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?

Sunday Vibes

On Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast of eggs, bacon, sourdough toast with avocado and strawberries.

I had a very large iced coffee and sat on the deck.

After breakfast Michael and my dad took Logan to the park nearby (and my dad tried to teach Logan how to play golf with his very first set of “clubs”). I went for a run.

My hamstrings were pretty sore from Friday’s weight session (STILL) so I wasn’t even sure if I could run but I did ok. It was another gorgeous day in Bend. I jogged through the neighborhood and then took Galveston to Skyliner. It was a quiet road. I found the West Bend Trail next to the road and took that instead.

Bend is SO friendly to runners and bikers and hikers. They have these paved trails all over the city. It makes it really easy to be outside and to walk in nature.

Bend is also at elevation, so while I was running it felt like my heart rate was 170 bpm but it never really got over 140. It was kind of crazy! I was so out of breathe. But I was still able to run and had a pretty good time doing it. It was peaceful and quiet, and still early out so there weren’t a lot of people out.

I ended up doing 3.31 miles and walked the last half mile or so back to the house.

After cleaning up, we all went to the Farewell Bend Park to kill some time and hang out outside. It’s a really nice park! Not only are there cool toys for kids, but there is like a 3 mile loop around the river. It’s a really nice spot to walk and bike or run.

There were a ton of people kayaking or doing SUP in the river. It looked liked so much fun!

After that we went out to lunch at Big Island Kona Mix Plate. The food was really delicious. I got the kahlua pork with cabbage, steamed broccoli and the mac salad. Michael got the bulgoi beef and it was REALLY good!

We stopped at Columbia Park again on the way home from lunch and then it was NAP TIME.

Logan ended up taking a three hour nap. I took a short nap in the hammock listening to the wind in the trees, Michael took a nap watching the Mariners, my mom took a nap…my dad was the only one not tired. LOL I think we all bit off a little more than we needed to do on Saturday and we were all worn out!

After naps, Michael and I went for a walk and ended up getting more Boneyard in our growler, I got a delicious Guava kombucha and we stopped for shaved iced on a whim. It was nice little detour. 🙂

Dinner Sunday night:

BBQ chicken drumstricks with coleslaw. After Logan went to bed the four of us played cards and shared some AMAZING freshly baked cookies from a local Bend bakery. Probably the best cookies I’ve ever had. 😀

Then of course, hot tub and bed. I slept so amazingly good. I wanted to sleep more but…toddlers never sleep in. Ever.