long run


Good Morning Fellow New Runners!!

**Yes, I am aware I “borrowed” my headline from the amazing ladies at Another Mother Runner.  Click on the link to see what you are missing…it is a website chock full of great stories, tips and links to their hilarious and amazing books. 

Well, I did it.  My first ever 13.1 mile training run.  It took longer than I wanted and I certainly ached more than I expected during it, but I can no longer ask myself “if” I can complete a half marathon.  Now I know I can.  

4:30am wake up call on Saturday?  Must be a runner!

4:30am wake up call on Saturday? Must be a runner!

VERY early (5:15am) last Saturday morning,  I met up with my running partner and we headed off on long run.  Neither of us had a good running week the prior week.  We were both battling sickness, me a nasty head cold/chest congestion/sore throat thing and she a stomach virus.  So neither of us completed our weekday training runs like we should have.  But, like the troupers all us runners are, we set off on Saturday morning determined to at least get some miles in.

The first couple of miles weren’t hard, but it was darn hot out so we stopped for water breaks almost every mile.  My running partner had more stomach issues during the run so we kept walking for longer than either of us wanted.  With the walk breaks, our legs and feet started aching.  However, that eternal struggle that all distance runners know made us keep going.  We had to get back to where we parked our cars.  So, the last 3 miles we put our headphones in and trudged through.  I kept going until my Garmin read 13.10.  Man oh man was I excited to see that!  Even though my running partner has completed quite a few half marathons and is currently training for a marathon, this was her first 13.1 training run as well.  

We had to get to our cars to take us home...to the food!!

We had to get to our cars to take us home…to the food!!

Source: Runners World

Once we got back to our cars, the aches and pains subsided into joyous elation that we had done it!  We downed a bottle of water each (we had both gone through the 4 8oz water bottles on our hydration belts during our run, summer running in Florida is fun!) and headed home, she munching on a banana, me on my protein shake.  What a way to start the day.

Enjoy the Run!



No Long Run Saturday

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

Admittedly, I sometimes slack off change up my weekly running routine.  Some weeks I’ll run 4 days, varying distances and speeds.  Other weeks I’ll only run twice and the same distance each time.  Depends on my mood, the time I have and yes, even the weather.  The one run I rarely miss or mess with is my Saturday long run.  My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturday and the clothes are always laid out.  Generally the lengths vary from six to ten miles, but never less than that.

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!

My alarm is always set for 6am on Saturdays!  Source

This past Saturday I missed my long run.  Yep, didn’t even try to get it done.  You know what?  I’m OK with that.  Let me explain:

Due to my recent uptick in running (coming back from my medical leave, I jumped back in full force) I am dealing with Runner’s Knee in both knees.  One hurts when I run, the other hurts only when I am not running.

I worked all day Friday on, literally, 2 hours of sleep from the night before.

While I am technically in training for the Tower of Terror, my “all hands on deck” training for my Space Coast half marathon doesn’t start until August.

So when my daughter came crashing to my room at 7am on Saturday and actually woke me up, I felt a twinge of sadness and guilt for not running.  However that all vanished when I stood up and my knees still hurt and when I realized I was still exhausted from my lack of sleep on Thursday.  As my brain switched on, I decided would rather take the necessary breaks NOW vs. being sidelined in the throes of training for both races and even closer to the actual runs.

Sometimes we amateur runners need to remind ourselves that missing a run here and there is not the end of the world.  Life gets in the way of our runs and not only is that OK, it is a good thing!  There is more to life than just running!  Shocking…I know!  As we get closer to my big races I already know that my training will become a higher priority, but for right now, I am allowing other parts of life to consume me more.

The best part of missing that run on Saturday?  Saturday night my daughter asked if we could go for a run Sunday morning.  So we did.  It was the most fun I’ve had on a run I dare say, ever.  The run was effortless, the conversation fun and funny and once we were back on our street she climbed out of the stroller and wanted to run herself.  Stopping to pick up the occasional leaf and to say hello to the slugs and bugs she saw, this actually became an interval session.  It was a blast!  If I had gone on my long run on Saturday I know I would have told her a run on Sunday was not possible.  That mommy needed to rest.  I would have missed out on this super fun, memory making run.

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our "matching" Garmins

The munchkin & I on our Sunday run, with our “matching” Garmins

Enjoy the Run!



Two roads diverged in a wood…

Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!

Which one would you take?

Which one would you take?  Source

Your eyes do not deceive you, I am quoting the famous Robert Frost Poem “The Road Not Taken” in this latest blog post.  What do poetry and running have to do with each other, you ask?  Well….

On my Saturday long run, around mile 5 of my 8 miler, I began to get discouraged.  I was frustrated that I had to walk a few short times.  Mainly for water breaks, I am not one of those people who can run and drink.  Learned this the hard way as I darn near choked to death on my water…twice.  I was frustrated that I wasn’t running faster, that my runs weren’t fluid, easy and effortless, as I assume all other runners feel during their runs.

How I assume everyone feels during their runs

How I assume everyone else feels during their run  Source

How I feel during my run

How I feel during my run.   Source

Then a song came on (I was using my new favorite app Rock My Run), one of my favorites from my childhood.  The song was “Nothing Going to Break My Stride”.  I believe it is widely regarded as one of the worst songs of the 80’s, but I absolutely love it.  The beat is fun and the lyrics are motivating.  Immediately my mood changed.  I ran a tick faster with a smile on my face.  It was just after this song that I had a revelation.

Running, especially distance running, is so much a metaphor for life.  It will not always be effortless and fun.  There will be times when we want to quit, when we think “why am I even doing this?”  It is here that we have two choices (or two roads if you will).  Here we can find a motivating song, a happy thought or running partner, take a deep breath and keep going or we can choose to quit.  We can dig in and say “I am going to DO THIS” and keep going or we just give up and walk home.

I decided was going to take the less traveled and harder path and kept running.  Yep, I walked a few more times during that run, but I kept them short and ran way more than I walked.  I took the final mile of my run to have my “chat with God” about life.  I ended that run feeling tired and depleted but happy.  Happy I didn’t give up.  Happy I persevered when others might have stopped. Happy that I took that road far less traveled in this world.  The road that is much harder to traverse but so much more rewarding in the end.

Enjoy the Run!


Question: Is there a new app (running or non-running related) you love?

When it comes together-a GREAT run!

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!


After going through some of my past posts, I realized so many of my writings are about bad runs.  Whether it is going slower than other runners, not being able to run as far or just having a bad run for me, it seems like the hard runs seem to be outweighing the good runs lately.

However, this past Saturday changed all of that.  I had a GREAT run!  I am working on not only adding miles, but adding speed.  My goal is to run under 11 minutes per mile for the two races I have in February.  Why am I so concerned about speed suddenly?  One of these two races will be my proof of time for the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October, that’s why!  I hope to be running with friends during that race and would like to be in the same (or at least not too far behind) corral.  I have been working on my speed, but for quite some time now nothing I have been doing seemed to have helped.

On Saturday I started out and made sure to keep an eye on my Garmin for my pace.  As an added incentive I had carpooled to the park with a fellow runner, who runs much faster than I, and who was only planning on going a mile farther than me.  He had to leave by a specific time so I had to make sure I was done quickly.  The first few miles were pretty good going, I even got behind someone running my target pace and followed her for a little bit.  I eventually caught up to her and started a little conversation.  Running with someone to talk to really does make the miles go by much faster!

However, around the half way point, I had to turn around and run by myself.  This is where I always slow down, those later miles just get me.  Continuing to monitor my Garmin, my pace did vary a bit but the minute I saw it was too slow, I sped up.  I kept telling myself I would not stop, I refused to slow or walk.  I had to prove to myself I could do it!

It was not always easy, but I kept visualizing the finish line at various races, visualizing me accomplishing those goals.  Before I knew it mile 7 was upon me.  My first thought, when my friend never passed me heading back to the car, was darn, “I could have done 8”! Next Saturday, I will.  At my goal speed.  And it will be Awesome!!

Enjoy the Run!