Monday, May 18, 2015

Catching Up

Howdy, howdy y’all! I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been meaning to pop in here more often but I’ve been so busy that this is the first opportunity I’ve had to update in quite a while.
March was a busy running month for me. I logged 85+ miles, the highest 1 month mileage for me since I started running and I ran 3 half marathons. You would think that would have been a big enough challenge for me, but nope. I wasn’t satisfied. I was fairly certain that I had more in me, so I set out to prove to myself that I did.
I’m a member of a group called the Half Fanatics. Toward the end of March, I started looking at the membership criteria to see what it would take to move me up to another level. I tried every way that I could to make the half marathons I had already done count but I couldn’t get it to add up. They were just too far apart. One thing became apparent to me, I would have to run more! So, I made a plan and signed up for not just 1 more, but 3 more half marathons!!  If I did 3 in 3 states in 10 (or less days) I would move up to Mars level. So, that is precisely what I did!!  I ran the Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, KS on Saturday, April 18. It was rainy and I was hurting badly from a trip/near fall over a parking block so I was surprised by my finish time of 2:24. I got a post race massage, took an ice bath (as advised by the pacer I ran w/ for a while) then a hot shower.
After food and Advil, we loaded up and headed for Springfield, MO where I ran the Go Girl Half Marathon on Sunday, April 19. Yep, that’s right….I did 2 halfs back to back!!  I was slower on the second race, finish time was 2:27 but that’s ok. I wasn’t really running for time. I was running in honor of my friend, Crystal who was still recovering from a brain aneurysm (that’s another story).
I didn’t do too much running during the next week as I had one more to go. I focused more on recovery: stretching, yoga, rolling, etc. that week and just ran a couple short maintenance runs. On Saturday, April 25, I ran the Tulsa Golden Driller Half Marathon. This was an inaugural run. It was rather warm and humid that day plus I was tired. It was not my best race ever but this was definitely not about finish time, it was just about finishing upright. And I did in 2:30. I had done it!!  3 half marathons in 3 states in 8 days!!  I moved up to the Mars level as a Half Fanatic.
I am very proud of this accomplishment because exactly one year ago, I was struggling to find my running mojo again. I learned some valuable lessons along the way. This was about endurance. This was about setting a goal and doing whatever needed to be done to achieve it. It was about finishing what I started. And I did it!!  I proved to myself that I’m capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to. I tell my runners this all the time, but now I’ve got the personal experience to back it up. I’ve already got my sights set on my next goal, but that’s also another story…..
Since then, I’ve taken a break from runner to rest and heal up a little bit. I was pretty beat up after all those miles. My IT band was starting to be a little bit irritated because I’ve slacked off of strength training pretty badly. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been focusing on cleaning up my diet and strength training.
My diet was way out of control again! I was eating treats and candy like there was no tomorrow plus drinking too much sweet tea. On Monday, April 27, I did the Team Beachbody 3 Day Refresh. I did it once before and swore that I would never do it again, but I was desperate and had to take drastic measures. I was surprised that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time I did it. I didn’t lose lots of weight or inches, but I did succeed in controlling my sugar intake. I am feeling much better, less bloating and stomach upset without all the processed sugars. My clothes seem to be fitting better and I think I look better so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned! I’ve still got some work to do to cut out all of the mindless binging in the evenings after work but that’s drastically improved as well.
And I’ve picked up the weights again. I don’t really get as much of a rush from strength training as I do from running but I know it is a necessary evil and I do like the changes I see in my body. I feel stronger, have more energy in general and am less prone to running injury. Plus I know it increases my running endurance. Pathways summer session starts next week. I’m moving up to coach a faster pace group but I intend to keep the strength training up on my non-running days. I’ve even got a couple new workouts to share with you on Workout Wednesdays.
Another change that has taken place is a change in my work assignment. YAY!!  I can NOT express how happy this makes me!!  I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but suffice to say that I’m in a less toxic environment and have a much better work/life balance now!! WOOHOO!!
So, that’s a brief update for now. I’ll try to do a much better job of keeping you posted on the goings-on in my daily life once again. I’ve missed blogging on a regular basis and hope to get back to it at least 1-2 times weekly. So, until next time—get up, get out, and get moving.
Whatever you do today, be awesome at it!
Your friend,