Appreciation

Guys, I’ve got a problem. That problem is FATIGUE. It’s thoroughly rocking me.  I haven’t changed my routine in any significant way (although I have been going to bed early) and my diet is clean.

I do suffer from seasonal allergies, so I’m thinking it may be playing a role.

This week only ran 8 miles. I think. One day, I decided to head of the door with zero expectations and went as far and as fast as I could, until I couldn’t. I didn’t go on my usual path so I have no idea how far I went, so I am not counting it in my weekly total. It felt so good. I felt free, my legs felt lighter, I smiled nearly the entire time. I may have to do this more often. You see…I can be kind of competitive. Especially with myself.  Taking a step back and appreciating how far I’ve come in learning to be a runner. I finished my 60th run that day. It’s beautiful.

All too often, I beat myself up. I didn’t run fast or far enough, I didn’t push harder, I didn’t run 5 days that week…I forget what is most important  I GOT OUT THERE TODAY!  The ultra-competitiveness has to stop. It is not the kind of thinking or behavior I want modeled for my son.   There exists a healthy balance of good sportsmanlike competitiveness and that is what I strive for.

are you (were you) overly competitive and self critical? How do you deal?

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Slow Down

I haven’t posted, because I haven’t been doing much worth talking about.

I’ve been taking a lot of naps.

For the past week my goal has been 15 miles. Not all at once, I’m not there yet.  15 miles in 7 days. I fell woefully short at only 10 miles last week, but a great thing happened Saturday morning!

I went to yoga. I haven’t practiced yoga in a group setting in 3 years, I forgot how much I love it. The room feels alive with positive energy. My teacher was incredible and I felt truly amazing (and SORE) after.  I smiled the entire day. She kept telling us to “slow down”, not just in class, but in life. What a beautiful message!  Stop, and smell the flowers. Don’t tell your toddler to “hurry up”, investigating that rock is important. Here and now. We rush through every day, our entire lives are hurried up.  I’m making an effort to no longer tell Q to hurry.

Check out that bright leaf, bud.

What I run in

When I decided to start running, seriously, I stared doing research.  What kind of running shoes are right for me?  I decided that I wanted to try a more minimalist approach, so I took myself to my local running specialty store.

The wonderful sales person determined my foot type, watched me run briefly, asked me the laundry list of running questions (how often, how many miles, are  you training, etc). Then, I tried on no less than 10 pairs of shoes.

The winner is…

Brooks PureDrift!

They are comfortable, lightweight, and extremely breathable.  They have a wide toe box and even in a 1/2 size up they don’t feel clumsy.  I have them in blue.

What Just Happened?

Monday was my first run back from my week-long visit to my hometown.  I expected my 3 mile run to be very easy.  No hills, no twists and turns, no problem! Boy, was I wrong.  My legs were alternating lead and jell-o.  I was fatigued almost immediately.  My comfy-place-pace felt like sprinting AND I drank my entire bottle of water (12 oz) before I hit a mile.  Although I keep myself very well hydrated all day, I just felt so incredibly thirsty.

Wut?

This is all completely new.  Even when I first began running I never felt this way.  It took every ounce of energy I had just to drag myself along 2 miles.  At one point, I started seeing spots and had to walk.  Was I about to pass out? What the hell is going on?

No seriously, Dr. Google, diagnose me because I have no idea what just happened.

Let’s go ahead and rule out 1. anemia 2. thyroid issues 3. low/high blood pressure because my lady doctor ran blood work on me pretty recently and all that stuff is working how it should.  Also, not heat exhaustion.  It wasn’t hot enough for that.

I gave myself a rest day yesterday and plan to get back out there tonight.  If any of this happens again I might be heading to a real doctor instead of WebMD.

Anyone else been through something similar?

Uphill battles

I grew up surrounded by mountains and hills.  I’ve been transplanted to flat, Midwest corn country.  And seriously the flat lands have spoiled me.

I’ve been running for about 4 months and I try to get out there at least 3 times a week.  I was coming back from some minor calf pain when I visited home.  I decided to take it easy and went out for a “don’t-worry-about-time” 2 mile run.

You know how Old Timers walked 16 miles to school in 6 feet of snow, uphill both ways? Guys…that is EXACTLY what my run felt like and it really was uphill both ways.  You use 90% of your calf muscles on a 30 degree incline as your body literally fights against gravity to get you up hill.  I paid for it.  My calves burned like an angry fire.  Even though I promised myself that I would take it easy and just accept the victory of being back out there, I couldn’t help but beat myself up (it’s a bad habit I’m trying hard to break).  I had to walk 3 times!  I was so disappointed.

The next day I had pain in my calves and Achilles.  I expected it.  I did a lot of extra stretching and massages.  I gave myself a rest day and went back out with true acceptance.

No, I can’t avoid hills here.  Yes, the hills will make me stronger.  No, walking isn’t weakness.  Yes, I will be slower. And most importantly, Yes, it IS OK.

My path to being nicer to myself is proving to be a difficult one.  Years of self deprecation is not easy to erase.  Each run I get stronger in so many ways.  When I first started I was depressed, in very poor health, and I couldn’t even run for a full minute without needing to walk.  Now I can truly say that I enjoy running.  I began running to lose weight, but I’ve discovered so much more about myself that the weight-loss is secondary.  I’ve come so far.  I’m much kinder to myself, I’m more patient, and can run 30 minutes without walking.

I’m a work in progress.

Why do you run?