Running the heartache away
Some days you have so much weighing on your mind and your heart you just don't feel like running. Why? Your body aches and your heart is heavy. That happened to me this week.
My oldest son's transmission went out on his car, his grades in college were not good at mid semester, and he still owed us, his parents, a lot of money for basically throwing away his first semester by deciding to not take his finals at UT Arlington and transferring to UTSA.
His car is also an item he purchased without our consent. So why should we pay for the repair? It broke my heart. I wanted to help him with what he needed to get back on track, get to work, and get himself around.
But I knew I needed to show some tough love. So I headed out on my run thinking about all of these things. My legs were heavy, and my breathing was off. I even cried during my run as I thought about my son telling me his life sucked.
I think as parents we want to solve all of our kids problems, but we shouldn't. So I thought about that, and thought and thought. And by mile 3 I was feeling a little lighter in my step, my legs and my lungs were loosening up. I felt like I could be his super mom again, even though I wasn't going to dish out three thousand bucks right off the bat to rescue him.
But I felt strong enough to be his cheerleader and loving supporter and get through my easy pace 6 mile run.
Sometimes some runs are just intended to help get things off your chest, make you emotionally stronger, and able to deal with the curveballs life throws at you.
Don't dodge those curve balls. Face 'em head on. Running helps you do that.
Training on vacation, ugh. Why?
So you’re on vacation and you want to put that training for your upcoming 5K, 10K or marathon on hold. While working out on vacation is really hard for most people, I am here to tell you, do it. It’s well worth it!! Even if you just do half to three fourths of your usual workouts. Always try to do something.
On this past Spring Break trip to the Red River Ski Resort I fully intended to use the only gym facility in the little town and I was excited about that. But when I got there, I found out the gym had closed down. Ugh. Option two?
Well, at least there was no snow on the roads, so I would at least be able to get a few runs in. I did a really slow 8-miler and found a spot to do my half mile interval runs. So I got two good runs in on my trip. It was tough because the elevation was 85-hundred feet and my long run ended up being an 18-hundred foot climb for half and the other half was down hill . I think that wreaked havoc on my knees. I would not have tried to do so much except I am training for the Boston Marathon, so I knew I had to get as close to a training run as I could. Even my interval run was about 10 seconds slower because of the elevation.
So, training on vacation in a different environment can be tricky and might even set you back, but it’s so worth it to get some training, or exercise in, so you don’t feel like you’ve lost a few steps when you get back home. I also feel that it helps the body acclimate to what is normal for you when you do return home. I know when I get back home, I’m always a few pounds heavier but it takes just 2-4 days to get back to my “normal” weight. If I didn’t exercise on vacation, I bet that would take a week or longer.
Just do it. You’ll feel better!
Boston Marathon home stretch
I’m in the homestretch of training for the Boston Marathons as I write my first blog for the website. This will be my fourth Boston Marathon but it’s as exciting as the first one I ran in 2009. Every training program has been different. Almost like every one has been the first time.
For the first training program, I didn’t have any idea what to expect of the course nor the weather nor the ambience. Now, for my fourth, I know the course well, I know the weather can be very tricky and I’m seven years older! So my training has to take that into account. Case in point, last year when I trained for Boston, I started my track work, or speed work, sooner about 11 or 12 weeks in, and I didn’t follow any specific diet plan. I just ate when I was hungry and I ate my favorite foods: carbs! Well I paid for it! All the weight I lost the entire year before, I gained back and then some. I felt so defeated in that regards although I ran the best race I ever finished at Boston. But when I took my body fat measurements after the race, I had climbed back up to where I’d started the year before: 23 percent body fat! Frustrating!
So this year we tried a different approach for my training. I did more high mileage training and kept the pace slow also keeping my heart rate lower and closer to my fat burning zone. So for the first 12 weeks of training all I did was add miles at a decent pace, nothing too fast. And I think it helped because I was able to keep my body fat percentage at 12-15% and my weight around 130-132 pounds.
One drawback to that is that I was concerned I would not develop any speed. But in the 13th week we added our first track workout or interval training. I ran four 800s (1/2 mile) at just about a seven minute pace. That felt awesome! If I can keep that up to race day it will be great!
So from here on out, I am trying to build more miles, but I am giving myself another recovery day or two during the week so I can run faster on the days that I do train. Now I just need to be concerned about not taking into many carbs and cancelling all my gains from a year of lifting.
It’s all about finding the balance, my friends, just like life.
Sarah's Training Blog
From running to bodybuilding to Ironman, how she makes it all work - and you can, too!