Ankle down, keeping my head up

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I am finally easing back to my running schedule after I noticed an annoying pain on my right ankle and hamstring after my 12 miler two weeks ago. Stairs were the death of me. I had to wait a week and a half just to see the foot doctor and it was painful just not being able to run or not being sure if it was okay to run. Especially when it was my peak week and was going to accomplish my first 13 miles before I taper for my race this coming Sunday.

During this down time, the support of my family and friends and personal reflection, I found a silver lining. Maybe I’m being a whining drama queen about not being able to run, but running really has become a huge part of my life since I began training. And not being able to look forward to a run is real frustrating. The reassurance from my best friend helps me be more positive about this situation and to not push myself. I probably annoyed her with my ankle problems, but she has been encouraging me the entire time.

What was the silver lining? After being able to run 12 miles I am more confident that I have built enough strength and endurance to be able to run 13 soon. It’s all in my head, and I won’t let my mind tell me I can’t do it. I am also glad that this happened at the time it did because it gave the opportunity to kick back a bit and fix the rookie mistakes I’ve made. Since I hurt my ankle, I reevaluated how I’ve been running and realized how I haven’t been taking care of my feet and haven’t allowed for enough recovery. I’ve been able to “fix” this before my race, and I am thankful for that. Plus, I think the satisfaction of running my first 13 miles on my first race will be more rewarding than during my training. I love surprises.

My hamstring pain went away after a few days of relaxing, but the ankle pain remained a bit. The issue? My damn flat feet. I made the rookie mistake of not getting proper running shoes that were for long distances and flat feet. I love my Nike Air Max, as they are comfortable and colorful, but now I hate them. Macklemore said that air bubble was gonna make me fly. Lies.

Hearing the foot and ankle doctor tell me I can run was music to my ears and was just so good to hear. Before I could run, I needed to get some stability shoes. So I ventured away from Nike and went with a pair from Asics. Not as cool looking, but I’m going to functionality, not looks anymore. Learned that lesson the heard way.

Fast forward to last night, and I ran my first long run after two weeks. I nice 8-miler. I made sure to stop a few times to walk and not push it. That made a difference. I also changed my Nike Running app settings to only tell me when I am at the halfway point. I figured hearing statistics is disturbing and makes me think about the time, ultimately making me run even slower. Overall, my run was great. I needed that release and satisfaction that I can do it. My ankle feels a bit strained, but it’s OK.

All in all, lessons were learned, my spirit to run didn’t fade, and I am more excited and nervous to run this race than before. Maybe this was the push I needed to get me more motivated.

 

Slowly, but those 10 miles were still conquered

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Here’s a snap shot of my run to Lake Union. Despite the clouds, it’s was a rainless and comfortable run. No complaints what so ever. When I woke up this Saturday morning at 5:55am I couldn’t even think of an excuse of why I couldn’t run that morning. I wanted to accomplish my first ten mile run this morning and I wasn’t going to let my mind tell me otherwise.

Overall, the run was great. I didn’t hit any particular wall that I can recall and I finished feeling happy and ready to take on the day. My legs are sore, but it’s a good soreness? I also tried FRS chews before and during my run for the first time, compliments from my gym. I’m not sure if it made much of an effect. I’ll try my next run without them and use my traditional gummies and maybe dried fruit.

What made this run unique was not only that it tested my ability to push out a longer distance, but I felt as though I was being tested to emotionally to get through it. I have been constantly told throughout my life that although I’m doing “OK” it looks like I’m not pushing myself enough and that I can do more. I notice that during my runs and I keep making the excuse that I’m just trying to get the distance in and not push myself too hard. I know it’s a lame excuse, and that’s something I will work on going into the new week.

Side note- I’m starting to realize more how much I enjoy feeling so connected to everything around me. During school and studying I feel so secluded into sitting at a desk, studying accounting. And then I get that release during my runs to feel my connection to the world. I’m not meant to be locked away in the office. I want to be connected with life and the people around me.

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.

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!

First 3 miles in 30 minutes

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Week 4: Run #3

After three weeks of training, I am really starting to feel stronger and more capable in my runs. For the first time ever I ran three miles within 30 minutes, without stopping. This has always been a goal of mine, and I feel so happy now that I have that under my belt. Although this is an easy run for many others, it wasn’t so for me. If it weren’t for training for a half marathon it would be very, very unlikely that I would even be trying to run three miles.

I wanted to stop multiple times during my run, especially after 1.3 miles and it took a lot of will power to tell myself that my legs are not tired and that they can keep going. To keep me from stopping I put my arms on the bars to make it easier for a few seconds. I found this as a better option than walking. My plan is to ease off the bars eventually.