Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's this - a run?

After a week of no running, I finally got out there for a run today. I of course picked the day with a windchill of 5, but hey. You gotta run when you gotta run!

I felt bad missing so many runs over the past week, but the fatigue and morning sickness have really just honestly kicked me in the butt. Hard. Apparently I was hit hard by fatigue my last pregnancy too, but in a lovely bit of fatigue-induced blur, I don't remember it :D My husband does though...I've gone to bed so early lately, and have just had no energy at all. I've tried to go for runs and just didn't have the energy even once I was out there. My usual rule is do a mile and if I'm still not feeling it I go back and cut it to a 2 mile run, because 99% of the time I'm fine once I get going. But this week I couldn't even make it to a mile - my energy level was really just that low.

Today though I woke up and finally felt human! *cue air punches* I had been hoping to do at least 5 - I ended up doing 4 though, and I don't feel bad. I did great the first 3 miles and the fourth mile was just really hard, my energy flagged hard and morning sickness forced me to walk a few times. Despite that the mile came out to 13:17 so it wasn't awful, but I knew I was done.

I think I'm going to have to let go of mileage goals for the most part, at least until my energy gets better near the second trimester. It's incredible how much harder* running is right now - it boggles my mind because the baby is the size of a blueberry right now. You'd think having a blueberry inside you wouldn't make it any harder to run, logically, but between constant nausea, exhaustion, and just running being /harder/...I'm going to have to do something really hard for me, and try to be flexible. I love training plans. I love ticking runs off a list and racking up my goal mileage. I love it. It works for my ocd little brain and gives me the biggest sense of accomplishment - but the flip side is right now, it's making me feel like a failure.

And I refuse to feel like a failure, because I know so many women don't even try to run while pregnant. Hell, so many people don't even try to run, end of story. I am trying. No, I am doing. And if I am more limited now than I was a month and a half ago, so be it. I will try to do more long runs with my husband, because I think that'll give me the support mentally to push through long runs. But if I can't make one of my three weekly runs, I won't beat myself up. If I can't do 6 miles and do 4, well okay then. I know that every mile is good for me and every mile is good for Baby Marathon.

*And oddly, I don't just mean harder because I'm tired. My heart is beating harder, sooner, and faster. It's weird, but I can feel that it's physically more strenuous to run right now. That's part of why I cut a mile off my run today; I didn't want to be pushing my HR right now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rest days

Just a quick note more for myself than anything else - for the second day in a row I woke up with a sore throat and muscle soreness. I'm going to take the rest of the week off and hope that Monday I feel better, I think this is primarily from morning sickness but time will tell. Right now, I'm going to go nap instead of run as I feel absolutely no energy level, so I'm just going to take that cue and take it easy. I want to be out there, but I'm really afraid to push it right now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Confessions of a slow runner

I haven't gone for my run yet, since it's a day my daughter doesn't have school and I have to wait for my husband to get home, but I'll get that in in a few hours.

In the mean time, I've been thinking more about speed. It's no secret that I'm a slow runner - back of the pack generally, and I came in last in my first 10k (granted, there were only 21 people including me in that race, but still). My fastest mile according to my garmin is a 10:48. Some of that is that I started running while 50lbs overweight - but some of it, as I began to realize when I got closer and closer to my goal weight (10lbs away, but losing that last 10 is obviously on hold right now) is that I'm just physically slow. I -am- faster than I used to be - my very first 5K clocked in at a 40:18. Speed demon, amirite? My most recent last month was 35:17 and that's good progress between September and January, but it's again, primarily because I lost weight. I'm just a slow poke. And usually, I'm okay with that.

Sometimes though, it's hard not to be just a little self conscious about it. Blogging has made this better and worse; better, because it's brought me into contact with other runners who -are- running my pace or close. Worse, because like the rest of the running community, most are a whole lot faster than I am.

For the most part, I know better than to compare myself to others and I'm grown up enough that comparing myself to others mostly lost its glamour in grade school. But .. but but but.

But I'm extremely competitive by nature and it's hard sometimes to ignore the little snipes that those of us running 12 minute miles aren't running, we're jogging, or aren't running, we're just briskly walking. I know that -most- runners aren't like this, and most of pretty damn supportive of everyone who gets out there and puts themselves on display to run the best race they can.

But, it's hard to swallow that working as hard as I can, I may never even end up in the middle of the pack.

But, it's hard to know that when I go running with my husband, he really doesn't get anything out of it at all. Especially as I get further along in this pregnancy, he's probably going to be able to walk alongside me as I run! (...which, he has before. Side effect of short wife and tall husband - his natural walk is a 15 minute mile and mine's a 20...)

I do love to run. I love that I can. For me, it was impossible. Jeff Galloway and the C25K made it possible for this particular pipe dream to come true, and I -can- run 5 miles without stopping, even if it's slow. Every time I go out there, I do the impossible. I'm the girl who couldn't run, and I have run as much as 13.1 miles! And that's worth celebrating, even if I'm slow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby news and boring runs

First, baby news! We had our ultrasound yesterday to both date the pregnancy and confirm it's viable. The baby measured 6 weeks 2 days gestation, which means I managed to test and get a positive on the early side. I'll take it! I saw the heartbeat, which was just...incredible. (Although the tech scared me to death - she first did an abdominal and pointed out the gestational sac, and said it could just be really early...heartbroken, I asked her if that meant no heartbeat, and she said only the internal would show the heartbeat this early. When she saw it right away on the internal it was a HUGE relief!)

After some quick math when we got home, we realized that that put the date of conception to be...the Chicago Polar Dash, my first half marathon, last month. Hahahahahah. We stayed in a hotel for the race since it was downtown and a pain to get to otherwise, and I guess we were...opportunistic 0:-) We're nicknaming the baby Marathon until we find out the sex, hahah.

Interestingly, this date for the pregnancy also means I haven't managed many long long runs with Marathon on board. So, that could lend credence to me finding running harder right now, because I know I've been struggling and figured it was just a bit of slowdown after my half. Could it be more? I guess I'll find out as the pregnancy progresses.

I really should have run on Monday, but I was tired and anxious; today I was finally zen enough, after seeing the heartbeat, to get a good run in today. I wanted 5 and I got them in, but the paths I usually run are still full of solid ice slicks a couple inches deep that are impossible to run on because the temps keep bouncing between slightly above freezing and slightly below, so it keeps melting slightly and reforming. Ick. So instead of my normal 2.5 mile out and then 2.5 mile back path, I ran little circles around my subdivision, in an out of different cul de sacs.

The pros -

1) No traffic in the morning, so I wasn't dodging cars like I would have been if I'd run my normal path on the streets instead of sidewalk
2) Different area so not quite as boring as laps around my house
3) Ran the whole time again! Which has me wondering if I should try to focus on extending that ability for a while. I focused on Gallowalking because I was very very injury prone...but that was 40lbs ago. Literally. My body is healthier and stronger than it has ever been..maybe I'm ready for the stresses of solid running? Then again, I'm pregnant...maybe I shouldn't be instituting this kind of change now when I've been running like this for 8 months?

The con -

1) SO. BORING! I'm so bad at getting it down if there isn't a half way point where I'm committed to finishing the run. Maybe that makes me a bad runner, but unless I'm running with someone keeping the attention span I need otherwise is so hard when I'm just trying to fill in distance. If I'm running up and down this street and that street just to fill in the miles, I'm so much more likely to quit the run earlier than I want. I was always like this for walks too and it drove my husband nuts - without a destination I get bored. I love running and I still get bored. It's filler and feels unproductive, even though I -know- it's all in my head. Ugh. I wish I could get over this mental hurdle because it was so much easier to run here without the ice.

Unfortunately, lied. When I checked, it said 33, felt like 25. So I dressed in my wool base layer, running pants, long sleeve tech shirt, and threw on my thick polar dash fleece. Unfortunately, it was actually 41 according to my car and that's a big difference - I was sweating the whole time! Wish I'd grabbed a lighter jacket. Oh well! The plan for this week:

Monday: Rest/recover from Cupid
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 2-3 miles (tempo or easy - I'm not going to do any more speed interval training while pregnant)
Friday: 5 miles
Sat/Sun: Long run 8-9 miles OR run 6 miles with no walk breaks. I'm open to thoughts here, I'm torn. I don't actually know that I'm less injury prone now than I was, and I'm now pregnant. But, I've now run 5 miles without stopping multiple times and been fine...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cupid's Love Dash 10K!

Finally finally finally I can write this race recap - and yes, I only ran it today, but I've been waiting to run it since September! My PR going into this race was 1:17:08 at the SIA Track Attack on 10/27/12, which was my first 10K. My goal was 1:14:00.

I have to admit I slept terribly last night even though my daughter spent the night at her Grandma's house, which usually lets me sleep better. I even had a nightmare that I got there late and forgot my bib so I had to fill out this really really long day-of registration form that included a short novel and a pop quiz (brain...what??), and by the time I finished the form, it was too late to run the race!

Fortunately, that dream didn't come true. The alarm went off at 6:25 and though I snoozed a couple times I made it out of bed. I got dressed and toasted my bagel, but only managed to eat half of it and without my usual PB at that, but oh well. (Thanks, baby - but at least I know WHY it's been so hard to eat breakfast this past month!) A quick check revealed that it was supposed to rain between 8 and 9, which was oh, most of the time the 10k would be going, and thus lead me to grab my running jacket instead of my fleece since it's nominally water resistant. With minimal poking and prodding my husband rolled out of bed too, and after a cute miscommunication where he thought we weren't leaving until 7:50 (which for an 8:15 race was actually when I wanted to BE there), he too got dressed and I managed to push my now-cold toasted bagel half onto him so I didn't have to try to force it down. Huzzah! A couple glasses of water later, and we were out the door.

The drive was uneventful, it was essentially the same as the one I'd made for packet pickup and in short order we were there, by 7:53. Parking was as abundant as promised and walked about the half mile to the start line, where I got in line for one of the 8 portopotties. (8! More would have been was a relatively small race, less than 700 people, but still...more would have been really nice!) Fortunately I got through the line before the 10K started and was able to line up in time. As we were waiting for the gun to go off, it of course started drizzling, right on cue. Ah well.

Before I knew it the gun was sounding and we were off - the course started a little odd where we had an out-and-back before we ended up in the majority of the course, about a half mile each way for the 10k and a little less for the 5k course. It was a literal road race, where we ran in the right lane of a 2 line road the whole way (which was a little odd, because they didn't fully stop traffic, but it worked surprisingly well.) The first mile flew by - literally! I clocked an 11:07 mile because I forgot my walk break in all the excitement of FINALLY running the Cupid's Dash. I settled in for mile 2 with 2 minute walk breaks every 5 minutes and clocked an 11:53 mile. Around here the 5K and 10k courses split off and I was amused to hear people talking about how flat the course was, because I must be a hill baby - the first two miles were steady rolling hills, not the horrible kind you have to walk through but the steady baby hills that just sap you. But I was still excited and plowing forward.

Mile 3 was a lower 12:16 because I stopped extra for both water, and for candy. Yes, I got my chocolate on course - a little peanut butter cup I stuck in my pocket for later :D Mile 4 was also slow at 12:15 for a couple reasons. I think part of it was because around here I ended up getting stuck in a pack of 6 or 7 other runners - 4 of them running right next to each other. I ended up running around them a lot, they were walk/running too and we never quite matched. I'd end up running near them for another couple miles. It was a little irritating, but at least I wasn't on my own on a strange street! This mile was mostly slower though because I had to seriously entertain the thought of "What happens if I throw up on the course?" I don't know if I was overdoing it or if it was the pregnancy, but my stomach was threatening to make its presence known in an unpleasant way. The nice part was I clocked my 5K at 36:30, so I knew I was on pace to both PR and beat my goal time for this race despite my stomach.

Mile 5 12:01 isn't too awful, but I've no idea how that mile ended up so fast because the entire mile was uphill. Literally. My garmin say it went from 657 elevation to 689 and it was uphill the entire time. I don't know what that would be for other runners, but for me, that was a monster! The second water break here was so welcome, although oddly - especially considering the temperature - the water was warm. Like, warm warm. Weird.

The sixth and final mile was 11:53 - I was ready to fly to the end, but the entire mile was slick with ice. Everyone had to walk the baby downhills for the most part because otherwise you were in real danger of just sliding - it was pretty crazy, the woman next to me literally stopped and coasted at one point! It was absolutely surreal. I finally broke free of the pack I'd been stuck in when almost all of them decided to walk the ice slick - I wasn't ready to walk, but I did take super tiny steps. It was a little nervewracking though and even the police on site directing us commented that we needed the road salted! I was so so happy to see mile marker 6. I hauled butt, and my garmin shows I clocked a 10:19 pace for that last stretch. I was ready to be done!

I hadn't even been looking at my time, so was shocked to see when I stopped my garmin that my time as 1:13:24 - I'd not only PR'ed by 3:42, but I'd beaten my goal time by more than 30 seconds. Average pace of 11:52...which is funny, because not that long ago, I was shocked to finish a 5K and maintain a pace under 12 - to the point where I pushed it so hard that I nearly did throw up at the finish line! And now, I comfortably held that for a 10K.

Some post race thoughts:

1) I do think if I wasn't pregnant I could have broken 1:10 - I consciously slowed myself down at points. I'm not going to stop running because I'm pregnant, but I also know this isn't the time to push myself to my limit. Despite how happy I am with my time, I think it shows how far I've progressed with my running that the goal I set when I registered was so easy to achieve even when consciously taking it easy, and that makes this slow poke pretty darn happy :)

2) Oh, and this makes me happy too:

3) Planning to add a run after a run may not work so well going forward. I got home and was just absolutely done. I remember being exhausted the entire first trimester with my daughter, so this isn't shocking, but I got home and my husband put me to bed. I'm not going to stress over missing the 3 miles; this was a tough enough course that I think I got more out of it than I would have from 6 miles at home, plus it was at race pace. But note to self, this may or may not work while pregnant.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Packet Pickup and Maternity running clothes

Today's a rest day, so not too much exciting, but there are a couple things I'm going to rant about anyway. (Forewarned - I'm not negative, but I'm WHINY! I'm good at whiny.)

First, and more Is excitingly a word?...I picked up my packet for the Cupid's Love Dash tomorrow. I grabbed it yesterday and seriously am getting more and more excited for this race. It did remind me though how much I hate doing races that don't do race day packet pickup. Unless the race is literally in town - and this one isn't - it's a huge pain. It's part of why I hate doing Chicago races - getting there to pickup the packet is a huge pain. It means hours in the car with a bored kiddo.

And I mean...I do get that it's much easier on the race if people pick up earlier, and a lot of people prefer it. But seriously, having no race day pickup options has caused me to skip races I otherwise would have attended. Unless the race is huge (Hot Chocolate and the Mini Marathon come to mind) I really can't come up with a good excuse not to do it - even if registration costs a little bit more, I'd do a race with race day pickup over one that forces you to pick it up early. Forcing my daughter to spend hours in the car for a race she isn't going to go do is just not fair, and then the ride is stressful trying to make sure she doesn't fall asleep, is entertained, etc.

But, at least it's over, even if it was a huge pain. The RD posted this morning that the course is about half clear with some snow on the rest, so I'll just take it as it goes and enjoy. I won't lie...I'm so tired I thought of asking to drop down to the 5K, but I know I'd regret it if I did that.

And second, and less exciting but mostly for my own reference...maternity running clothes are expensive. :( I still have all my maternity clothes from my daughter's pregnancy in 08 so am fine on that front, but I realized I'll need running clothes this go round. And...ugh. A quick price check? - $50 for a tanktop $40-$50 for a running skirt ON SALE - $68-$75 for a running skirt not on sale

Can I just say...ouch? My entire warddrobe for my last pregnancy was less than a hundred dollars, heavily supplemented by a coworker who had just had her last baby and gave me her maternity clothes. Especially with a new baby on the way, money is tight. I do work from home to supplement my husband's job, but ouch - this could be $120 for a single outfit. At most I can do one of these, and I can't do it right now. I'm going to talk to my boss and see if I can pick up an extra project...I can't give up running, but spending 6 months running in clothes that don't fit doesn't really sound appealing. I have no bottoms at all that will work for running, and my husband does have a tech tank I could borrow that will probably fit at least through the second trimester, but for the most part he runs in that or regular tshirts because he only runs 3-4 miles at a time. Which means competing with him for a single tank top. Ugh!

I guess I could buy just a bunch of L and XL tech tanks, but I'll vanity doesn't really like the idea. I'll just look really, really fat. And there's nothing wrong with fat runners - I started there. But I remember how fat I felt being pregnant last time and when you're heavily pregnant, you're already a little self conscious. I think I'd like to figure out a way to have at least one nice outfit that doesn't make me look huge in any other way but hugely pregnant.

So looking around for stuff that will fit if not be quite as cute as the high fashion options: - gap has a black maternity tank for $30 - and old navy has one for $22

Okay, that's a little more doable. I think I'll probably splurge on one of the running skirts that's on sale, since it has the supportive belly band, and then a couple cheap active tanks from gap or old navy. They won't be cute and say "running for two" but oh well. For my half in April, maybe I'll find the funds to indulge in a cute cotton/poly burnout that says running for two? It's a thought, at least!

Friday, February 8, 2013

I said 5K, didn't I? Didn't I?

...okay, no, I said 5 miles. But I again underestimated how hard running in the snow would be; I thought it would be easier than last night if I just yanno...stayed out of the 6-inch-deep stuff.

And it was. But I was still running on really uneven terrain, varying from clear to slush to puddles to ice to 2-3 inches and it wasn't totally possible to avoid the 6 inches patches either. I'm a little disappointed that I pooped out after 5K, but running at 12:40 wasn't conversational today - it made that much of a difference. So, I cut it short because I was just totally, completely done.

This does make me a little nervous for the 10K on Sunday - I've been looking forward to it for so so long. I was really thinking I'd PR because I haven't run a 10K since October and since then I've run multiple halfs and a 10miler, plus many longer runs...but if the terrain is this rough, I might not anymore. Which is a bummer, but this race will still be a blast - aid station one is CHOCOLATE. Chocolate!

Yes, I'll run for chocolate. Won't you?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dude. Snow running is rough!

My doctor's office FINALLY called with my lab results, confirming that oh em gee, I am pregnant. Like, seriously. I'm pregnant. That still shocks me. So, I have an ultrasound scheduled for this Tuesday to see how far along I am - I'm guessing I should be about 7 weeks as of Tuesday but we'll see.

With that off my chest, I went out for a run tonight. It was supposed to be a tempo run (and my first run knowing I was running for two!) but it became a get-out-there-and-get-through-it run because there was literally 6 inches of snow on the ground. Man, that was TOUGH! I swear that felt like way more than 2.1 miles - I should have stayed in my neighborhood and ran the semi-clear sidestreets, going my normal route meant I was hiking through deep snow and even though I ran the almost the whole time, my pace was almost a 15 minute mile. Crazy! I was happy to get out there though, snow was still coming down heavily and it was beautiful and kind of fun because it was just so crazy. I was thinking of Kim's snow-shoe race as I ran - I hope she doesn't mind me linking it because it was seriously on my mind the whole time. She's right, snow running is HARD, and I wasn't even in real snow shoes! I hope tomorrow is clearer, I want 5 miles and doing that in .25 increments around my neighborhood is less than fun.

Though honestly, I'm probably going low on mileage this week - I think I have a good excuse!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No running. Oop.s.

I'd like to say I tried to run today, but the truth is, I didn't. I'm tired, I'm stressed out waiting for the doctor to call back with my bhcg results, and my stomach feels off. (Is it morning sickness, or an overactive imagination, or just bad luck? I have no idea, but no matter what it is, I know what it isn't - it isn't fun.)

So, I got home with enough time to squeak out a 2 mile run...but I'm not. I curled up in bathrobe, trying to stay warm and calm my stomach and willing my phone to ring.

Oh well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Some awesome news. I'm NOT running a marathon this year!

So, I found out this morning there's no way I'm running a marathon this year. And it's great news!

No, really. I'm not crazy, just keeping reading.

I had this really bizarre dream last night that I took a pregnancy test and it was positive, but in a weird special-effects type thing the positive line on the test beamed itself away. Mostly to quiet my brain, since me getting pregnant on my own should be impossible, I took a HPT this morning.

And it was positive.


Cue shock and tears of joy. I of course didn't believe it, and it was a dollar test that had been the last of a batch I'd been going through over the past year or so, so my daughter and I trekked out for a 2mile walk in 3 inches of snow to Walgreens for a second HPT of a different brand.

And it was also positive.

I have no idea when I'm due (like I said, pregnancy isn't even supposed to be possible) but somewhere between June and October. (Like I said...isn't supposed to be possible, LOL!) So, an October marathon in 2013? Just not happening! I'll either have a newborn or be like, 9 months pregnant. So 26.2 miles and my farthest run to date? I love running, but I think not.

What I will be doing, however, is running. I am going to run as long as I am comfortably able to; I love to run and feel like if I really am pregnant (yes, two HPTs aren't quite enough to convince me yet...I have a bloodtest tomorrow morning), I got here because running has done so many good things for me.

So my plan right now - well first, I'm still going to do all the races I am registered for. That's everything on the right side of the screen except the North Shore Half on June 2. I am going to ditch time expectations and find the victory in running rather than times - cuz, I think that's pretty reasonable. Running is hard for my non-pregnant self - for my pregnant self, I have every expectation it will also be hard.

For the North Shore Half, that's going to require some more thought and I probably won't register until closer to race day, because it's going to depend a lot on how I feel.

I will continue to run 20-25 miles a week as long as I am comfortably able. That is what my body is used to - I won't be extending my long run as much as I had planned this year, I will vary it between 8 and 14 for as long as I can sustain that level of mileage - and I feel comfortable that I should be able to hold onto that mileage for a while.

In that vein, for this week:

Monday - rest (was SO sore from my 8 miler - hard run in the snow!)
Tuesday - 2 mile walk (I wanted a tempo run today, but you know what...I was a little too excited to fit it in when my husband got home!)
Wednesday - 3-4 miles (I'd love a 5 miler, but realistically, I need to get bloodwork in my normal running window, so we'll see - I'll get in whatever I have time for)
Thursday - 2 mile tempo run
Friday - 5 miler
Saturday - rest
Sunday - Cupid's Love Dash 10K + 3 mile run that afternoon (I hate splitting a long run but I have been looking forward to this race FOREVER!)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hard runs SUCK, sort of

So, I've run two days in a row before, but usually a longer day followed by a shorter day. Today I ran after having run 5 yesterday so it was the first day I flipped that order...and man, it was hard. It was 10 degrees warmer (10F instead of below zero, haha) but my legs were so tired. I had planned 8-10 and a long slow run, about 13ish minute miles - and well, let's just say, this run was U-G-L-Y ugly.

I got to run with my husband, which is why I ended up running a long run without doing a rest day beforehand - I get to do it so rarely that even though I'd planned to run Sunday, I couldn't pass the opportunity up. (Babygirl played with her Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle, and we ran around their neighborhood.) Well, let's just say I clocked my first mile at about 13:40...and they were pretty much all around there. (Except mile 3, which was my first GU stop - my GU chomps were pretty much frozen, so my walk break to eat them took forever and we clocked a 14:45...ouch! The sports beans work much better on cold days, apparently.)

Throughout the run, I knew my legs were tired. I couldn't seem to warm up all the way, so I think it was a combo of no rest, my first long run since the Polar HM 3 weeks ago, and how cold it was. I was much slower than normal - I told my husband it would be a slow one and he said that was fine, but we both know that even though I slowed down I was obviously pushing it. (Not in the sense that I was risking injury, just that my legs were very fatigued.) At mile 4 we started talking about it being a 5 mile run instead of the 8-10 I had planned, but I was afraid to lose another weekend without a long run and have next weekend be even harder to get back in the groove. He teased me and cajoled to keep me going, saying he knew that even though I was talking about 5 I'd do 8.

Well, mile 5 and 6 hit, clocking around 13:20 a piece; somewhere in there I did my second food break, sports beans that time and it went much better - they warmed up easier than the chomps I guess! But I was really fatigued and we decided to cut it short and end it at 7. I told him I didn't like it, because the minimum I wanted to accomplish was 8, but I was legs were already feeling a little sore. Distance ended up working out that we didn't at 7, but at we crossed 7, I told him I was really thinking about finishing it up and going to 8. He said he wasn't, that mentally, he was done, but I was still thinking about it. There was only one run I'd ever cut short - I've even finished running after tripping and smacking up my knees - and cutting this one short because I was tired just felt /weird/. When we hit his parent's house, he looked at me and said, "You're going to 8, aren't you?"

And I was. He headed inside (no cooldown walk for him, but this was barely jogging for him - his natural slow pace is about a 10, haha) and I slogged off in the snow and slush to finish off the last 2/3 of a mile. That actually ended up being my fastest mile at a speedy 13 (*eyeroll*).

This run was cold, it was hard, it was ugly, and it was challenging even beyond the cold with all the snow and slush on the ground making footing more work than normal. If my husband hadn't been there I don't know that I would have gotten to 7, much less the 8 I wanted at a minimum, and I'm grateful for his presence. I'm not sorry I ran today even though it was hard and it was slow, it was a challenge in a way I don't usually challenge myself and I do want to do some bigger back to back runs going forward. And yeah, I didn't get out the 10 I really had hoped for (even though I wrote 8-10) - but I knew that was optimistic since this would be my longest run in 3 weeks. I'm still proud of finishing this run.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Today wasn't about time or distance.

Today's run wasn't about distance. I've run 5 miles what, a million times? I've run farther, and in fact, I run farther every week.

And today's run wasn't about time or speed. I've run faster. None of my miles were record breaking and in fact, even my half marathon race pace was a second per mile faster.

Today's run wasn't about persevering in the cold either, even though it was -2F with a windchill that felt like -18F according to Though I'll be honest, before I went out, I emailed my husband that it was so cold my toes hurt and I wasn't sure it was a good day to run.

No, today was about the girl who, 14 months ago, bitched and whined about walking around the Milwaukee zoo in November because it was cold and I had to /walk/. 40lbs heavier, that girl could whine.

Today was about the girl who a month later went downtown to eat under the big tree in the Walnut Room and as we rushed back to make our train, couldn't keep up while we speed walked. 40lbs heavier, that girl didn't like moving and didn't do it when she didn't have to.

Today was about leaving that girl 40lbs and hundreds of miles behind. It was about getting out there and never stopping, of running the whole way (and even feeling like I could have kept running, even though this was the farthest I've ever run without doing any walk intervals) because I could and not because I had to, because I wanted to and not because someone else needed to, because it made me feel good and not because money was tight or there aren't enough hours in the day or any of the other bits of life that always interfere.

Hello there, February. You're going to be an amazing month.

Of course, the cup of peanut butter hot chocolate at the end helped too :)