Staying Wild Sundays and Catching Up

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Hey there everyone!

I hope you had a great Sunday.  If you want to read about what I’ve been up to… scroll down past the pictures!  Otherwise… enjoy!

Last you heard of me I had just started a new job and wasn’t feeling so great!  Well I am pleased to say that it’s been three months and one of those two things has stuck around!  The job, thank goodness!

Things have been going great in that area, and I’m definitely feeling settled in that area!  The work is hard, but rewarding, and with the fantastic team that we have… we’re totally making a difference!

In other news, I’ve kept up my running regimen, and since mid October I have only missed one week of running, and that was due to the aforementioned sickness!

Now, don’t get me wrong… I have missed days.  Way too many days… but never a full week.  And now, I have been training much more hard core because I am a co-captain for my work’s marathon relay team!  I chose the longest leg as a way to motivate myself, and since our team isn’t worried about time as a way to prove to myself that I am taking my health and body seriously.  Oh… and because how cool is it to say… “Yeah I ran 6.4 miles during the Colfax Marathon.”

As of today’s run, my longest non-stop run has been 3.5 miles.  It may not seem like much to you, but in late October when I started the Couch to 5k program I couldn’t even run 60 seconds without being totally out of breath.  I have seen so many changes in my body since then.  Here is a list!

1. My body feels weird if I don’t run for a few days.  Sluggish.
2. My breathing, even after 50 minutes of consistent, non-stop jogging is even and sustaining.
3. My flexibility has increased two-fold… From holding my shins to almost my whole hand on the ground when folding over.
4. My endurance has obviously increased from 200/400 yards of running between 800 yards of walking to 3.5 miles of jogging.
5. My mental game has totally changed.  What motivated me to keep running in week one (it’s only 60 seconds, anyone could do this, you HAVE to change your life) is not at all what motivates me now.  I used to use a lot of negative self-talk to keep me moving, especially as the running times increased.  20 minutes of running equaled about 10 minutes of angry thoughts spewing through my brain… and while I’m not totally free of these thoughts, I’m moving towards more positive motivational thinking.
6. My knees feel stronger.  Two and a half years ago I was in a motorcycle accident and messed up my knees pretty severely.  I was pretty nervous that running would truly hurt my knees, but the only issues I’ve had have been in conjunction with using the treadmill, and I no longer do that.
7. My body feels healthier.  There has been a very obvious change in the way that I feel even though I haven’t lost much weight.  I feel proud that I am at a point in my life where I can separate health from weight.
8. The feeling of finishing a long run is amazing.  There is just a sense of pride and accomplishment in working so in tandem with one’s body.
9.  I feel more in touch with my body, it’s needs, and what is working or not.  Today, for example, during my first mile I began experiencing some pretty awful shin splints.  I haven’t had them since I first started running back in October.  They were only in my right leg, and as I began to focus on my body I realized in trying to help reduce the foot numbness I often experience in that foot, I did not tighten my shoe enough, and it was causing me to overwork that leg.   Voila!  Issue fixed, and I kept on running.  At the start of all of this I would have chalked it up to a bad run day, and turned on the next side street to head on home.
10. I have mastered the art of both spitting and the snot rocket.  And to think, I never thought I could get to that point!

As I keep on running and working up to my race distance (6.4 mi) I am sure many bumps will come along.  I luckily have a lot of time before the race (May 19th), and I know that I will make it and stomp that challenge.  But… between now and then here are some of my awesome running goals:

1. Work on speed.  This isn’t my main goal, despite sitting in the number 1 position, but it would be nice to be running 12 min splits by the time the race actually happens.
2. Reduce or completely eradicate my right foot numbness.  After about 2ish miles of running my right foot consistently goes numb.  It’s a pain in the ass even though I can still run on it.  If I do about 30 seconds of high knees on my toes then the numbness recedes or goes away, but it sure would be nice if it would just ease up.  I have a doctor-friend who suggested a heel cup because of my flat feet, so that may be the next option!
3. Find good running underwear.  That may seem simple… but elastic burn is nothing to fool around with.  >.<
4. Learn to cross train better.  One of my greatest struggles is that I take too many off days.  I tell myself to get out and go play, but for many reasons (work, volunteering, relationship stuff, etc) that type of thing just falls to the wayside and I just channel my inner couch potato rather than cross train/play.  I’m not looking for anything super serious (hiking, roller skating, playing in the park), just something to get my heart rate up, and my legs moving!  It’s time to stop making excuses!
5. Commit to a healthier food regime.  I have found transitioning to healthier food options somehow harder than running.  This used to be the easier option for me!  Here’s to getting back in shape when it comes to my food choices!

Alright, enough about my running!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon!
-Ash

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