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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Day 1 of Half Marathon Training

Today is the day that I’ve been anxiously awaiting.  Training for me is a love/hate relationship.  I hate when I have no direction in my runs when I don’t have a race to train for , but I also hate training because what if I don’t do as well as I planned.  I hate having bad runs, they always get me down. In Brianna like fashion, I still haven’t decided which half I will be doing.  I’m sure sooner or later I will be creating pro’s & con’s list of the two half’s.  I hate making decisions.  I always want the best and am always afraid I’ll make the wrong choice. Crazy, right?

I’ve spent the last month mulling over training plans.  Which one would be “right” for me.  Originally I had planned to use Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Plan but then I changed my mind.  I didn’t like that his LR’s start at 5miles. Don’t get me wrong, I know there must be a purpose for this, but for me mentally I don’t think I would be mentally prepared if I trained that way.  I’m a total mental runner, as I know most of us are.  I need to get out of my head and stop analyzing things.  I knew for sure if I started with 5 mile long runs, I’d be going insane and not think I was prepared (fyi I  normally do 8-12 mi LR’s).  I’ve been getting into reading a lot of running blogs, but saying getting into I really mean obsessed.  I love reading how running has changed peoples lives or the obstacles they’ve over came, it can be so inspiring.  So,  I decided to look at some of my running inspirations training plans.  A lot seemed to hard or to many miles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love running long but it can be hard with my job & me not being a morning person (fun fact: I have work at 9 & sometimes I get up at 8:15…oops.). Ironically, I found a training plan on Pinterest.  My new obsession, I can spend hours on that site.  I’m still deciding between the “beginner” and “intermediate” program.

the "Beginner" Plan

The "Intermediate" Plan

I like that the intermediate program has you going up to 15mi’s before the half (mentally I think this would be great for me) BUT I dislike that mileage during the week.  Not that 7mi’s is a lot to pull out during the week physically, but after getting home and it’s dark out and oh UM I’m really freaking slow, the last think  I want to do is be running for over an hour in the pitch black.  Maybe I’ll do a mix between the beginner & intermediate and see how I feel.  I strongly believe that not every training plan is meant for everyone and that you should tailor it to you needs/wants and ability.

 

In other news, recently I’ve been becoming obsessed with knee high socks.  It could be my obsession with Shalane OR my inner FIT-er coming out and wanting to be more stylish when I run, who knows.  Does anyone know where  I could get a pair that’s not 40 bucks!?!  Also, I’ve decided I want to design some t-shirts, look out for em’.  I’m just trying to decide what printing company to use, any suggestions? 🙂

Is anyone else training for a half? Let me know!

 

Until next time,

 

Run Hard. Run Long. Run Strong.

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!