Thursday, February 27, 2014

Embracing the Treadmill

This winter has been brutal, hasn't it? I believe here in Minnesota, they're saying this is the hardest winter we've had in 33 years. Which would be the hardest winter since I've been alive. This morning it was 35 below zero with the windchill. Our average temperature is supposed to be 26 right now. Brrr is an understatement.

I have often thought many times through this winter, who signs up for an early March half marathon and a full marathon in June with such a tough winter? Oh yeah, this girl did. So what does that mean? It means LOTS of treadmill time! 

I have ran outside as much as possible, and I've enjoyed those runs so much!! Sadly, we've had like five days with warm temps (and not snowing), but I've taken advantage of them.

The rest of the time I've been stuck at the gym on the treadmill. I even did my longest run of 14 miles on the treadmill and with a forecasted high of 1 above on Saturday, my planned 16 miles will be on the treadmill as well. Sucky. But, I'm learning to embrace and get the most of those treadmill runs. Because what other option do I really have??

I'm not one to watch TV when I run on the treadmill. Partly because where the TVs are located, I have to crane my neck to watch and my posture gets screwed up. Secondly, I don't watch them because the TVs are usually on SportsCenter, Golf Network or the news. That gets old! So what do I do???

Honestly, I do whatever I can to zone out. I have a running playlist on Spotify that I listen to with songs to keep me going and I do a LOT of thinking! I people watch in the mirror sometimes, but mostly just zone out. My thoughts can get pretty random, but these are some of my most thought thoughts ....

I think about how I wish I were running outside. I think about how much I miss my family. I think about this blog and write snippets of posts that I forget as soon as I get home. I think about how tan most of the girls are compared to my super pale skin.  Seriously. Why are so many of the girls tan at my gym? Is this a normal thing?? I think about my running stride and form. I think about how awesome it's going to feel to cross the finish line at my first marathon and that running on the dreadmill is WORTH IT! I think about food. I think about Rod and if I would be doing this if he were still alive, and about how much my life has changed. I think about how much I want my life to continue to change. I think "I've only gone three miles??" or "is that person going to kick me off my treadmill?". I think one of these days I'm going to sing this Britney song out loud accidentally. I think about how I wish I were running outside. ;)

I haven't really found a better way for me to deal with hours on the treadmill than good music, zoning out and getting lost in my thoughts. I try to block others out and focus on the run. It's what works for me, but I can NOT wait until I get back to running outside again on a regular basis!

How do you survive treadmill runs? 

Until next time~

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Lost My Voice

I know, I know .... I haven't posted in a very long time. Since I ended my running streak back in January. Ouch. 

I've just felt lost lately. Haven't known what to post or if anyone really cares. I started to feel as if I was annoying everyone with my running obsession. Especially those people on Facebook. So I just started to shut down, not knowing what to say anymore.

I lost my blogging voice. 

But, I haven't lost my passion to run. Through this tough, incredibly cold, long winter, running is keeping me sane. It's helping me feel alive and happy through these darker days.

I am in training for my first marathon that will be on June 1st. It still amazes me to say that I'm going to run a marathon! I ran my longest run EVER this weekend and it felt great! I was intimated to run 14 miles because, well, I never ran that long, but it went so much better than I thought. I, of course, got tired, but not so tired I wanted to quit. Just where I needed to stretch my legs a little bit as they were feeling tight toward the end and I fueled along the way trying to figure out what works best for me. And the miles will only go up from here! Honestly, I'm very excited about that. Yes, seeing 20 miles on my training plan excites me!!

Cold Stone = yum!!

I did switch training plans this past weekend. I was using the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 plan, but it was wearing me out. I would run 6 miles on Saturday, then a longer run of 10+ miles on Sunday, and cross training Monday, then back back to running Tuesday through Thursday. That was just too many long runs in a row for this newbie. I kept feeling tired, pains in my Achilles and knee, and dreaded those long runs not knowing how I would get through them. I knew something had to change. 

I switched to the Runner's World plan for first time marathoners. I now will rest on Friday, long run on Saturday and a shorter, easy run on Sunday. I think that's much better for me! I will still follow the same schedule of cross training Monday, run Tuesday through Thursday, but I shouldn't dread those long runs anymore! And since I love long runs, I don't want to be too tired to enjoy them!

Coming up soon is my second half marathon in just a few weeks! I'll be running the Get Lucky Half Marathon on March 15th. Exciting!! I would love to run it in under two hours, but that's shaving off seven minutes off my last half, in the winter and cold, and I'm not sure if that's a realistic goal. I'll set a Goal A and a Goal B for this race like I did for my first, but haven't figured them out yet.

So that's where I've been. Mostly at the gym running! I'm going to try to get back into writing and finding my voice again. I enjoy reading other running blogs and find them inspirational, and I'm hoping a few people will find mine inspirational as well. I want to share what I'm learning, my pains, my growth and just my general love for running. 

And of course puppy pictures!!

No leash needed when you have a snow fence!

Until next time~