treadmill

Running Challenges

I am so glad I am back to being able to run on a regular basis! I LOVE it. Swimming is my #1 happy place–that is where I feel the most relaxed and happy but running is a close second. Running makes me feel strong, powerful, and happy. It boosts my mood. It reduces my stress level. It helps me manage my anxiety. It really is the best thing for healthy living, in my opinion.

Recently there was some guy on twitter, I can’t remember who–I think he was a professional runner or coach–who said that if you weren’t running less than a 10 minute mile, you weren’t a runner. There was a huge backlash, rightly so, and I hate to admit that his asinine comment has stuck with me since I read it.

I was very offended by that comment. I’ve never been a fast runner. Back in the day when I was about 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger, I was running between a 9.5-10 minute mile and I felt pretty good. Then I had a series of running injuries. THEN I had a baby.

I was slow getting back to running after having Logan. I was working on strengthening my core and my pelvic floor. I was sleep deprived. I was breastfeeding…so I started slow. I’d go for long walks with Logan in the stroller and eventually I’d start jogging intervals. Eventually I built it back up.

But guess what? I’m still slow. I’m REALLY slow by most people’s standards. I take walk breaks. I don’t push myself to over-exert myself. WHY? Because I would rather be a SLOW RUNNER than an INJURED RUNNER who can’t run.

There are a lot of challenges with being a runner. One of them should NOT be the offensive, negative comments of “elite runners” judging us slow runners.

Anyway, I currently run twice a week during my lunch break at work. I’m back to running the waterfront loop in downtown Portland, which is around 3-3.5 miles long. If the weather is crappy, I use the treadmill. Not my favorite but it’s better than nothing. Right now I am sticking with twice a week but maybe by the end of summer with try 3 days a week.

Running Challenges

Being Slow

Does it matter? Like I stated above, is it THAT important to be fast? Or is it more important to just being able to do it at all?

One of the things I’ve noticed most about when I’m feeling extra slow, I look to my diet. When I was trying to limit the amount of carbs I ate to lose some weight, my runs were AWFUL. I was slow and tired and lethargic. My legs felt like lead. But I’d eat carbs and have a better run.

 

Being Sore

I would cross-train before I even knew it was a word. I think it’s really important for your body to do DIFFERENT types of workouts and vary it up a lot. It’s especially important mentally, too. I don’t know about you but I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

My current routine is – 

Sunday – Swim

Monday – Run

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Weight lifting & Elliptical

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Run

Saturday – Big weight lifting day & cardio (bike, elliptical or stair-master)

I switch things up according to schedule stuff and if the weather is nice, I will run outside. If it’s bad, treadmill. Also, in the summer we usually do a lot of hiking. We’ll see if we do that this summer!

I also think including weightlifting in your routine is really important. Don’t skip it and just do cardio! Lifting weights has made me stronger and healthier and has kept me from getting injured running. Rest days are crucial as well, and I also space out my runs. I never run two days in a row. Having at least one day in between my running has been very beneficial for me.

 

Boredom

Sometimes running is really boring. Especially when you do the same routine all the time. Before I had my baby, I went to the gym after work and had a similar routine. One day I’d lift weights and the next day I’d run on the treadmill. After having Logan, I stopped going to the gym after work so I could spend time with him. Now I work out during my lunch break at work. It’s helped a lot and gives me more time for fun stuff after work plus it breaks up the work day!

The downside? I get bored doing the same thing. Running the water front is great, especially in summer! It’s sunny and warm and pretty. But the same route can be a snooze. So I switch it up each time. Since I do a loop, I go a different way each time. I’m basically doing the same run each time, but changing where I do it and I how I get to the waterfront. Sometimes I run on different bridges, or go a different direction. Whatever works to break up the routine.

Other tips are to run to a destination (which can be hard if you are on limited time), doing intervals, trail running, hill repeats, or run with a friend. I’m too slow right now to run with my friends, but I USED to run the waterfront with coworkers. It was fun! And they always pushed me to go a little faster than what I usually did.

 

Treadmill Boredom

The treadmill sucks. There’s no way around it. But sometimes that’s your only option. My suggestion? NETFLIX.

When I run on the treadmill during my lunch break I watch Netflix on my phone. I rarely have time to really watch TV these days, so it’s a nice thing! I recently watched the newest season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. I watched “The Five” on Netflix (outstanding!) and currently working through “Safe” (Dexter with a bad British accent but it’s pretty good). That’s really the only suggestion I have. Because the treadmill sucks.

QUESTION: What are some running challenges you face? Any other suggestions?

Day in the Life

Friday Friday Friday!

I work long hours during the week with my (newish) schedule so that every other Friday I have the day off. The alternate Fridays I do work, it’s a shorter day! YAY!

Day in the Life

5:35am – Alarm goes off. I lay there for a minute hating life because I am SO not a morning person. (The perfect work schedule for me would be, like 9-4, with my sleeping until 8am!) Then up to shower. Weigh in – 166. Thankfully didn’t gain any weight over the holidays with Christmas cookies, being sick and taking prednisone! YAY!

6:00am – Get Logan up and dressed and in his highchair. Michael makes us breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, salsa and hot sauce, plus a big glass of EmergenC (doing everything I can to stay healthy!). Around 400 calories total. We eat and get ready to go.

6:25am – After several trips to load all the crap into the car, I drive to daycare. The new daycare is great and it’s nice that it’s pretty convenient for the commute.

6:40am – Drop Logan off at daycare, make funny faces in the window and then drive to work in traffic!

7:05am – Park in my parking place and depending on how late I am, run to the bus stop, take the bus across the river to work.

7:15am – Start working. Make my coffee (I should probably start making my coffee at home…) Since having a kid I’ve become a 2 coffee a day person often! I spend the next few hours working, working, working. I spend a lot of time walking back and forth from my desk to the printer for stuff. So I get a LOT of steps in. Here’s an example:

Quite a bit, huh? 3 of those miles was my run, but basically I walk several miles a day just around the office.

10:30am – Mid-morning snack before working out. Today it’s a small gala apple and a slice of Tillamook cheddar cheese. Around 150 calories. 

11:00am – Time to work out! If I want to use the gym at work during my lunch hour, I have to go kind of early. On certain days there are yoga classes and they don’t allow you to workout at the same time, so I stagger my lunch to avoid the class. I also go at odd times to avoid crowds in the gym (especially this time of year!).

This day, I run 3 miles on the treadmill in 43 minutes. Not a great run. It’s the second run I’ve done since being sick and taking a few weeks off. It was rough and my heart rate was pretty high the entire time and I had to take a lot of walking breaks just to get my heart rate normal.

11:45am – Finish workout. Foam roll and stretch. Quick shower and dry my hair.

12:15pm – Back to my desk. I heat up lunch, or make a salad, and eat at my desk while I go through emails I missed during my lunchbreak. This day is a salad with leftover steak.

2:30pm – Small snack. Salami. 80 calories. I take a quick break at work and finish reading my book (Mitch Rapp #9).

4:00pm – OFF WORK! YAY! WEEKEND! Bus back to my car, drive home. Play with Logan. Check out the video on my Instagram of Logan when I got home 🙂

5:30pm – Dinner and bath time for Logan! Maya came to visit Logan while he was in the bath. 🙂

7:00pm – Bedtime for the little Booger. We do the bedtime routine and Michael fixes us dinner. I open a bottle of wine and immediately change into my PJs. Exciting Friday night, huh? 😉

I really liked this wine. I got it at a discount store and went in blind and was happily surprised it was a good bottle! It smelled very sweet and floral but was not sweet to taste. It was very dry and crisp, like a Sauvignon Blanc.

Dinner was a grilled pork tenderloin, seasoned with lemon pepper, sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon (I LOVE Brussels sprouts and could eat them every day) and some fresh mozzarella cheese. Dinner was delicious! And around 700 calories. Dessert was a small piece of chocolate fudge, handmade by a friend. Yum!

8:00pm – We usually watch a movie on Friday nights (last Friday we watched “Get Out”! SO GOOD! Watch it!) but this night we decided to just hang out and talk for awhile. It was nice!

I’m not going to post when we went to bed because it’s embarrassingly early. But yeah, I started a new book and will let you know how it is!