Running Twice in 24 hours…or less

Because RP and I couldn’t run on Sunday, we added in yesterday’s training adventure. However, this also means that we ended up running last night and this morning. Not to mention the fact that I ended up having a dinner to go to last night and didn’t get home until late. Needless to say today is dragging a little bit. This morning’s run was dragging, although do-able. Not yet enjoyable, but do-able. Today keeps going longer and longer, knowing that tonight I have a meeting that begins at 9 p.m. and tomorrow will follow much of the same schedule. It’s a good thing spring break will arrive next week, because then it will be full of adventure. Or rest. Or a little bit of both. Even if the students don’t need a break yet, I need them to be gone for a little while.

Overall, though, I believe running has made me a more positive person. I just feel happier most of the time. Sometimes I get the giggles for no explicable reason (usually during mass, which some would say is a bad thing). Things just entertain me and I feel good about life overall. My students were detecting people’s spirit animals yesterday and they told me I was an orangutan because I smile so much. That is something people would have said to me years ago, but not something I would have associated with myself in recent days, so it was great to hear this. Generally I believe myself to be an optimist and I am thankful that running has helped me to be able to share this part of my identity with the world once again…not that running is the only factor, but it seems to be making a difference.

Running Outdoors

Hmm…in the brisk outdoor temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit, RP and I ran outside today. Our yesterday running plan was once again thwarted by a youth baseball team. We had braved soccer players last week in our running space and this week it seemed unlikely this would be a good idea, with baseballs being so much smaller and more likely to hit us in the face while we were running. In addition, it was going to be a crazy “fit into our time” rather than a much-desired running for the sake of running time. So, we postponed our run to today, while knowing we will wake up super early tomorrow morning to run again.

With the weather being sunny and needing to change things up (aka not go on the treadmills indoors if we could avoid it), we braved the outdoor cold and ran for a full 30 minutes. I need to double check the distance we ran when I drive to town in a little bit, but I’m feeling like we did a pretty good job. Tomorrow morning will no doubt be a big pain, but that’s how it goes.

In other news, I find this lent I am struggling with the loss of a friendship. Several friends have recognized the lack of friendship between this individual and myself. And, as I contemplate my future here, I am disappointed in the ways in which I am unable to relate to this friend (forever now referred to as LF – Lost Friend). LF and I were great friends last year and until October of this year. We frequently think quite similarly and as a result were frequent collaborators on projects. However, since the friendship has been lost, it’s almost as though we are strangers or avoid each other, which just annoys me. I’m saddened that LF and I had created a friendship which I assumed would be a relationship in which I was invested for several years to come, and here it has ended so abruptly that I don’t even know where to go with it. So, this is one of the things I think about while running. I continue to pray that I am given guidance as to what this person is meant to be in my life. While I don’t want to focus my running time on this, I hope that in my running and focus on self, I can give LF up to God and understand what is important to me. I thought that LF was someone who was important to me, but at this point, I don’t have anywhere else to go with the relationship.

As much as I lament LF in my daily prayers, I also continue to give praise and thanks for RP. She was so full of energy today and last time we ran, she stuck with it despite an ache in her side. Today I was feeling rather blasé about running, but she was all over it and kept cheering us on. Hooray for RP! She adds a whole new level of fun to this running adventure. Even on the ice-covered sidewalks, she was there cheering us on and saying how great it was we were out and running and accomplishing different distances of running. I was about ready to quit 1/3 of the way into today’s run and she just kept pushing us, probably without even realizing it.

And, on the bright side, today also included a new playlist. Once we get to distance-focused runs instead of time focused runs, we’ll have another playlist…but for today, I heard:

1. Thug Style — Ciara (walk warm up)

2. Walk Away (Tony Moran Mix) – Kristine W.

3. Mouthwash (Hot Chip Remix) – Kate Nash

4. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

5. American Life (Headcleaner Rock Mix) – Madonna

6. Gold Digger – Kanye West

7. Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado

8. Going the Distance – Cake

9. Walk it Out – Unk (cooldown)

Baby It's Cold Outside

I kid you not. While for years I have thought campus has got to be colder than any other place, this morning I obtained proof. As I left my house this morning, it was -2 degrees outside. Not too shabby. Not great, but workable. As I drove onto campus, the temperature approached -15! It was chilly! Logic tells me I couldn’t have felt much of a difference between those two temperatures, but it was not a pleasant experience for me… Oh well.

RP and I made it through the morning all right. There were some snowplow incidents in arriving and departing, but it worked out overall. At a little over a mile, I hit a wall, but having RP there helped me get through it. RP also had a brief wall, but we just kept going. Overall, we ran 1 ¾ miles in our 25 minutes, which is about a 14 minute mile…not the best, but as we grow more comfortable, I have no doubt our speed will increase. And our distance.

All for now…

Winter Strikes! Again!

On Sunday we went to go start this week of running, only to find little kids practicing baseball on the track, the gym not yet open, and plans filling the rest of the day. Frustrating! We are just trying to get our run on and there is no space for us to do this in. So, instead my running friend and I ventured across campus in the snow to eat some brunch and discuss life and its travails. We spent some time discussing what friendship is and what makes someone important enough to stick around for. Or wait around for. It’s interesting how that changes. My running partner (who I’m getting tired of typing out running partner, so will henceforth be referred to as RP) and I have definitely been acquaintances in the past and now are becoming great friends. There are definitely things I feel I can vent/complain/celebrate with her that I don’t necessarily feel with other folks and I am always appreciative of when those people enter my life. It makes running easier, which is a plus, but also allows me to use the running time as processing time, which is one of the things running is said to provide for folks. While this blog isn’t meant to divulge information, I have been feeling somewhat abandoned for a variety of reasons in the past few weeks and am thankful RP is increasing in importance in my life. I’m even more thankful that I think RP is one of those folks who will be in my life regardless of location.
So, back to the running. Yesterday was a snow day. That’s what Minnesota will bring, but this morning we got up early and got our run on. We are supposed to do 3 25 minute runs this week. I had created a playlist last week to run to and did on Thursday morning, but it ended up being highly disappointing, and so searched long and hard for other playlists. This morning was solid. I’m hoping each week I can create a different playlist so I’ll have a selection of familiar, yet upbeat, songs when it’s time for the half. At some point about 2/3 of the way through this morning’s run, I hit a wall of some sort. I started to change my form for running and it was evident this was the case later. It was pretty fun, though. I think it helped break some of the monotony of running around the track. Seriously…can spring arrive soon so that we can go outside? We run again Thursday morning and my plan is to bring a lap counter with to check our pace/distance. In a little over a month we start our true training program for the half and it would be nice to know whether we are closer to or further from our 3-mile beginner’s mark. We’ll get it figured out.
In success moments for now, there are some clothes which are fitting me in a way I appreciate much more. In not so successful moments, I picked up my bridesmaid dress which a month ago had fit me okay, and I was not a fan of how it was looking. My assumption is it will be fixed in a few weeks work to make it better for me.
Lent is around the corner. Things to work on: cutting down on sugar intake, and being more careful with my language. It’s gotten a little out of control in the recent few weeks…

People Truly Enjoy This?

So, this morning was test number one in running…well, not really, but in some ways it felt a little bit like a test. Neither my running partner or I were necessarily excited about today’s run, but both knew that 25 minutes was around the corner (coming up Thursday) and that we’ll be doing it independently, as she will be at a conference in Iowa. It was also the end of our interval training. This is a positive and a negative. Positive: we are working up our endurance and no more techno music! Negative: We are not running at a 10-minute mile pace…perhaps a 12-13 minute mile pace, though, and I need to create a new playlist or two before Thursday. Luckily, I have some songs in mind and perhaps even 25 minutes worth of them…we’ll see.
I continue to try and decrease my carb intake in favor of complex carbs and proteins, although yesterday’s lunch of mozzarella sticks and black beans probably wasn’t the best thing for me to eat, we’ll make up for it in other ways as the week continues. This weekend I’ll plan to cook further foods and make some delicious snacks in order to have good lunches to take with me next week. I’m hoping to get back into that routine a little bit so that it isn’t so hard for me to have lunch ready…as well as hopefully saving money in the bank a little bit.
I talked to my future brother-in-law today who reminded me its 130 days until he and my sister get married, which means its 123 days until the half-marathon. Wow. This means I have 25 days until my bridesmaid dress arrives and I decide once and for all I like it. And 123 days to decide I like running enough to actually go through with the running of this half-marathon and accomplish something on my “to-do” list which will hopefully make me feel proud of myself. Also, this should be 123 days until a slightly smaller version of me arrives and says good morning to everyone. Yikes! It just feels like so much pressure…but this will be good. And, training will help. And, we’re not trying to set any records, so we can take our time. And, this is the semester in which I am focusing on me…not on finding a match, not on what my career should look like, but instead on who I want to be and how I can accomplish this. So, this will happen and life will be good. I just need to remind myself of this on days when getting up and running early in the morning is more of a chore than an excitement.
However, as I was looking up some stuff online this morning, I came across some humorous and funny running blogs – let’s hope someday I stop complaining and start being the witty and humorous lady we know I can be – and I’m continuing to search for inspiration from these. Running as a lifestyle, here we come…