Spreading running cheer

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It doesn’t have to be the holidays in order to spread running cheer all year long!

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Believe it or not, the highlight of my day was during my doctors visit to get my left back ankle checked out. But the main point isn’t related necessarily to my ankle, it’s the unexpected and wonderful conversations I had with the two women helping me, a nurse and the women taking my X-rays (maybe she’s a nurse, as well? I have no idea).

My first conversation was with the nurse and we got on the topic of my running to prepare for a half marathon. We shared the same appreciation that these runs typically go towards a good cause. She also mentioned that she’s noticing more runners out here. Runners, we basically a big movement!

My next conversation with the woman taking my X-rays. We talked about how I got into training for a half marathon from the push from my friends, and that I didn’t use to be a runner until now. She then told me that she can’t run more than six blocks, or only runs when she has to, such as to make her flight. She reminded me of when I started to try running and couldn’t go one longer than a lap. It was frustrating and disappointing.

I thought to myself, maybe, just maybe, she needs a similar type of push of motivation to consider it. So I then told her my story of how I started to run by participating in the color run. Turns out she never heard of it before. And that’s when I saw my chance to work my magic. She was very intrigued by the thought of going through all the colors and having fun with her friends. She mentioned that some of her friends are runners and are now addicted to the runner’s high. Lastly, I gave her advice to think about doing a couch to 5k plan. She was so excited and said she would look into it. By the end of my visit, she was so happy and thrilled than when she first called my name in the waiting room.

I felt so uplifted from my doctors visit, and it made me think of how I can impact others, particularly positively. I hope I inspired her as much as she inspired me to make a positive impact on others through my everyday interactions. It also reaffirmed to me how easy it is to simply be happy and have a more positive outlook in my life. If you feel great, it will show through on the outside.

On another note –
I have great, low blood pressure. She told me that’s from my diet and exercise. And for the first time ever the nurse told me I’m setting a good example for my little sister by being so healthy! So I must be doing something right. I then thought about how I am eating better, and that it feel great overall. Despite my love for comfort food and regular “fat” days, I notice a difference in the way I look at food. I won’t give up my enjoyment of food, but I fuel my body better with more nutrients.

All this running really is changing my life for the better. I feel more connected to myself, my friends, and family. I feel more enthusiastic and curious for what lies ahead of me. It’s an empowering feeling.

Wind and rain can’t stop a good run

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My training program had us scheduled for an 8-mile run today. We got only about 4 hours of sleep the night before and not to mention it was pouring rain with wind at 9pm. Quite surprisingly, that didn’t stop us from following through with our longest run yet.

I will admit that I was very close to calling it quits about a mile in as we were soaked and had no idea of how long it would last. At first we were battling with whether or not we had the motivation to follow through with the run tonight, without realizing that it was pouring and windy until we were downstairs and ready to go.

I definitely would not have went through with this run on my own or on the treadmill. That just wasn’t going to happen. The positive attitude from My running partner Gina was just what I needed to get me pumped up before and during the run. She’s a beast. Simple as that. Also, having Timmy there was a nice surprise, even though I’m sure he dreaded it with all his might since we’re too slow for him, and the fact that the weather wasn’t in our favor.

But you know what? I’m glad that it rained like crazy. Maybe that demonstrates how crazy I am, but it was actually kind of refreshing. Like a water park for runners in the city. Even though I was so close to giving up in the beginning because I felt miserable and upset with myself that I was imposing this run on us that they are dreading, the weather cleared up after about 2.5 miles and it was just what we needed.

The route itself is more difficult because there was a couple steep hills to get to Kerry park. Unfortunately, I had to stop and walk majority of it. But hey, it’s better than a run that never happened. Although I stopped even with Timmy’s help to keep me going, it was a warming gesture that I didn’t expect.

This run also makes me appreciate my runs more. The dedication to keep going and follow through with our plan inspires me. It makes me happy and I feel supported. Also, I started thinking that if we can’t enjoy our runs in the pouring rain or when it’s not a perfect setting, we shouldn’t deserve to enjoy our runs when the skies are blue.

All in all, this was a run to remember. My legs are sore and my body is tired, but I am mentally energized with hope. Hope to continue this training program. Hope to push myself further. Hope to be inspired by others, especially twin. And hope to stay positive. How can you not with all the endorphins!?

First seven miles. It’s getting exciting!

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It’s getting more exciting to run!

Today’s goal was to finish 6.21 miles to end my first week of training with the Nike training program. Needless to say, me and twin got it done and had some energy to make it 7! After only one week, I am already so happy with this training program and the nike app itself. Without it, I wouldn’t of thought of doing seven miles in my fifth week of training. It’s also really cool because it gives you small bursts of motivation, such as cheers, to pump you up during the run. These make a big difference on my mood.

Overall, I’m feeling good, legs are sore a bit, knees are feeling a little weird, and I’m pumped to keep going.

This morning’s run was done outside of course, and I didn’t even think about the time because I was actually enjoying the run. My pace is still slow, but I can feel my body getting stronger through running, especially from the downtown hills. As i find my ability to run longer, I want to sustain a faster pace. Baby steps for now.

First five miles!

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It’s awesome what you can do when you tell yourself you can. I was following a different training program before I switched to nikes this week. Nikes is a bit more intense and has much more mileage than the one I had before, which was exactly why I didn’t choose it in the first place. I figured I’d give it a try and if it’s pushing me “too” hard then I’ll back off a bit. I was afraid to try five miles today when I was originally planning to on Saturday with my older plan, but I am so glad I gave it a try! Not only did Gina and I run up and down downtown and to volunteer park, we also did it in 21 degree weather at 6am!

I’m feeling sore in my legs a bit, but I’m feeling strong! Although we went slow, I find it more important that we got it done rather than giving up. I’m looking forward to six miles this Saturday.

Unleashed from the treadmill

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This is the face of a girl who found happiness running outside, and not on the treadmill. After my wonderful run outside on Saturday, I became irritable, impatient, and bored on the treadmill this morning. I was looking outside and became a bit envious of the people running outside as though I were the little mermaid – “I wanna be where the people are …”

At first I thought I just didn’t have the strength to go on any further, but I KNEW that my body could keep going. I just had to get off the treadmill and get outside, even though it’s quite cold out there.

I stopped after 7 minutes and went back on a couple minutes later to do a mile and then I can finish the rest of the 3.5 miles outside. What a treat! What has happened to me that running outside makes me so happy!? We’ll see how long this lasts as my mileage goes up.

I made it to volunteer park. And on my way back I was so happy to see another runner almost at the end that I pumped my fist in the air, smiled at him, and said “almost there!” I continued the rest of my slow run smiling at random people on the street. I hope my smile was sufficient for them to get their day started on a positive note.

4 miles in the city

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To finish off my fourth week of training I ran four straight miles with my running partner/friend to and from downtown and then to volunteer park. After a short break we finish with a short mile jog back home. We even threw in some dancing along the way. This run was amazing. Unlike being on the treadmill, the time flies and it’s so much easier to keep going. I was afraid going into this four mile run after struggling on the treadmill, but this run makes me feel more confident on my running.

Running with a friend is also very helpful and inspiring. Whenever I think of stopping, I don’t want to because then it would hold her back as well and I can’t have that. Her support fuels my determination to keep pushing through when my mind is trying to tell me to stop.

I have also started taking barre classes. I plan to go to the classes at least three times a week. My goal is to supplement my running and build strength. It is also a stress reliever as it connects my mind, body, and soul. Exactly what I need, even with the leg shaking!

No regrets with a workout

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There’s only so much time in the day, and lately I am primarily interested in feeling good by working out. I noticed that as I have been working out more due to my training schedule, I don’t have to ask myself if I am working out that day, but the question becomes when will I workout. I can see how working out can get compromised when times get busy, but shouldn’t that be the same reason why we should be fitting them in?

This morning, for the third time in a row I woke up at 5:45 and my other two roommates were already out of the apartment and conquering their workouts. Not to mention my workout buddy waiting for me at the gym. I felt like I was slacking already and the day just began! I am so thankful for the motivation and support I see and feel around me. It inspires me to be healthier, more active, and simply feel amazing.

Although, I did end up “sleeping in” until 7am, I believe that extra hour or so gave me the extra strength I needed for an awesome run on the treadmill and more energy for a second workout at Barre3 at 9:30am. Going back to compromising workouts, I almost did not go to the barre class because I thought I should study for the dreaded CPA exam instead during that hour.

With a push from my roomie, I was off to barre and had an amazing workout. This was my third time coming to barre and it has been a couple weeks since then. The class is actually pretty tough and my legs are always shaking like crazy, but I feel so good and refreshed afterwards. There is no way that I would be able to do these moves on my own. I am glad I did not skip out on this workout.

I realize now that I was afraid of working out twice in one day because I was noticing the change in my attitude to workout. I even asked myself: is this normal? At first, I was just following my training schedule. And now I am incorporating more ways to improve my body and soul through my workouts. My lifestyle change is not to become skinny or lose a bunch of weight. I threw that expectation right into the trash. My expectation is to be a healthier, happier, and stronger me.