Everything Hurts.

In that good way though.

I ran my first 10K race yesterday.  I loved every minute of it.  More than the 5K, I have to admit.  Much, much more.  This race was in my city and the weather was perfect, albeit a bit on the humid side, but after the winter we had I am NOT going to complain.

My neighbor offered me a ride early so I took it and spent two hours alone, watching the crowds build and taking in all the sights. It was glorious, really, to be alone with my thoughts as I watched other runners preparing for their race.  At atmosphere was friendly and cordial. Everyone had smiles on their faces.

As my start time loomed, I felt the familiar grumblings of nerves in my stomach but I was also just happy to be running again.  I had taken the previous three days off to rest my legs and it was the smartest move I made.  As I crossed the start line and started running, I could tell within a few minutes that my legs were happy and this was going to be a great run.  I kept to a comfortable pace and at the first kilometer marker I decided to keep running and made a split-second decision to alter my plain.  Normally I would have run intervals of 1 km running to 100 m walking but my legs felt strong, so I pushed myself and took walk breaks every 2 km.

1-3km.  There was a beautiful cool breeze and as I found my pace, I just took everything in and watched others ahead of me.  I had to weave a bit as I passed slower runners and a few walkers.

3-7km.  I was starting to get hot.  The breeze died and the air was thick.  At the 4 km water station I saw a fire hydrant had been turned on and other runners were going through it.  YES!  I ran over to it and cooled down instantly. It was a glorious feeling.  I got some water, drank some of my own Gatorade from my belt and kept going.

7-10km.  Starting to get a bit tired.  I kept my walk intervals consistent every 2 km and knew that if I kept it up I would finish strong.  As I approached the 9km marker I honestly started looking for the finish shoot but it was out of my line of sight.  My legs were tired but I knew I had a little more in them to push on and I went through the finish line with my arms up high and felt stronger than ever.  What a great feeling!!!

I found my family and got big hugs and kisses and we walked over to the medal area.  I frantically searched for my chip time and was thrilled.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Image-1

I woke up today with very sore quads and calves.  Sore in that way you know you went out and gave it your all.  I will take a few days off to rest and consider what’s next.  15k? 21.1?  It all seems more possible now.

In the Zone

Yesterday I set out for a long run. Had planned 10km but with the new shoes (Asics Gel Nimbus) and better eating this week, I felt pretty good and flirted with the idea of pushing my body and going longer. I signed up for a 10km race which is happening in a few weeks so this would likely be that last long run until then. 

I’ve been to two Pilates sessions in the past couple of weeks and got some great tips on how to loosen up my hip joints. I did a lot of dancing as a child and was always taught to “tuck in”. I suppose I never really forgot that because apparently it’s what is causing a lot of my issues. My SI joints are locked up and I am working hard to unlock them.  My instructor also suggested a few minor changes to how I run and I’ve been trying to incorporate those techniques. Overall I have been running with consciously tightening my core which in turns causes me to lock up my hip joints. That has got to change. 

So during the early stages of my run yesterday, between 3-9km, I felt amazing. I felt like I was flying and my hips felt great. I almost felt like I was meditating.  By 10km though, I started getting tired and felt the SI joint acting up. I made a few adjustments and was surprised how it actually did help ease up the discomfort. 

Before I knew it I was home and finished my longest run to date. 

 
I was also able to finally test out my two-bottle water belt. It felt a little awkward initially but I soon got used to it and was so glad to have my hands free.  I’ll definitely be using it for the race. 

  
This morning my legs certainly noticed the subtle differences I incorporated in my run. My quads are sore but in that good way. Nothing a little foam rolling won’t cure. 

Anyone who says running doesn’t work to lose weight or get fit clearly didn’t test their body. 

 

Tenacity, Determination, Discipline.

Day 19.  National Blog Posting Month.

So, I am really doing this thing.  I set out at the beginning of the month to write a post every day and I am doing it.  I’m not all that surprised though, to be honest.  Usually when I set out to do something, I do it.

I did it with running.  A year or two ago, I never, ever would have thought I’d embrace this running culture.  I recall seeing runners on the street, with their 3-4 little water bottles strapped to their back and their fancy clothes and would think, “Why would someone want to do that?”  Despite have some girlfriends who are runners (who yes, I thought were pretty nuts for running 1/2 marathons), it wasn’t something I felt I could ever do. Back when my husband and I were dating, I remember going out for a “run” with him on Saturday afternoon.  His idea of running is a very leisurely jog in the neighborhood.  I don’t think I lasted more than a few minutes, despite the fact that I had been working out regularly at the gym at the time.  There certainly wasn’t anything “fun” about it.

Then during the spring of 2012, right after my son turned 1, I remember chasing my daughter across a field and getting completely winded afterwards. So winded in fact, that I almost felt like throwing up.  It was a huge eye-opener for me.  I was ridiculously out of shape.  I wasn’t overweight, sure I had an extra 10 pounds or so from my pre-baby weight, but by no means was I “fat”.  I was just really, really de-conditioned.  So, for a few months I debated joining a gym.  I started doing some home workout DVDs but it just wasn’t enough.  Husband suggested that I start running – it’s cheap, it’s quick and I could do it right after work.  In early July, 2012, my girlfriend invited me to her “boot camp”.  I decided to go.  It was a painful 3km run and I couldn’t move for 3 days afterward, but I was hooked.

My husband was really proud of me for not only starting to run, but keeping up with it.  Though he said he wasn’t at all surprised — he has always said that I have a tremendous amount of tenacity, determination and discipline.  I suppose he is right.  After all, I decided at the age of 13 that I wanted to be a physician and nothing stood in my way of reaching that goal.

So as I get back into this running thing, I ask myself what I want to accomplish with my running.  Right before I got pregnant, I was just meters away from running 10 kilometers.  I think that is a reasonable goal to strive for, but baby steps first.  I don’t want to risk injury, nor do I want my breast milk supply to suffer.  I don’t plan on nursing past 6 months as I will be returning to work.  It will be spring when I go back and I think it would be great to be able to get my runs in right after work – it is a very convenient 5 km straight stretch from the office to home.

So, goal #1 – be able to run 5 km by March, 2013.

Goal #2 – physical (ie. respiratory) endurance.  Despite getting close to the 10 km distance, I wasn’t quite able to run a solid 10-20 minutes and that is something I would like to change.  I ran once, a year ago, for a solid 20 minutes but wasn’t able to repeat that feat.

Goal #3 – toning and weight loss.  I was in great shape when I got pregnant last winter and I would love to get back there again, which means I have about 25 lbs (yikes!!) to lose and about 12 inches in total to trim (from hips, thighs and waist).

Wow.

Seeing it in writing makes it so real and so daunting.  But you heard it here first.  I am committed to staying healthy and fitting back into those damn Guess jeans that I own.  Come hell or high water!

Guess Jeans

Tenacity.

Determination.

Discipline.

But first, I need to throw out every single piece of Hallowe’en chocolate in my house.