Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Running Year in Review

As I reflect on 2009, my second full year of running, I can truly say I’ve come a long way. I started the year a middle distance virgin, seeking to keep up with my running buddies. Three half marathons later (2:15, 2:10 and 2:06), I’m inching closer to a sub-2 hour time. The training and the traveling was so much fun. Somehow getting up at 4:30 a.m. to run is so much easier when you have good people to do it with. And the trips were great, filled with expos and running and racing chats. The high lasted for weeks after each race was over.

2009 also marked the year I ran my fastest 5K in 28:11. A proud feat for me since my year long training focus has been running long, not necessarily fast and short. My previous 5K record was 30:05.

This year also came with a cross country relocation, which took me away from my running circle. I had to develop a new group of running friends (and I’m still working on that one). A new job threatened my ability to fit in runs during the work week but I’m doing a little better now. I plan to adjust my work hours in the new year to better accommodate my training.

Running has continued to be good for my health. In 2009 my cholesterol level fell 20 points and my blood pressure is on the low side of normal. Plus I made it through the year without getting a cold or the flu.

And I finished 2009 with 1,000 miles under my belt. An amazing accomplishment for me since I had no clue I would get there when I started the year. All in all, running has been good to me. How did running treat you in 2009?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When Life Gets in the Way of Your Running

I know I’ve been kinda quiet in the blogosphere lately. I’ve been traveling a lot and struggling to find the time to run let alone write for my blog. Add a new work routine that includes a 1-hour commute one-way and I have a recipe for falling off the running wagon.

Normally I would say life can wait for my run. I usually plan activities around my workouts, ensuring I get them in. If that meant getting up early to run before work or making sure I have an afternoon snack so I have the energy to run after work, I did it. Now I’m trying to see how I’m going to work out this new wrench in my running routine.

I’m not a morning person plus it’s cold in the morning now so early weekday runs are out of the question. Some people run on their lunch hour but if I did that, it would require bringing a change of clothes and toiletries to work, which I don’t have the energy or motivation to do right now. So that leaves running after I get home from work. That’s what I did last night and it went well – a 4 mile run on the treadmill. I also plan to run tonight.

My one hang up about running after work is I feel guilty asking my husband to cook dinner so we’re not eating at 8 o’clock at night. Now don’t get me wrong, I love when he cooks. I’m so glad I married a man who can handle his own in the kitchen because I don’t want to cook every day. I just start to feel bad when he does it all the time. I mean he works too and I’m sure he would appreciate dinner being done when he comes home from time to time. So I’m going to have to balance my schedule with days where I’ll cook dinner so he doesn’t get burned out. Not sure if that’s going to happen this week but we’ll see.

It’s great to have his support in the kitchen. Now if I could only turn him into a runner…

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All Races Aren’t Marathons or Are They?

Have you ever noticed how some non-runners refer to all races, regardless of the distance, as marathons? I have. I’m not bringing this up to ridicule them but to raise the question, “aren’t all races marathons in some way?”

The Merrian – Webster Dictionary defines a marathon as an endurance contest. They are grueling 26.2 mile races that push runners to their limit. People spend months getting ready for race day. I’m told finishing is part physical and part mental and people look at you different when you tell them you’ve done one.

Marathons rank up there with triathlons and century rides – those amazing feats crazy people accomplish. But the definition of amazing varies depending on the person. Amazing for you may be walking or running a charity 5K or training with friends for a local 10K – putting one foot in front of the other and pushing yourself to keep going when you really want to stop. Whatever the distance, it’s amazing, it’s a marathon and you did it. Be proud.