Category: Running


So… a lot has happened since I last posted.

No, I didn’t run last year’s Marine Corps Marathon. But YES, I did defer it for this year, thus allowing me to skip over the newly enacted lottery. Hooray!

Yes, I finally have a treadmill. It is helping me to keep on track with running. Although, it gets boring. Fast. Let’s say at this stage my running is intermittent. Working on it.

No, I am not a volunteer for my husband’s unit new Family Readiness Officer… yet. But not at the fault of not trying on my behalf. The unit went through some changes like a middle aged woman going through menopause.

No, My husband is STILL (!!!!) not been retrained for a job with the USMC. I mean it’s only been three years. But he is the platoon Sergeant so it’s not like he’s not busy. Some of you are familiar with the term “the big green weenie.” My husband happens to be very familiar. On the plus side he’s been going through the process of applying for an aviator contract for Officer Candidate School. I’ll take bets on which happens first- new MOS training or Officer Candidate Course.

Yes, I’m still a stay at home mom. I’ve been really itching to get a part time job or go back to school but it’s just not a good time yet. Perhaps when our son attends pre-school in the fall. At least I can check off applying for the pre-school off my list. Next up: teaching him to pee in the damn toilet. You’d think it would be more fun for boys. Now if only someone could convince him of that. Geesh.

What does this all mean for me?

I’m going to start eating a no sugar diet. Read: no added sugar; natural sugar from fruits are fine. Although this may start out as a low sugar diet since I’m pretty sure I’m an addict. I guess I have to first convince my husband not to buy cookies and ice cream. I think this is going to help increase my energy because I’ve been super sluggish since turning 30… or maybe it’s since the moment I’ve had to be at the beck and call of a child every moment of every waking hour. It’s a coin toss really.

I also get to start shopping and looking into business licenses for my husband’s house in coastal Carolina. We’re turning it into a short term rental in order to offset the cost of mortgage. So far it’s not. At least everything we’re purchasing will be tax deductible. If we go the route of managing our own property I might take a course or five to make sure I have the professional background to keep it running smoothly.

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Too Long…

It’s been way too long since I last posted. Quite frankly I’m embarrassed to admit this… I’ve lost that loving feeling with running lately. An injury set it in motion and boredom and lack of motivation kept it rolling.

I am tired. Just watching my son run around constantly makes me even more tired. What’s wrong with me?!?!

I’ve still been exercising in one way or another almost daily, but running has become elusive. I’m not even sure how to hop back on the wagon right now. I feel like I should try getting outside in the mornings but I am not a morning person. I have a hard time sleeping through the night and I often find myself silently cursing my alarm every morning. Dragging myself out of bed is a feat in itself. It’s always been that way. The thought of getting out of bed and running 5 miles makes me shudder. Not the feeling you want going into a run.

So now I’m at the point where I’m coming up with ideas to reignite some aerobic passion in me. So for everyone who’s reading this and has fallen off their exercise wagon, know that everyone feels burnt out sometimes. Forgive yourself, regroup, and evaluate your routine to find out where things went wrong. I need more variety, both in my routes and type of exercise. Man, I can’t wait to get my treadmill and just hop on whenever I want. That will be coming in the end of July. Who’s excited!? Just me?

 

Pity Party

15 DAYS.

 

That’s the last time my feet have felt the loving caress of my running shoes. The last time I felt the beat of my iPod playlist.

 

Did I give up on my dream to run a marathon? Heck no. But apparently my hip/buttock/lower back needed a break. This is the same problem that I had attributed to running in new shoes but this time I’m 100% sure that this is just because of my lackluster musculoskeletal system. This wasn’t even running/workout strain related. This was an “ugh-my-back-sucks” related injury. It hurt to bend and stretch my hamstrings. A very dull and constant pain made worse when lifting my knee to hip height or doubling over. Pinched nerve? Muscle fatigue? Adrenal gland fatigue? Who knows?

 

Luckily, the pain has finally passed and I can run again! No. Wait. I can run again as soon as my husband returns from his military obligation. Soooo… On Sunday, I can run again! This week has just not been going my way. Weather ruined my plans of driving to see family in Florida which also meant I would not be picking up my new to me treadmill. ***shakes my fist at the heavens***

 

So for the next few days I’ll do some upper body workouts and ease my body back into running. I was doing so well with my mileage and now I feel like I’m back at mile one. I may even purchase some new gear to make me all excited again and put this pity party to rest! Saying extra prayers tonight that nothing like this will happen in the month leading up to the marathon!

Thanks to the long holiday I’m a little late on this post.

 

Monday: 7.02 miles (1:25:12 time/12:08 pace)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2.01 mile easy day (21:16 time/10:35 pace)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: XT playing for an hour with my son at the playground (trust me I was running and climbing too)

Saturday: XT racing, climbing at the playground with my son part 2

Sunday: Rest

 

Yes, I should have run this past weekend, but I was enjoying family time and watching my son run with high knees through the grass. He was born to be a runner. I say “ready, set, go!” and he takes off with no particular direction or plan. It’s hilarious.

 

P.S. The Survival Strap Military Care Package has been sent out to a random warrior. Thank you to GG for participating.

Safety First

On a day earlier this week, my husband arrived home from work which meant it was time for a run. I told him that I was only aiming for a three mile run. As it turned out…

I lied.

As I have done many times in the past I started out on a run only intending to get in three miles or so but if my legs and lungs felt good I kept going. So that three mile run turned into a seven mile run. Quite a big difference in terms of not only distance but time. I don’t carry a phone on my run. I don’t run with a partner or dog. On this particular night since I thought I’d be back before nightfall I wasn’t even wearing anything particularly reflective or bright. I run mostly along rural roads and facing traffic. Almost every one of the handful of cars I saw that night gave me more than enough of a safety cushion when driving past, after which I give the “courtesy nod” or the “courtesy wave”. The “I recognize that you are not an ass-hat and you don’t want me to fear for my safety” nod/wave of appreciation. If there’s enough of a shoulder I run in the grass off of the road because you never know when someone is going to veer a bit because they’re looking at their phone or radio. If there is a sidewalk, I use it. So not to worry. I’m not a completely naive runner who likes to throw caution to the wind.

On this particular run it was completely dark by mile 5. I had been gone for about 50 minutes and honestly expected to see my husband roll around the corner in his vehicle with our son strapped in his car seat for a “let’s go find mommy” joyride at any moment. At mile 6.2 is when it happened. A truck slowed and I knew. My husband had given in to his worry and hunted me down for fear I was in a ditch somewhere and he needed to contemplate how to continue working as a single parent. I think he was overreacting a bit but it’s nice to know he cares.

I apologized and told him I was fine and that I wanted to finish up the last mile or so and I’d see him back at home. Our son was happily along for the ride probably wondering where the final destination would be. I’m sure he was super bummed when they arrived right back where they had started a minute ago. Being in running mode, I immediately cursed myself for not stopping my watch when I stopped to converse with my worry wort husband and knew my pace numbers would be all messed up.

Upon reaching home and acknowledging that I was no longer a lonely spinster bachelorette, but a wife and mother who had responsibilities and a family that needed me, I made a deal with my husband. On my long running days I would bring my phone on an arm band and I would purchase hi-vis yellow gear or wear his military glow belt (because nothing says special like wearing one of these…) if I ran close to sunset or thereafter.

I see what you did there, Army. Touche.

Because, really, runners should do their best to be safe on the roads or trails.

  • Invest in RoadID, or a similar identification tag to alert someone of your identity, emergency contact, and pertinent medical information.
  • Run against traffic; bike with traffic.
  • Lift your knees higher when running on uneven terrain like trails or broken pathways due to roots. This will avoid trips and spills that can lead to rolled ankles, sprains, and breaks.
  • Wear reflective clothing in the evening and early morning.
  • Make sure that if you run with earphones on that they are sensitive to ambient noise, or don’t wear them at all and just let your phone’s speaker be a mini stereo.
  • Make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Nothing messes up a run/ride like lack of water flowing through your system.
  • Buy some runner’s mace and avoid known unsavory neighborhoods. Heck, take some self-defense classes while you’re at it. Probably a good way to burn some extra calories.
  • If you have the opportunity, run with a buddy or your pet. But if your pet is a short legged basset hound please let him just bask his floppy ears in the sun rather than make him accompany you on a 5 mile trek and because his intimidation factor is probably a -2 anyway.
  • ALWAYS make sure someone knows what neighborhood/trail you are running.
  • BE VIGILANT. I don’t mind zoning out on a run because it makes the miles go by faster but that’s not necessarily great for my safety. Make sure you’re looking around if something catches your attention. I always make note of where law enforcement officers live along my routes

Does anyone else have any tips to remain safe while going for a run? Or better yet do you have a story of a close call but you were grateful that you had a safety item that helped you?

Last we left off I was getting over the plague a couple days of the flu with some residual throat soreness. I milked my illness recovery as long as I could without making my body feel like I had given up my training entirely.

 

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: sore throat is gone! Abs & Stretching

Friday: 4.07 mi (54:26 time/13:22 pace)

Saturday: 5.01 mi (52:01 time/10:23 pace)

Sunday: Arms & Abs

 

So yeah. Total mileage was 9.08 miles. Not what I should be at in this stage of the game but after factoring in being sick, I figured I bounced back pretty well. I can’t wait to get my treadmill soon because I’d like to be a bit more consistent with my pace. I’m all over the place. If I can maintain that 10:23 pace for my longer distances I’d be happy. I think tempo runs and 800m repeats are in my future. Don’t be jealous.

So Moto

No matter what type of exercise you do… running, lifting, spinning, yoga…. there are just some days you struggle to muster up the motivation to lace up those sneakers, squeeze into your spandex, or even find your iPod.

 

When you skip a workout you often go through the five stages of loss of motivation.

  1. Bargaining: “If I skip today I’ll do an extra set/mile/lap/etc. tomorrow.”
  2. Depression: “I could have worked it out today. I’m full of sad excuses.”
  3. Guilt: “I can’t believe I messed up my training schedule. Everyone is counting on me to train for this marathon/keep the weight off/lead the class/etc.”
  4. Overreacting: “I will never skip a workout again! I don’t care if I have a pneumonia!” And then you end up getting pneumonia and you have no choice but to derail your workouts indefinitely.
  5. Acceptance: “I missed one day. I am human.”

So to keep myself from making excuses I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get me out on the pavement.

  • Listen to some energizing music throughout the day that gets me jazzed for a workout.
  • On that same note, make a new playlist or wait to listen to a newly purchase album until your workout.
  • Change into your workout gear as soon as you can. If you’re a morning athlete, have your clothes set out and staring you in the face when you awaken. If you’re hitting the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you to work and make the transition from office manager to gym rat before you even get in the car. I’m a stay at home mom who likes to workout in the evening so when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of making an excuse I change into my running tights ASAP. I feel like I’m tricking my brain into being prepared.
  • Buy new gear and save it for a day where you need a mental pick-me-up. It’s like giving yourself a reward for persevering.
  • Have a range of goals. I’m a total planner who loves to make lists. I like to make daily, monthly/short term, and yearly/long term goals. It gives me a confidence boost when I’ve done more miles than I thought I could, PRed on a hard, hilly run, or my love handles have magically disappeared. Those days are the best!
  • There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app on your phone or just go to their website to log in everything from what you eat to exercises. These programs can often be linked to social media accounts so your friends can cheer you on or secretly despise you for following through on your new year resolution when they quit on day 5.
  • Blog it up: Start a fitness blog or follow other fitness related blogs to get new ideas or encouragement. Encouragement from strangers is often more satisfying than getting a compliment from a friend or family member. But acknowledgment that you’re working hard is good even if it comes from your dog. Talk about your goals and how far you’ve come. It might light a fire under someone else to get moving!

So let’s hear it. How do you keep motivated?

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