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The Long Run, Week 5: I Just Became THAT Girl

You know the one. If you’re reading this, you likely are THAT person, too. And if you’re not, you probably will be before long.

I’m talking about those crazy runner people. The ones running in the dark, that the sane people drive past on their early morning commute. The ones who get up at an ungodly hour to squeeze in a run before their own workday commences.

I used to be the sane one (well, many that know me might not agree much with calling me sane, but never mind that), driving past the crazy runners in the dark. I’ve seen them in movies, dragging themselves out of bed, drinking smoothies, running on oddly quiet streets. I’d wonder over it all and think to myself that I could never manage to get up early enough for much running at all before my own earlier-than-most workday.

I’ve been squeezing in short runs on my strictly scheduled 30 minute lunch break, occasionally fitting one in during an odd lull in work, determined to not cut into my evening time with the family. Finally, my work and running schedules began simultaneously demanding more of me, and I had to bite the bullet. I set my alarm for 3am, got my lunchbox ready for the next day, and despite baby girl’s rough night, I crawled out of bed at that ungodly hour, hauled my butt to the gym and ran 13.14 miles in 2 hours 25 minutes (on the “dreadmill” no less, thanks to snow-covered icy roads). I became THAT runner.

And you know, what? I feel great about it! And the drudgery I normally feel while on the mill was shockingly non-existent today… I’m thinking that may be partially due to a product I’m currently testing. I’m really excited about it and look forward to posting my review (and possibly my first giveaway) once I wrap up testing in a couple of weeks.

But, back to the run. I felt like a well-oiled machine after about a mile and a half into it (usually the distance it takes for me to warm up). I chatted a bit with a few coworkers who visited the gym for a, comparatively, short workout. I managed to keep my competitiveness reigned in and not bump up the speed on the mill when said coworkers began logging miles beside me. I kept going through, ahem, poo pains (mile 10). I kept trucking along despite hunger cramps (mile 11 and onward). The only thing that made me break my pace was a “tweak” I felt behind my right knee. The pain itself was minor, but it concerned me since it didn’t feel like a “good” pain. You know what I mean, right? The difference between “good” pain and “bad” pain? Well, this felt like a “bad” pain, so I mixed in a lot of walking on that last mile. Good thing, too. After talking it over with hubby I realized that he had felt that same twinge a few years ago, pushed through it, injured it pretty badly, and still occasionally feels a bit of pain from it. Sooooo, it looks like I’ll be taking at least a few days off to give it a rest. Don’t want to take any chances, you know?

Did you run today? How did it go? Are you THAT runner? Any running injuries (old or new) to speak of? Any advice for overcoming minor injuries?

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The Long Run, Week 4: #MegsMiles

Most Saturdays are low-key for us, a time to relax, get in a long run, do some cleaning or just be lazy on the couch. This past weekend was quite the exception, though. Between hubby’s gigs that kept him hopping for a day and a half, tending to the herd of horses at our local therapeutic riding center, getting bills paid, meals cooked, a bit of cleaning done, and toting baby girl around like a squirming football (she’s in a stage where she refuses to be put down for longer than 5 seconds), it’s a wonder I did manage to get my long run in. I am incredibly thankful to my Sister-in-Love and Mother/Father-in-Love for all of the support they give us by babysitting. AND, I am ever so grateful for an extra day to just chill out and have some quiet family time before getting back to the rat race. (Oddly enough, it’s only when I’m back to the rat race that I even have time enough to blog.)

So, getting on to the long run. I prefer to get it done during baby girl’s first nap of the day, but since I had parental duties all alone that day, I just enjoyed snuggling as she napped. Then the “in-Love’s” took over while I handled feeding duties at the local therapeutic riding center. (As an aside… My husband’s mom started the tradition of saying “in-Love” as opposed to “in-Law” – just one of many examples of why she is so awesome and why I absolutely LOVE my husband’s family.)

After saying hello to the herd, getting some kisses,

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Feeding the herd of 15,

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Watering the stall-kept horses,

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Mucking the barn,

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And haying everybody,

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I was finally able to get home, suck down some peanut butter toast and get to my run.

It was a good run, but difficult in more ways than one. Just being “that time of month” makes it difficult enough (sorry if that’s TMI, but hey, it’s hard to explain the difficulties without SOME detail), and on top of that was the brutal wind, PLUS… This run was for Meg. And every time I think about this woman whom I’ve never met, I get all torn up inside.

Meg was a wife, a mom, a runner. And now, due to a drunk driver, she is no more on this earth. As I ran, I was hyperventilating, thinking of how her children have been robbed of their mother. You see, my dad was killed in a car crash when I was an infant. I know something about senseless tragedies and growing up without a parent. It HURTS. And as I ran, I hurt for Meg’s kids, and I prayed for their healing. I prayed that, if they aren’t already, that they would become followers of Christ and that Jesus would heal their brokenness as He had healed mine.

I had planned a 12 mile run. The GPS had some issues, I’m guessing due to the vicious wind, and it clocked the run at 12.88 miles, which I think was wrong. In any case, however many miles they were, they belong to Meg and her family.

Did you run for Meg? How did it go?

The Long Run, Week 3: Surprisingly Easy

I know, I know, the long run is supposed to be easy… especially when you’re following a Beginner Marathon training plan. But, it seems everything this week has been tough. From altering my schedule, due to the weather, and running tired early on in the week, to running in an overly warm gym yesterday and feeling a bit sick from it, all week I’ve felt just a bit off.

After 13+ hours on aching feet yesterday (running, work, grocery shopping – which caused me to get home past baby girl’s bedtime and made me feel like a big fat failure), I figured today would be like the rest of the week. What a pleasant surprise to wake up refreshed, get some quality time with baby girl, and have a great 11 mile run!

For the second week in a row I’ve reduced my average pace by a full minute per mile WHILE adding a mile. And a big bonus – the hills are getting easier. I was shocked to find I could easily jog up some hills that I had to walk just last week.

Several hours later, I’m still feeling great. I’m really looking forward to my first half marathon of the year, coming up in a few weeks, and today’s run left me feeling confident that maybe…. Just maybe… I’ll be able to pick up where I left off.

The Long Run, A Photographic Journey

Today wraps up the first week of marathon training… And I use the term “week” loosely. Today was actually originally supposed to be Day One of marathon training, but since we’ll be traveling for Christmas and the whole week will be crazy, I decided to improvise. So, my first week was an extended timeframe and today was my first long run since I don’t know when. It was supposed to be 8 miles, but I was having fun exploring a new route and ended up going 9.1 miles in 2 hours 4 minutes.

I took it slow, mixed in some walking and shuffling…
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and enjoyed the quiet country back roads…

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It was cool and cloudy, but the sun kept peaking through to smile on the fields below…

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I scouted the creek for log jams, hoping to find good paddling conditions for a future kayak outing…

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I did a little “house hunting” (none for sale, but a few I’d be interested in if they were)…

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I came across some numbers on the road… 72 … 7+2 is 9 …. Running 9 miles … Why not take a pic? 🙂

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Road sign…

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Some Christmas cheer…

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And American pride….

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What a lovely way to start the day.

Merry Christmas to all – may you have safe travels, fun runs, and may the joy of Jesus Christ fill your hearts with cheer!