A couple weeks ago, I completed my longest run of 16 miles in under 2 hours and 40 minutes. That’s the longest I’ve ever run! Surprisingly, I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be as I was running the last 4 miles. However, as soon as I stopped running, my leg muscles hurt more than I expected. Luckily, after a warm shower and a good night’s rest they were feeling much better. Over the last few weeks, the original pains I had been having in my shoulders and sides have diminished with the more running. Unfortunately, I’ve been having more pain in my knees and ankles. Ice and heat helps a bit, but I’ve found that more rest between my runs is required in order to keep the pain down for the next run.
After four weeks of being sick and resting, I’ve finally jumped back into running. Certainly it’s been a challenge. Instead of continuing off from where I left at, I’m now back down to three miles a day. It’s been a bit discouraging getting tired so easily. I guess one good thing that’s come about from this, is that I haven’t felt any of my normal aches and pains that I mentioned earlier. Maybe it’s because of the break I took or maybe it’s because of the number of miles I was running earlier. I’m not sure. But, hopefully as I continue to run my body will get less tired and those pains won’t come back.
On the brighter side of things, I’ve found a new motivation to get out and run! A while back, I purchased a gym membership so that I could do some strength training or take a fitness class on the days that I didn’t run. Well, the gym just reopened their location at the Gateway Mall and it has a pool along with a hot tub. Both of which have been nice to use after my runs especially with the sore muscles. So even though I haven’t been running in a bit, at least I have that to help keep me going.
I’ve finally reached being able to run seven miles. On one hand, I’m super proud of myself. On the other hand, running has become a bit tedious. It takes me a little less than an hour and ten minutes to run a full seven miles. That’s a long time to be running in my opinion. At this rate, if I stay at this same pace that is, it’ll take me a full two hours and ten minutes to run a half marathon. At the beginning, it never occurred to me that it would take that long. It’s been getting hard lately to set aside enough time to go on a run. I mean, one hour and ten minutes that’s just the running. Including the cool down, stretching, and showering, that’s almost two and a half hours. That’s a long time. Luckily, when I’m done with all of that, I feel good about myself in a happy and exhausted sort of way. That’s what I try to focus on when the running gets tough, that feeling I’ll have after I’m done. Although that can get hard to do at times. Lately, I’ve been experiencing pain in my trapezius muscle while I run. It’ll start to hurt after the third mile and go away by the fifth. At times it’ll go away when I try swinging my arms more but recently that’s started to not work. I’ve also been getting several side stitches while I run. I’ve heard that iron supplements can help with that so within the next few days I’ll be taking a look into those. Hopefully I’ll be able to find something that helps!
My new job keeps their environment well below my preferred temperature level and for those of you who don’t know me, I prefer warm environments. Most of the time the only place where I have control of the temperature of my surroundings is when I’m in my car. The heat is always at 80 with the seat warmer on. Anyway, lately the one thing that’s been getting me motivated to run has been the feeling of being cold. The last few days I’ve started my runs with my arms wrapped around myself, slowly jogging and chanting to myself “warm, warm, warm” in hopes of warming up faster. What gets you motivated to run?
The other day I ran 4 miles under 40 minutes. I was very proud of myself, especially since I still had a bit of energy at the end. Pushing through that last mile was easier than I thought it would be and it’s given me a renewed courage and energy in knowing that I can do things that may seem hard at first. Work is required to reach any goal and it makes me so happy to see the progress that I’m making in training for this half marathon. One of my favorite quotes is by Thomas S. Monson, he said “Work will win, when wishy washy wishing won’t”. You can’t just wish to be able to run 13 miles, that won’t get you anywhere. However, it’s the amount of work, time, and effort that you put in that will.
My mother made me participate in some kind of sport every school year. At first, I wasn’t too happy about this. I had chosen Track and Field during Middle School, and it was exhausting running the long distance events. Once I became a freshman in High School, I decided to switch events and give pole vaulting a try. Just for the record, it was the best decision ever. There was less running and more flying.
However, the next school year, I was involved in a car accident. This accident has left me with chronic back pain, which has prevented me from resuming pole vaulting. Instead I was advised to keep running. The best thing for my back was to keep those muscles warm and loose, something that running and stretching would help with.
Since I wasn’t very good at motivating myself to run each day, I decided to take a jogging class. That way, my GPA would depend on me running. This certainly got me into the habit of exercising. The more I ran, the less I dreaded it and the more I looked forward to it. Rain or shine, I was out there every morning.
Those workouts, which got harder each day, truly taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned that taking the time to motivate myself to go on a run is less effective than just tying on my shoes and going out the door. I’ve learned that I’m fairly good at pushing myself to keep going and finish that last mile. I’ve learned running can be more fun when you have a buddy to do it with. I’ve also learned that running can help calm and clear my mind from stress and worries.
Even though the class has been long over and I’ve already graduated, I still continue to run. I never thought that I could learn so much about myself just by running. Despite the things that have happened to get me to where I am today, I’m thankful for them.
The farthest I’ve ran is a 5K and my new goal is to a run a half marathon. I’m excited to train with my best friend, Samantha and take on this new goal.