Saturday, March 9, 2013

Racking up the Miles!!

Another beautiful day for a run!  I love days like this where the sky looks so blue and the air is so clean.  I had the Coast Range on one side and the Cascade Mountain Range on the other.  Gorgeous!

I ran 8 miles this morning.  It took a bit to work the kinks out.  In the past this could mean almost a minute slower per mile but I'm trying to push through that and managed not to lose too much on my pace.  Then I started getting negative splits and was feeling pretty good.  Until after mile 6.  I really struggled to maintain my pace the last two miles.  I didn't get negative splits, that's for sure!  I need to start bringing along something to give me a boost during mile 7.  That seems to be where the energy level starts to poop out on me every time I have a long run.  I don't like the Gu so much.  I think I might try the Shot Bloks  which look like round gummys.  If I talk to 10 different runners about what to try they will give me 10 different suggestions.  I have decided to try what I think will work for me and go from there.  :-)

While I didn't get negative splits for the last two miles I did manage to keep a very steady pace from start to finish.  I like looking at the map and seeing the green the entire route because it means I was fairly consistent.  My average pace was 13'30" a mile and that is awesome since a few months ago I was averaging 15 minute miles over three miles.  Going faster and farther!  Yay!!

All week long I have been focusing on the fact that I am blessed to be able to get out and run.  There are many people that can't even if they wanted to.  This afternoon I was at a swim meet watching Goober #3 swim.  There was a woman there from another team.  I have seen her at meets before and she has always impressed me.  She is in her 40's and is a member of a swim club.  She gets in with all the kids and does her best.  It isn't her age that impresses me.  It is that she is paralyzed from the waist down.  She can't kick, she does a sort of dolphin kick and pulls herself through the water with her arms.  She ALWAYS has a smile on her face.  She gets herself out of her chair and onto the diving block.  She gets herself out of the pool and into her chair.  She looks like she is having a great time.  What a great example for the kids!  What a great example for the adults!!  So I may not be losing weight but I'm active and can get out and do what I need to do.  I'm blessed!

My youngest Goober did great at her swim meet.  It's fun to see her challenge herself.  She signed up for her first 500 swim.  She knows she swims that for warm ups at practice but it's different at a meet.  She did awesome and is already planning on doing it again and killing her time.  I'm proud that she is learning how to challenge herself and set goals.  Swimming and running are such great sports for that.

The swim meet was in the town where I teach and one of my students was on the host team.  He is a 7th grader and has only been in my class since the beginning of the semester.  We have connected over swimming and it was fun to get to see him in action.  He made sure to find me before things got started so that I would know when he was swimming.  He also found me after to make sure I saw him.  I made sure to fuss all over him and give him High 5s cause he got a PR by 15 seconds!  That's huge!  Even though he knew I was there because my kid was swimming he was excited that I could watch him too. Such a simple thing and yet I could tell it meant so much to him.  It was a great reminder that my job is not all about making sure that my students remember what I teach them.  My job is also about being there and letting them know I care and that they are special.  I love what I do and today reminded me that I make a difference!!!

I thought I would share some things I have learned about running in case I have inspired anyone to start trying it for themselves.  I'm no expert and these things I have learned the hard way or from my hubby and other running pals.
  • Shoes DO matter!  I have a hard time spending money on myself.  I have a hubby and three kids.  They need things more.  But I have learned that $30 tennis shoes from Payless Shoe Source DO NOT cut it! 
  • Don't buy the brand, buy the right shoe for you.  Don't get the shoe because it is Nike or Adidas.  Go to a store that specializes in running shoes.  Tell them what you are planning and how long you have been running or not running.  They will put you in different shoes and then have you run in them. They watch and make suggestions based on how you run and how you felt in the shoe.  I have settled for shoes that weren't exactly right and regretted it later.  Once you find the right shoe it is awesome!  Joe loves his New Balance and I love my Brooks.  :-)  
  • They really do wear out fast!  I used to think that Joe was crazy when he needed new running shoes after six months.  $100 shoes and they only last six months!?!  You will know when they are due for a change because the bottoms of your feet start to hurt.  You get your new shoes and everything is lovely again.  It is worth the money because if your feet hurt, you won't run.  If you don't run, you don't get anywhere.  ;-)
  • Sign up for a race and then use a training plan.  There are all kinds of training plans on the Internet for beginners up to really experienced runners.  I like having a training plan because it pushes me to go farther and it also has intervals and other things that help me get stronger and faster.  If I don't have a plan I know I would quit much sooner than I should.  Today I would have quit at six miles but kept pushing because my plan called for eight.  I can hear the colonial on the A Team saying "I love it when  plan comes together."  (I just dated myself there, I mean the TV show not the more recent movie.)  
I have officially lost 10 pounds according to my scale.  This works out to being about 1 pound a week since I started back with the running.  I was hoping it would go faster but I'm trying to be happy that it's going at all.  They way I figure it, if I can keep it up I will have lost 52 pounds in one year.  That's not too shabby.  That's worth keeping at it!  Better than gaining 52 pounds in one year which is they route I was heading while I was feeling sorry for myself last fall.

Next week is the Shamrock Run in Portland.  It's a 15K which is 9 miles.  Very doable for me but there is one big hill during the run so that part will be a challenge for me.  Hills and I are not friends! lol

Sorry it was a long one today.  Had lots of stuff rattling around in my head.

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