Sunday, February 27, 2011

10 Miles and Outing Myself

Today was my longest long run to date - 10 miles! I ran them at the nearby metropark and it was great! I can't believe I've never thought of running here in the winter before. It's gorgeous and plowed - unlike most places nearby - and only a ten minute drive from my house. It was nice outside and I didn't even need hat or gloves :) I planned to try another flavor of gu on this run, but I forgot my water in the car. I ended up just fine although I won't make this mistake again.

There were plenty of other people on the path - runners, walkers, dogs, families - that made it more exciting and made me feel like we were all running together.

The real thing I was happy about is that I got out there and ran 10 miles on my own! That's huge, especially this week. I've been sick on the couch with a fever for days and the inactivity was killing me. I then began to doubt myself in my running endeavors and just felt like crap. Good news is that I received some good advice from a fellow blogger and it got me right back out there.

I'm outing myself in that when I began running I told very few people - for a variety of reasons: they wouldn't care, they'd be annoyed by me, they'd think I fail, I would fail, they'd think that I was looking down on them for their sedentary lifestyle, etc.

Through this entire process, I've wanted to do it all by myself and once I [insert any goal here, such as: finished a half marathon, or a full, or I felt like a runner], I'd share it with others. I think I'm just now realizing that this isn't the best way to go about it.

I'm finally just going with it. I'll follow my training plan, blog what I want and feel proud about it. I'm not holding anything back in fear of 'bothering' someone else.

The running blogs have been so absolutely motivating and keep my going each day. I just want to say thanks to all of you!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Day Ever!

This past Friday was amazing for so many reasons:

1) I had the day off as the beginning of my week-long Mid-Winter Break :)

2) It was GORGEOUS!! 50+ degrees outside and sunny

3) Outside long run - in a tank top!

I haven't done a long run outside since 6 miles, so I was thrilled to get back out there. I didn't wear a hat or mittens, only wore one pair of pants and wore one less layer on top - it felt great. The route I take is a huge rectangle from the house. 1 mile east, 1.5 miles south, 3 miles west, 1.5 miles north and 2 miles west back home. Simple, mindless and almost all on dirt roads with no cars. By mile 3 I was so hot, I took of my jacket to just my tank top - I would have never guessed that it would be nice enough in February in Michigan to cut out that many layers! The sun was shining and there was no wind at that point.

Definition of sexy:

Around mile 5, I passed a woman walking and she was so friendly - with a big smile, she said, "look at you go, great job!" It totally made my day and kept me on a high until mile 7. The last two miles were brutal however. Not because I was tired or my left knee was hurting (although my IT band was a little sore), but I was running into the wind. It was so hard to move! Once I got back into the city limits and to sidewalks, it got much better and I was able to complete the entire 9 mile run feeling great.

Once I got home, I felt like I had at least one more mile in me, which is a great feeling to have after a long run. This is my longest at-home training run ever!

My other excitement for this run was that I used Pandora on my cell phone for the run. I don't run with music outside at all - I like to be aware of my surroundings and just take it all in - but just having music on low, without ear buds, was great. About 5 miles of the run are on dirt roads with no traffic, so it kept me from being bored. And I started a new station called "Black Eyed Peas" which kept me going with all the up-tempo music. Lots of fun!!

I can't wait for it to be spring so I can do this all the time :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cheap New Running Shoes!

So I didn't get up early Saturday morning and drive back to Ann Arbor to return my new but not perfect running shoes. I chose to sleep in and finish an amazing book I had just started (ROOM by Emma Donoghue - I highly recommend it). I will for sure return them on Monday after work - how romantic for Valentine's Day, I know.

The reason I went with a new shoe, different from the worn out pair I have loved for almost a year now is that the running store I shop at didn't carry the exact same shoe or New Balance's updated version in my size. So, I tried something new and it backfired. Oh well, I'm not permanently damaged :)

This morning I googled my existing running shoes and found them on clearance for $40!! I paid almost $100 for these last year and spent just over $100 on the new pair on Friday and this very morning I ordered TWO pairs of my already favorite running shoes in my size for less than $90! Best day ever!

Now I can't wait to for them to get here, with free shipping, sometime this week or next. Scheduled for today is an 8 miler which I'll do on the treadmill at the gym with my husband. Yes, he hates the gym and hates it even more for us to go together, but he lost in racquetball yesterday and this is his punishment! Thank God I beat him in multiple deuces in the third game!

My friend Nathan is running his first full marathon today in New Orleans and I can't wait to see how it went! Go, Nathan, Go!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

More than half way there!

Six weeks down on the training plan and they've gone really well. Now, it's only five weeks left until the Grosse Ile Half Marathon - which I'm definitely doing. How could I have doubted that? Anyway, I'm excited for it.

I finally gave in and bought a gym membership for the rest of February and March earlier this week. With the huge snow storm and consecutive below zero days, I just couldn't run outside anymore. Most people stopped shoveling their sidewalks and the ice was getting more difficult to navigate. Running in the street worked just fine in the summer, but with the huge snow piles on the side of the road cutting into the already narrow shoulder, it just stopped being safe.

I did my first long run at the gym - 7 miles. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There was plenty of junk on the tv and lots of fun people to watch at the gym. I made the mistake of going at 7pm when there were so many people there that I got the last treadmill (with the broken earphone thing for the tv sound). Since then, I've been going after 9pm and that works out great. There's never more than 5 people there at that time.

I got new running shoes tonight and was so excited to try them out for tonight's 4 miler, but they're going back first thing in the morning. The arch is too high and there's a 'bump' under my middle three toes. They caused my heels to hurt and for me to just run weird. I'll take them back and find a perfect pair tomorrow. Good thing I tried them on the treadmill and not outside :)