2018, you were amazing

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever. Neil Gaiman

There’s a reason that’s been a version of my New Years’ resolution, or as close as I come to one, for three years running. It’s so true.

I don’t do any of the word linkups, but if I had to identify one for 2018, it would be: CONSISTENCY and I’m so proud of that

I ran 680.91 miles in 2018, an average of 56.74 miles/month. I logged (an under count, since I didn’t lot if I just ran without a watch) 193 running days. How did those months shake out?

    • January: 56.50; 15 running days
    • February: 50.54; 14 running days
    • March: 62.68; 16 running days
    • April: 62.34 ; 15 running days
    • May: 52.84; 16 running days (proud of this, a lot of travel, sitll ran)
    • June: 59.82 (doh!); 17 running days
    • July: 45.2; 18 running days. Kept the distances down due to PF flare, didn’t stop running. Win
    • August: 56.84; 16 running days
    • September: 69.22; 18 running days
    • October: 50.96; 17 running days
    • November: 52.59; 14 running days
    • December:61.37; 17 running days

WOW.

680.91 wasn’t the 700 I’d hoped for, but is a 208.5 mile increase over 2017’s 472.41 miles.

WOW!

I’m not fast, and I’ll probably never be high mileage in an effort to avoid injury but I’ll take consistency all day any day.

GoTheDist:

Will update this when I log today’s steps, but I’m coming in around 5.5m steps and just shy of 2,500 miles run/walked on the year. I’m thrilled with and proud of pushing through a challenging December, which seems like a theme.

December

  •  400,780 steps
  •  181.26 miles run/walked
  •  61.37 miles run

Q4

  •   1,258,616 steps
  •   559.43 miles run/walked
  •   164.92 miles run

2018

  •  5,570,525 steps
  •  2445.64 miles run/walked
  • 680.91 miles run

I’m really happy with this. It’s not exactly my goals, but it’s close enough. Added up to an amazing year.

Other:

  • 104 books read. No reading time this weekend
  • 1,117 days in a row food logging which is probably why I lost 6.2 lbs on the year. Great? No. But way better than gaining. Baby steps.

I’m very proud of the year I had. Consistency was a huge part of that. At this time a year ago, I was a nervous wreck about my first half marathon. Today? Nervous about that same half marathon, but I know I can do it.

Here’s to an amazing 2019

How was your year? Would you do anything differently?

Weekly turned yearly wrap with Wendy and Holly and Year of Running with Eat, Pray, Run.

TOTR: 2018 Goals and Bling

I really love Tuesdays on the Run in general, and the look back at 2018 medals in particular. I was sad to miss it, so combining it with this week’s prompt of looking back on 2018 goals. I was also sad to learn that this linkup is wrapping up as there have been some really fun prompts in the ~six-nine months I’ve been reading it. When I saw that I was doubly glad I managed to get this one done.

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

My 2018 goals were all over the place and one goal as I lay out 2019 I know I need to simplify. For the purposes of this post, I’m looking at them through the lens of the medal races. This is in date order for simplicity, but there is no ranking of these medals – I’m proud of every single one.

Medals, bibs, books and coffee

January: Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

Engraved medal

Actually, I lie. This will probably always be my favorite medal. It isn’t the most photogenic, or my first. But it represented so much. It made me a HALF MARATHONER! The race it represented wasn’t even explicitly mentioned in my goals because I was so afraid of failure even though my blogging audience at that point was myself and Liz. I know why I didn’t make it Facebook official until after the race and didn’t even tell my closest friends & family until morning of, but not sure why I was so blog shy. I’m doing this race again in about a month and am cautiously excited. I want to enjoy it without the stress of OMG, First Half, but I know I’m once again undertrained.

February: A1A Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon

I <3 this medal. Has now joined the others

Funny, I went to take a photo of this medal before realizing I had all of these in my blog posts and I did not have the same reaction as I do in the caption, which copied over from my race recap. One of the reasons the A1A (Half) Marathon is so popular is the medals, and I find them just meh. It doesn’t excite me.

The race was fun, and like Lebow I’m repeating it in 2019. How can you dislike running along the oceanfront for sunrise? I actually had a worse time than I did in Lebow because Florida humidity led to a lot of walking. I don’t have a set goal for this one yet beyond avoiding gel-induced nausea.

April: CUCB Cherry Blossom 10M

Cheese ball! So glad for the heat wrap

This was interesting. The medal and tech shirt were ala carte purchases and the medal further had an option to have a strip sent with your time. I did that, but would probably skip that in the future as the excitement of it wore off by the time it came. This race was fun, beautiful and one I’ll probably do again but not in 2019 as I’m spending race funds on some other races/destinations and DC is expensive during Cherry Blossom season.

In some ways, I see this Expo moment as an unofficial medal for the weekend

Book plate! “Believe and achieve!”

 

There’s a reason I tucked this into the front of my bib holder. That used to be chronological, but Lebow went to the front and I can’t see much of anything ever going in front of that bib. Although I didn’t love her book as much as I thought I might, listening to her speak at the Expo and later at an NYRR event and while waiting to have my Brooklyn Half medal engraved is really inspiring. And this quote, so true! I believed I could run a Half and I did. Three times.

May: Brooklyn Half

medal back and front

Oh this race. Cold, wet, fun! A major PR. Another oceanfront finish although race day was far from a beach day. Popular is an appropriate sponsor given how quickly this Half sells out. Although I’m not sure about running it again in 2019 due to schedule, I’ll definitely do it again in the future. It’s one of the NYC ones I highly recommend as it’s a nice course, good time of the year.

June: Women’s Mini 10K, Queens 10K

Grandma always asked, “What, do you want a medal?” “Yes. Yes I do”
I didn’t love the race, but I love the medal

Two races I did not love, even though I know without a doubt I’ll do the Women’s Mini again in 2019. Queens was colored by the fact that I was getting sick, but I really struggled during the Mini. There is something about the 10K race distance even though it’s a distance I enjoy running in training. I do love the Queens 10K medal and really all of the Four of Six ones celebrate wonderful elements of NYC/NYRR. I really think a goal for the 2019 Mini is to run the course in that direction in practice to handle the disorientation element of it.

September: Bronx 10M

Best finish ever
4/6 Five Borough Series

Since I didn’t do the Staten Island Half, September/Bronx 10 M marked my completion of the 4/6 race series. I look forward to adding to this collection with the 2019 NYC Half medal as these medals earned me that entry. I’ve talked about the Bronx 10 in depth. In hindsight I don’t know that I’ve softened enough to want to repeat this race, but I think time may heal pride wounds.

On Goals

So I didn’t hit my A goal of 780 and won’t hit my B goal of 700, but pleased with my running goals. I’m still way ahead of my 2017 totals and have grown as a runner.

I really liked something Kara Goucher said on Morning Shakeout about not letting go of goals, but not letting goals define happiness. It is so true. Stopping worrying about minutiae made me a lot happier and I’d say I met my goals, even if I didn’t, If that makes sense. I’m a better runner than I was a year ago, even if I still haven’t run a sub 30 5K.

In Closing

2018 has been a hell of a year. I’m really proud of myself and the runner I have become. I look forward to seeing what 2019 brings.

Enjoy the Journey

I have been… and I will.

TOTR: The best city I ever ran in is…

I love Tuesdays on the Run. And I love having the “cheat sheet” of the topics early so I can get these written at the weekend. This week? This best city I ever ran in is…

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

And I’m going to cheat and purely look at destinations, because otherwise there’s no way I answer this as anything but home. There are so many great places to run around Manhattan, especially Central Park. And it has been true for two hundred + years! 😀

“Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now!

History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be
In the greatest city in the world!

I’m only counting cities where I’ve run outside (so no Amsterdam or Reykjavik) and actual cities, so no Nyack, Avon, NJ, Palm Springs or my friend’s subdivision in suburban LA. (Yes, Palm Springs is a city but I only ran on the resort grounds, so it doesn’t count). My Birmingham adventures with Liz feel like a hybrid as we took a bus from the city center to her neighborhood but our running route had a decidedly suburban feel so I’m putting that in the same bucket as Nyack, Avon. If the question were places, this would be a lot harder.

So that said…Montreal, London, Washington, D.C.,  Santa Monica, Fort Lauderdale.

Ugh. This is hard.

I think off the bat I’m ruling out Fort Lauderdale since none of the runs felt like city runs. The half marathon is great and I look forward to running it again in 2019, but to me it’s against the spirit of the question. True the hotel fun run did run down a major thoroughfare, but… It has to go.

By the same token, I’m throwing out Santa Monica. It’s heartbreaking to think about the Woolsey Fire in Malibu as I ran just south of that from the Santa Monica pier north to Pacific Palisades and then back down to Venice before finishing on the Pier. But it was a paved path on the beach, so that isn’t a city.

So that leaves London, Montreal, and Washington D.C.

Each has really good things about it. Montreal was a way to explore the area near the hotel and get the lay of the land. Washington D.C. was cherry blossoms! Can’t imagine a more beautiful race course, yes cherry blossoms > oceanfront somehow. London is… London. Running through history.

peekaboo Victoria Tower, I see you!

Yeah, that’s my answer. From the day I arrived where I sightran along the Thames to get the lay of the city to a short run for a view, to my pre-airport farewell, London was nothing but magic. Weather was perfect, it was easy to add distance when seeing new things, and the city’s architecture is just out of this world.

What’s your favorite city?
Is there a city/race you recommend?

TOTR: If I had $1,000

I love Tuesdays on the Run. And I love having the “cheat sheet” of the topics early so I can get these written at the weekend. This week? If I had $1000 to spend on running I’d…

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

if a had a million dollars, or at least a thousand #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

One thing I know for sure, it wouldn’t be clothes or sneakers. Why not? I’ve tried a couple Under Armor options and didn’t find I liked them any more than RBX. Lululemon doesn’t appeal. And to be honest, I can find the former at TJ Maxx. Sneakers? I like the brand I wear and don’t have where to stash more.

So is it pure running costs, or could it be a racecation? I’m taking liberty and going with a mix of the two. Plus um, blog name? 😀

A couple of years ago when I knew I needed to replace my former laptop and was trying to decide how to finance it, I stumbled upon the 52 Week Challenge. It’s basically the old Christmas Club wherein you put money aside each week. Since then I’ve used it for my laptop, some travel (including the Fort Lauderdale Half racecation), miscellaneous needs and holiday gifts for the kids in my family. I try to spend it on fun things; or fun necessities, not bills.

But if I could spend the majority of that $1300 on running? Whoa. In no particular order:

  • I wouldn’t blink at the entry fees for NYC Marathon or Half. Together they’re about $500. I’m still going to do them, but it would be nice not to raid my regular savings account
  • I might do Cherry Blossom again. I loved the race experience and the race itself is a very reasonable $45, but the related costs are high due to cherry blossom season. I probably won’t repeat this anytime soon as I’d rather experience races in other cities.
  • I wouldn’t blink about whether I was accepted into the London Marathon lottery. No, $1,000 won’t pay for a(nother) trip to London, but it would be a nice offset
    • I’d do an exotic racecation. What’s exotic? My perception is so skewed due to travel I’ve done, but probably an island somewhere
  • I might do one of the Vacation Races series. The altitude on those concerns me more than the cost, but they’re still not cheap. I’d also pair it with a vacation more broadly, because I’m a complete National Parks nerd
  • While I’m not particularly trying to do a race in each state, I’m about 13 states from 50 and it would be fun to tie some of those state visits into racecations

Can I spend it on someone else’s running? Have some friends fundraising for fall marathon races and I’d like to support some at a greater level than I currently can.

Gadgets? Maybe. But I just bought myself a Garmin so that doesn’t appeal right now. If it was after this morning’s run with my watch hiccuping without a Garmin on the way? Maybe.

And yes, I have Bare Naked Ladies’ If I Had a Million Dollars … in my head. Don’t you?

TOTR: New Balance Bronx 10M Recap and Learning on the Run

I love Tuesdays on the Run. And I love having the “cheat sheet” of the topics early so I can get these written at the weekend. But this week I’m using TOTR for my Bronx 10M recap, which I briefly touched on in the Wrap

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

I smell like menthol.

Biofreeze had an on course activation and while I didn’t quite see the point of that (and didn’t stop at the “relief” station), I’m oh so grateful for it. My Achilles, quads and lower back are so sore from Sunday morning’s ten miler. I’m more sore than I was for my first 15K, which I didn’t expect.

Rewinding…

Although I signed up for this race a long time ago, I felt very unprepared last week. Not just training wise, which I’d made my peace with, but preparation wise. For that reason, I made a special point of getting out of the office early on Friday to hit the course strategy session.

I love the idea of course strategy sessions, but they’re a personal mixed bag for me. Usually I end up psyching myself out. I went into the Lebow Half terrified of the hills because the coach called out just how many there were-even though I’d run this loop. Brooklyn I was worried about a hill that was longer than Cat Hill. Maybe they’re not the best for an already anxious runner. Coming out of it on Friday I was worried about pacing for the Bronx. I made an early decision to run with the 1:50 pacers aka 11mm. But I left the session super confused because the leaders advocated starting out at a half marathon pace and then enjoying the downhill second half for negative splits. I don’t have a half marathon pace. Well, I do, but I don’t know how to run at a set pace. Blech. Although I’m doing at least one new to me NYRR race in 2019, I think I’m going to skip the strategy sessions.

4/6 Five Borough Series

What’s the new to me race? The NYC Half. By running Lebow, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx I get guaranteed entry to the NYC Half. Although I enjoyed cheering with the Bakline/MHRC folks and getting in my +1 volunteer credit, I had major FOMO that I wasn’t running that weekend. That was pretty much the only reason I was doing the Bronx, which is probably a bad reason to sign up for a race. I’m really glad I did it this year, as I actually don’t plan on repeating most of these races in 2019. Why? Queens is too far to go with weekend MTA issues for a 10K and it’s an expensive 10K. I’m the odd runner in that bling usually isn’t the deciding factor for me. Personally I’d take a cheaper race with ala carte shirts and bling (part of why I love Cherry Blossom’s structure). Lebow I’d do if I don’t do the SHAPE Half, and at the moment I’m leaning a spring women’s half.

Race morning came early despite well intentioned plans to go to bed early on Saturday. I woke hungry, which isn’t normal for me, but I realized it was probably because I ate my avocado toast on the early side with the intention of going to bed early. So I grabbed a NutriGrain bar, which is something I know I can run on and headed off to the train. I think I’ve partially hit on what I didn’t like about Bronx, Queens and (to some extent) Brooklyn. I don’t like having to travel to the start. I’m not talking about racecations, I love those. But I like being within run/walk distance of the race start. Or even in the case of Fort Lauderdale, an easy Uber ride. I think this is mostly because I’m a creature of habit in general and so many races start just blocks away in Central Park. I built my routine around that and changes aren’t easy. Also exacerbated by the trains being a nightmare to the extent that they delayed the race start.

I nibbled the NutriGrain bar on the train and made my way up to the start. I stretched and people watched before deciding to head to my corral. I think this was another part of my issue. Too much time. When I can run/walk to a race start, I know exactly how much time I need to leave. Because this was new to me and I had to worry about transit I ended up with way too much time. Better than rushing, absolutely, but not conducive to a good run for me. This was exacerbated by the warnings about the crowds and the sweeper bus. I was worried about getting swept more than I ever was about finishing last. I talked to the pacers and they had the perfect words of advice “Stick with us and you won’t get swept”. I decided to go with that despite the advice to start slower, because I didn’t trust myself to play catchup. The pace group was an interesting mix of men and women planning to run this pace for varied reasons. The only one I recognized was a woman who started Lebow with the same pace group I did. Spoiler: I almost stuck with them. I did not get swept.

On top of the delayed start there were a number of remarks. Certainly more than I remember in other boroughs but Brooklyn I wasn’t listening to much of anything in the rain, and Queens I have a vague recollection of not being close to the speakers. That was also a last minute corral dash due to needing a bathroom stop. It was after 8:30 by the time we crossed the start and the first thing I noticed was the crowds. With a large field and a relatively small road, there was not a lot of room to run. I even skipped the first water station because I couldn’t get anywhere near it. I think it’s  time for the Bronx to go to waves or a staggered start. Any time we dipped or could see the road rise in front of us, all I could see was a wall of people. Because we were so late in starting I could see the front runners by the time we were at ~ mile 1.5. I know that drives some folks crazy with an out and back, but I loved cheering in the lead pack as well as some other faces I knew. Speaking of cheering, I also spent most of the race near two Achilles guides and their blind charge. What fun to cheer him on and hear others doing the same. One of his guides had a sign pointing to the racer behind him that said “cheer for him, not me” which I thought was fun. I love the camaraderie of NYRR races. As I said to another runner, the kum-ba-yah was strong yesterday as I think everyone was happy to be out on a gorgeous day.

I stuck with the pacers until about the 10K mark which brought us back onto the Grand Concourse after the Mosholu Parkway sojourn. It’s funny. I read a lot of complaints about the Hanes Point portion of the Cherry Blossom being unbearable but I loved it — mainly because of the blossoms. The Concourse? Not so much, although it has gorgeous architecture. I’m spoiled rotten by park running and while I don’t think I’d enjoy trail races, I don’t love purely street runs as much as I enjoy ones with better scenery. The exceptions to that are Cherry Blossom and Fort Lauderdale, which spent ~ 9 miles along the ocean and 2-3 of the rest inside a park. I think this is part of the reason I wish they hadn’t changed the NYC Half course, although I’m excited to run that even as a one and done.

I’m really not sure what happened in mile six. I’d been consistently just below 11m miles throughout even with the crowds and the early hill at Fordham Road. I’m guessing I just got tired, although I didn’t think I was running appreciably slower and quickly rebounded for miles seven and eight. One thing I’m looking forward to on my new Garmin is the ability to see pace while running. That has never worked on the TomTom as what it displays isn’t what it spits out at the end. I know what happened in miles nine and ten: I walked the water stations because the sun was warm and I knew 1:50 wasn’t happening as I’d lost sight of the pacers. I wouldn’t say I gave up, but I was disappointed and decided if I wasn’t going to come in ahead of 1:50, I might as well listen to my body. I was motivated by sticking so close to them in the first half when it was “harder” and thought I might be able to sneak ahead. Nope.

Some thoughts on why all of this probably happened in no particular order:

  • the course isn’t as primed for negative splits as they said in the strategy session. Or at least not at my level. You hit the exact same hill (underpass where the road dips and rises fairly significantly) at 2/7. Oddly, I didn’t feel the hill at mile five which looks sharper. The downhill finish is nice as you cruise down 161st St. to Yankee Stadium, but it’s not significant in terms of miles to make an impact on race time.
    • I don’t think I went out too fast, as evidenced by maintaining a fairly steady pace for seven of the first eight miles. If anything I should have spend up, which I guess I kind of did before mile nine.
    • This is exactly the same issue I had with Queens. Fast. Flat. Nonsense. I was coming down with something that day and it was warm, but it wasn’t as flat as touted and I think that’s part of why I struggled. I believed the race’s hype whereas if I prepared for a less flat course I might have been better prepared. I have a strong feeling this is ability related. And the words of advice in the strategy session were right, this was way better than anything you see in Central Park. So resolution ahead of 2019 is use those hills in my “home course” to my advantage. Part of why I’m glad I signed up for Grete’s Great Gallop on Saturday. Get back on the horse and all that nonsense.
  • One NutriGrain bar isn’t enough for ten miles. I briefly entertained gels, but as I didn’t use one for either of my recent nine mile runs, I didn’t bring one with me. The London run was fasted, the latest was on coffee and a Munk Pack pouch. I don’t remember whether I took a gel during the Cherry Blossom, but know I didn’t for Corbitt due to frozen fingers. Definitely something to think about ahead of December’s 15K and 2019 Halfs
  • I was undertrained. This is a given and I will be better prepared for Ted Corbitt in December.
    • I don’t know what my race paces are.

 

Socks and an engraved medal

So it wasn’t one thing, it was a lot of little things added up. It’s not :05 I’m mad about, or even 1:05, but rather how well I stuck with the pacers for 10K only to lose it in the end when the back half of the course was supposed to be easier. I know a six minute PR is amazing especially when I’m past the newbie gains phase of running, and it’s not even that 1:51:05 is bad. I just think it overall wasn’t a good race day for me and wonder what could have been if any of the factors had been different. I think I’d also been hoping for a better time since Cherry Blossom had a ton of photos, whereas I didn’t even take my camera out until the last .3 mile coming down to Yankee Stadium. Sure sign I’m not enjoying things if I’m not taking pictures.

The socks were actually a giveaway from last week’s shakeout. Their texture is weird, so I’m not sure I’ll ever wear them but they photograph well. I decided to get the medal engraved despite feeling meh about the run. I had Brooklyn and Lebow engraved, didn’t bother with Queens. I think that I didn’t find a 10K performance I wasn’t thrilled with worth waiting on line. I’m glad I had the engraving done yesterday though as I went to pick up my shirt for Grete’s Great Gallop at lunch and the lines were insane.

I really love this shirt

With hind sight of 24 hours and some conversations today, I’m not as frustrated as I was. I’m not unhappy with my performance as a whole. I did maintain a 11mm pace. I know what I need to improve on my end. I recognize that some factors were beyond my control.

On to Q4. Still smelling like menthol

TOTR: Keeping Running Exciting

I love Tuesdays on the Run. And I love having the “cheat sheet” of the topics early so I can get these written at the weekend. This week? Keeping Running Exciting

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

For me, I think the main way I keep running exciting is varying routes and locations. I’m lucky enough to call Central Park my “home” course, although lately I feel like I’ve been running as much along the East River. Slightly more shaded and definitely more of a breeze. But even running in Central Park all the time gets old. I need new scenery to distract me. To that end, last week I ran the Hudson River side of Manhattan and Randalls Island, in the middle of the Harlem River.

I really wish they’d finish the Greenway around Manhattan. That has been an issue for the Great Saunter as well as my personal version: the Great Manhattan Loop. While I don’t see myself running 33 miles any time soon/ever, it would be awesome to be able to run the circumference of Manhattan without dipping onto city streets. I thing an upcoming long run is going to be the west side from Battery Park to the Little Red Lighthouse because that is one of my favorite parts of Manhattan.

When I’m in the city it’s fairly easy to find a variety of routes that intrigue me — but when I’m at mom’s it’s harder. There’s either the South Nyack Trail, or Rockland Lake if I can get the car. Suburbia and I don’t get along well. I haven’t gotten into race cations in a big way, but do enjoy using running as a tool for exploring a new area.

I think avoiding boredom is part of what I enjoy about racing. Although I can happily lose myself in the miles in Central Park, there are some days like brutal summer mornings where it’s just easier to do so when the run is supported. Even if it’s a small crowd, something about the volunteers out there.

Although I don’t tend to mind running on the treadmill, I need some variety since X distance at Y pace is just a recipe for boredom. I think this is why I started to enjoy intervals once I was running 4+ miles on the treadmill. But I also think it’s why C25K is such a great tool. It’s not the whole time/distance at one so much as chunks.

Running is also a place where I get more girly than I do in normal life, so sometimes “cute” new clothes get me going especially on a dreary day.

And I won’t lie, sometimes if my head isn’t there for a run I’ll cross train or do something else. Even if it’s something I love 95% of the time and 100% more than any other prior gym exercise, I don’t love it at all times.

What other tips do you have?

TOTR: Fall Running Plans

I love Tuesdays on the Run. And I love having the “cheat sheet” of the topics early so I can get these written at the weekend. This week? Fall Running Plans.

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.

I don’t have any fall running favorites, other than the weather. I cannot wait for more seasonable temperatures. I did two races last year, and will be repeating one. More on that later. Non-running favorites? The leaves. One thing I really missed about the northeast when living in Japan and Australia was the four seasons, especially fall. It’s just magical. The colors, the smell. I enjoy getting silly for my birthday/Thanksgiving but that’s secondary to the colors.

My fall running plans are:

The maybes are schedule questions, but I’d really like to run Grete’s Great Gallop even though I hate the Central Park 10K course and have been hill-avoidant all summer. It sounds like a wonderful race and a way to honor a great woman. I did the Poland Spring kickoff last year and aside from hating the shirt (still do, still an issue with women’s shirts), I loved the race. I’ll probably end up doing this again if I’m in town.

For the confirmed races:

  • I have mixed feelings about the Bronx 10 miler. Training hasn’t been what I wanted it to, but I think I can run ten miles. It starts at Yankee Stadium! I like the idea of running down the Concourse as its architecture is stunning,  but I’m not sure I’ll feel the same on the loop back. I’m thinking of running with a pacer, but we’ll see.
  • I was bummed to get closed out of Race to Deliver last year and signed up as quickly as I could. Something about giving back Thanksgiving week, and especially around my birthday. Speaking of Thanksgiving, hoping to do a Turkey Trot somewhere that weekend.
  • Ted Corbitt was my first long race and it still has a special place in my heart. I loved it, even with a sore hip and even in the snow. I need to get it together with hills this fall, but a variation of this course has become my 15K loop when I go long in Central Park. I want to beat last year, but beyond that don’t have specific goals this far out.

On the not running front:

  • the one I’m not repeating from last fall is the Squirrel Stampede which has been cancelled in favor of rescheduling the August rain out. I was looking forward to running Roosevelt Island again, but it’s the same weekend as the Bronx so I wouldn’t have been able to either way
  • I was tossing up the South Nyack 10 miler as I remember going to it as a kid, but after my fall I realized what a challenge the course was and that I probably wasn’t ready. It didn’t hurt that I got Giants’ tickets for that day either. So next year, maybe.

 

TOTR: How Running Changed Me

How Running Changed Me: perhaps the biggest way it changed me is that I truly enjoy the gym.

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life. And if anyone in the linkup knows where to find the prompts ahead of time, I’d love the link. I was lucky with this one, I spotted Darlene’s preview. ETA: Upcoming topics here.

When my gym closed to the public last summer, I knew I needed to find another perfect gym because I really wanted to keep up the running. When I look back at the pros and cons I identified almost exactly a year later, they still hold true. I want running to be a part of my daily life, and it is. That was never true of the gym before. I didn’t mind going, but didn’t exactly look forward to it, if that makes sense. There have been many times over the last year and a half that I was antsy for a run later in the day or wished I was running. I just printed out my gym visits for March – August and I’m at 64. Well above the 50 threshold which I used to have to stretch to get. When I look back at February’s claim, that was 63. A for consistency!

Running is my therapy is an oft-used cliché, but for me it’s personally true. I love that time & space after work or before morning meetings to decompress.  While I do listen to music, I also use the time to think. This was especially helpful last December during our busy time. While my training wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I got there and I think the running helped me get through the really long hours that our fundraiser entails.

Running is my happy hour also fits me perfectly. I mostly don’t drink** (zero tolerance, never really found a drink I thought was worth the calories), and even in our thirties so many events still revolve around happy hours and drinks. Running has enabled me to meet some fun people in different situations: a beginners’ run group that has mostly faded away but through which I met some fun folks; our office Thursday run group; the folks at Team MHRC; the Run the Year community; and of course all of you. Hoping to meet more of you “live” in the coming months and years. Running has also allowed me to connect with friends and colleagues in different ways. I had no idea they were runners, or knew but we didn’t have that to talk about because I wasn’t. ** That said, if you’re buying me a drink, I do love a frozen margarita. Extra salt.

Running has also made me truly understand food as fuel. I learned early on that what I ate truly impacted how I felt when I ran and have tried to fine tune that over the last year. I’ve also learned that eating better in general makes me feel better. Is it perfect? No. Monday’s run was a hot mess after a salad, but I wanted both a run and a salad. While running isn’t about weight loss, I’ve found that maintaining the loss is easier with running than other forms of exercise and I do think I’ll eventually get through this plateau.

smiling among the palm trees
I ran in a skirt?

Running has brought out the girly girl in me. I’m generally not a fan of pink. I don’t wear makeup and currently have 2-3 inch grey roots out of an agreement with my doctor to see if 22 years of dye is causing hair loss.  I prefer flat sandals to heels and dresses? Well I’ve worn one twice this year which might be a record. Running? All bets are off. I even ran in a skirt although that particular one is out of rotation as its shorts ride up like crazy.

Running has taught me that my body is in some ways a machine. Maybe not yet an efficient one, but it can do so much more than I ever anticipated, which I touched on after my second half marathon. And yes, that still sounds insane to say. I know I’ll never be skinny, and running has taught me to accept that. I may not be athletic-I’m not putting myself down, I’m just not good at sports-but I have an athlete’s body. I am an athlete. I am a runner.

I think I have a lot more to learn from running, but really appreciate what it has taught me in the last eighteen months.

Looking forward to reading your stories.