How I Accidentally Ran a Half-Marathon

Yes, you read that correctly. I accidentally ran a half-marathon. (I ended up covering 13.18 miles in 2:19:35…but we’ll get to that.)

I’ve run a half-marathon every year since 2012, when I ran the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I was just remarking the other day that I probably wouldn’t run a half this year, due to the hassle of scheduling a race around my classes. I did run the 2016 Rock ‘n Roll Philly Half-Marathon, but it was the day after a 12-hour shift at the hospital, and it was honestly a grueling experience I do not want to repeat.

(Don’t be fooled by my smile. It was tough, and slow.)

I’d pretty much resigned myself to breaking my (official) streak.

I was having one of those mornings where being in my head felt pretty awful. Luckily, running has been a pretty solid way for me to shake it off. I started my watch with no particular goal in mind. I would just run until I felt okay.

Now, you have to keep in mind, I haven’t been running regularly lately – maybe once a week. So it was pretty wild that I managed to run such a good “race.”

The first mile of a run almost always feels shaky to me. My body seems to be saying, “You’re doing this again? Why, please? You’re so close to the couch!”

At mile three, I still felt terrible. I hoped it was just taking time for me to get in the groove. Mile five was no better, so I kept going. I was two neighborhoods away from my own during mile eight, but still no closer to feeling better, so I kept going.

This flooding water fountain was a heavenly sight at mile 10.

I started feeling a bit better (and a bit exhausted!) around mile 12. But then I was so close to a half! So I turned around at the entrance to my neighborhood (which would have left me at 12.25 miles) to do a little loop. That twelfth mile slayed me. I just wanted to be done. Physically, I felt okay. Mentally, I was spent. I felt like…what was the point? Why did I just run a half for absolutely no reason?!

You can kind of see my lack of training in my splits. Yikes. (9:50, 9:44, 9:56, 9:50, 10:08, 10:18, 9:54, 10:13, 11:09, 11:23 (WATER!), 11:45 (wait…I still have to run?), 12:01 (okay, I’m ready to be done), 11:15.)

Well…I wanted to prove I could make it. I’m just making it through every day. Most days I am just satisfied I’m surviving. But sometimes, I’m pretty freakin’ happy with myself, and today is one of those days.

I may break my official streak, but I’m happy to say I’ve still run my 2017 race, even if it was unplanned.

 

Luke Parlatore Memorial Run 2015

On June 26th at 11 p.m., I thought to myself, “Eh, what the hell. I might as well run a race tomorrow.”

This is a pretty radical thought for someone who plans so much it’s practically a reflex. I am many things, but spontaneous is not one of them. I’m working on it, okay?

I’d run the Luke Parlatore race before, in 2010 and 2011 – it was a 5k, and then a 3-miler. The last time I ran it, I had just finished my senior year of high school.

But since the race was local and I was familiar with the course, I wasn’t (too) nervous about a run down memory lane.

I walked to the course, donated to the scholarship fund and snagged a shirt, and then jogged back home to find a ballpoint pen to scribble my name on my bib and find a way to pin the bib on my tee without stabbing myself (the way turned out to be asking my mom for help. Thanks for the important stuff, Mom.)

lukesrun2015

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more running, food, and fitness fun.

I jogged back to the start and waited. And waited. I was getting nervous at that point! I haven’t raced in more than a year, since the Marco Island Half-Marathon, and I hadn’t even been steadily running. I told myself to mentally prepare for a slower time since I hadn’t been training, but I hoped I could run faster than 34:04, which is what I ran the very first time I ran this race – the very first time I ran a 5k, much less raced it! I thought I could do it as long as I was careful not to go out too quickly.

I had hastily put together a playlist at midnight, so I told myself to match the music as I ran. It was still really tempting to go out at 8:00/mile race – since the pool of runners was so small, the “back of the pack” where I normally lined up was still pretty darn close to the front. Close enough that I was itching to go faster.

But I didn’t, and the feet grew and grew between me and the race leaders. This race was incredibly tough mentally because as I ran a 10:50 to 11:20/mile pace, I ended up running alone for the majority of the race. I could see people ahead and behind me, but they were too far to interact with, cheer on, or match pace with. My average pace it was too slow for the speedsters and too fast for the walkers.

It still felt pretty damn good for me, especially with no training.

I paced myself for a 33:30, since I hadn’t trained for it (34-36 minutes for 3 miles is an easy run, so I wanted to push it just a little bit.)

Of course, I’m really competitive with myself, and the weather was cooperating (overcast, slightly windy and slightly drizzly) so I ran a 32:47. It’s a really small local race, so it was mentally tough (there were people 300 yards ahead and behind me for the majority of the race) but my curated playlist really helped.

Here’s what I listened to (in order, so the slow start and the pick-me-ups were timed):

Steal My Girl – One Direction

Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects

All The Small Things – Blink-182

She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds of Summer

Bailando – Enrique Iglesias

Live Like A Warrior – Matisyahu

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon

More Than A Feeling – Hit The Lights (from Punk Goes Classic Rock)

I ended the race sprinting, as I always do (okay, the exception might be the Marco Island Half-Marathon. It felt like I was crawling for that one…but more on that some other time.) My Garmin Forerunner 110 (still working! still awesome!) clocked me in at 32:47 and 3.05 miles. I don’t have the clock time yet, but I’ll add it later.

After scarfing down half a bagel and half of a banana, I found a friendly Golden Retriever to pet. Food + animals makes me a happy camper.

Running this race made me realize how much I’ve changed, mentally and physically, in the last four years. I’m a stronger person – three miles is an easy run now instead of a never-attempted distance – and I’ve run three half-marathons. I live healthier with food, fitness, and mental health (or at least, I try) the great majority of the time.

Before, I was afraid to test my limits with a challenge. Now I can’t seem to stop challenging myself – and I’m so excited for everything to come.

Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part III

Right as I was about to run through Cinderella’s Castle, I saw Minnie in true princess fashion!  So, so excited.  The attendant warned that the line was closing in two minutes, but I made it!  Hurrah!

While I was on line, I saw the two unofficial balloon pacers walk by (they were walking a 16-minute-per-mile pace, the minimum needed to stay in the race, not get picked up & driven to the finish line).  I had always trained at about a 12:15 mile on my long runs, so I wasn’t worried–but I didn’t take into account walk breaks because I was sick, photo stops with characters, and a bathroom break.  Still, I wasn’t giving up a photo with Minnie!

Or The Princess and the Frog characters:

I LOVED their costumes and they were so friendly!  Definitely one of the highlights of the race.  At this point, the bikers informed me I was two minutes behind pace and I needed to catch up.  I asked if I stayed ahead of the bikers–would I be okay then?  They said no, I had to be in front of the balloon pacers–the ones that had passed me while I was on line for Minnie!  Aaaagh.  I sped off through Frontierland and rocketed forward.  I skipped the HUGE line for Sleeping Beauty as soon as I got out of the MK because I did NOT want to get driven to the finish line!  I must have been running an 8:00/mile pace; I was so terrified I would be picked up during the race.  I knew it was not an empty threat and I had been in a completely empty Adventureland (minus two women, but I’ll get to them later).  Luckily, I caught up to the balloon pacers and walked slightly ahead of them for a while.

At mile 7, Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You was blasting on the speakers.  We were running on a VERY narrow strip of road backstage, and the walking and the song provided a much-needed boost.  I decided to pick up the pace to give myself a little wiggle room.  One man cheering on racers said, “Run faster! There’s free beer at the finish line!”  When no one picked up the pace, he started singing, “Iiiiit’s a small world after all, iiit’s a small world aaaaafter all…” over and over.  He was hilarious (and I obligingly picked up the pace).  As cute as that ride is, that song never gets stuck out of my head!
Stitch just went on a break when I passed by, but Lilo was still there!  Lilo & Stitch is definitely one of my favorite Disney movies, so I was psyched.  I was also feeling good, well ahead of the pacers, and running strong.

I saw my parents again at mile 8!  They made it!  Based on my 5k and 10k automated text updates, they weren’t expecting me for another twenty minutes at least.  I gave them a quick hug, explained I need to be speedy because of the balloon pacers, and took off.

I saw Goofy and golf gear and I had to stop…I mean, why not?! (Well, because I was terribly aware that the pacers were very close behind.)

Now, I had to wait in line for Goofy.  No problem.  But it was behind the same two women whom I had been behind since Adventureland–and they brought their autograph books with them.  Both of them.  It was incredibly, incredibly frustrating that I had to wait for the two of them for three photos while the characters signed.  With the pacers so close, this really shouldn’t be allowed.  Luckily, the character attendant for Goofy refused and I took off soon after.  I was determined to get ahead of them before the next photo.

Which I did!  Hi, Pocahontas.  I was a little nervous here because I could SEE the pacers from here! AAAH!  We were circling past the MK again and back down the other side of the highway, the opposite side from where we came.

In reality, when ants aren’t purple and cute, I hate ants.  But here I stopped for A Bug’s Life photo.

It was past mile 10 (I passed it around A Bug’s Life!), my first time in double-digits as a runner.  This Toy Story soldier was telling me to keep on keepin’ on!

More and more people were walking as we neared mile 11, but I kept on running!  As we ran over an overpass, they had cars clearing the highway of runners.

Up next: Mile 11 and the Magical Finish!  Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part IV

Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part II

A princess race…but there was no line for the race car drivers of the Richard Petty Driving Experience!  So of course, I jumped on it!  At this point in the race, I wasn’t feeling very well, and I was determined to pace myself (one of my strengths as a runner is I’m very, very good at determining my pace and sticking with it, I run very even splits most of the time), walk as needed, and make it to the Magic Kingdom at all costs.  I remember walking quite a bit around the Speedway, and it was really discouraging that I was only a bit over a 5k at this point.  I was coughing a lot.

I had a long way to go, and I doubted I could make it.  I was coughing a lot at this point, (I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again…the night before the race, I was sneezing my brains out and coughing up hairballs.  It was just so, so awful, and as an incredibly optimistic person, it had been a long time since I felt so low and so hopeless.  I thought there was no way I could run in just a few hours.)  I had to just keep moving forward.  I kept a smile on my face because it’s DISNEY WORLD and I had been dreaming about this for so long.

I loved seeing all the strong, evil Disney villains–I’d never seen ANY of these in the parks before!  I was especially excited to see Cinderella’s step-sisters and step-mother, who were hamming it up and were absolutely evil.  This whole line-up made my day completely amazing.  I began looking forward to ditching my sweater (here, I ditched it in line before the photos every time), because carrying it was getting really annoying.  I began to have a little hope that I would make it past the Magic Kingdom, and more people in costume cheered me up. I blasted my music and focused on enjoying as much as I could.  My coughing, for the most part, got a little better, and I settled into a regular walk-run pattern.

A blurry photo as I ran past the Contemporary and under a tunnel.  Here was a DJ, and I really liked waving to him.  There were also acrobats on trampolines!  Whoa!

As we ran toward Space Mountain and the Magic Kingdom, I began to feel like utter crap.  I mean, the race was mostly flat, and I trained on hills, but I was still sick.  I could not stop coughing.  I dug out my inhaler (I can only use it twice in a four-hour period, so I knew I had to use it sparingly) and…

it made a WORLD of difference.  Here I am at the next mile marker, happy and upbeat, right before entering the TTC.

At this point, I knew I was going to make it through the race.  I was so, so happy and I felt SO much better.  I also ditched my sweater, giving it to a Cast Member (not even sure if they were on duty…oops), and I felt FREE!

I also saw my parents as I ran through the TTC!  They shouted my name and I almost tripped because I ran past them.  I wasn’t expecting to see them till Mile 8, and it made me INCREDIBLY happy and gave me a huge boost.  As excited as I was to race, running such a huge race, and my first race in another state, alone can be a little intimidating.  I told them I was running strong and I’d see ’em later.  I could only hope that they’d make it to Mile 8 with plenty of time, because I knew that although I ran strong now, I would need a pick-me-up later.  I’d heard traveling from viewpoints could be difficult.  I ran past the drummers from Epcot and all I could think about was running down Main Street.

I had dreamed of this moment for so long.

After asking a CM where the nearest bathroom was (a real bathroom! Not a port-a-potty!), I used a precious four minutes to duck out of the race and it was SO worth it.  My favorite parts were smiling at the little girls in the bathroom (who were wide-eyed that I had a tutu on!), and re-ducking under the line to run back onto Main Street! Hehe.

Everything was all lit up, and it was truly breathtaking to be running down this street.  It was over far too quickly.

I grabbed another photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle (after all, when else is there going to be an unobstructed view?!):

You can see my running shorts peeking out from under the tutu here…it may be silly, but I actually loved wearing it throughout the race.  It made me feel like a true princess for the day.

It was in the MK that I began to feel unstoppable.  I was on such a Disney high–and there were even more characters!

I was excited to see tons of characters I’ve never taken photos with.

I ran through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland (under construction for the extension), where I *just* missed the line closing for Cinderella & Prince Charming.  I’d NEVER seen them in the parks, so I was super bummed, but the sight of the carousel quickly cheered me up.  And at this point, I had stopped at every character available…one of my goals for the race (okay, besides finishing, it was my only goal!)  I was determined to make the most of my race!  Even when I registered for the race, I knew I wanted it to be my first one so I wouldn’t be shooting for a time goal.  As long as I continued feeling great and not coughing, I knew I’d be good.

I kept about a 12-min-per-mile pace through the MK, and then I heard trumpets:

Aaaah!  I was so excited to run through the castle!

Up Next:

In Which I Meet Two Princesses, Get Passed by Orange Bikers, and Run Like Mad: Disney Princess Half-Marathon: Part III

Late Night Laundry

Wednesday I went to yoga with Mel…I could finally do the chair pose without completely dying! It was intense, but it felt good.
Then…late-night laundry!


A friend surprised me by making extra chicken nuggets in the kitchen…wooo for an unexpected snack!

I decided to treat myself to some waffles-a-la-mode this morning…for no other reason than the fact that it has been a crazy week. Very stressful. It was almost *too* sweet, though. I think I prefer my usual combo of peaches and whipped cream, instead.

After classes and some homework, I ran with L for a speedy three miles (splits were 10:23, 9:50, and my watch died, so…I’m guessing 10-10:20ish).
We went to the Relay for Life rally!
I had a giant salad and baked penne:
And then I piled peppers on my pizza, yuuum.

I’ve been listening to so much Glee music lately (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is SO SINGABLE while studying!), but I haven’t watched any tv.
What’s your latest tv addiction?
I miss watching Glee and White Collar, but there’s simply too much going on for tv time too!
My friends have weird nicknames for each other. Mel alternates between calling me anything from puppy to pumpernickel (really). Do you have a nickname?
I’ve called her jellybean and sour patch kid. Sense a trend in my nicknaming? Hehe.

Go Long!

The past two Sundays, I’ve been going long. 7 and 8 miles, both new distances for me! (1:38 and 1:40 respectively). It was pretty eye-opening to see how much faster I run outside rather than on the treadmill.

I was so proud of my 8-miler that I took a photo:

(Yaaaaay! 8 miles!)

It was a nice, relaxing run. I love Sunday long runs. They give me time to meditate, ruminate, and, I admit, belt out some Flight of the Conchords alongside Taylor Swift. (Yep, I’ve got quite an eclectic mix of music.)

I’ve been trying more gym classes–I tried a dance class yesterday and Zumba’d it up today! On top of that, I ran a quick three miles with a friend. Half-marathon training and socializing has never been so exhausting!

My roomie, Mel, smuggled me back a s’mores bar from the cafeteria:

(These are addicting. Oooh, my.)

Anyway, I’m running five miles tomorrow with a bud! YAY for half-marathon training! Time for bed…schoolwork + social life + training is exhausting.

What’s your latest food addiction?

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and while I thought about running as a love and an addiction, she thought about it like a love/hate relationship…what do you think?

Terrific Trip Tuesday: Washington, D.C.



Although my trip was only a few days, so much happened that I had to split it into two parts. (Part 1: National Harbor, Maryland and Alexandria, VA here.)

I’m going for a run! No, really, I AM!

After a day of sightseeing in Alexandria, I decided to check out the hotel gym for a quick run. I mean…super quick. I ran two miles in about 23 minutes and then ran back to my room to take a shower before the military band performance.



A workout is a workout. I wasn’t exactly planning on running this vacation (I had a huuuge inflating spider bite on my heel), but I was able to cover it up with a band-aid and some foam so I could walk (and run!) without pain. Due to this, I didn’t exactly pack running clothes…so my pajama Tweety top it was. =P

After a speedy shower, we headed down to the harbor to watch the Army band perform. They were awesome! We grabbed some subs and sat on the steps for a waterside show. Later that evening, we saw some impressive fireworks (while perched on boulders by the hotel) and I edited for several hours.

The next day was busy! We toured the Capitol. Fun fact–even though there is a crypt inside it, no one is actually buried there. George Washington was supposed to be buried there, but he requested in his will to be buried at Mt. Vernon instead. Inside statuary hall, there are “whisper spots” where you can hear people several feet away, thanks to the acoustics of the building.

Another fun fact: the statue of King Kamehameha I stood in statuary hall until the floor underneath started cracking. The statue and its base have a combined weight of 15,000 lbs. WHOA. It now stands in the lobby of the building. (more info on the statue and the man here.)

With a quick stop for some food in the cafeteria before heading over to the Library:

Corn on the cob, sauteed eggplant, and grilled chicken with olives, onions, and tomatoes.



What was probably the most expensive (yet tiny) salad I have eaten. I believe this was about $6…yikes. I was craving greens, though. Tomatoes, strawberry, spinach, and well, I’m not quite sure what else….



On to the Library of Congress! What a beautiful, beautiful building. The ceiling is engraved with famous quotes. My favorite? “The pen is mightier than the sword.” –Edward Bulwer-Lytton



I was probably most excited to see the viewing area with all the books. There is a balcony overlooking the library where National Treasure was filmed. No photos allowed, but I enjoyed it. The best part is that anyone can go in and read or research–you just need to apply for a reading permit across the street. Amazing.

The next day, we toured the White House! So. Cool. The president was awarding a Medal of Honor that same afternoon, but we didn’t spot him.

Did you know that there is no “back” and “front” of the White House? They are referred to as the North and South entrances, because they didn’t want to offend anyone by welcoming them at the “back” entrance.



We stopped for lunch at Founding Farmers. There was quite a wait, so we hopped over to CVS to buy some milk for breakfast and coffee.

Wow. It was totally worth the wait.

Founding Farmers prides itself on organic, local foods, and the place was mobbed! Everything was quite tasty. I had the butternut squash ravioli.



It was the best pasta I have ever had (outside Italy, of course). Whoa. Just looking at the photo makes me want to race back to D.C….

We topped off the day at the National Building Museum, where I saw a World’s Fair exhibit (pretty much empty, since the museum was closing–neat!) and a LEGO exhibit. I had seen some of the LEGO models before, on my Chicago trip, but this in-progress White House replica was cool.



It was a LONG, hot walk back to the hotel (my dad caved and took the metro), but a great day. We stopped at the American History museum before heading home the next day (best part: the First Ladies’ dresses and the replica of Julia Child’s kitchen!). I love U.S. history, but after a full day of touring the day before, we were all exhausted and ready to head back home.

Great trip! I hope I get to return to D.C. again. I love all the museums and historical sites.

Shopping Spree!

With only a few weeks left until I leave for college, I decided to go on a shopping spree! Woo! Time to raid the mall. I drove on the highway for the first time (phew!). I bought some cute red flats and some new clothes. I can’t seem to get the shopping bug out of me, though…I’ve been eyeing the New Balance

I bought these flax roll-ups the other day…nervously. I had never actually eaten flax seeds before and I wondered how these would taste. I love wraps…but would they be compromised?!




Nope! Not at all. They were absolutely delicious. I had a wrap with garlic hummus, romaine, and a granny smith apple. It was a weird combo (I go with whatever’s in my fridge), but it worked! The sweet tartness of the apple balances out the strong bitterness lettuce sometimes has.


After a day of shopping, we headed to The Cheesecake Factory.

I had the Southeast Asian Chicken, yum. String beans + sesame seeds? AWESOME.

And chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake for dessert. Yum.

Runs:
Today: 2 miles in 25:35 (I took it slowly because I was feeling tired.)
Saturday: 2 miles in 22:29 with a negative split!
Thursday: 2.01 miles in 22:26

It feels great to be running on a regular basis again. Most of my workouts these past few weeks have been walking hills on the treadmill with my hiking boots on (3-5 miles) so I can break them in. It feels so FREE to be running again!

How are you enjoying summer this month?
I spent a ton of time at the beach this summer. Lots of time hanging out with friends and family, reading a ton, and watching movies (Netflix…oooh, it is much too handy. Luckily, it keeps me from getting bored while walking on the treadmill.)

I have had scrambled eggs a TON lately for breakfast. I need a new method! What’s your favorite way to eat eggs, and with what?

How NOT to Run, and the Amazing Blogger Award!

Wisdom is doing something and going, “Oh, dangit, now I know!” Workout-wise, the past few days were…interesting.

My Saturday, aka: How NOT to Run

First, decide that you’re not going to run today! Nope, you are definitely not running. You are having a relaxing day at the beach. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen!

As a result of you having a nice relaxing day, have a HUGE breakfast.
Lots of fiber. Grilled peanut butter and apple sandwich. With two apples. Oh yeaaah. This is the kind of breakfast you’d like to sleep off on the beach.

Ten minutes before you leave, make a snap decision! You’re running! And it’s going to be a long run. Oh boy.

Make sure your Garmin’s not charged! Hasn’t been charged in a while? EVEN BETTER.

Throw everything you think you need into your backpack. Make sure you forget your headband so your hair flops crazily all through the run! It’s the latest fashion, you know.

While you’re at it, leave your Body Glide at home, too.

Arrive at the beach at approximately 11 am. Decide to start your run at the hottest part of the day. Luckily, you HAVE packed sunscreen.

Run your four miles! =D

All joking aside, this run was actually awesome!! There are some days I just get the itch to run like crazy. This was my first official 4 mile run ever! Yay! I kept it slow and steady, so I had 4.03 in 49:45.

Did I learn, though? NAH! The day after, I ran two miles in the rain (24:52), effectively destroying my phone.

Bad move on my part. Darn rain. Now I know–next time, my phone’s going in a plastic baggie. The run was peaceful and fun, though, so at least that was good. =D

In other news, the lovely Paola over at Sol de Luna tagged me for the Amazing Blogger Award! Thanks, Paola! Her blog is absolutely awesome, definitely check it out!

1) Favorite cartoon character?

(I love
Stitch. “O’hana means family,” is a sucker line for me every time. Lilo & Stitch remains one of my favorite movies.)

2) Favorite thing to photograph?


(I do enjoy photographing food, of course. Deep dish pizza in Chicago!)

(But I truly love photographing architecture while I travel. In front of the Louvre in Paris, France.)


3) Favorite thing to cook?
I do love breakfast. I rarely photograph it, because it’s similar. I love egg with salsa over brown rice, or a grilled pb sandwich with an apple. YUM.

4) Favorite way to exercise?
Running, swimming, and biking! I love all three! =D They each teach me a new appreciation for what my body can do.

(I get the kookiest looks on my face when I run, though. I can’t help it–I’m so happy.)


5) Favorite movies:
After Lilo & Stitch, I love Catch Me If You Can. The musical is just as awesome.

(Why hello, Leo. His Broadway counterpart, Aaron Tveit, portrays Frank Jr. fantastically.)

6) Favorite clothing:
Sundresses!


(Often layered over something else. In Chicago.)


7)Favorite flower?
Sunflowers and carnations. They tied.

8) Favorite breakfast?
Scrambled egg with cheddar inside two waffles. *swoon*
Really, I could eat breakfast food all day long. I love almost all kinds of breakfast food, it’s hard to pick!

9)Favorite book?
I love many, but lately I’m loving Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. Stop making me cry, Hannah!!

10) What is your least favorite food?
Peas. I like sugar snap peas, but regular peas…ick. I try to be an equal opportunity vegetable lover, but peas are a skip every time for me. Who knows why….

(I sure don’t.)

11) What would your dream job be?
I want to be an event planner for Walt Disney World. I admire their gold standard of customer service, and I love the area of hospitality.


(But first, I would love to intern here!)

12) What is your favorite salad topper?
That’s easy! Black beans!

(Though from that photo, you might think it’s grapes….)

13) Do you have a running mantra?
Yes! Mine is: “Keep moving forward.” No matter how slow I’m going, as long as I keep going, every step is a success. As long as I continue my exercise ventures and try new things, I’ll discover things about myself and the world around me I never would have if I had sprawled on my couch.

It’s a shortened version of this quote, because the short version is easier to chant:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards very long, we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

–Walt Disney

Have you had a bad workout recently? Did you learn anything from it?

Because I’m about to go on vacation…what was one of your favorite places to visit on vacation?

Dare I Say It?

For the past two weeks, I haven’t dared utter a word of what I have been doing.

Running!

What has been taboo since March 23rd for me (after an ill-timed torn tendon), is now slowly creeping back into a habit. I have been taking the process extremely slow. I injured myself by doing too much too soon, and I’m determined not to do so again.

I’ve been jog/walking, actually, and even though I’m of the “if you put on running shoes and slog through any kind of weather, no matter what the speed, you’re a runner” camp, I felt as if I were deceiving myself.

Today I ran for six minutes and walked for one minute. Just for a mile. Granted, it was a slow mile, but I had no pain at all afterward. My watch even said I was on track for an 11:17 mile. I am going to focus on the fact that I RAN A MILE WITH NO PAIN and ignore that it was only a little over twelve minutes, actually, because I took two walk breaks.

I’m okay with walk breaks. (Repeat to self ten zillion times until I actually believe it.)

I know eventually I’m going to tear through the Walt Disney World Princess Half-Marathon, and I’m going to be in tip-top shape because I’m being careful.

I hope.

Ahhh, caution.

A good adventurer should not throw caution out the window. Maybe you should just tuck it in a back pocket–the kind with a zipper, you know, the one where it won’t fly away.

After over two months of molding my body to my couch (seriously), I’ve had a lot of time to ruminate about my running philosophy. After all, my life philosophy is to BE ADVENTUROUS.

How this translates into my running/fitness life:

Try new ways of cross-training. Rock climbing! Swimming! Biking! Even spin. Uh-oh. (My second-ever spin class post is coming this week! I blocked the memory of the first one out of my mind. From the horror.) Triathlon sounds like a fantastic idea to me–I can count cross-training as my real training! I love multi-tasking.

Be practical. I love the idea of barefoot running. Born to Run romanticizes it, but I have no doubts that humanity thrived barefoot for ages and the technique has its benefits. However, I don’t think it’s easy in the Northeast to run with my toes peeking out in the dead of winter. Minimalist running is a good compromise–I run in New Balance WT101 shoes. My knee problems have disappeared in them, and they’re both lightweight and durable. The majority of my running is asphalt, not trail, but whatever works! They’ve molded well to my feet and they’re comfy. I don’t need bells and whistles on my shoes as long as I can do what I have to–run, and run well. I shaved a minute from my mile time with my first timed run in these shoes, and I definitely think it was because lighter shoes made me increase my step cadence.

According to Galloway, “When you practice running with a lighter, quicker turnover, you become a faster, more efficient runner. An increased cadence also decreases your risk of injury, because your feet spend less time pounding the pavement.”

Sounds good to me!

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. I tooted this one around before, but now I truly try to follow it. I never skip a warm-up or cool down. There is a difference between “sore” and “hurt” and I learned it the hard way.

Happy adventuring! I’m back on track for my goals, and that’s a successful day in my mind, no matter how slow.