Yeah...running is still hard and painful, but something....has changed. Oh my heck! I love running so! It's such a free, rewarding feeling. I get so excited that I can't wait to run again on my running days. I've had a couple of breakthroughs during my last few runs. I'm so thankful to have the guidance of Runner's World magazine; I find so many useful and inspiring ideas and stories from there. So, I've changed things up a little with both my diet and my work out.
- Monday-Run 2 miles
- Tuesday-Yoga X training
- Wednesday-Run 1.5 miles
- Thursday-Yoga X training
- Friday-speedwork = repeats and drills
- Saturday-Long/Easy run = total miles through out the week
- Sunday-Recovery day
*I change my programs week to week depending on what needs to be altered
With my running, I've changed my perspective completely. I used to push myself really hard until running was a dreaded chore, and when I didn't perform well, which I NEVER performed "well", I'd feel guilty and worthless. Then, I'd skip running for at least a few days. I blared my music loud to drown out the pain and negative thoughts constantly running through me, and I wouldn't eat before or after runs. Finally, I never warmed up before running or stretched afterwards. What an idiot! I couldn't have been more wrong about how to run successfully; I set myself up for a fall.
I never knew running could feel how it does to me right now! I will go so far as to say that I had the best run of my life today, just from small, simple changes over the last week. First, I eat a small snack with carbs to get some energy, whole wheat bread and almond butter today. Then, I did a light 10 minute warm up session with butt kicks, legs swings, walking lunges and some other movements, NOT stretches mind you. I also warmed up with a brisk 5 minute walk. I ditched my watch and concentrated solely on my body and what it was telling me. AND I left my Ipod at home; that decision made a HUGE difference for me. Regardless of the fact that I'm a music freak and love it dearly, I found that music was distracting me to the point that I was missing vital cues my body was sending me. For the first time ever, I did what my body asked, and guess what? It knows what it's doing.
Today, I ran longer, with more energy and more breath than I ever have. My husband noticed the drastic difference within the first 5 minutes of running. If I got winded to the point that I couldn't speak to him comfortably, I held back some until I got my breath back. Also, when I felt the need to walk, I would kick it into hire gear for thirty seconds or so. After which, I did NOT allow myself to stop and gasp; I kept my breath as even as possible and lightly walked until I was relatively comfortable again. After awhile, my body adapted to the speed bursts and it wasn't so hard. Finally, when I finished my run, I stretched out really well and ate a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana slices on top. Delish! And I feel wonderful! Not like I want to peel my clothes off and die, which is a HUGE turn around for me. I'm so excited! Thank you Runner's World! Also, I swapped out my Friday run day for speed training at the track, usually with repeats and drills.
With my diet, the progress is much more slow, but it's there. And I can feel it. Here are a couple of articles that I found insightful by Mark Bittman:
I have decided to cut back on animal products some and consume more plants and fruits, while still avoiding sugar, processed food and white breads and pastas like the plague. I've been concentrating on getting more of my protein through veggies, nuts and beans. I have so much more energy, and I feel great! Also, I drink water, water, WATER!' Then, I drink more water.
Yoga is also going well. In addition to Runner's World, I also subscribe to Yoga Journal, which is very insightful and useful tabout how to make my Yoga practices more personal and molded to my needs. Overall, things are going great. My knee ached some in the beginning of my run today, but it wore off after a few minutes. I love this new relationship with running...its...amazing! The difference is crazy, and it shows in my personality and day to day life. Before breaking my barrier, I shut myself in this little bubble of self doubt, criticism and anger. I forced myself into a mold that just wouldn't fit. Running is still painful and still a major challenge. But I'm loving the feeling of working hard and finding my barriers and smashing them. Through the changes I've made so far, I now feel....free. Happy, content, blissed out...being in my head is no longer a bad place to be when I'm running. How lovely! Thank you body! I so appreciate you!