Wow! The year is already flying by and in February I got in another 72 miles, which I was really happy with especially based on the fact that I took a week off when I was sick and in Charlotte. If I had run that week I would have put in about 20-30 miles, so I would have been right at 100, which is what I’ve been averaging per month. I have been keeping my average pace under 8:30, another change that I’ve made in my training. Now that I’m pushing myself to run faster and make sure that all my miles count towards something, it makes me start each run with a goal. Instead of just going running to get in the miles, if I don’t feel great, I cut the run short and try again the following day.
I have been having some issues with my right knee mostly from overuse and also my right shoulder. I went to the chiropractor about my shoulder and she does want me to come back a few more times to figure it out and make sure my mechanics are right. After she adjusted me and rubbed out the knot in there I did feel better the following day on my run, but it is lingering a little bit. As for my knee, more icing, foam rolling and stretching!
I have also been doing more Fast Pace Finishes, which means that on two runs a week, I will get faster each mile. It has really helped me get a lot faster and push myself at the end of my runs. The fact that we have also had a very mild winter with warmer weather has made running much easier for me. I thrive in the warm weather and haven’t had many rainy or cold running days. My sports bra and tank top tan is already back in full swing. I also tried out a new Saucony shoe, the Mirage, and it works great! It’s a lightweight shoe that I’m using on shorter runs and I’m glad I have two different shoes in the mix now including the Mirage and the Guide 7. It gives my feet a break from always running in the same shoe all the time. I recently had to get another pair of the guides because mine were worn out. I did get them back in November so it was time.
This month I also was asked to be a Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding and I’m so excited! I’ll be getting crafty for her Bachelorette Party, Bridal Shower and her wedding and I’m sure I’ll be posting some fun things that hopefully turn out well! Overall, it was a good month and I’m hoping in March to run a 5K! I need to sign up for one soon but I also want to make sure I’m 100% prepared for it.
Each run that I’ve been doing lately has had a purpose, which goes hand in hand with my goal of the year of running with purpose. It’s also had me running much faster than normal, which I am enjoying, but I forgot how much pushing yourself actually hurts! I also forgot how much more ‘maintenance’ you have to do to keep your body in top shape when you’re trying to run faster. The aches, the pains and the soreness seem to linger a bit more. I also have been having an issue with my shoulder. When I ran in high school my nerves would always have problems where when I ran, my right arm would fall asleep. I haven’t had it happen in a really long time, but lately my arm has been falling asleep and it’s so painful and weird. I feel so much pressure on my shoulder then my arm just goes numb. I have an appointment with my physical therapist to check it out this week.
BUT, when I am running faster, I’m much more comfortable running with this little guy! Since his pace seems to comfortable in the 7:50 range, we are much better partners now then when I was running 9ish minute miles, and I don’t feel like he’s going to pull my arm off when we run.
So with more speed comes more icing, especially my knee and lower back area, along with foam rolling, and also more laundry! It seems like I’m washing running clothes twice a week. I was getting a little bit lazy on rolling and taking time to ice but I started it back up last week and I’ve really felt a difference when I do it, so I know it needs to still be a priority. I also got to go for a beautiful run where I really wanted to push myself. I just relaxed and focused on my breathing and reminded myself that my legs could do the work. When I finished, I was so happy to see that I ran 7 miles in 7:44! Even though I didn’t plan on being able to get to that pace, I was relaxed and felt great.
I’m searching for a localish 5K or 10K to sign up for, it just seems like the right time to go out there and test myself again!
Getting back into the groove is always so much harder than I remember. After being sick for a week and giving my legs a much needed rest, now getting back into the swing of things those paces I was just starting to hit effortlessly are seemingly out of my reach. This past week I ran 20 miles, which seems to be a little bit closer to what I am comfortable running without feeling completely burned out. When I run anywhere from 20-30 miles, I feel a good balance and that I still have time to enjoy all the little things in life.
I did have a super cute running buddy for one of my runs though. George still is chompin’ at the bit to go faster than I can run… Any takers?
I got to enjoy two incredible sunrises on two different days this week while running though. It’s incredible what you can experience when you’re awake earlier before the rest of the world’s alarms are going off. Sometimes those runs are the hardest to get going on, but sometimes it’s so nice to enjoy the peace and quiet. The stillness is just so special and I think so clearly when I’m out running.
This week I hope to bounce back a little bit more back into the routine and to get my paces back to where I was running before I left for Charlotte! I know it just takes a little bit of patience and time.
So the other day, I randomly found B listening to some of the first added songs to my computer back in 2007, They seem to be quite buried on my iTunes, so finding them was hilarious. I remembered downloading most of them to run to. I put together a quick playlist of songs to re-upload to my phone that I knew made me run faster back then and listening to them lately has been a treat! It reminds me of all my running back in college and takes me back to so many funny memories.
Some of these songs are classic running songs with great beats to run along with. I would say 90% of the songs are super explicit, so download at your own risk! A few of my favorites are Don’t Hold Back (found in a Budweiser commercial) by Chemical Brothers, International Love by Pitbull, Can you work with that by DJ Quik, and Phonography by Britney Spears.
This past week, I spent time in Charlotte visiting one of my best friends. I had all the good intentions of running every day while I was there. Once I got there I realized I was coming down with a sore throat and also the darn stuffy nose and it got worse every day. I blame it on flying but hey, who knows. I haven’t been sick in a while so I tried to do my best while I was there and rested when I could. We did do a lot of walking but I didn’t keep on any training or running schedule. My legs will be hurting when I start running again tomorrow.
On the upside though, I had so much fun and it was really nice to take a break for a week. We went to Boone to visit her sister which meant that I got to see a lot more of the state, she finally taught me how to make the grits she makes that are incredible and we just hung out and talked. I also got to meet her son for the first time so that was really awesome too. Whenever I visit there I feel so refreshed and it’s like the open space reinvigorates me for some reason.
We also watched a lot of the Olympics and I have been getting inspired to do my next race. It’s so incredible to me the time, dedication and focus all the Olympians have and watching it this past week is so motivating to me. Speaking of another motivation, these donuts we had in Charlotte were so delicious and we also went to Krispy Kreme while I was there :)
This upcoming week I hope to get back on track running wise and get in at least 15-20 good solid miles at a faster pace, close to what I was running before I left and I hope to kick this cold to the curb. I haven’t gotten sick in so long so I guess I was due for a little winter cold. I also need to pick the next race I’m going to do as it’s already half way through February!
And, the winner of the Theragesic giveaway is @kurliq98 – Krissy! Thanks to everyone who entered.