This morning was glorious. I had a beautiful five mile run- and scored another PR with my pace.
The sun was still rising, and the sky was magical. I felt good, the air wasn’t making me feel like I was in an oven.
Then I went to work and had my soul crushed.
Luckily- I came home to the handsomest guy I know. He worked hard to cheer me up. There was silly dancing, and even some romantic slow dancing. Then- the cherry on top was a delicious Bloody Mary made with love.
It occurred to me during the pity party I was throwing for myself that my birthday coming up bothers me a little. The whole business of growing older. Growing old. I’m mourning my youth a little.
Tomorrow’s schedule say 3 miles, but I might need a longer run to clear my head before work. We’ll see how hungover I am from this ONE drink. The good news: I’m a real cheap date.
Three days post half marathon today, and I went for a two miler before work. I got progressively more sore as the day went on yesterday, and expected to wake up stiff and miserable. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Two miles in 20 minutes 8 seconds is pretty great for me. Back to back ten minute miles is something I struggle to do consistently, so I’ll take it!
Tomorrow’s plan is 5 miles AND some strength training– especially core work. I’ve been slacking- and I can feel it. I want to drop another pant size SOON. I haven’t had any noticeable losses in inches or pounds since march. I holding steady at 151.4. I really need to dial in my cross training/strength training. I’ve just been running running running. I’m so eager to take my next step and try something new- but the time commitment terrifies me. I don’t want to join a gym- or buy a class pass- and then freak out about using it. Must. Do. Research. Must find something I can fit in. See what I did there? At least I amuse myself.
I’m running a “sundown 5k” this weekend- and I haven’t decided if I’m going to run hard and try to PR (29:14) or if I’m going to run with a coworker and socialize. She runs a 12 minute mile. The race is at a local community college, so the number of attendees in my age group might be lower than some of the bigger races around… and I might have a chance to place. Nevermind! Just looked up last years results. I would have come in 13th in my age group last year. Eh. I still might try to PR, even if I don’t place.
I somehow convinced my corporate office to send our company mascot out for pictures- so that will be fun. It also means I’ve got some crafting to do before then…. pictures to come!
Welp. Today was a tough one. It was much hotter than I had been expecting. The temperature jumped twenty degrees from my last long run, and the humidity was intense. I knew it was going to be rough when I took Foxy out at 5:30 this morning. It was pitch black outside, and the first time I was leaving the house. I had been wearing a long sleeved moisture wicking hoodie over my race outfit because we keep the house just a few degrees above “I can see my breath.” Add in the fact that the last several miles the sun tried to roast me alive, and it’s no surprise I didn’t PR.
It’s ok. I keep telling myself that it’s ok. I kept saying “it’s a hard, hilly race. I don’t expect to PR.” I was lying. I was hoping to PR. The first four miles felt GREAT. Then it got a little harder each mile after. I walked. I don’t know exactly how much I walked, but it felt like a lot. While I can blame the weather (and it did make a huge impact) I’d be lying to myself even more if I didn’t address my midrace mental breakdown. I know better than to keep looking at my watch- but as it felt harder, and harder, I kept looking. And then calculating. “If I stay at this pace for the next five miles- I’ll still miss my real PR. If I can cut a minute off of this mile, I might make it. Nope. Not happening. What’s the point. If I’m not going to PR, what’s the point.”
My PR is 2 hours 32 minutes. Somehow or another, my watch disagrees. It was the 2014 Naperville Half. My watch shows my PR as 2 hours 41 minutes which was the Naperville Women’s Half this spring. I came in three minutes short of getting a new “watch” PR, and the way I KNOW with absolute certantiy that my mental break is what truly held me back…. I had it in my head that my watch PR was 2:47, and I fought hard for the last three miles to beat it. If I had known it was 2:41- I would have fought harder SOONER and probably beat it.
So. Trying very hard not to beat myself up. Back at it Tuesday with a five miler. Praying for the weather to cool off. Happy to have finished.
OH! So- after I got home, I walked in the house and was greeted with a terrible smell. Last week, I cleaned out the fridge- and something must have leaked in the garbage. The garage had started to smell the day before yesterday. Tuesday is garbage day- and we planned on rinsing out the can at that point. It could NOT wait until Tuesday. I rolled the garbage out, lifted the lid to find so. Many. Maggots. It was the stuff of nightmares. I I got some rubber gloves, several garbage bags- and I wrapped the trash bag that was the problem (and the only bag in the can) until I ran out of bags. I looked down- and there was definitely a maggot on the back of my wrist. I sprayed my entire arm full blast with the hose while shouting “get off get off get off get off get off!” I then called a local restaurant within walking distance of my house and asked if I could put a very well wrapped, very stinky bag of trash in their dumpster. I then walked (all the while still in my race gear- salty and sweaty as ever) to said restaurant and waved a friendly thank you at the man inside as I passed the window with my stink bag. He probably assumed I was dumping a body. While I normally would have rinsed off and then taken a post race bath– today required a full silkwood shower.
Should I wear my medals to work tomorrow? Since the real reason I signed up for this race in particular was the Fox medal?
Final taper run before the half marathon this Sunday. I expected it to feel easy and short since it was only two miles… but it turned out to be a bit of a challenge. It’s weird and misty outside. I’m really hoping for a lot less humidity on Sunday (right now it’s 94%!)
Foxy got extremely frizzy, and I got extremely sweaty.
For now, foam rolling and hydrating so I’m super fresh on Sunday. The next two rest days are going to be… weird.
I’ve been noticing something lately that I was having a hard time articulating. My running has turned a corner. I think a huge part of that has been mental for me. Yes, it’s significantly easier to run 40 pounds lighter… but I was always able to run. Now I enjoy it. It’s still hard, and some days each step is a challenge. I still have aches and pains.. but I find myself able to better push through things that would have stopped me in my tracks even a year ago.
I’ve always liked the idea of a mantra. I tried to find one on my own- to come up with some original thing that resonated with me. Turns out I’m not as creative or well spoken as I had thought. I read Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run” and tried adopting his “sometimes you just do things.” But sometimes I just didn’t. I have an old workout DVD called “yoga booty ballet” that I occasionally like to do for “fun” and they make you say “I love, honor, and cherish my body.” But I didn’t. I wasn’t there. I’ve been at war with my body my entire adult life. I’ve had terrible issues with body image, and just self confidence in general. When a run felt hard, I mentally berated myself. I beat myself up for wanting to walk/stop/go slower. Loving and honoring my body was something so foreign to me that it was almost laughable. I needed something I couldn’t find.
My good friend Kaitlin is a large part of why I run. She saw me running, and started running. I found out she was running, so I kept running. She signed up for the Naperville half marathon (a distance I LAUGHED at the thought of ever in a million years running) and I signed up. Somewhere during that first year and training for that first half is when we got to be good friends. She was so patient when we’d run 10 miles at a 13:45 pace with me complaining every single step of the way. She could have run faster on her own, but she stayed with me, and kept me going. She introduced me to Oiselle.
Oiselle is an athletic clothing line made for and by women. With Kaitlin’s expert gift giving advice, I received a few Oiselle items from Santa that year- and I ADORED them. The logo for Oiselle is a bird, and since my boyfriend calls me Katiebird or sometimes just Bird, I was so on board for any graphic detail with a bird on it. The problem was my size. The items I got technically fit- but in a very painted on- not to be seen in public kind of way. So I packed them away in the back of the closet for “some day.”
Fast forward to this spring. My collection has grown a small amount (both presents received and purchased for myself.) And suddenly- things that were sausage casing tight- fit appropriately. I became obsessed with shopping online and stalking the website for sales. I’m sure their tag line was always “Head Up, Wings Out” but it didn’t find its place in my brain until this year. It started out kind of silly- reminding myself not to hunch forward when running. I began to realize that every time I said it- I stood taller, prouder, more confident. I tested it. I ran easy, I ran hard, I ran short, I ran long(er). No matter what, “Head Up,Wings Out” helped.
My times began to improve pretty rapidly. I went from running a 12+ minute mile to a 10+ minute mile on short distances in the span of 6 months. Since my very first 5k (which I think took me 40 minutes) I’ve had it in my head that “real runners” run that distance in 30 minutes or less. I can proudly say that I have now done that twice.
When the opportunity to join the Oiselle Volee team opened up- I jumped at the chance. A year ago, I would have said “someday when I’m a real runner I might join.” So much self doubt was holding me back. I realized recently that I was a real runner a long time ago. Before finding my mantra. Before hitting that time goal. Before running my first half marathon. I finally listened to the world when they say “if you run, you’re a real runner.” I’ve been running for five years, and each step I’ve been a real runner, even if I only realized it now. I know in my heart that finding my mantra is how I got here. It’s how I stopped the negative talk and replaced it with positivity.
This morning was a 4 mile easy run with my fur baby. He’s napping.
I’m writing this from the bath tub (don’t judge me.). Pro tip? Those black charcoal peel off face masks? They don’t work if you’re sweating in a hot bath.
Tomorrow is three miles, Thursday is two. Then TWO rest days before the Foxy Valley half marathon. I’m stupid excited. More than I’ve ever been, I think. I’ve never felt this ready, and while I don’t know if I’ll PR (it’s pretty damn hilly) I’m hopeful I might.
So yeah. Mantras. Helped me get over a lot of mental garbage that was holding me back. Do you have one? What works for you? Do you stick to the same one- or change it out?
Ten miles! 10.06 to be exact, but 10 miles! Today was my last long run before the Fox Valley Half Marathon next Sunday. Second Sunday in a row Kaitlin and I ran a beautiful shady path, second Sunday in a row we had an amazing run. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take any pictures this week- but it was just as picturesque and lovely as last week.
I worked a 12 hour day yesterday, and didn’t have to work today- so we decided not to go at zero dark thirty- so less terrifying at the beginning… unless you count me telling Kaitlin hometown murder stories while a stranger ran behind us, or my description of an imaginary man made of squirrels rushing out of the woods to kill us. I’m the worst. I can’t believe she talks to me, let alone runs for nearly two hours with me.
I felt AHHH-mazing. From start to finish, I felt like a real runner which is something I’ve struggled with. It’s been five years! And I haven’t quit! I’ve quit every type of exercise I’ve ever tried, except running. I feel like I’m getting strong and making progress. And I’m kind of in love with it!
We did see a coyote on our way back. With less than two miles left- I refused to stop/walk/slow down. I may have been running right toward a coyote- but I figured if it wanted to eat me- I wasn’t going to be able to run fast/far enough to get away- so I took my chances. I believe he was headed home to his coyote family after a long night of coyote work- and NOT on a direct path for the dog park. Right? Right.
One of my favorite things about long running and not having to work. Bath time!
I love baths. I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend that knows how much I love baths- and remodeled the bathroom right around the time I moved in- and let me pick out a nice deep tub. I’m a big fan of Lush bath bombs and luxury bath oils. My newest obsession are the Lush jelly face masks! So relaxing! And my face feels like a dream.
I’ve got big plans for an amazing Bloody Mary while we watch the Bears season opener today…. and possibly a nap.
I’ve got until November first to decide on my next training plan. Will it be cross fit? Swimming? Boot camp? We’ll talk about that later. For now- I’m just going to enjoy a lazy Sunday recovery.
When I first started running five years ago, Foxy was with me every sweaty step of the way. As my mileage increased, I hesitated to bring him since he couldn’t exactly carry water. The longest run I ever took him on was eight miles, I think. I stopped and let him drink out of my water bottle a few times along the way and he seemed happy to keep up.
Five years later, he’s no longer a two year old pup. The vet actually called him a “senior dog” a few months ago when I brought him in for some tummy issues. It’s been so warm, and he’s been reluctant to crawl out of bed with me at 5 am- so I haven’t brought him with me since early June.
Today- at 8:30 with 3 easy miles planned on a crisp September morning- he was more than happy to join me!
He was mostly well behaved. He did some serious barking/shrieking at another dog at around mile 2- but other than that he just trotted along beside me, looking furry and adorable.
He’s pretty much been sleeping ever since.
But I keep waking him up for kisses. He has my whole heart. I love him so.