Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home from vacation, now back to reality.

This is a picture of the lake where we stayed in Northeast PA last week.  What a gorgeous place, but it's definitely in the middle of nowhere!  Kayaking was so much fun, and it was a more difficult upper body workout than I expected.  I guess once you cross the lake a few times, you don't really realize how much you are working until you stop paddling. 

This was the first time I've run with my sister in a few years.  She has a much faster pace than me since she's been running on a regular basis.  On Thursday, I started off too fast, and my first mile was over a minute faster than I usually run.  Which would've been great, except we hit some major hills.  It didn't help that my feet were wet from the rain and I got blisters.  I'm glad I didn't realize how hilly this was until after it was over!  I'm not ready to be a cat. 5 hill runner yet.  The most amazing thing about this run was that we saw a black bear!  That's the first one I've ever seen outside of a zoo.  Even after all of these years of camping, no bears until my sister and I see one crossing the road.  He didn't even look at us.  We kept going, and I wasn't worried about him.

Our Saturday run was much less strenuous.  I wouldn't have been able to tackle those hills again!  What I surprise that when I checked, this route is also considered pretty hilly.  I'm not sure exactly what the climb ratings mean, but this is a 5/1, the other route was 5/2.  This gives me confidence, as my pace on this run was my best ever for a 3 mile run, and these are some of the steepest climbs I've done.  Wow!  The photo below is the view we saw at the end of this run - the sun coming through the trees.  It was really wonderful, and I had to run inside the lodge to get my camera to get this picture.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's all mental.

It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit. ~George Sheehan

I read this quote today and I completely agree that the biggest challenge in running is mental.  It is not listening when your mind tells you that you are done, even when your body is ready to keep going.  It's getting past that urge to make excuses to avoid a workout.  It's getting past that first mile, where I am struggling to get into a groove.   It's getting to the end of whatever distance/time goal I am working on that day. 

If you think about it, it's more of a miracle that a run happens at all.  There are good things about running, too.  Endorphins are great!  There's nothing like finishing a run and feeling such a high, even through the sweat and tired muscles.  It's a sense of accomplishment I get that's unlike anything else I've ever done. 

Tomorrow, I finish C25K.  I look forward to continuing my training, and increasing my distance and speed.  I am leaning more towards the "love" side of my love/hate relationship with running. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week 7, still working on this 5K distance thing.

I waited until yesterday evening to run, and it's definitely harder than getting it over with early in the morning.  There are advantages to getting it over with early - I don't have to worry about it the rest of the day and it frees up my evening, but it's tough when I have to scramble to get ready for work afterwards.

This is week 7 of the C25K.  I was supposed to go 2.75 miles last night, but didn't quite make it due to thunder.  I looked at the map again, and I think it was 2.68 miles.  It took me 32.37(about a 12 minute pace), but that doesn't seem so bad with the high humidity we had.  I can't wait to run in the fall!

I have this love/hate relationship with running.  I love the way it makes me feel after I'm done, and I love losing the weight, but that first mile is a bear - every time.  I keep expecting it to get easier, but it really hasn't.  Maybe that's because I'm still increasing distance.  Just when I get used to one week of training, it gets bumped up.  I may not be the most graceful runner, or the fastest runner, but I'm out there doing it.

I'll finish C25K on Saturday, August 13th.  What to do after that?  I think my plan will be working on increasing mileage and adding hill workouts, etc. to prepare for the 1/2 marathon training.

I've lost 33 pounds so far!