Although, we did feel well enough to be silly while trying on Luke's (the fiance of Ryan's sister, Erin) hobbit slippers.
I call this my scary monster look. Pretty much nailed it.
And when the clock struck 12, we still partook in a new year's kiss, even if it was mostly for our fur baby:
Gizzy needs kisses too, despite his uninterested look.
So, the year started slow and tiresome. I wanted to run on New Year's Day, but just felt exhausted. I did get in a good run the following day though. And by the end of the week, I was feeling so much better. So good that I decided to test out how my legs felt at 1% incline running at a consistent pace that was as close to a 7:24 pace as possible. I want to run a 22:59 5k this year and that means 7:24. I used this treadmill pace calculator to figure out what speed I would need to run while at 1% incline: treadmill pace conversions. I ran the whole first mile at 8.1, but it was slightly off because I did it in 7:28, so I sped up a bit the second mile. I felt good, so I actually sped up some more and possibly did it too much because I was dying by 2.25 and hopped off to chug water. I realized I did a 7:16 pace (whoops, too fast). I rested only for about two minutes, then opted to just try to run at that 7:16 pace for one more mile to see how it felt going faster than my goal time, so that when I run it all together it feels easier.
the end result from part 1 & 2 of the run
I felt tired by the end, but not like I was going to die, so I feel like that's a good sign. Next time, I will just run slightly faster (I'll put it on 8.2) and try to stick it out for the whole 3.1. I'm not silly enough to think it will translate perfectly to pavement, but my hope is if I can do it several times on the mill, I'll hopefully be able to find a groove that makes it feel easier when I do take it to the pavement. I have a 5k in two weeks (eek!- this one: http://www.autoshowshuffle.com/) and I'm so excited to do a January race. I've never done one! My goal is just to run by feel for that race. If I run fast, awesome. If not, that's okay too. The day after my mill run, I was able to take it to Hines. It had been far too long. I headed out solo with the goal of doing 8-10 miles. It was chilly when I first started and almost debated going home, but opted to stick with it. Since I ran faster the day before, I kept a nice conservative pace:
9:39 pace in 20 degree weather is okay by me!
Maybe because I had two back to back "feel good" runs - where I felt strong, rode that endorphin high, and like my legs were loving the miles. Maybe because I have real goals, but don't feel pressure if they don't happen. Maybe because I'm already signed up for 8 races. (Yes, me the gal who said she was going to pick quality over quantity...but all of these races are quality). Maybe because I am conquering a race with my running partner in crime in March. You know, this gal:
the other Megan and I rocking out at Rock n Roll Seattle
Here's the problem Megan and I have had: we never are on the same training cycles. When I was training for my marathon, she was all preggers. When she was training for hers, I was buried in school stuff. Now that I'm settling into school more, I feel more confident training for a "fast" half. The funny thing about Megan and I is that we have more or less the exact same half PR time. (Like within seconds of each other). We run such comparable times that I know we can totally run a half together. So, when I told her I was going to run Rock CF half in March (the 24th), she readily agreed. I ran it last year and got my PR there. I love that it's flat and fast. Good things are sure to happen on that course. I feel like we can definitely get a shiny new PR. If you want to run with us (and Detroit Runner), here is the link: http://www.outruncf.com/. It's flat, fast, and cheap. All my favorite things in a race.
Megan and I are meeting tomorrow to make up a loose training plan to follow. I feel like if I have a plan, it will help me stay focused without feeling overwhelmed. I'm still taking a no pressure approach though. If I can't squeeze in shorter runs, no worries. The time goals will definitely keep me motivated and if they don't happen, it's just another goal to work on.
In case you're wondering, beside the races I mentioned in my last post, the other races I'm doing are all four of the Kona races. (They're adding another race this fall!) They graciously allowed me to be an ambassador again and I couldn't be more thrilled, as I planned to do all the races anyhow. So, I'll be doing the 10k for shamrock n roll in March, 10 miler for Kona run on June 8, and the 10k for Wicked Halloween Run. I'll give more info when I know more about the fourth race. And bonus, if you do all three of the races I mentioned, you get a "triple crown" medal. I think you know how I feel about extra race bling ;) You can find more info about all the races here: http://www.konarunningcompany.com/.
Running aside, I feel like this is going to be my year because of my approach for everything. I'm trying to stress less, find one happy thing in each day, and just kind of prioritize. I'm focusing on the important things and not letting the little things bug me (too much, at least). I'm taking control of the things I can control: my health (Ryan and I are making a concerted effort to eat more fruits and veggies. We bought so much produce yesterday. That makes me happy), my school - making studying a habit all the time, getting organized, appreciating what I have.
School starts next Monday and I know insanity will ensue, so I keep trying to tell myself, "remember the big picture. Don't get overwhelmed, do what you can, but don't do everything". If I don't fit in runs, I'm finding other active things I can do. Like trying to master a plank. Right now I'm sitting around a minute. I've done longer, but it's been a while. I'd like to get to several minutes.
Yesterday's plank, post-run. Next time, I'll do beforehand.
I'm using the line from the Mumford & Son's song, "I Will Wait" (you can find it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NPNcRuaGQI) to be my mantra right now -
" Now I'll be bold