Archive for 2011

A Pause

So I've been doing a horrible job of keeping up with my running blog and I've decided that I need to take a break and pause on this endeavor if I cannot fully commit to it. With work, wedding planning, house shopping, running, my social life, and keeping up with my other blog, I just don't have the quality time I need to write as often as I'd like. I'd like to continue this blog back up after the dust settles, but who knows when that will be. :)
Until then...happy running.




Let me tell you, injuries can do wonders for your motivation.

Hence the lack in postings. My apologizes, but I figured there was no use writing about days in which I didn’t run or struggled through a workout. So the verdict; I think I’m slowly recovering from a pesky IT band issue that doesn't want to go away.  At this point the sore spots are up in my hip and glute, but I think it’s safe to say I’m back on schedule.  I’m taking the time to focus on stretching, massaging, and rolling out the darn leg. 

These last couple weeks I’ve been pretty frustrated with my running and myself.  Stress and anxiety pummel themselves through my body, creating a moody, unproductive, and unmotivated Kate.  I’m aware of what the issues are; mainly trying to accomplish too many things at one time, but it is fixing the issues that are the hardest. Work, wedding planning, blogging, trying to cook healthy meals, running, spending time with Zach, having a semi social life, and getting enough sleep is a lot of stuff to do…and I’m always trying to shove more in.  Zach and I discussed my stressing and where our priorities lay. In the midst of this I realized that in order to accomplish what I want, something has got to give. I’m going to have to pick what I want to do and give up something else…

I’m the little lady that wants to do it all; and when I can’t, the frustrations take ahold. Thus, sleep has fallen low on the totem pole, this is what I chose to give up. My precious, precious sleep. For those who know me, you realize this is a lot to ask of me. For those who don’t, let's just say you have been warned. :) 

In Shauna Niequist's beautiful work of art, Bittersweet, she delves into this very same topic.  Her essay, entitled, "Things I Don't Do," prompted me to questioned my own priorities. Shauna's good friend is quoted in this essay saying, "It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about." I embarked on creating my own list of what I do and a list of what I don't do in order to do the things I care about most.  This just a mini version.

Things I Do: 
I passionately love my amazing family, close friends, handsome fiancé, and the ever graceful Lord
I cook, clean, and plan
I run to stay in shape, stay focused, and stay sane. 
I work hard at my job
I shop, imagine, design, create, read, sing, dance, and drink wine
I blog and dream about fashion, decorating, and my future wedding. 
I mostly spend my free time with others who are honest people - those who share their hearts and allow for my heart to be shared as well. 

Things I Don't Do: 
I don't wake up early (but this has slowly started to change)
I don't know how to speak a foreign language
I hardly make baked goods 
I can't play an instrument (but I can read music!)
I don't mess with Math and Economics...sick!
I don't shower as often as I should (sorry I doubt you wanted to know that)
I can't and don't do "small talk"
I don't let negative people into my life 

With Spring slowly shining it’s beautiful face on West Michigan, the drive to get out of the house is so much greater, not to mention easier. As the seasons change and shift, I’m encouraging my mood and self-drive to as well.  I'm working on what I can do and seeing that I don't try to take on more than I can carry. 

1 Comment

Distracted Runner

It has been a hectic winter since I last posted...

Officially beginning my marathon training two Sundays ago, I'm already in a rut. With "snowmageddon" hitting GR pretty bad, running is one of the last things on my mind.  My 11 mile run on Saturday was dreadful and the only thing keeping me going was knowing that as soon as I got inside, I might be able to feel the tips of my fingers again.  We all go through these stages when we run, I just didn't expect it to happen so soon into my training. I'll keep blaming it on the snow.

With Hal Hidgon's training plan, my hope for this 18 week course is to focus on quality, not quantity of miles.  It has been refreshing to come home and not have to run a couple of 8 milers in the middle of the week.  Instead, I've had several 4-5 milers, with workouts in between and one long run.  With Spring hopefully on it's way, I know I will look forward to these runs after work...for now I'll have to just put up with it.

Zach and I have been reading a book together (which makes us realize how bad we are at reading out loud).  Last night the chapter we were reading discussed attitude and how we act and think.  It was so interesting when the author suggested that it is our choice what our attitude on life is, we get to decide if we are positive or negative to ourselves and others.  Even when others say harsh words or make you cry, it is your choice if you remain positive or choose to become negative.  In the end, we decide our outlook on life, and run with what we are given.  I've come to the conclusion that this is a concept I need to become more familiar with. Not that I'm a negative person by any means, but I do tend to take criticism and negative comments personally.  I tell Zach that I am "sensitive" but in actuality, I get to decide if these comments will effect me.  Granted it doesn't help your attitude when others around you are constantly complaining, but that just means I need to work extra hard at having a positive attitude, despite what is thrown my way.

The same can be said about my training and my daily runs.  I know each run will be hard and cold with all the snow, but going into it with a positive outlook will only make the run more easier.  I hope this frame of mind takes hold and gives me the strength I need for these upcoming weeks.

Stay Positive. Stay Warm. Stay Motivated.

Leave a comment

It's the Simple Things

There are many days were I just do not feel motivated to get out and run. Here is a kicker for you...sometimes I hate running.  Especially when it's early, cold, and I rather stay in my sweatpants, drinking coffee, and reading.  This morning was no different. Having the day off, I got up that morning with great ambitions. I wanted to clean the apartment, plant my new succulents (yay!), do laundry, run, etc. When it came time to get ready to go run, I kept thinking of things I could do around the apartment; procrastinating the inevitable.

Most runners will agree that when you get in these slumps, you usually feel the opposite right after a run.  I blame that mostly on the beta-endorphins that are released when you run...which give you that "runner's high" and make you feel exhilarated for a majority of the day.  Regardless of knowing these things, it is still the entail push that is the hardest.  Just getting out that door. 

I had decided since I didn't want to attempt another long, strenuous trudge through the unshoveled sidewalks around my apartment, that I would just go out for 30 minutes.  With my head down for most of the run, I was miserable.  Usually my music boosts my mood, but today it wasn't happening. Maybe it was the frustration that I wasn't establishing the base I wanted before starting my marathon training, or maybe it was the lingering twinge I felt in my it-band and hips...

Finally finding a sidewalk that was shoveled, I made my way, dawdling up the road. Peering out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something yellow in a tree up the hill.  My first thought was that it was a lingering leaf, but upon getting closer, it appeared to be an ornament! A beer glass ornament! Taking it out of the tree, I laughed out loud.

This small action that someone took to put this high up in the tree, simply made my run and my day a little brighter.  The rest of the run was spent with my head up, with a smile on my face. I don't know exactly what it was about finding the ornament, but I suddenly realized that I this run wasn't as atrocious as I had anticipated it to be.  

Embracing my environment, I started to notice red berries flourishing, grass poking through the snow, many bird's nest scattered throughout the trees, and it hit me how we aren't in the "dead of winter."  Winter isn't a dead season, but an alive and thriving one. A season where you see the strength in the world around us, pushing through the harsh weather.  Where we all beg for more sun, but take what we can get...glimpses of sun flares, warmer cloudy days, and hopes for tomorrow.

With this mindset, I'm looking forward to my longer run tomorrow. Who knows, maybe I'll get another reminder to enjoy the simple a glass of beer.

Leave a comment

Fresh Snow

It's during my longer runs that the creative thoughts usually generate. I get lost in the moment; listening to my music, not paying attention to where I'm heading, and letting the stress of the day disappear.  Today was no exception.  With the snow cascading down, drifts and mounds covered the pathways I trend.  I thought I'd be freezing today; every direction I turned the snow found ways to get into my jacket.  After about a mile of getting use to the chill, it almost didn't feel like I was running in the Michigan winter! Wearing layers upon layers, my pink ear-flap hat, and my favorite tights, I was cozy.  Getting off the beaten path where the drifts grew, the snow under foot was fresh and reminiscent of trail running...only fluffy!  

I began to reflect on what makes a runner.  Why are there so many folks in the world that claim they can't run or declare they aren't runners?  I believe there are just two reasons for people to say these things about running: lack of confidence in their ability to do so, or they just don't want to be runners. That's it.

No matter what others say, anyone can run! It's just a matter of how much you want to or not. Majority of people don't want to be runners, and that is fine.  It confuses me when someone becomes amazed at the amount of miles Zach or I run.  "How do you do that? I could never run that far. I'm just not a runner."  If you are one of these people, my apologizes for offending you, but please stop saying that.  Every person has an innate ability to run, anyone can do's just a matter of choice.  It might not be as easy and you might not be able to go that fast or far, but in the grand scheme of things, does that really matter? When I hear someone tell me, "I could never be a runner," all I hear are excuses. Next time be honest with me, just say you don't like running or aren't motivated enough to start. I'll understand.  Running isn't for everyone.

My mother is one of my favorite people. Her and my father have always supported my hobbies, especially running. Both of them ran in high-school, but the sport never went beyond that. Just this past summer, my mother surprised me when she told me she had started running again.  She slowly went from walk/jog, to completing a mile, to 3 miles. I was and am extremely proud of her. She didn't think she would ever be able to run again, but with a little motivation and inspiration, she has been enjoying it.  It is stories like these that make me lace of my Wave Riders and get out in this yucky weather.  Being young and fit, I need to take advantage of this time and not bum around.

How has everyone's training been going so far? Any goals or races planned for 2011? If you need any training tips or race suggestions, feel free to ask!

Leave a comment

2011:Getting into Gear

Sorry everyone for such a long leave. Definitely needed the break from running to get my motivation back on track for this new year. As of now, Zach and I are signed up for the Bayshore Marathon, which is at the end of May.

Been contemplating which training course I should follow and how to train to not get injured or worn out. I've been establishing a base for a couple of week now and have already noticed my hips and IT band flaring up like no other. I'm sitting on a huge bag of ice as of now.

After talking with my boss, he suggested a lower mileage training schedule with high intensity tempo and speed workouts. I've printed out Hal Hidgon's advance marathon schedule and have a feeling this will work out wonderfully for this marathon.

On Twitter I found a wonderful running site, the Daily Mile, that I hope I will use more than Flotrack. The nice thing about the Daily Mile is that it resembles Facebook; you can add friends, join a community, and see what other people are up too. Several of my friends, along with Zach, are going to do the marathon, a nice reunion. Keeping touch with these friends from all over the country has been hard, but this will double as a way to keep in touch and to motivate each other.

My New Year resolution for running will be to do this Bayshore Marathon faster than a 3:20.  I also would like to be diligent on eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and going out of my way to do different training groups around Grand Rapids.

I hope everyone's New Year has started off well.

Happy Running!

Leave a comment
Powered by Blogger.

Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by