My Running Anniversary

February 18th, 2011 was a huge turning point in my life. I decided to start running.  The night before, I asked my brother if he’d help me.  With a shocked face, he agreed.  Every night we were at the track.  It was freezing, not only was it February, but the track at our high school is located on a hill which means it’s windy as hell.  I remember the second time I went running, we literally had to stop so I could catch my breath b/c the wind was so bad.  As promised, the first two weeks were terrible.  I wanted to quit but my brother wouldn’t let me.  We’d drive back, him talking away and me pretending I was listening but inside I wanted to puke.  800M seemed like so much. Once I was able to run more than that, I became obsessed.  I wanted to run longer and farther.

Oh Hey Shalane. How'd this get in here again..

 

Every workout I had planned for me, I tried to exceed. Sometimes I wish I was still like that.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hitting milestones with running but nothing beats running my first mile.  I was SO happy.  I ran a mile without stopping, something I never thought I could do especially in high school. Every now and then I feel like I’m at a standstill with running, like I’m not doing enough or achieving as many goals as I should.  But then I look back.

 

  • I went from running 800m to running 13.1
  • A mile in 11 and change to 7:06 (something I’m still working on– I want a 6 in there damnit!).
  •  Ran a 5K sub 30.

How could I write about running milestones & not include Pre?

This past week, I finally did that last one.  No it wasn’t a real race, but I knew I had to do it before my “one year”.  The funny thing is, I ran without looking at my Garmin and listened to my body.  I ran at what was comfortable, I didn’t feel like I was racing. Next thing I knew, a 5K flew by and I look at my watch… 28:27. Yeah baby! That’s 3 minutes FASTER than my previous 5K time.  Goes to me that I need to RELAX at races and that I can run fast.  Normally when I glance down at my watch and see a low number I tend to slow down because I think ” I can’t run that fast”.  This was a GREAT start for week 1 of Half Marathon training.  Every run after that has been sub 10 min mile, except for this past Saturday.  Saturday on schedule was a 8mi LR.  One of my co-workers agreed to run with me and we decided to hit the trails.  She was going to run 5 & I made up the extra mileage by running there & back from my house.  This was probably one of the worst runs of my entire running career.  I felt like crap when I woke up but how could I bail? I had finally talked her into running with me and now I’m going to cancel? I don’t think so.  I told myself after the mile there I’d feel better.  Unfortunately I didn’t.  My stomach hurt and my legs felt like cement, I needed sleep.   We headed into the trails & it felt good to be back, atleast for the 1st mile.  I had to keep stopping.  I NEVER do that & we were running so slow– a 12 minute mile.  Don’t get me wrong the trails are pretty tough all rolling hills with a few steep ones BUT I used to be able to run them when I first started running at a 9:45 pace.  Shit. I felt like I was going to puke and on top of it, embarrassed.  I hate asking to stop but I knew if I didn’t I was going to throw up.  We took about 4 breaks and we only ran 4.35 miles together.  Horrible.  I ran home after and felt sick all day.  At first  I thought it was b/c I didn’t eat breakfast or drink anything before the run but I didn’t feel good the whole weekend and my body hurt.  Yesterday I got a massage and sacrificed my run.  I figured 3 horrible slow miles or a massage? After much internal debate, I went with massage.

Today  I feel a hell of a lot better, my neck is still bothering me, but I’m pretty excited for my 5 miler tonight.  I’m hoping for some more sub 10min miles especially closer to my HMP of 9:10. Wishful thinking. At least my two favorite shows are on tonight, Switched at Birth & Jane By Design. They’re both on ABC Family. No judging please.

It's Nicole's birthday today! Say Haaaapppppy Birthhhhday!

 

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

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Running Remedy

Got a headache? Go for a run

Stressed out? Go for a run

Bad day at work? Go for a run

Boyfriend/Girlfriend pissing you off? Go for a run

Ate too much last night? Go for a run

and the list goes on.

To me, and I’m sure many other runners out there running is our ” go to” when you have a problem. Yesterday, the mental running goal I made for myself was to go out for 3 mi easy.  I figured this would be a good start since I’m still taking it easy, it sucks, and it was basically a  monsoon out on LI.

Well things changed.

I did my 3 mi at 10:00min pace. It seemed like a little bit of a struggle, but whatever I’m still recovering. I stop, attempt to go do my cool down, and I’m feeling good. So what’s a runner supposed to do? Keep running of course! I did another 2 mi.  I stop, think, and say to myself keep going you feel good. Out for another 3 miles I went.  I needed this, I need running. I had so much on my mind–my review was the next day.  The next 3 miles were spent thinking.  I figured out what my game plan was for my review and what changed between my running from when I started back in February till now. Back when I started, I was like an eager puppy.  I just wanted to get out there and go, no matter how far it was.  Anything and everything was an accomplishment.  I loved testing myself and proving others or my training plan wrong, that I could run that extra mile.  By June, I was kicking butt. I went from running an 11:30 mile to a 7:06 and from being barely able to run a 1/2 mile to running 8 miles straight.  I was doing my 300m speed workouts at :45 which are now at :65(on a good day).  Things got weird.  I signed up for my first 5k and trained my ass off.  I wanted this. I knew I had it in the bag. Race day: I bombed it.  It was a cold and rainy day, the streets were filled with puddles, I was running in an inch deep of water and mentally I just wasn’t there, I checked out.  I ran it in a 31:54, the slowest 5k I had ever run.  I wanted to give up running.  For the next two weeks I bashed myself.  Then I signed up for my first half marathon.  Training went great btu the race itself was brutal. I ate wrong the night before and had a pinched nerve in my neck.  Clearly it had potential to be a great race, not.  But whatever, I took a much needed mental break and then tried to get back into the swing of things.  Hence tried.  I don’t know what happened to the Brianna that was so eager and just wanted to run fast and far.  Now I was so hung up on numbers, whether it be time, mileage, or weekly miles.  Running was still fun, but it was different.  I lost the spark.  I wasn’t exceeding as well as I used to during my runs and it killed me.  I was still pushing myself, but not like how I used to.  What was I afraid of? I used to tell myself “Keep going, the worst that can happen is you’ll throw up.” Now I’m to obsessed with trying to go fast or adding more miles that I’m not.  I know it’s all mental, but I couldn’t get out of my head.  Until last night. Those last 3 miles were the best out of the entire run.  I pushed myself, and thought back why am I doing this to myself.  Keep going, push, run faster.  I just want to go fast damn it! I thought to myself, all the greats surpass fear, pain, and speed why can’t I? (meaning of course that those feelings are all relative to every individual) So I began using some imagery, I pictured myself winning & running fast and what do you know? I started running fast.  I let go of every thought I had and just ran as hard and fast as I could.  The last half mile I thought about how Shalane won the Miami Half, how many feelings she had to overcome to get there mentally and physically.  I wanted to push myself, I wanted to go there, I want to PR again. I sprinted all the way home and felt amazing.  The only reason I stopped was b/c my legs felt like they wanted to go to sleep. First LR post injury, I’d say went great. It may not of been my fastest long run, but I’m back mentally and physically.  I’m going to use January to get back into the swing of things and get my mileage back up.  Come Febraury, it’s half marathon training baby and I’m going to PR the hell out of it.

My top two favorites for Houston, as if you couldn’t have guess already, are…

Until next time,

Run hard. Run long. Run strong.

Have you ever went through a running funk? How did you get out of it? Let me know!

How I started Running

I’ve been wanting to post for awhile now but couldn’t find the time/words to put this together.  This past Thanksgiving I ran in a local 5K.  To many people this may not seem monumental but any means but to me it meant the world.  Rewind back to February 18th, the first day I laced up my old Nike Shocks and went running with my brother (thanks RunKeeper).  My sole purpose for beginning to run was so I could race in the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving.  Actually, let me be honest my sole purpose to wanting to run in that race was so I could finish it with my college roommate and at the time best friend.  Of  course after watching my brother race and crush our High Schools records inspired me too but I really wanted to be able to run with her and prove to myself that I could do it.  I remember asking/bothering my brother ” Do you really think I can run 4mi after training for 9 months??!”.  Next thing you know, I’m running not 1mi straight but 2mi! What an accomplishment I thought.  The first night I ran 4miles straight it was a cold March night and I told my brother I was going out for a run. Forty minutes later I come running into the house and both my parents and brother have these worried looks on your faces “where were you, you were gone for so long”.  I didn’t even realize it, but I had done my first “long run” and beat my 4mile goal prematurely by 7.5 months. Four months after that I raced in my first 5K and then ran in a half marathon two months later.  What can I say, I like to challenge myself. I became addicted to running, the same girl that couldn’t run a mile in high school and faked being sick in gym.

Clearly I was hot and took my clothes off and threw them on the ground.

Unfortunately, I didn’t run in the Manchester Road Race this past Thanksgiving because my brother was running at the Nike XC Nationals the day after.  Instead, I ran in a local 5K race with one of my best friend’s since 5th grade.  It was sort of bittersweet in a way.  This race marked the reason why I started running yet I rarely talk to my college roommate anymore and instead I was running with someone who’s gone in and out of my life since I was 10, yet still consider a best friend.  The race was great, Kailey totally kicked my ass.  How could she not?  Growing up she was always the athlete and I was the dancer.  She’d teach me how to play lacrosse, which was more of a work out for her than anything- sorry kay!, and I’d teach her how to do body rolls and pirouettes.  Clearly we were meant for each other.  It’s funny, I remember being in 6th grade and she would make me go to “early morning sports” with her and I would try to sit out 1/2 way through but nope Kailey wouldn’t let me.

The siren went off and Kailey and I took off running/weaving through the crowd.  It was such a rush.  I kept up with her for about 3/4 of a mile before my stomach started to tighten.  I figured oh it’s just a cramp run through it.  Mile 1- 8:42, shit, shit, crap, I thought to myself.  You see, I hadn’t done any speedwork since before my half in October.  I was enjoying my runs and letting them take me wherever I wanted them to, which usually is an average 5-6 mi a day at a 10:00 pace and a nice long run around 10mi at a 10:30 pace on the weekends.  This 8:42 freaked me out.  How could I hold this pace? I knew I’d PR from my last and only 5k prior mainly from the amount of endurance training I had been doing, but in my head I thought I’d be PRing by yanno’ a minute or so, not 5 minutes.  Mile 2 came and went I was still cruising when my stomach tightened up more.  I slowed down, figured I’d massage the cramp out.  Before I knew it I was at the long straight away– in my head I pictured myself sprinting down this long-ass stretch, so I tried( why not right).  Nope, wasn’t happening.  My stomach dropped and I felt like I was going to puke.  I slowly jogged to the last 100 meter when I saw my Dad screaming ” Get up there!! You can do it!!”.  Crap, I thought now I gotta try and sprint.  I start sprinting and then before I knew it, I’m crossing the finish line throwing up.  Literally dry-heaving across the finish line.  What can you say, I’m classy.  I staggeringly look for a garbage can, none in sight.  So I just started throwing up where I am and Kailey comes to the rescue.  I guess you kind of have the bond with someone who you’ve known for 13 years that they don’t care that your puking and still rub your back.  Shortly after my parents and brother find us.  It was pretty embarrassing since I’m standing there puking after a 30 minute 5K( which was still a PR) when my brother holds one of the top 5 fastest XC 5k times in New York.  I still don’t know what happened, but I’m pretty damn pissed that I could of had an insane PR of 5 minutes if my lovely stomach would’ve held up.

The next day, Kailey and I went for our first trail run together and had a blast.  It was awesome to run with someone since normally I run solo.  The miles flew by and I think we kicked ass in the trails.  We proceeded to some drills on the track and made plans to do another race together in the near future.  Did I mention she moved 45 minutes away, boo Kailey boo!! It totally sucks that we’ve rekindled our friendship when she lives far away, but everyday we’ve been pushing each other to stick through the Runner’s World Run Streak!  I even got her to say YES to a half-marathon.

Why Kailey & I are twins/meant to be together

1. We became BFF’s b/c she asked me to go to safety patrol with her (clearly we were cool)

2. We were born a day apart from each other

3. We really like sour cream and onion dip

4. We made theme songs to our friendship while jumping on a trampoline.

5. Kailey thought I looked/danced like Britney Spears, If that doesn’t make someone a best friend than I don’t know what does.

6.We ended up majoring in the same field.  Ironic?

7. We love running, especially together.

The end of the year is near (oops didn’t mean to rhyme) and I’ve been thinking about what my goals are for 2012.  What are yours?  Let me know, I need some inspiration on some cool new races I’d like to do!

My toes are supposed to feel like this?

And my training for my first 5k continues…

Although the thought of even running more than 2 miles used to scare me I am now trying to mentally prepare myself for my 10 mile long run in the trails. I drank a lot of water throughout the day because that’s my biggest downfall, I am always dehydrated! I also tried to eat well, I had a salad with tuna, croutons, and fresh mozzarella. YUM!!

With all my built up anxiety, I needed to start my run when I get home from work. Surprisingly, my long awaited 10 miler went by fast and easy, but not too easy it was 10 miles after all! About every 3 miles I had to stop for a water break but other than that my head stayed clear of mile counting and my form stayed strong, who knew? of course somehow my course consisted of running up the steepest hill 6 times, but whatever why not integrate a hill work out as well? I averaged a 10:30 pace which is an accomplishment since that was my long run pace on the streets!

I may have said it was an easy run, but as you can guess ten miles is no easy task. The toes on my left foot was NUMB for about 20 minutes. Obviously I freaked out because who would think this was normal! After being told to suck it up and stop complaining, I crawled up the stairs, showered, and then indulged in a much needed girls Mexican night with endless chips guacamole and skinnygirl margarita, I am on the 5k diet yanno? 😉

A real recovery

After an intimidating hill work out yesterday on task for today was 3 miles. Although I could have taken the easy way out and ran on the street I opted for the trails. The first mile I pushed myself and felt more tired than usual. Luckily I had my phone with me, which has my training schedule written in it. Alas, today was 3 easy miles. No wonder I felt so tired. I know in previous posts I wrote how on easy days I still felt good so I pushed myself, but not today! I think I finally understand why my brother tells me you need a recovery day. The last 2 miles I finished slowly and filled my thoughts with my 10 mile trail run tomorrow, AH!!

Rain, Thunder, Lightning, Run??

I was itching to run all day today.  I felt like I just needed to get it out of me.  Unfortunately right before I was leaving work dark skies started to set in. I was praying for the storm to hold off until I got my run out, it was only two miles after all!  I drove up to the trails and ran in.  I know it was supposed to be a recovery day, but I just can’t seem to slow down.  It’s almost harder for me to slow down!! My legs were super sore from yesterday, but I think the fact that the sky was rumbling and started to light up I couldn’t let my run my interruptted.  This was MY run after all.  I finished in record time, yippee!, but I knew it I should have made it a lighter day the second I got back to my car.  My legs were s-h-o-t.  The second I got home I turned on the AC, I know I know diva, and stretched for a half hour all while watching The Secret Life of an American Teenager, at least that’s what I think it’s called.  The show totally wrapped me in and before I knew it my stretching was done and my legs felt connected to my body once again! Tomorrow, I have the day off. From running that is.  How much runners guilt do you think I’ll have?

Day 4- Early Morning Run

So I decided to get up at 7:30, which is early for me!, to get my run in before leaving for the city, it was friends 21st woo-hoo!  I attempted to stay in my development for my 6 mile run, but after the first mile I knew that wasn’t happening.  Since I’ve been running in my development for so long, I know where the tough spots are and where I normally get tired which to say the least, can be so mentally hard.  Before I even get to the hills I find myself slowing down and becoming out of breath because I know back when I started running, these were my troubles spots.  I keep trying to tell myself I shouldn’t be doing this, but I constantly find myself analyzing every little thing and counting the miles, which you know can’t be good.  So, at mile 3 I ran home hopped in my car and drove to some trails.

By this point the day was already heating up, I was kicking myself for hitting the snooze on my 6am alarm, I knew these last 3 miles weren’t going to be easy but I hit the trails with confidence anyway.  I remembered to bring my arm band, thankfully, stuck my iPhone in there and blasted Nirvana radio on Pandora, did you ever realize you work out better when you have angry music on?  I took off jamming out to some great music and woke the woods up with the raspy grungy voice of Kurt Cobain.  It was so beautiful to be in the trails in the morning,although I must have been the first one on the trails so I ran through all the spiderwebs first hand… ew.  Three miles came and went before I knew it.  I even stopped a few times to just take it all in, I felt like my friend Patty.  She does the same while shes on her bike rides.  It felt so nice and peaceful to just be there and breathe in fresh air.

Hopefully tonight I’ll stay true to my “5k” diet and don’t drink to much.  Gotta look and feel good for the race!