Sunday, March 25, 2012

May the force be with(in) you!

I woke up this morning thinking about going for a run. I'm pretty sure I lay there thinking about it for a good hour before peeling myself away from the bed and lacing up my shoes. Have you ever been there? Found yourself thinking about working out but feeling almost incapable of getting your butt out the door? This weekend has been particularly challenging for me.

It seems that when I am working out consistently, I can't wait until my next workout. On the flip side, when my routine gets thrown out of whack and I miss several workouts in a row I absolutely dread any and all physical activity. It's hard to build up that momentum again once you come to a complete standstill. I need to continue pushing myself forward before I end up in a backslide. These are the lessons I'm learning as I gravitate toward a fitter, healthier me.


So, back to this morning: unlike yesterday where I put on my workout clothes and lazed around the house all day, today I actually made an appearance in the outside world. I figured that I would be rusty, having not run at all since last weekend, and decided to forgo my C25K training and just run until I needed to stop. I scanned through my various workout apps (I'm a bit of an app ho, truth be told) until settling on RunKeeper - which I've heard a lot about but had yet to use.

Um hello, where have you been all my life?! Basically the app does everything I could want - it uses my phone's GPS to track my route and mileage, it tracks my pace and lets me listen to my workout playlists, and it even talks to me at preset intervals to let me know how I'm doing. I don't like fussing with my phone when I'm running. Like Ron Popeil I want to set it and forget it. I don't have a fancy armband for my phone and I've dropped the blasted thing too many times to consider running with it in-hand. Instead I have a spibelt... which in all honesty is a tiny fanny pack (you will never hear me admit that again, so soak it in). I like to turn on my app, throw the phone in my spibelt and focus on my run, and that's exactly what I did today.

It was slow going at first but I pushed myself and felt my legs finding their familiar rhythm. We've had a lot of rain over the past couple of days and there were puddles and muddy bits everywhere but I happily ran through all of it. I have a pretty regular route that I run in my neighborhood; it ends up being a giant loop. Some days I go around the loop clockwise and other days I go counterclockwise. Today was a counterclockwise day. It's funny because no matter which way I end up running, I always seem to be going in the opposite direction of everybody else.

Last weekend when I went to the lake with Melanie, I ended up doubling back to cool down after finishing my run. As we passed each other, I stuck my arm out for a high-five. In talking about it later, we both decided it was our favorite part of our workout. The only problem with that is it was so exhilarating that I now want to high-five everyone I pass while I'm running! I sense some restraining orders in my future. The other thing that pumps me up on my regular route is the hills. The hills just about kill me but I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I push myself to keep chugging along until I get to the top. I am learning that my body can do a lot more than my mind gives it credit for.

Anyway, I loved hearing the RunKeeper lady reading me my stats as I completed each segment of my route. When I finally got back to the house, I realized that what I had thought was a 3.14 mile route was actually closer to 3.5 miles!! So... if the time it takes me to complete the run is the same but the distance is farther, that means my pace is actually faster than I had thought! Best news ever!! This was just the kind of victory that I needed after a difficult week. I hope you've had some victories of your own this weekend!

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