Archive for January 2011

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.

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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!

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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!

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