Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The End of the Streak

After 52 days and 238 miles, my running streak has come to an end. I'm incredibly amazed and proud that I made it 52 days, but sad to end it. 

On Sunday, my knee started to hurt while I was on my run. I wanted to run 13 miles, but only made it 5.3. It was the first time ever on a run where I worried about not making it back home. For the rest of the day, I took Advil and kept ice on my knee. Monday I did a short one mile run to test it out and it started to hurt toward the end of the mile. I switched to the elliptical after and it was fine on that. Yesterday, I ran 4.5 miles and my knee was fine until the end of the run. However, later that day I paid for that run. My knee hurt walking, sitting, bending, going down stairs was brutal (incredibly awesome that I live in a townhome with lots of stairs!). More ice, Advil and even tried some heat through the afternoon to lessen the pain.

This morning I woke up feeling awful. Everything hurt - my head, my back, my sides and definitely my knee. I felt as if my body was screaming at me to rest. So I am, and therefore ending my 52 day running streak.

I know that resting my body is important. I have pushed myself so much these last 52 days, barely even taking one mile "rest days." One mile days just seemed like I was failing somehow. I didn't want to put on my workout clothes, go to the gym for just a quick mile. I usually would do at least two, plus cross training and weights. Yeah, that's not a rest day!

I have felt so exhausted lately. I'm ready for bed by 9:30pm and feel like I could continue to sleep for hours even after my usual 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I look in the mirror and just see someone who looks tired and pale. Which isn't surprising since that's kind of how I feel. I miss that healthy glow running was giving me over the summer and fall.

Also, I'm not someone who likes to rely on pain killers. I think most pains are a sign that something is wrong; your body is trying to tell you something. Since Sunday, I've taken way more Advil than I like. And I need to realize that my body IS telling me something - slow down, rest, give the body time to heal.

Next week I officially start my marathon training and I want to be ready for it. That means feeling energized, excited, happy and healthy. Ending my running streak and taking a full rest day (or two!) is how I plan to get there. I'm so looking forward to being able to run a marathon, and I need my body to stay healthy and injury free to get there. I want to be able to run as long as possible, and that is more important to me than continuing on with this running streak. 

I will admit, that it's hard not seeing the high mileage on my training log this week and missing my planned runs. However, rest days are important; they're part of the program. I need to get back to focusing on the quality of my runs, not the quantity. I've really enjoyed the Runner's World Run Streak, and will definitely join in again next holiday season. But for now, I'm going to enjoy putting rest days back into my schedule and having a day off during the week to let my body rest and become stronger! 

Until next time~

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Would You Rather - Running Style Survey

One of my favorite bloggers, Cori over at Olive to Run (check out her amazing blog!!), has these fun surveys every once in awhile based on the game Would You Rather?

All of her questions are running related and I decided to join in on the fun. She's done seven surveys so far, and I'm starting with survey number one ....

Would you rather run a 5k or a marathon?
Right now, a marathon.
That seems so strange to say, but that's what first came to mind. I haven't even been running a year OR even ran my first marathon, but somehow I just know I'm going to love them. I really enjoy running long distances. Not that I'm going to stop doing 5k's because they are a lot of fun!!

Would your rather run in the heat of the summer or the icy winter?
Heat of the summer.
I don't like being cold. I don't like the ice. Give me sunshine, humidity and heat; I'll take it. I'm doing whatever I can to survive running this winter while counting down the days to spring.

Would you rather have new running shoes or a new running outfit?
Running shoes.
I'm learning the importance of a good running shoe and can't wait to try more brands and styles out. I have my eyes on these for my next pair ....

Would you rather run alone or in a group?
I really enjoy my runs with my running buddy, Lisa, but most of the time I hit the pavement alone. I like the solitude of my runs, just me and nature. Although I would like to find another running buddy just to help with motivation and to break up some of those runs where I start to feel lonely. 

Would you rather run next to someone in a race who tries to talk to you constantly or someone who breathes heavy and grunts?
The talker.
Especially if they have something interesting to say; it might help pass some of the time. I'd probably run away from the heavy breather and grunter!  

Would you rather run a race because of the convenience (location, price, travel) or the swag?
Convenience for sure.
I like picking races that are close to me/ easy to get to, and that aren't super expensive. Those are huge factors to me. I don't think I even look at the swag until after I register.

Would you rather run a race with a group of friends or by yourself?
By myself.
Since I run most of the time by myself, I think it would be difficult to race with a group. I can imagine it would be hard to figure out pacing and even staying together. I just like to put on my music and get lost in the crowd, and meet up with everyone at the finish line.

Would you rather run a PR but result in an injury or finish strong and miss a PR?
Finish strong.
I don't want to get injured or push myself so much to run for a PR that I would get injured. Having a good, enjoyable race is what's most important.

Would you rather eat a big meal the night before or a big meal after a race?
Hmmm, after I guess. But way after!
I have a very picky stomach so I don't like to eat anything different the night before I race. However, I'm not usually hungry after I run. I usually have to force myself to eat after long runs! But having a big dinner later that day would probably be my choice.

Would you rather be chased by a swarm of bees or a pack of dogs?
Dogs. Bees scare me. And especially if the dogs look like this!

This was fun! Hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time~

Monday, January 6, 2014

MIMM: Running Things

Happy Monday! Today is definitely a Monday - alarm went off SUPER early for me at 5:15am, peeled myself out of bed, made coffee, showered and got ready, and was just about ready to leave for a work trip when I found out it was called off. Which I'm incredibly grateful for because it's scary cold out today! Wind chill was at 50 below zero when I woke up. This is beyond cold!!

Last week marked the end of the Runner's World Holiday Streak. So how did I do? Well, I'm actually still streaking! I have ran 43 days in a row - crazy!! I never imagined myself making it through this and, on top of it, keeping it going! I added up my miles and here is where we are right now: 200.16 miles!!

I've learned a few things during this streak. One, I actually like running every day. I think I just like moving every day. Rest days used to give me anxiety, and now that it's winter, I can't go out for long walks on them so running has helped with that. Second, I can run even when I'm tired or my legs are sore. Once I got going, my legs would loosen up and I would feel a little more awake. Third, my body still needs rest. I had a couple of weeks where I didn't take a one mile "rest day." I pushed myself to more miles AND would do some sort of cross training after like weights or the bike. My body would get so exhausted I'd feel sick and all my runs would suffer. So although I like moving every day, I can't push it too much!

I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep the streak up because I signed up for my first marathon!!! Woot woot!! 

The Minneapolis Marathon on June 1st will be my first marathon. I'm so excited!! I think all the miles I logged during the running streak will definitely help me with training; I know my body can handle 35+ miles weekly. I researched training plans and reached out to my Sweat Pink sisters for advice, and finally decided to go with the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 plan. I have to modify it slightly to allow an extra week due to when my half marathon will be, but I think the plan is a good fit for me since it allows me six days of workouts, which is my ideal amount. I'm also hoping to find a running club or at least a buddy to help with those long runs.

I chose this marathon because I wanted to challenge myself right away in the spring. Also, if I love running marathons, I can find another in the fall to run! This marathon was also featured in the January issue of Runner's World so that's kinda cool. The organization that puts it on is Team Ortho and I have ran two of their events including my first half marathon and the Polar Dash I just ran on New Year's day. I like them and their organization is awesome. I'm also running my next half marathon with a race their doing so we can safely assume I'm a fan!

Has anyone ran with a running group? 
Any advice on my first marathon or training?

I hope everyone has a good Monday! Stay safe with all the crazy winter weather out there. Linking up here for Marvelous in My Monday!

Until next time~

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014: A Year To Be....

Happy 2014!
My year started off with a super chilly 10k run at the Polar Dash in Minneapolis! This was actually my first 10k and for how cold it was, I'm super happy with my results. I finished in 58:10, keeping my goal pace of 9:22/ minute. I will admit that this was a very painful race at first with frozen feet, but once my feet thawed, I had a fun run. The course was great with hills for the first three miles, then mostly downhill for the last three. I should have just kept going for the 14 mile race; maybe then I wouldn't have gotten so cold afterwards waiting for my friend to run the 5k! But oh well, a race is in the books for the year already. A race is a great way to start out 2014!!

Now I'm not one to make resolutions on New Year's. I probably did last year, but I couldn't tell you what they were without looking. Resolutions are things that are forgotten by February usually and I choose to set goals throughout the year instead.

This year, I do have quite a few running goals. Surprise, surprise! 

First, I signed up for the Run This Year Challenge. You choose to run either 2,014 miles or kilometers throughout the year. (You can also set your own running goal.) I signed up for the kilometers, which is 1,251.4 miles and averages to 24 miles per week. Totally doable for me since I've been averaging 32 to 35 miles currently. I might still go for the miles in the end, but we'll see!

Second, my goal is to run 14 races in 2014. I would need to find a race a month, plus two months run two races. I'm going to start planning out my race calendar this weekend! And I already have one done!!

Third, I want to run three half marathons and my first full marathon in 2014. I think I already have all these races picked out - I'll do half marathons in March, July and October and my full marathon in June.

Other than those goals (with plans and deadlines going in place!) I have no resolutions. However, I did see this that intrigued me ...

“My One Word” is an experiment designed to move you beyond [the resolutions] cycle. 
The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead 
pick ONE WORD.

This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. 
Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future.

So what's my one word that will shape 2014?

Why fearless?
Well, in part it's because I know I need to not be afraid of running my first marathon. I need to tackle those training runs and that big race without fear. I can't back out because I get afraid of the daunting mileage. I need to be fearless.

Also, I think I'm afraid of many things in life. Things I don't usually talk about on here....
I'm afraid of dating and how that would change my life. I will admit, I'm afraid of letting someone into my world again.
I'm afraid to speak up often with my work. To speak up for what I want.
I'm afraid to do things on my own like going to see a play, get dinner, etc. because of what people might say about me. I'm getting better, but I still spend most nights at home and am stuck in a rut.
I need to approach these things with a different attitude and be fearless.

So that's what I'm going to focus on more this year. Running, of course! :) And take more chances, step out of my comfort zone more and just be fearless.

Do you make resolutions? Or have any running goals like me? What would your "one word" be?

Until next time~