Hitting the pavement (and the trails, too!)

Yesterday I went on my first long run since the Seattle half. I’ve been good about keeping up what I call my “Maintenance Runs” during the week (3 miles or so, usually in the evenings around the neighborhood). Yesterday consisted of 7 miles of goodness. Pavement, trails, the long bridge over the bay at Boulevard Park–it was amazing. To add to the moment, the sun was shining. On December 30th! Very unexpected and appreciated!

As 2012 comes to a close, I can’t resist once again acknowledging how much running has changed my life for the better. I am excited for the year to come, mostly because I am in a place where a long run is more enjoyable than it is daunting, and also at the cusp of possibly extending my speed and distances goals to new heights.

I could not do this without the support of my amazing family and friends, especially my husband. He is the one who looks me square in the eye and says, “just go… go for a run already!” He is an amazing father to our curious and sweet toddler and he holds down the fort while I am doing my job as the mama who runs miles.

There is something about physical fitness begetting other ambitions. I feel that my other goals and aspirations, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual are kicked into gear as well. Healthy body, healthy mind.

Tomorrow I run the Resolution Run with many other residents of this wonderful community. For some, it is a starting point. For others, a goal achieved. For me, another day and another run in this beautiful corner of the country I am blessed to call my home.

Until 2013…

Winter running

Photo: This is happening. Happy winter running!

Looks a lot like this! I am getting out in the evenings with a trusty headlamp. My goal is to run two 3-4 mile runs during the week, and one longer run (5-7 miles) on the weekends, or run a race (I have several coming up between now and April). Why April? Because I registered for my first half marathon of 2013, which is on April 14th! I am really excited to have a renewed training goal.

I continue to incorporate Zumba at least once a week, and I hope to pick up an alternate biweekly schedule of yoga and aqua-running. I have an adventurous work-out buddy, which helps a lot. Without her, I would probably just stick to the running. I am glad I have a reason to get out and do some other physical fitness activities as well!

My first race of 2013 is on New Years Day! It’s a 2.6 mile trail run. Sounds like a laid back way to begin a year of running.

In 2012 I ran 11 races, two of which were half marathons. I honestly can’t believe that, and I look forward to seeing what I can achieve in 2013!

Until next time!

Despite Crowds, PR for 5K

Saturday, I ran a very popular local charity race, which is a 5K through downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Perhaps my jingly reindeer antlers I donned were good luck, because I finished the race in 26 minutes–a personal record for a race day 5K. After the disappointment that came with the hamstring soreness the weekend before, this finish was a good pick-me-up.

Now I turn to some weeks of training– maintenance runs and Zumba mid-week and long runs on the weekends. My next group run is not until New Year’s Day, and my next race (10K) is not for about a month. I hope to spend these weeks increasing speed and agility over long-distance endurance. I know I can run 13.1 miles, but I’d like to shave some time off my finish at my next half marathon, and I can only do that by getting the hang of running a bit faster.

I will admit, it was exhilarating to run a race instead of jogging it.

Until next time!

Zumba Review

I had a blast at Zumba and look forward to attending weekly, at least through the dark winter months. Aside from the fun I had dancing to the last decade’s reggaeton hits, there wasn’t much in the way of strength building or toning, but that is okay. Sometimes getting the blood pumping and experiencing a good sweat is enough.

Two days until the next 5K!


Supplementary Winter Activities

I am brainstorming ways I can supplement my running with other types of cardio over the winter. It gets dark so early, and the weather is pretty cold and wet these days. I tend to do my long runs on the weekends because I can go early in the morning (the easiest time of day for me to be productive, plus minimal space for procrastination), and because I have daylight. I don’t mind if it’s pouring down rain or frosty, as long as I can see where I am going, and the cars can see me.

In the warmer months, I find that I walk a lot more, go on smaller jogs throughout the week after work, and generally spend more time engaged in physical activity. Winter is notoriously difficult, I tend to regress in my level of physical fitness, and I feel generally less motivated. I know I am not alone in experiencing this.

This winter, I am going into training with an accountability partner and both of us are going to try things we might not consider if left to our own devices. Tonight we’re going to a weekly Zumba class for the first time. I think Zumba is corny, but if it gets us moving (and bonus, the room is warm and bright!), it could be a helpful addition to the weekly schedule.

Until later!

December Race #1

This race was a mixed bag. Before it started, I had a feeling I might experience something similar to a 5K I ran the weekend directly following my first half marathon which was a latent flare-up of soreness on the parts of my body that were still overstressed. This time, the soreness was not too bad, but I did get a sharp ache in my right hamstring. So, wanting to avoid injury, I decided to run the 5K instead of the 10K.

The good news, is I met a new personal record for my 5K time at a race, and considering this was a pretty hilly course, I was proud of the progress. My fastest 5K race time was 32 minutes, and I finished this last 5K in 29 minutes. Nevertheless, the pacing I employed during the 5K would not be sustainable for the duration of a longer distance run, in my opinion. But I am learning that different length races require gear shifts sometimes, and I don’t have to run a 5K with the same 10.5 or 11 minute mile that I would use during a 10K, 15K, or half marathon.

This coming Saturday is another 5K and I am curious to see what my finishing time is. I am aiming to keep it under 30 minutes. The course is less hilly, but there will be many more runners (last weekend was a running club event, this weekend is a charity race).

This week I will focus on stretching, getting some heat on my hamstring, and perhaps some moderate jogging mid-week to keep things moving.

Until next time!