I’ve been struggling quite a bit with motivation. Maybe it’s the season changing, maybe it’s the cold, or maybe I just don’t want to have to work anymore to get where I want to be (re: lazy), but it’s been a chore to get myself to get moving.
It comes as no surprise, then, that I missed my entire week 3 of training. Granted, I was traveling for work which killed any motivation I might have had to begin with, but I made a deal with my running friends that I’d ‘repeat’ week two for the remainder of last week, and then suck it up and move on this week.
I ran two miles on Thursday, three on Saturday, and prepped myself to really give week three my all.
Here I am. I took off last night into the dusk, feeling pretty awesome about how nice it was outside (re: 45 degrees). The sun sets and that all changes… but at least I started out warm. Running at night is really peaceful. Everything is so quiet and still. I’m really kind of enjoying it so far – granted, I don’t have my long runs for quite a few more weeks…
The word for these last three runs is Motivation. I didn’t have it, but I ran anyway. And you know what? I felt better. So many times I have said, others have said, the world had said, just do it anyway. Even if you don’t want to. You’ll feel better than if you don’t. It’s really the truth.
Do it anyway.
I continue to make hats, earwarmers, and all sorts of other things. Thankful for the five or so orders – some of them even custom orders! – I have recieved to help me put some cash away for the half marathon! Thank you to those who have ordered!
This blog is called pavement and pints, but I haven’t talked much about pints. That will change soon. For now, it’s all about the pavement and keeping myself accountable.
Last night I went for not only a night run, but a cold weather run. My friend Chrissy and I have a standing date once a month, and since she recently got into running this summer, we had started a couple of our nights off with runs together.
We donned we now our reflective apparel and ventured off into the night, head lamps set to guide our path.
My training plan only called for a two mile run, which never quite feels like enough, but as we hit the pavement and it started to drizzle, it crossed my mind that maybe two miles would be plenty. We rounded the first corner on the path I took us on, and the rain picked up along with the wind.
And then it happened. It started to sleet. Tiny little spikes of ice fell from the sky, pummeling us on our path as we cussed, and laughed, and realized that this is exactly what training in the winter would be like in Minnesota, so we’d better just suck it up and keep going.
So last night’s run’s word is Friendship.
Without Chrissy there, I am not sure I would have kept going. It was cold, wet, sleet-y… but having a friend right there by my side was all I needed to suck it up and press on through the uncomfortable circumstances. By the time our run ended, it was dry again, the wind was dying down, and we were both incredibly happy we went. Sometimes you just need that push to get out there and get it done.
Oh hai, friends. I decided to join my winter hobby of yarning all the things with helping offset the costs of flying to Kentucky for a half marathon… which means HATS.
Need a hat? Want a hat? Want to give someone a handmade Christmas gift, but don’t want to knit or crochet it yourself?… PERFECT. I’m here to save you. And you get to know that you’re helping me make my goal of running this half marathon a real deal.
Don’t think you need a hat? Ned Stark thinks you do… Because…
You can buy them HERE or by clicking on the ‘Buy Stuff!’ link on the right of the page!
Anyway… that’s all for today. I’m off to go for a run!
About halfway through my run last night, I decided that I am going to pick a word that encompasses each of my runs on this journey. Today’s word is ‘surprise’.
If you told me even two months ago that I’d be running two miles without stopping AND without feeling like I wanted to die, I would have laughed in your face. I have been running since 2012, and never have I ever believed I’d be able to run a mile in a single go, let alone two, even three. It’s taken me three years to finally figure out the running mental game and last night It was quite the surprise that I wasn’t, in fact dead, dying, or otherwise in any kind of mortal peril.
The run, in fact, felt amazing.
I have been so surprised in myself, my ability, and my body these last few weeks. I have been a (slow) runner for years and this is the first time in my life that it all feels natural, comfortable, and right. Tonight’s run was 13:30 paced the whole time, a minute faster than my usual, and I ran the duration – sans stopping to let a car go by me.
I have said running is mental. It’s also personal. I think the biggest road block in my way was… Me. My belief that I couldn’t improve, that I wasn’t good enough, that I’d never run a mile and I’d be always the walk/runner no mater what I did or how hard I trained… I was in my own way.
Once I stepped out of my own path, it’s been an entirely different world.
This past Saturday, I participated in the longest race I have run to date. The Monster Dash 10 Mile race was always something that I joked about doing, then chickened out on. I very distinctly remember the first year that I (very drunkenly) agreed to to the 10 mile… only to sober up and realize I could barely run a 5k.
This same exchange between me and my friend Alison happened twice more (always after the Saint Paul Summer Beerfest, where apparently I think I can run marathons), and each time I chickened out.
This year was different. I waited quite a long time before I actually signed up. Pushing that “Register” button on the website for the Monster Dash felt like playing Russian Roulette with myself. I’d either run the race, or I’d totally chicken out.
Determined to not chicken out, I started training. Slowly. I was getting more and more nervous about the race as it approached, since running 4 miles filled my body with all kinds of aches and pains.
Somewhere in the middle of this, my friend Sara convinced me to run a half marathon… And this blog was born, and so was my determination to make it through that 10 mile race. If I could make it through 10 miles, I could do 13.
Running. Is. Such. A. Mental. Game.
I can’t say that enough.
I started going for “long runs” on the weekend, stepping up to 6-8 miles at a time. It started feeling easier. It wasn’t as terrifying to be out running for over an hour… It kind of felt nice to be alone out in the quiet of nature.
Austin happened, with the accidental 10 miles, and I finally… FINALLY felt confident enough to run the race.
As we crossed the start line, I freaked out. I think I made us walk about half a mile in, mostly because my brain instantly went into panic mode. It was COLD. It was RAINING. I was certain I couldn’t breathe… and I was also certain I would never finish this race.
When we hit mile one… Something happened. I didn’t see it. I just kept running. My lungs opened up, and I just kept pressing forward. We started a pace of running about ¾ of a mile, then walking to recovery, then running to ¾ of a mile. Most of the time, it actually felt pretty good.
When my friend Paul told me that we’d hit a 5k, I asked what our time was… and I just PR’d my 5k time at 38 minutes. That sure put a pep in my step. Suddenly, I could do anything. I WAS THE FLASH. Not really… but I was keeping a 12:30 pace pretty steadily… and I wasn’t in pain OR dying.
It was a Festivus miracle!
When we hit 6.2 miles… I PR’d again. I took 11 minutes off my last 10k time, coming in at an hour and thirteen minutes. I was pretty much floating on cloud nine. I might have cried. It also might have been all the rain.
Thanks to some encouragement from my awesome friends and a couple of Guu breaks… We ran across the finish line together at 2:13:00. 13 minutes faster than my 10 mile time in Austin.
Wait, what? I had predicted a 2:45:00 time when we started… and we were AHEAD of that?! I literally wanted to fall over and just cry tears of pride and joy… unfortunately the ground was soggy grass and mud, so I resisted. It was probably for the best, really.
After a bus ride to the party center, we slammed our post-race beers (yes, I am aware that running 10 miles to get a beer is crazy. I never said I was sane), and off we went to get home, warm up, and DRY OFF.
I still can’t quite believe it. I didn’t die! I didn’t injure myself! I PR’D ALL THE THINGS! How is this even possible?!
It’s crazy how much I put myself down; how much I constantly tell myself to quit and that I’m no good at this… And then I do amazing things like run 10 miles in the rain on a freezing cold day and get personal records for every distance I’ve ever run. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I’ve recovered from some very sore quads and calves, and I’m up and at it with my half marathon training, officially. Now, I believe I can do anything. Well, anything that is 13.1 miles long. Because I’m never running a marathon. Screw that kind of torture. I mean, seriously…