RUNNING ~ Week Six, Day Three: Surprising Myself!!

I woke up later than I wanted, got started later than I wanted… My husband said he wanted to leave a little earlier for work… I decided that I was not going to let that deter me from getting my run in.  Five miles in one shot still eludes me but I’m still running.

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I started with my new routine. I walked to the track, stretched and began my run. I had decided on my way there that based on my previous pace and the time I had, I would have to limit myself to a one mile run today.  I was ok with that. Determined to make the most of my time, I began my run. I felt good, actually I felt really good! Surprise number one… I did not feel like I was totally dying!!!

Half a mile in I still was feeling pretty good and I was thinking that I may continue my trend of 10:30ish miles for the week. Third lap, I was starting to feel it a little but was actually enjoying my run. Fourth lap, I decided to push myself a little harder for two reasons.  First, I was keeping my eye on time and I wanted to get back home. Second, I was getting tired and the faster I ran, the faster I would be done!

As I entered the third turn on the track I knew I would hear the voice on my Runtastic app saying “Distance One Mile” soon.

When I finally heard that voice I was stunned to hear the following… “Duration… 9 minutes and 59 seconds” WHAT???

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I truly surprised myself! I wanted to keep running but I knew I had time constraints and I still had to go another .91 miles back home… If someone told me six short weeks ago that I would not only be able to not only run several miles at one time but that I would also be able to run a mile in under ten minutes, I would have laughed in their face!

The feeling of accomplishment I had this morning was amazing. Although I still have this love/hate thing going on with running, the confidence I have gained since starting this adventure far outweighs the minor discomfort that comes from running. I think I am really a runner now. And that is the Biggest Surprise of All!

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What is the biggest surprise you have encountered since beginning your fitness journey? Leave a comment.

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RUNNING ~ Week Six, Day Two: Steady Progress

Can someone please tell me when the first mile stops feeling like I am going to die? Six weeks into this and I really felt like I may not be able to complete the Turkey Trot next week. I was having a serious mental battle on my run this morning. I started with a brisk walk to the track which is approximately .91 miles. Then I stretched and ran two miles. During those two miles I really questioned why I was doing this to myself when I could be at home in my warm bed. God always has a way of reminding that this journey is about more than my current discomfort. Just when I was about to decide that I wasn’t going to run in the Turkey Trot, I heard this song playing
in my earphones… Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe
So I kept going…

On the track I happened upon another couple who were in the midst of their workout. I saw them from afar and could tell they were experienced runners. I don’t know what their splits were but I know they were a lot faster than mine! I am proud of my 10:35 min mile pace on the first mile and 11:26 min mile pace on the second mile. Although they lapped me… Twice… I really used it as encouragement to continue the course. Considering six weeks ago I couldn’t run one mile and it was definitely a lot slower, I am happy that I felt like a runner out there this morning.

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After I ran the two miles I stopped, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. So I did some stretches and made the decision to run ONE MORE MILE. It wasn’t my fastest mile but it was still progress. My third mile was my slowest but like I said I choose to see it as progress. (11:52 min mile) looking back on today, I actually completed the five miles I was hoping to complete. I just did not run the whole thing. Tomorrow is another day to reach my goals… but everyday I’m PROUD of my progress!

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When you started running, at what point did you feel like a runner? Leave a comment.

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RUNNING ~ Week Six: Back at It and Feeling Strong!

After my little tumble the other day, I had to get back in the game mentally and physically! When I awoke this morning I knew I was going to run but I wasn’t sure how far or how fast. Now that I am six weeks into this plan I was hoping to be able to have my short runs be three miles and my long runs be five miles or more… My body is not agreeing with the plan! However, I did not let that stop me from getting back out there. It would have been easy to use excuses to stop and quit.

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Falling and hurting my knees took the wind out of my sails. It happened just when I was getting into a flow mentally. I had reached a point where I could push myself just beyond the point that I thought I couldn’t go any further. I actually pushed way beyond that point when I continued to run and finish three miles after I fell!

I had to get it back mentally, so today I completed four miles… One of which I ran. I walked the first mile, stretched, ran the second mile and then walked two more miles. The great thing about today’s run is that I completed a 10:34 minute mile! Wow! A ten and a half minute mile! I really did not see that coming but I will take it! I guess you could say I got it back!

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The beauty of my run today was that it was the first one of the week. The pace gives me something to build on for the rest of the week. I am thinking of adding a day to my workouts just to build a little more consistency into my routine. Currently I run every other day, three days a week and take off the weekends. I really want to be able to complete five miles by then end of this week so I will have to push myself to reach that goal.

It was a great morning. Physically I could have felt better but mentally, I was strong!

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A New Season, Time to Make a Comeback

Every season I like to make an assessment of where I am and where I’d like to be. Fall is a great time to reassess because it is the final quarter of the year. Whether you have had a great year or a rocky year thus far, you can always make a plan to be better. I am a football fan and nothing is greater than a fourth quarter comeback! Designing your comeback is easy. Executing your comeback is the challenge. Every great player or team has a coach who helps guides them to victory! Let these simple ideas be your coach to your fourth quarter comeback!

First, set a goal or a few goals. Don’t try to accomplish too much too fast. This is a three month plan to gaining a healthy lifestyle and your success. When you are trying to gain a healthy lifestyle it is important to look at what you are eating and what you are doing.
Create an eating plan which includes at least four small meals and two snacks daily. It sounds like a lot of food but once you start eating this way you will find that it’s easy and you are never hungry.
What you eat is as important as how much you eat. Your meals should consist of lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains.

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MyPlate.gov is an excellent resource to help you determine portion size. In addition to watching what you eat, cutting out sugary drinks including fruit juices and adding more water to your diet will aid you in your journey.

As important to your eating plan is your exercise plan. Exercise will help you develop overall fitness. A quality plan includes a minimum of three exercise session per week. You want to combine cardio and strength training in your plan. Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve your goals. Thirty to forty-five minutes per day five days per week is more than enough. Try to find an activity that you enjoy. Walking, jogging, running, skating, swimming, Zumba, hooping… If you find something you enjoy you are more likely to continue doing it. Going for a walk everyday is a great way to start. Some people go all out when they start and end up losing steam because it’s not sustainable. Consistency is the key to long term success.
Staying committed to your goals is a winning strategy. You can finish this quarter strong and stage the comeback of the year!

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Try this workout to jump start your plan!

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RUNNING ~ Week Five, Day Three: Keep Running!

It finally happened… I FELL! The other day I talked about the challenges of running on city streets and today I met one of those challenges face to face! I was just starting to get into a flow. I was thinking about why I always feel like I’m dying the first mile of my run, I noticed a car pulling up to the corner, I was trying to decide if I was going to go straight or cross the street and then…. I tripped on an uneven patch of pavement and DOWN I WENT! I was so alarmed that I jumped up and kept running!

I knew my knees were scuffed up a little but I didn’t even stop to find out how badly until I reached the next corner. The damage wasn’t bad so I kept going. As I jogged, my knees kind of tingled from pain but I determined that I wasn’t going to turn around. I hadn’t even gotten a mile in yet. In my head I kept hearing, “Keep Running”! So I continued on to the track. Oddly, the adrenaline rush I got from the fall propelled me to a slightly faster first mile time than I had all week.

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When I got to the track I noticed that I had a Facebook message on my phone from my lifestyle mentor Dr. Ian Smith! It was just what I needed to take my mind off of falling, off of being in pain, off of wanting to quit! At that point I was inspired to keep going and finish strong!
As I mentioned the other day, every day as a runner is different. There’s always something new to challenge your drive and enthusiasm. I am finding that if you continue to push on and persevere you can overcome anything!

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Today I overcame not wanting to run today, falling, injury, and just plain wanting to stop and go home. I ran 3.01 miles and walked .91 today. As far as I’m concerned I’m very proud of myself for continuing despite the obstacles I faced. When I came home I put some ice on my knees and marveled at the runner that I have become.

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As you continue on your journey, let me inspire you to not give up despite the obstacles you face. Keep going until you reach your goals. Take one step at a time and you will get there! Just KEEP RUNNING! Have you ever faced an obstacle that you had to overcome? What was it and how did you overcome it?

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RUNNING ~ Week Five, Day Two: Runners Don’t Hibernate

Living in the northeast, I knew there would come a day when I was required to get out there and run despite the fact that it is COLD! This morning it was about 35 degrees when I started my run. I wish I could say that I forgot all about how cold it was once I started running but I did not! What I did realize is that “Runners Don’t Hibernate”

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Once I accepted that it was just gonna be cold on this run, I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish today. I really got out there with no specific goal other than to do more than I did on Monday. I accomplished that. I was able to get in a three mile run although my phone was not charged enough and I lost contact with my Runtastic app at 2.77miles.

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Everyday as a runner is different. Even if you are running the same route there are so many variables. Today, the weather was a challenge for me. Although sunny and bright and dry it was a little windy. As a relatively new runner little things like a gust of unexpected wind can really throw off your breathing. Something else I realized was that I really prefer to run on the track as opposed to on the street. Many people find running on the track boring but I find it comforting and relaxing. On the street I have to worry about uneven pavement, people, dogs, cars, trucks, buses… But on the track I say hello to the other joggers and walkers, I watch the school children as they arrive for their day of learning and I find peace. You could say on the track I get in a groove.

Fifteen days until the Turkey Trot, I am still confident that I will be ready. My goal for this week is to have a five mile run in the books! The weather should be a little warmer on Friday and I am ready to face the challenge head on! How do you get your workouts done in cold weather? What advice would you share for working out in fall and winter?

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