Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Geez, this week has been hectic. I've been writing this post for 2 days now. I wanted to share with you my awesome 6.5 mile run on Sunday.

It was cold on Sunday morning, so my running buddy and I bundled up and headed out. Last week we discovered a trail that goes on the back part of the park we usually meet at every Sunday. This trail was awesome! Clearly marked by our lovely town's parks and rec department, and we never even knew it was there. Our first mile was spent in awe, learning new turns and enjoying the new scenery. At the end of the trail, we continued on our usual route out of the park. We chatted as always about everything. Our life, our upcoming and past races, what happened during the past week. I told her how I started concentrating on my strike to see if it helped my knee during my runs. She told me about working on her dissertation for her doctorate's degree. (Wow! I'm so proud of her for getting her advanced degree). We chatted, and we ran.

At each intersection, we decided how much farther and where we were going to run. She wasn't feeling her best, so I wanted to make sure she had a good run. She told me she wanted to keep going. We kept on running and running picking a new route about every block. It was great. We hit our turnaround point and we were feeling the humidity. We had already shed our gloves, and I had shed my headband. I finally had to shed my warm layer. I couldn't believe it. It's January, at about 45 degrees, and I'm running in a tank and my running tights! It was chilly but great. We did a basic out and back, following the route we took out to our turnaround point.

When we hit the trail portion, she suggested I go ahead and pick my pace since I was feeling really good and pain free. At first I was going to, but then we crossed the paths of unexpected walkers. I thought of SUAR's cousin, Sherry Arnold, who's disappearance has rocked the running community. I felt it best that we run together for our safety, despite it being early in the sun-filled morning. Once we got closer to the end of our run and the more populated park, I decided to sprint the last 0.10 of the run. I felt awesome with only a couple of knee twinges. I haven't ran like that since my last soccer game in November. Woohoo...I felt like I was flying!

I know I pushed my running buddy on the last of the trail because I picked up my pace, and she kept right up with me. We're both in training for our respective half marys next month, so we needed to work hard. Next week we're attempting a new 9 mile route!

I rode this runner high until yesterday afternoon! I really don't know what exactly contributed to a great run. 8 hours of sleep, my new ovo-vegetarian diet, my cross training with P90X2, making sure I got my weekday runs in, or even remembering to wear my knee brace. It could have been everything combined, but I don't care! I love that awesome feeling after an awesome run. It totally makes all the bad and painful runs completely worth it!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Plan 2012...Revised

2012 has already thrown me for a loop. My nice OCD tendencies had everything planned out for this month. A recap of 2011 blog, continue Cowtown training, pick up my cross training with some P90X2, and transition to an ovo-vegetarian diet. As Robert Burns said, "the best plans...often go astray".

Here's how 2012 started for me, I was terribly ill the first four days of January. I still have a half written blog to recap 2011. My Cowtown marathon training is now on hold due to working and treating knee issues. P90X2 is sporadic along with some P90X workouts. I can't decide which one I like better yet. I transitioned to an ovo-vegetarian diet pretty effortlessly, even though I still stress about how to cook my veggie meals while still giving my carnivores what they want. My so-called plans needed to change.

"Make big plans, but change your plans as time changes. " - Marchant.

Therefore, I have devised another "plan".

  • Cowtown training: I will only set my goal for the half marathon. I will not register until the expo. I will continue to run to the best of my ability as long as I am pain-free. I stretch and strength train consistently. If I feel I cannot run a safe half marathon within the week of Cowtown, I will not run.
  • Racing Plan: If I run the half at Cowtown, I will run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon at the end of April. Also, I'll be running the Running Moms 5K again this year in early April.
  • Cross Training Plan: I'm still interchanging P90X2 and P90X workouts. Since I am still in the Base phase of P90X2 I am missing the heavy lifting, so I still throw in some upper body workouts to get my iron on. I am not doing any plyometrics right now as most moves cause strain on my knee, even modified. I try to throw in some biking and swimming when I can, but it is not very often.
  • Eating Plan: Except for the juggling of trying to cook two separate meals, even if one is modified, the meatless option has been a fun experience for me. Trying new things. Learning new ways to cook. Learning how to add or detract foods to keep up my fuel needs. The only think I've missed so far is bacon. I may have to try tofurkey bacon or facon bacon eventually, but it's not that big of a loss yet.
  • Mental Health Plan: Stay active and eating healthy, no matter what. Take care of myself. Stay focused on how I want my life to be day-to-day, year-to-year.
The mental health plan is a new addition. Since between Christmas and New Year's, I have been fighting off a bout of depression. I fight everyday with it, but the last couple of weeks have been the most difficult for me. I even thought about returning to counseling and asking for a prescription. That internal debate brought on a load of stress since I began running to keep depression at bay. I think most of the depression I've been fighting is just a sense of loss coupled with the frustration of my knee injury. I made some huge personal changes this year; let go of many people and relationships, toxic or just not aligning with my WHY. I never allowed myself to grieve over any of the loss either. My heart aches, and I still feel an empty hole sometimes where constant, and usually useless, chatter used to fill up unnecessarily. Yet, slowly I am learning to fill that hole with gratitude for the people that love, support, and uplift me. I fill that hole with actions to meet my goals and fulfill my desires. Step by step, run by run, word by word, I get even closer to the person I set out to be over a year ago.

With my "plans" in place, I feel confident enough to throw out a lasso and take 2012 by the horns! Here I come!

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