The Benefits of Going Slow

I learned this important lesson this week. It applies to so many areas of one’s life: trying to walk across an icy school parking lot while holding several bags and trying to look cute, driving in the snow (which happened a lot this week), reading an important contract (also happened), making a difficult decision (yup), and running any distance.

I read several blogs regularly, check out lots of running-related articles online, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am officially sick of people complaining about how slow they run when they can outpace me handily (or footily, I guess).

And yes, I’ve seen all those inspirational pins on Pinterest about only competing with oneself and you’re lapping everyone on the couch, blah, blah, blah. Technically that is true. But it is so annoying to me, who is speed-challenged, to read about someone’s ‘disappointing’ run when they would have kicked my ass twice over by the time I crossed the finish line. It annoys me and since this is my blog I get to vent about it all I want here. So there.

Alrighty…rant officially over. And so is my vacation. I went back to work this week and changed up my routine a bit. It actually worked wonderfully well I am happy to report. What did I do? I baked up a batch of banana oat energy bars for Bobby and me to eat for breakfast, thus eliminating the need to make a batch of oatmeal every morning. I also did a big grocery shop the weekend before, which we never used to do, preferring to shop several times a week instead (so wasteful of time, money, and most importantly food). I made my lunches the night before, packed and ready. So in the wee early morning hours all I had to do was shower, dress, walk the dogs, grab my lunch bag and go. It worked like a dream.

The other schedule issue was motivating my ass to run and/or strength train after school. So often I don’t want to (said in my best whiny voice) because I’m tired, but I have a schedule and I planned for it and I actually followed through! It’s quite an achievement. Pat. On. The. Back.

My view this week

My view this week

So let’s break it down:

  • Monday 1/5/15: Stretch and strengthen – I’m digging the Skimble app and Yoga Studio app for this – short and sweet plus push-up and squat challenges from http://www.shrinkingjeans.net
  • Tuesday 1/6/15: 3.5 mile run around the work neighborhood. Froze my ass off – figuratively. I wish it were literally. I think.
  • Wednesday 1/7/15: skipped 3 mile run to go to Kohl’s and buy thermal running tights. I think that was a smart decision.
  • Thursday 1/8/15: 3 mile intervals on the treadmill (because it’s -50 -freeze-my-ass-cold)
  • Friday 1/9/15: Ordered Chinese food and called it a week.
  • Saturday 1/10/15: 4 mile intervals on the treadmill (cuz it’s still ass-freezing cold and I have Netflix. Winning!)
  • Sunday 1/11/15: 5 mile intervals on the treadmill. It was supposed to be 9, but I won’t bore you with the gory details…it just wasn’t happening for me. I tried.)
  • Total miles for week/year: 15.5/27.8
  • Total number of push ups/squats for the week: 103/403

BOOM!

Next week will be more of the same, while also trying to figure out how to get to the hospital to see my Gram. Send her some positive vibes please.

Stay warm out there.

Happy New Year!

View

2015 is here and it’s time to reflect and readjust and reset my priorities.

2014 was a year that I crushed some goals. I got out of my comfort zone – like wayyyyyy out – by starting this blog and running my first half marathon. I was able to finally push past my run/walk 2-3 miles rut and run longer distances. I learned that I really enjoy running 6, 7, 9 miles at a time. Those endorphins cannot be underestimated. The feeling is fantastic! Not only that, it keeps me sane and relatively pleasant to others, which is important if I want to keep my job and husband.

I fulfilled a dream of running a half marathon, which took a lot of courage on my part to turn that idea into a reality. It was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot about myself: that I’m stronger than I think, that I can keep going even though I’m tired, achey, lazy, or just don’t want to keep running anymore. I can keep going. And that I can commit to a goal months in advance, work toward accomplishing it and actually follow through. No one forced me into this. I could have quit at any time, and wanted to, tried to, and did once or twice. But that was just fear. I overcame the fear and did it. No one can take that away from me. I proved to myself that I am not a wimpy baby. I’m a runner, baby.

So I ran all of 2014 – January to December. Yay! And although I didn’t stay true to my half marathon training plan (partly because I lost the dang thing during the kitchen renovation, and partly because I wasn’t that crazy about it). I slacked off some weeks. I didn’t do as much strength training as I wanted to. I skipped runs in the middle of the week. I have a way easier time when I don’t have work to deal with. But I have a job and I love my job, and I need my job, so I have to deal with it as an immoveable object.

I like the idea of running more consistently during the week as well as improving my pace. That means strength work, running after school even though I’m tired, and perhaps getting a coach.

But for now my focus is on the Hyannis Half in February. My short term goal is to stick to the training program (that I really like, by the way) and have another strong finish. Or just finish. I mean I have no idea what the weather will do…in New England…in the middle of winter…but I know I can run 13.1 miles in the rain! Please don’t rain…

In 2014 I ran a total of 421 miles. A respectable number if I do say so myself. I also ran 4 races. I plan to crush all that in 2015, starting with this week.

I’m currently in week 6 of Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training (Intermediate):

  • Monday 12/29/14: Stretch (yoga video) and strengthen
  • Tuesday 12/30/14: 4 mile run
  • Wednesday 12/31/14: rest
  • Thursday 1/1/15: 3.1 mile run plus strength (and a yoga video)
  • Friday: 1/2/15: 3 mile intervals on the treadmill
  • Saturday: 1/3/15: 10K run
  • Sunday 1/4/15: rest
  • Total for the week: 16.3 (12.3 for the year)
My view from mile 3 of the 10k yesterday.

My view from mile 3 of the 10k yesterday.

Check out the view from my run yesterday. So this view + listening to “Serial” on my phone = 1 very creeped out chiquita. There was no one on the trail yesterday, probably because it was so butt-ass cold and dreary. And everyone else was someplace warm and toasty because they are all smarter than I am.

My goals for 2015 is to surpass my 421 miles, log my workouts on the blog every week to insure accountability, clean up my diet, and sign up for some more races. After the Hyannis Half, I’m contemplating some other possibilities…

Meanwhile, I’m just happy that 2014 turned out as well as it did, running-wise. There’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’m capable of more than I ever thought. What an incredible confidence-booster. I look forward building on that in 2015.