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!