Movement Streak Day 10

For a while it has felt as though my physical health has been on the same roller coaster ride that my emotional health has been. I mentioned that for the first month the thought of food made me sick and I lost a considerable amount of weight because I simply wasn’t eating enough.

Sick of all those pesky pounds? Step one: Have your heart broken.

I stopped running, and then once I began discovering that I had in fact been in an abusive relationship the anger came with a vengeance and with it so much emotional eating. It was like waking up from a fog, and then I started paying attention to the fact that every time I wanted to eat something even mildly unhealthy my ex’s voice was in my head reminding me how that piece of cake wasn’t going to help me get any more attractive. I wanted to take back my enjoyment of food and give myself permission to enjoy everything I ate. So I did. I enjoyed healthy and unhealthy food alike whenever the urge hit, and it felt so good.

During these past few months my consistency with running has been on and off. I trained for the Sole of the City 10k, and successfully completed it along with the Frederick Running Festival Relay! Then I got a new job and since then I have been trying to adjust to a new schedule and figure out where running fits in with the many changes in my life.

It’s been a challenge, and now with summer officially arriving the decision to put my runs until after work ends up meaning I won’t run at all because by the time I’m clocking out the temps have reached the upper 90s.

All this long, drawn out explanation, to say my waistline has expanded, my energy has plummeted, and my mood isn’t as positive as it could be. I’m also getting sick far more than I usually do. So last week after reading about my friend’s running streak  on her blog MC’s Many Miles, I decided to do a “movement streak.” I’ve committed to running or walking at least a mile every day for at least this month. So far, I’ve run more days than walked, and in just ten days I have noticed an improvement in my mood and my stamina is already slowly increasing from where it was.

Also forgot how much I love connecting with nature when I run

So why a movement streak and not a running streak? Simple. Injury prevention. Anyone who has read this blog knows I am prone to sprained ankles and injury. I deal with plantar fasciitis every day, and I want to ensure I am listening to my body and allowing it the rest it needs when I feel my muscles tightening up. In addition to all the movement, I’m making an effort to better incorporate yoga into my routine as well.

Mid-run selfies are also important to any fitness streak

Currently, my improved mood and increased energy has been enough to motivate me to keep me moving every day. While my goal is only for a month, I am (not so secretly) hoping I’ll be able to continue it past that.

What motivates you to keep moving and get or stay healthy?

 

 

Frederick Running Festival Relay Recap

The 10k may be my favorite race distance, but I am quickly becoming a fan of relays. I think it’s the comradery of having a team of friends that are all working together to finish a race. So when I found out the Frederick Running Festival had a relay race I knew I need to run it! I had previously participated in the Frederick Running Festival 5k a few years back but this year I managed to convince my sister to run the half marathon relay with me.

Being the incredibly organized pair of sisters that we are it was we decided on our legs of the race two days before. I ran the first leg (7.7 miles) and she ran the second leg (5.4 miles but with way more hills). Yeah…we love to procrastinate which was apparently the theme of this race.

Neither of us felt entirely prepared for this race. Due to a combination of horrible weather, and the fact that this race occurred right after the last week of my old job and right before starting a new one, I wasn’t able to properly train for the distance due to the stress of wrapping things up at work. However, both of us managed to run the Kennedy Krieger ROAR for Kids 5K without stopping the week prior, which made us feel better about tackling our distances in the relay.

The morning of the race, the weather was, thankfully, cooperating and I knew it was going to be a great day! Unfortunately, we didn’t properly plan for the traffic getting to the start line and my sister ended up missing the bus to take her to the relay exchange point. See, procrastination…theme of the day.

                            Obligatory pre-race selfie

Luckily her husband was able to drive her, and two other runners we randomly bumped into who also missed the bus. On the bright side, this meant that she was able to cheer me on as I crossed the start line! Silver linings!

Check out all the runners!

To say I was nervous about this race was an understatement. With everything going on I am still struggling to motivate myself to get out and run on a consistent basis and I didn’t feel as prepared as I did when I ran the Sole of the City a few weeks prior. However, I surprised myself!

Despite starting off my leg a bit too fast, I managed to slow down my pace enough so I made it four miles without needing to stop. After mile four I took brief walk breaks for each mile after but each walk was minimal. Then when I hit mile 7 something weird happened.

I became incredibly emotional. Please comment below if you have ever experienced this, but this isn’t the first time this has occurred. This doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, during a run, I will feel a huge swell of emotion (usually when I am really pushing myself and it is almost always during a time of stress in my life). Most of the time I am able to hold it together and suppress the tears but that wasn’t happening during this race.

The tears just started flowing, I am thankful it was just tears and not ugly crying, but it was enough that other runners noticed. That moment, my friends, was when I realized how much I LOVE the running community and how supportive they are. All of a sudden two runners beside me yelled “Relay runner! Yeah you! You’ve got this, you’re almost there you’re looking great!”

I wasn’t crying because I was struggling, but hearing words of encouragement kept me from feeling embarrassed, and pushed me to run even faster. By the time I reached the exchange I felt so proud of myself and with a quick hug my sister began the second leg.

I did it!

My sister did great too meeting some of her own personal records, which I say made the Frederick Relay a success all around!

The sister squad!

Afterward, I celebrated the best way I knew how with brunch at the Family Meal and then driving four hours to Roanoke, VA halfway to Asheville, NC where I spent the next week on vacation. In case you were wondering, driving four hours after running over seven in the morning didn’t become my favorite decision in the world. I wouldn’t advise it. However, I did manage to end my day with a delicious Patty Melt in my hotel room, #treatyoself!

It was 100 worth it

Have you ever gotten emotional while running? Please share your story in the comments so that I don’t feel so weird and alone….🙂

Sole of the City 10k 2018 Recap

As I have mentioned in my last couple posts I currently have A LOT OF FEELINGS. In order to avoid having them take complete control of my life, I have focused on running again and figuring out ways to motivate myself. So I signed up for a 10k that I was in no way ready for which meant I needed to get ready so I didn’t make a complete fool of myself!

When I began running, 10ks quickly became my favorite race length and the Sole of the City 10k was the first 10k I ever ran (back in 2014, I can’t believe it has been so long!). It was only natural that I gravitated towards that race to be my motivator. Yay for races with special significance!

Before Sole of the City 2014. I had no idea what I was in for!

What made this race even more special is that I ran it with my sister and a close friend and for both of them it was their first 10ks! Nice to know my master plan of infecting those around me with the running bug is working!!

We started off the day with some fun pictures before finally making our way over to the starting line.

It always amazes me how huge this race is! The announcer said there were 4600 racers running it this past Saturday.

You guys that is A LOT of people!

I enjoy taking selfies in front of crowds of people!

The race started off great. For about the first two miles we all stuck together. With this being my first race in a while, I took the pace slow and then right before mile two I tripped and rolled my ankle, because of course I did.

What is it with me and ankles?!?!?

So we stopped and walked until we got to the second mile marker by which point I realized it was a false alarm, my ankle already felt better, and I was ready to go running again. It’s been a week since the race, and there is no residual injury so I’m grateful that didn’t turn into something worse.

The weather on Saturday was beautiful, but HOT. We knew it was only going to get hotter and we made a point to stay hydrated throughout the day and not skip any of the three water stations along the route.

Around mile four is when we all split off, or rather lost each other and just kept running, because as I mentioned above there were A LOT OF PEOPLE!

You guys, I was so proud of myself with this race. Other than the brief stop at mile two I ran the entire first five miles without stopping. At mile six I hit a wall, and the heat was getting to me so that last mile was a combination of running and walking. Still I was shocked when I found out my time at the end. I finished at 1:18:56. That isn’t my fastest 10k by a long shot but I’m so proud of it considering I only gave myself about a month to go from no running to a 10k race.

Overall, the race was great and well planned, my only complaint that they ran out of water bottles at the finish line. That may have been due to how hot it was and people taking more than one. Luckily my sister and I always bring water to races so it didn’t remain a problem for too long!

Also side note, who are these mystery people who save their racing bibs? I always mean to and then at the end they look like the picture below, and the only place that’s going is in the trash.

Are you training for any races soon? Or have you run any recently? Are you one of those special unicorns who saves racing bibs? Tell me your secrets, how do you keep them looking not a mess?

Let’s try this again…

Disclaimer: This post is going to be full of real talk.

It has been forever and a day since I last posted. Or, more accurately, almost two years. The initial reason? I was finishing my Master’s Degree. I had a capstone to work on, exams to study for, and to be quite honest, ensuring I was successful with all of that, while working full time, didn’t leave time for much else. But then I graduated!

Happy Graduation day to me!

Graduation gave a short break from stress, and then life decided I’d had enough relaxation and that was the perfect time to throw a ton of unexpected stressors my way that invited a whole slew of emotions including anger, frustration, sadness and loneliness.

The most recent curveball was the end of a five-year relationship. I was making plans for a future, and apparently, he was not. Many of my friends, who were as shocked as I was, commented on how strong I was for how I dealt with everything. I felt anything but. I felt crushed and broken, the future I thought I was going to have was no more.

I pep talked my way out of bed every morning. I felt like my feet were dragging each and every day.  For a while, I stopped eating because the thought of food made me sick to my stomach. I lost a ton of weight (at least two dress sizes), and for the first time in my life I wasn’t happy about it (although even I can admit I looked fantastic). I now know what full blown anxiety feels like. Anxiety attacks became something my body was bracing for when the next one would hit. I cherished the five second reprieve I got when I first woke up in the morning and my brain had forgotten everything that was going on.

I stopped running. Initially, for good reason, I had a bad ankle sprain that wouldn’t go away. But then I visited a podiatrist, started physical therapy, was given the go ahead to start running again…and still didn’t run for five months. Since I started running that may be the longest break from physical activity that I’ve had. I don’t even know how many people told me “You NEED to exercise, it will make you feel better!” Hell, I was telling myself that. But saying that, and knowing that, is a lot easier than actually putting on my running clothes, lacing up my running shoes and going out for a run.

I threw myself into social activities, which as an introvert was draining and exhausting, but that was the point. I was too exhausted at the end of each day to deal with all the emotions swirling in my head. I dove head first back into dating, making profiles on dating apps, swiping left far more than I was swiping right. I met someone fast. Someone great. He was nice, funny, cute. We had SO MUCH in common…and I couldn’t open up. I was honest with him, I ended it, he was great about it (which made ending it that much harder). I deleted all my dating app profiles and exited the dating pool as quickly as I had entered it.

I have made some major changes to my life, and changes are still happening. It’s possible some of them were rushed, but, overall, it has been for the best. The anxiety attacks have stopped (thank goodness!) and I have finally started running again. So far it’s been about one month, I’m training for the Sole of the City 10k on April 14. Saturday I had my first 5 mile run since October. It was slow, my legs hated me, and it felt fantastic.  In the past few months I have learned so much about myself. Who I was when I entered my relationship five years ago, is not at all who I am now, in most ways for the better. My strength and resiliency throughout this whole process has shocked me. It’s taken time, and so much patience to get the point where I am finally, truly, excited to see what the future has in store for me.