Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Running Crisis

I am having a running identity crisis.

After my lackluster half marathon (not lackluster by my time, but more of how I felt during it) I have not enjoyed running. Granted it has not yet been two weeks and the weather has been cruddy (again), but I got new shoes and have run maybe 4 times and only 1 of those runs was good. And it was my first morning at the beach this past weekend, so obviously it would be good:).

I have a race coming up this weekend, and it is typically my favorite race (the Monument 10k- the race that is why I became a runner), but I am just not excited about it this year. It may rain, and my body is not feeling good or fresh. There are also many races coming up in the next two months that I typically enjoy, and I don't know if I should sign up for any of them.

I am hopeful that more spring-like temperatures will change my mood, but I am realizing the difference between running to run versus running for a race. I tend to get obsessive about things and all these recent races have made me treat running more like a chore and less like something I enjoy. I get stressed if I don't run X amount of mileage in a week or have a few bad runs in a row. I enjoyed my long runs with groups while training for my most recent half because they were slow and with friends. Perhaps I need to cut back on my speed to get back my running joy. It is hard, though, because I have PR'ed so much in the last year that I keep pushing myself to keep up that trend.

Health is a fickle thing. You're told to do this and not that and have to figure out what works best for YOU. However, to keep up your improvements you have to keep doing what is working and upping the intensity of your workouts. I did a random P90X 30 minute video off of youtube on Sunday and I was SORE. It got me thinking about health and exercise...how often should I be sore from exercise? If I don't get sore will I not see the best results? Would I even want to exercise as much as I do if I was constantly in pain? I can tell you now that I wouldn't- I don't mind being sore once in a while, but I want to feel good as the result of working out and not be in pain. Exercise to me is more a mental release than anything else. I obviously enjoy the health benefits, but I know I wouldn't keep up with something that was killing me. I am a chronic cardio person with a little of abs and arms/weights mixed in, but cardio doesn't typically make me sore unless I am upping my long distance runs. Maybe I need to change up my routine more and incorporate more weight bearing exercises.

So who am I and what should I do? Am I a runner?  A racer? An exerciser? A health nut? I don't know. I am going to attempt to listen to my body and my moods the next few weeks and not commit to any races until closer to their date. It is more expensive to register last minute, but I am ok with that if it means really committing to the races. Perhaps I should join a gym again to change up my workouts, too.

Has anyone else had a crisis like this? Tips? Advice? Meds? Should I just increase my wine intake and chill?:)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Take Me Back

 Can I just live at the beach already (Duck, specifically)?

On my morning run

Another one from the run

House!

The group hanging out on the beach:)

Seagulls everywhere!

View from the porch of the ocean.

$21 drink.

Yum!

Thanks to these two for the invite! Notice I am the only person not red:)
Great weekend:) Very relaxing, refreshing and full of so much laughter. I loved my runs in the mornings and being able to walk around the beach without being overly hot! The shopping was great and watching the NCAA tournament was fun (GO HOOS!) I want to go back ASAP! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday- Shamrock Style

I ran my 3rd half marathon this weekend in Virginia Beach!

I hung with baby Andrew...
Explored the boardwalk on a beautiful afternoon!

Previewed the last .5 mile of the race!

Checked out Neptune right by the finish line...

Loved watching Andrew loving the wind...

...and I couldn't resist taking cute pictures of him.

Successfully finished the 13.1 miles on a chilly Sunday morning!


Repped OSU at the finish even though they lost....

And then relaxed after a delicious lunch...and got tired:)

I did not end up PR'ing- missed my best by only 7 seconds- and ended up dealing with painful blisters through the whole race (which is what I get by not getting new socks and shoes), but it was a fun weekend! I think my next half will be a little more leisure:) My knees will probably thank me for that.

Next up- Monument 10k on March 29th! Spring race season is in full swing!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shamrockin'

Hi friends!

Running makes me so HUNGRY!:)
Damn you Instagram and my new job for keeping my blogging scant this month! I will try to change this.

I have my 3rd half marathon this weekend- the Virginia Beach Shamrock Half! I am leaving tomorrow to go to Virginia Beach to stay with my friend, Nicole, her husband, Daniel, and cute baby Andrew. Wish me luck! Training has been good, and I feel good. I really should have gotten new shoes before this race, so I am having some slight aches from my old shoes, but I should be ok for the race. I don't expect a PR since I did so well in November (honestly, I don't know how I pulled that off), but I hope to beat my time from this same race last year. All depends on the weather and how I feel day of. Looking to be in the 40's and breezy but a very flat course along the ocean:)!

Besides adjusting to this awful daylight savings schedule (for those of us who get up at 6 AM, being dark until after 7 AM is not ok), I have begun volunteering for two organizations (YAY FOR COMPLETING MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTION!). I am an ambassador (aka volunteer coordinator) for RVA Earth Day on April 26th (an all day festival benefiting FeedRVA, a non profit organization for food education). This involves recruitment and overseeing the event on the day. I also have taken a more active role in VCU Massey Cancer Center. I am running in honor of the center for the Monument 10k and am also manning a booth during the race expo. I met the volunteer coordinator and am now on her list serve, so I expect even more events to come:). I am enjoying getting more involved.

So that is it for now. Race recap to come!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March is Madness

Nothing like living in Virginia to enjoy a 70 degree day on Sunday and a snow day on Monday!

I have gotten really bad about blogging...I blame it on the fact that I am now obsessed with Instagram, so I get to share aspects of my life with people everyday! Blogging just does not seem as necessary:) I also have been doing more of the same in terms of my daily life...running, reading, eating, relaxing and hanging with Romo.

So handsome!

Won't let me go running!
We don't want to bore you too much!

As for my news- my big race (Shamrock Half Marathon) is in less than two weeks! I have been training with a group that runs at 8 AM on Saturday mornings near my condo. My long runs have included me running 8 on my own (which sucked) and 10 and 12.5 miles with the running group. Running group runs are so much more fun and take me to areas I don't normally go. I also love chatting with people while I run:) I have felt great on all the long runs (and have begun running before work during the week) but my blisters have returned! I think I will need new shoes after the race to gear up for the rest of the spring races! Ugh for my random running issues...

Yes, please!

Midway through a COLD 12.5 miles and blisters!

And as you know more running=more HUNGER. I am a bottomless pit lately. It is disgusting and annoying because I am hungry every 2 hours and all I want are carbs. Thankfully Puffins are my go-to snack of late that curbs my craving for carbs, sugar and peanut butter (obvi I always crave PB or AB).


ON another note, my "official" first day at the new job was supposed to be today, but the weather has other plans! I am eager to get started and get ready to open up a new school! I have already enjoyed my larger paycheck...by opening a 457(b)! I am so exciting- gotta prep for retirement and save some money on taxes for next year (I owed a total of $1,120 this year)! I do have some fun trips planned for 2014, though, so don't worry- more details to come! I am booking one today actually...

I leave ya'll with the exciting news of Virginia Men's Basketball being ranked #5 in the country after beating Syracuse and clinching the ACC title! Gotta love being good at a major sport for once:)! 

GO HOOS!


Have a great week!