With moving here I am almost always out doing something. It could be walking, climbing, hiking, anything really and it has been amazing the changes that have happened. I'm running in the morning these days which if you knew me, almost never happened. You only got me out of bed (in the early mornings) for races and that was only on Saturdays. Any other time that I wanted to run was later in the day or in the evenings and that was my routine. If I got done working late and had planned to run I would go out and run. Even if it was late in the night.
When I was doing my first half marathon I worked at Kilwins. At Kilwins I mostly worked night shifts so we would get done around 10 p.m sometimes 11 p.m and I wouldn't get home till 11:30 or at the latest 12. Those nights were hard when I had to go run because I wasn't just running, I was training and I honestly didn't have a choice then. I would get home, change, have a glass of water, and go out and do the distance. It was hard but I did it and my half marathon was a success. I did the race in 2 hours and 6 minutes and I felt so proud of myself for making it happen.
My second go at a half marathon I did mixed training but it was more of the same. I did a mix of nights and afternoon training but I really had wished I had gotten up early enough to get it done first thing. I just never could get myself to commit and with Florida weather it was hard to know when it was ok to go. Some days you get ok humidity and other days you were drenched in the first half-mile. You could never really win in that state.
Now that I live in Tennessee and I have a friend who has been running mornings with me I have the motivation to actually get up and run before the start of the day. It's been so nice here. 50 degrees in the morning and by the time I'm done it's around the low 60s which is fantastic and makes the mornings so much better. Not only do I get my run done early but I also get to actually enjoy the fall weather and not die from humidity or heat waves.
The plus side to this is that Lylah also gets to enjoy the run because it's cooler and this way she can get some exercise first thing in the morning and get to enjoy the fall time with me. With this change of pace and lifestyle, I'm hoping that training will go smoothly. I've been slowly increasing the milage with Lylah so that I can acclimate her to the milage and also be better prepared this time around. I feel like in my last two training sessions I was able to really accomplish a lot and I learned what I do and don't like when training for a distance as long as thirteen miles. This time I feel like I have a better handle on my abilities and where I need to be by the time I get to the race.
I'm nervous, excited, and feeling good. Three Half Marathons in my 20's isn't so bad. In honesty, I never thought I would be someone who would do more than a one-half marathon but here I am, signed up for my third and really pushing my limits not only as a person but as a runner as well.
Recently I decided to up the number of miles that I run. For a couple of years now I have been keeping up with a regular schedule of doing 5k distances. Once a month I do a 10k so that I can keep up the cardio and test myself and see if I can continue to do the six miles that I once dreaded. Now here I am three and a half years in and I have decided to change it up for the month of December to see if I can do more than normal. I decided to go ahead and do three and a half to four miles on a regular instead of just three and three alone.
Let me say this right now, it hurts. Like really hurts. My body has gotten so used to doing three miles that doing four is a chore. Three and a half is hard work but four is a drag. When I first started training for the half marathon I did a lot of four-mile runs so that I could get the distance up and get ready for this crazy thirteen-mile race that I hell-bent on doing. At that time it was necessary but right now, it's just a test and a way to get rid of the small muffin top I have acquired. Of course, there is a lot going on in my life as it is and running in the middle of the day is probably not best but that's ok. Pushing yourself is what sports are all about and I am happy to take on my own challenge.
I'm hoping that by the end of the year that the four miles will be normal and that it won't be too hard to keep up with. Four miles is a lot yes but its better than sitting on your couch eating a bag of potato chips while binge-watching all four seasons of Lucifer. I rather exercise than get big and fat wondering where my life has gone.
By the time I get to my anniversary, I hope that I have gotten faster and stronger than the year before. After all, no matter how small the progress is, progress is still good.
Were getting ready for a race in June up on Mackinaw Island. Dad and I go up there every year to spend some time away from the normal but to also get some fresh air. We camp out a lot and we also have some delicious food and alcohol while were up there. The weather is usually a perfect 60 to 70 degrees with sunny days and long beautiful nights. It really is quite wonderful. Every year we have been up there we have missed the lilac race and every year we are upset by this. I think it’s just because we usually miss it by a couple of days or by a few hours so it really hits you hard when you realize just how close you were to being able to do something new and exciting.
This year though we made sure to sign up for it and plan accordingly. So were getting ready to rock and roll this race. It’s a 10k (which is a nice 6 miles) race that goes half way around the island and then cuts through the middle and comes back to the starting point. The only thing that sucks is when you cut through the middle you end up going uphill for a good portion of the race so I just know that it will kick my ass for a portion of it. The upside is when you get to the other side it’s all downhill so you can be like the roadrunner and just high tail it down to the finish.
I’m excited but I am a little bit nervous. We have less than three months until the race and the closer it gets the more I wonder if I am ready. I do hope I am because I would love to finish strong.
Yesterday was the Lucky leprechaun race. In the past I have never had the pleasure of being able to do them before and this time I had the chance to run in the race. So I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Of course when it comes to races it means that you have to be up really early to not only wake up but to also have some coffee beforehand. If you don’t give it enough time to settle then things can get a little "messy" while you are out racing. To avoid any messes I take extra precaution.
For this race I knew that it was on a course that I really enjoy and I also knew that two of my favorite people were running it. One of them was my bf D and the other was my Dad (or as most of you know him, the market ticker). All three of us were running and all three of us were going to see what we could do. For dad and I it was a routine. We run and then I split right when I finish so that I can head to a friend’s house to shower and then go to work right after that. For D it was a test to see how far he had come along in his running. We wanted to see how he would do in a 5k so that we can get a feel for a possible time on a 10k.
This race was slightly crowded (more than others I have been to) and this one was one of those races that you know everyone is trying to finish quickly so that they can have drinks at the end. So when the race started everyone was moving like a pack. Everyone was moving together for a while and the people that have raced before or were faster than the people in front of us found ways to weave in and out of the crowd so that we can actually challenge ourselves. That quickly happened for me. I found my way in and out of the crowd and I passed many people in this race for the first mile and a half. Once I turned around I saw D and he ended up High fiving me on the way.
For me it felt like the race was over as soon as it started. My time was really good and I felt good after the race. Of course I Had to catch my breath for a second so that I could actually drive home without suffocating. I had given it my all the last half mile so I was having some trouble with breathing. Once I had cooled down I told my Dad the time I thought D would have and I told him I loved him. Then I went ahead and started making my way back home.
The day went on and I found out I placed second in my age group which is awesome. I also found out the first place in my age group ran the 5k in 22 minutes which was four minutes faster than me. So I was glad to take second. Dad got third place in his age group so he got to go home with a prize himself. D got to know his time for a 5k and now has a goal to work towards. I think it has lit a fire in him.
I can't wait to do other races and see how much better and faster we all get. It’s so exciting.
On the eighth of this month I had my three year anniversary. What was it for? Well it was for running. It has been three whole years since I have made a commitment to myself to keep running and to not let anything keep me from treating myself and keeping myself in shape. I have been able to keep up with that commitment and I am so happy about it. Of course it has been longer than that since I really gave running a try but the three years are for being consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to this sport. If you don’t keep up with it then you won’t be able to keep a good pace.
When I did my first run three years ago I was running a twelve minute mile and I really thought that the sport was terrible. I didn’t want anything to do with it and I really was sure that I was going to just forget about it. The first three months were terrible and I was really struggling with my ability to keep going. My motivation was so low and I was not sure how to keep pushing myself. It took a while but before I knew I found something to keep me going.
I want to say what I found was a companion to keep running with me. I want to say that it was something magical but to be honest with you it was just myself. It was my own confidence and stubbornness that kept me running. I realized what path I was going down if I didn’t keep going and I made a promise to myself to keep going. To keep working and striving to be better than the previous me. I worked my butt off and kept pushing myself and within six months I got my time down from a twelve minute mile to a nine or ten. Really that’s huge. I was pushing myself in ways that I never thought were possible and because of that I eventually made myself do a half marathon. I wanted to do better. I wanted to be able to say that I did something that felt impossible to me. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of myself.
Running has given me a confidence that I never knew I had. It has given me strength and has taught me a discipline that I never thought was possible.
I am excited to see how far I can go and to see what else I can do in the running world. So cheers to another year of running, conquering my own insecurities and getting stronger than before.
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