cars. It was cool to see the back lot area! Then we just turned around and ran the same way back. It was fairly easy and the last corner turn to the finish line was a hallelujah moment!

Onto the race…

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.46.11 AM

Mile 1 – took off WAY too fast and it burned me later in the race. I know better but oh well, it was fun and I was excited. There was a very slight incline which I also didn’t take into account so I was working extra hard.

Mile 2 – More relaxed but paid for that first mile! I started to slow down and reminded myself I wasn’t only running a 5K.

Mile 3 – I was definitely glad to see the turn around point! I kept wondering where it was. I got a little bit of water at a water station too and then headed back toward the finish. I also got a little choked up at the tribute area, thinking about B and all the firefighters and police officers I know.

Mile 4 – This was a tough mile for me, and usually is the hardest mile in a 10K. I was thinking I had TWO more miles to go and my legs were starting to feel really heavy.

Mile 5 – I knew I only had a mile and .2 to go so I just told myself that over and over in my head. I said please just keep going you can run for the maximum of 12 more minutes! My feet hurt pretty bad and my legs were really sore but I just kept going.

Mile 6 – YAY the finish is in sight! FINALLY! I finished in 56:08, which was well under and hour. I think if I would have paced myself smarter I would have run better but oh well. The first post baby race is in the books! The medal from the race is pretty cool and I am really glad I did it! Maybe I will think about running the half marathon next year.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.59.37 AMThe only thing that came to bite me in the butt was when I got back to my car I had a ticket waiting for me. UGH. Apparently the street I parked on was permit only and all the cars around me had tickets too. It was a bummer they didn’t have more traffic directors to make the Grove traffic flow better in the morning so I wasn’t panicked and parked on the side street AND it’s also kind of silly that I paid to show my support to first responders… and one of them gave me a ticket! Oh well, just doing their job I guess. Overall it was a good day and I came home to a happy little baby and was able to take a nap when C was taking her afternoon nap so I was able to catch up on some sleep. It was a fun day and now I’m already searching for my next race!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Signing up!

One of my goals this month is to sign up and run a race and today, I signed up for a race! It was scary but exciting and it’s… THIS WEEKEND! It’s a 10K which I think will be the perfect starting distance for me, more on that in a bit. It’s a fairly local race that has a great cause that means a lot to me, as it is a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers and first responders. B is a first responder and I’m excited to support this cause and run this race.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.49.16 PMI looked over the course and it seems relatively flat and runs through interesting areas that I haven’t run through before, so that should take my mind off running and make it fly by, I hope. I know my goals for the race are to finish and hopefully will be done right around an hour. I know I need to stay relaxed and enjoy myself instead of racing, but I am competitive so we’ll see how I feel.

Why did I choose the 10K distance? I thought about doing a 5K, but I know myself and know I would run too fast in that short of distance right now. I usually dislike 10Ks because they are a difficult distance to race but I knew this would be just far enough for me to start out and not push myself too hard during the race.

This race has both the 10K and Half Marathon option and after I looked at my training, I thought that this would be a perfect starting point. So far this month I’ve ran/walked 30 miles and have been feeling good though I am pretty sore after my longer runs. All my running lately has been roughly 3 miles to 45 minutes which takes me to right about 5 miles, so another mile should be just long enough. I also am going to do an hour run this Wednesday and that will be a good place to see where I’m at before the race on Sunday. Unfortunately, B is working so he won’t be able to come but it will still be a lot of fun and I’m kind of glad I can go alone and do it for myself and take some time to myself to reflect on the race after.

I think this will a great place for me to start and even though I’m pretty nervous, I’m really looking forward to it! Here’s to the first race post baby this weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fitting it all in

Every day I hope to fit in a run. About 50% of the time I get it done. Being a mom and juggling life is just plain hard and I’m still trying to figure it out. I think it’s constantly changing and maybe I’ll just be figuring it out for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for my little babe but I’m also a 100% a better person when I get the chance to run. With that being a harder thing to accomplish these days, juggling all things important to me and prioritizing has become key to my day. Throw in the rainy weather we’ve been having lately, and I’m the driver of the struggle bus. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.07.48 AM

I totally understand the saying “Clean house, put together wife, or dinner on the table. Pick two but you can’t have all three.” It is hard to make it all happen when your interrupted by a shorter than normal nap or a fussy baby. And right when you seem to have it figured out… it changes. I sometimes find myself struggling with the tasks at home and feeling overwhelmed. I’ve found that I need to stand back, take a breath and pick my battles. I would like to vacuum every day. I’d like to fold the clean laundry as soon as the timer goes off. I’d like to make a bunch of the new recipes I just pinned on Pinterest. Then there’s my devotional, the dirty dishes, and countless chores and tasks. Not to mention a husband to stay connected with as I’m listening to the “Beep, Beep, Beep” sounds of her puppy car for the 215th time today. And a shower? That’s one that falls to the wayside far more often than I’d like to admit.

I’m so happy we’ve come as far as we have and I feel like I am am finally adjusting to the new role as mom. She turns the wheel on her puppy car. She’s kind of trying to roll over. She smiles so much and makes fun noises. Yesterday she laughed ten times! It’s these little moments that I don’t want to wish away and I know I need to soak them in because in a blink of an eye my sleeping all day newborn turned into an infant and before soon we’ll be celebrating her first birthday.

It’s easy to get lost in the mundane and feel overwhelmed. The last thing I feel like I have time to do is run, but it’s the number one thing that makes me feel like I have energy, makes me happy, and releases a lot of stress. So when I stand back at 5 pm and look at the clutter on the table and the fact I haven’t been to the market in four days, I need to keep reminding myself that it’s okay to take the 30 minutes for myself and get out my running stroller and just go. The clutter will still be there when I return. To be honest it will most likely be there for the next few days. I can always eat cereal for dinner.

Finding that balance of this new life has been a challenge. But I know the best thing for me is to take a deep breath, take the extra time to go for a run and not worry about the little things. It’s only the 2nd week of January but so far so good with my goal of running 3 days a week!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments