living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

137 days to go ...

This past winter while I was training for a marathon, I never really got into the training frame of mind that much. My approach was to just run more than what I was used to in the past couple of years.

Now that I’ve gotten through that and much more running than usual in the past six months, it’s REALLY time to step things up.

The Richmond Marathon is 137 days away (plus, several hours as I type this), and it feels FOREVER away.

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But I need that time to be in “official” training mode. I need to get my long runs back to double digits sooner rather than later. I need to get my weekly miles to 30 or more later this summer.

I also need time built in for weeks that life may throw things my way or if I’m not feeling well. I didn’t do that this past winter and it really impacted my training.

So today is day 1. This first week is all about setting a baseline to then build on for a few weeks, actually have recovery weeks and then just keep pushing myself to do more.

I’m not out to “just finish” this race. I will have a goal for it, although I don’t know just yet what that will be.

I just know that I’m ready …

2019 so far: Still doing my own thing

These past six months have easily been the best six months of running I’ve had in many years. All it took was a much more relaxed frame of mind with this attitude of “doing my own thing.”

When I first said that phrase last year, it was something that finally felt right with my running. For far too long, I cared way too much about what other people thought or had to say.

Every so often I have to filter out the noise from others who distract me and remind myself that I’m doing all this for me and making myself a better overall person.

Overall, though, this is working and will continue to be the way I approach running in the second half of 2019.

So by doing my own thing in the first half of the year, I have:

- Ran/walked/power hiked a marathon that I wasn’t really for.

- Ran the most miles in a 6-month period since 2012.

- Ran at the track for 9 straight weeks keeping most of the specific results to myself.

- Signed up for the Richmond Marathon this fall.

- Refocused on nutrition and lost a few pounds.

- Stopped hanging out so much on Twitter waiting for conversations to happen.

- Grew my hair out.

- ENJOYED RUNNING.

And that last point is what’s important. Running is fun most of the time. I like doing it. I don’t dread it at all. I haven’t been able to say that in a LONG time.

So now it’s on to July where my goal is to get back to marathon training, get my miles back up, get my long runs back to the teens and set a goal for November …

An appreciation for Global Running Day, finally

For the past several Junes, I’ve brushed off Global Running Day (some people call it National Running Day… whatever) as just another one of those days that’s stupid and made up.

This year, though, I’m thankful and grateful for this sport and have found today to be a day to reflect on the positive.

So …

  • I’ve had a really good stretch of running for the past 6 months. That includes the marathon and several other “longest since” milestones

  • I’m 10 pounds lighter right now that mid-April. That alone makes running SO MUCH BETTER. I’m much more comfortable in my own body, although I’ve got another 10 pounds to go.

  • I like going to the track again. I’ve got so much I need to discuss with this.

  • My goals feel realistic. The Richmond Marathon doesn’t seem daunting. Doing the Blue Ridge Marathon next year with a goal of being an hour faster seems right.

  • I like talking about shoes again.

  • I like having shoes in my closet that are awaiting runs.

  • I’m finding new meanings in old song lyrics when I listen to music when I run.

  • I think about what I want to do next in my career when I run, thus making things in my life make more sense.

  • I feel like running more when the runs are over.

  • I like cross training and the benefits it brings to my running.

  • I can finally say I love running again …

New goal: Keep doing this

I haven’t blogged in a month - that’s usually a bad thing, but in the case of the past several weeks, it’s actually not.

May was a weird month. The lack of blogging comes after a month in which I was really focused on a race, what was next and numerous other thoughts.

I needed a break from all that though and turned my focus to a few other things to help me out long term.

With a day left in the month, I’ll actually pass how much I ran in April, but I will fall short of my overall mileage goal. That goal changed quickly early in the month as I realized that my mileage total was not important.

I instead focused on three other things:

1. THE TRACK
When I say that I got back on track in May, I mean that both literally and figuratively. I made it to the track four straight weeks for a wide variety of interval workouts.

It was: awesome, awful, dreadful, exciting, weird, eye-opening, motivating … you get the picture here. It was a whole lot of things.

My main goal right now: keep doing this. Get to 6 weeks of a wide variety before switching over to “marathon training mode.” Some Yasso 800s will come after that as I figure out my running schedule this summer.

2. WEIGHTS
I was so on track with lifting weights at least a couple of times a week for a long time. Then early this spring I allowed myself to slip into the mind frame that running was enough for me. What a horrible way of thinking.

In May, I set a goal to get to the gym twice a week to start lifting weights. That was oddly easy, and now it feels normal again.

My main goal right now: keep doing this. It’s as simple as that really

3. NUTRITION
Not going to lie … I gained weight at the end of the winter and into early spring. I looked awful in my Blue Ridge Marathon photos. I don’t want to look like that next year.

I did a cleanse at the end of April and early May and, so far, have stuck well to the eating plan that was a part of that.

My main goal right now: Yup … keep doing this. I’ve let myself have a few moments of indulging, but I have been following that up with 2-3 days of really clean eating. I’ve got to continue this re-learning of it being OK to do that and to not let a bad day or two turn back into a habit.

With these changes, which really haven’t felt all that drastic, I’ve lost 9 pounds. Now I’m creeping closer to my “wedding weight,” and I’d love to get there by my 15th anniversary in July. The only thing stopping me is … me.

So now it’s on to June with a lot of “keep doing this” goals. I’ll adjust as I go along during the month before marathon training becomes important again, but for now, there’s no reason to change anything.