Happy Easter

The running has been great lately, and I promise to post more coming up. But today is my favorite holiday and I wanted to focus on that.

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, thank you for all of the wonderful blessings you have bestowed on me. Thank you for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that you offer freely to all. Your love and influence in my life gives me freedom to be more than I could be on my own.

Total Miles For 2010 =239

On The Road Again

I have not done much running outside during the winter. The weather was much worse this year than last, and I have been more sensitive to the cold. I would pretty much do a run outside during the day on Tuesdays and my long run outside on Saturdays. The rest of the time I have been indoors. I know, I have turned into a wimp.

The nice thing about the treadmill is that I can watch the news while running. And I have gotten in better shape since getting the gym membership. I tend to lift weights and do more core workouts while I am at the gym. But, I forgot what it was like to do an early morning run outdoors.

This morning I had a chance to remember. With the weather getting better, I decided to run outdoors. While I always feel good after a workout no matter if I am outside or in the gym, being on the roads in the early morning is exhilarating. There just isn't much at the gym that can really be called exhilarating. The weather was crisp and it was mostly quiet. Another nice thing about running outdoors is that I have time to jump back into bed before the alarm goes off. Now if only I wasn't freezing when I got back into bed, maybe I could actually sleep.

Total Miles in 2010 =183

Running With My Darling Husband

I am so very proud of my husband. He has been working hard at the gym for many months now. He has also been eating better. He wants to have a positive impact on the rest of his life and be an example to his children. That is the same reason I started running. Although the weight is not coming off as quickly as he would like, he hasn't given up hope. He really is inspiring.

David and I rarely get a chance to work out together. I usually go to the gym at 5am and he goes at 10 or 11 at night. With the kids, there just isn't much opportunity to do it together. This weekend we are at my brother's house in Maryland. One of the great things about visiting my brother's family is that the cousins have a great time playing together and it requires very little parental involvement. Therefore, David and I were able to go for a run yesterday knowing that our children wouldn't be too much of a burden on my brother and his wife.

I told David I would let him set the pace. I didn't want to push him too hard because that is one of the primary ways to get injured. And injury often leads to defeat for the beginner. We had decided to do four miles. I knew we would be walking quite a bit, so I figured with all the work he had been doing at the gym it should be doable. I shouldn't have let David set the pace. He instantly took off too fast. I made a comment about how I wasn't going to be able to keep up with him, but I quickly realized that he wasn't going to be able to keep the pace going either. He made the common mistake of starting with a pace that feels right in the beginning, but is really too fast. The fast starting pace and the viscous hills in my brother's neighborhood really took their toll on him. David ended up having to cut the run short at 3 miles.

I finished up my fourth mile and came back home, but realized when I got in the house that I really wanted to run some more. David acted as if I was nuts when I told him I was going out for some more. He has been telling everyone how I kicked his butt. But if there is one thing I learned from the beginning of that run, it is that once he gets fit, I will have no chance of keeping up with him. For now I can revel in my superior physical fitness, and when I no longer can, I will be his biggest cheerleader.

Total Miles In 2010 = 118.3

Dreaming of longer days

I could not get my butt out of bed this morning. I felt exhausted. But really, it is probably the darkness that keeps me there. I get tired of going out when it is dark and coming home when it is dark. At least it is getting to the point that when I leave the gym or get home from a run the sun is just starting to peek through the clouds.

The main problem with me not getting out of bed when my alarm goes off is that I feel so anxious and guilty for not getting up that I don't sleep well anyway. I will sit there and think about the miles that I have run so far this week and how many total I will have for the week if I don't make up the run I am missing. I know, I know....I am pathetic.

Total miles in 2010 = 106.3

How cold is too cold?

I am turning into a southerner. I find myself getting cold all of the time. But I still enjoy winter running. Well at least most of the time I do. Yesterday's run was one of the most miserable I have ever done. We were recently the beneficiaries of two large winter storms exactly one week apart.

Last Saturday I went for a run during the storm. It was cold and the snow was coming down hard. But I was able to run in the tire tracks on the roads most of the time. It was a beautiful run except when I had to run directly into the wind, which wasn't too often. I kept the run short because running through snow really tires my legs out. The snow pelting my face during those times when I was apposing the wind caused skin issues later in the day, but I was feeling good.

Contrast that to yesterday. It wasn't too cold (about 30 degrees) and there was very little snow on the road. I had gone to the battlefield near my house because it had rained all night and many of the roads around here were pretty wet. The road that I ran on had been plowed but had sections where there was some slush...no problem. I have been slowly increasing my long run and had planned to do 9 miles either last week or yesterday. But since the road is only 3.5 miles long and the weather wasn't great, I decided to cut it short and do 7. The first mile was ok. The second was heavenly. It was so beautiful in that section of road. And the snow made everything very quiet.

I just had another 1.5 to do before the turn around. As I came out from the more wooded area and entered the open fields I started to realize that there was indeed quite a bit of snow coming down.....WET SNOW! And the wind seemed to be blowing harder than I had remembered. No problem, it was just another 1.5 miles to the turn around and I would have my back to the wind. I started hitting wind gusts that seemed like they were 50 miles an hour. I am sure they were not, but it seemed that way at the time. I kept checking my garmin to see how much longer I had before I could turn around. I climbed one final hill before the turn around and thanked God that I didn't have to go any further in that direction.

When I turned around the wind died down for about 10 seconds. Then it started back up more continuously than it had been before. I was sure this must be what it was like to run in Antarctica. The funny thing is that my body was actually a little too warm, but my face felt like an icicle. The wind didn't stop until I re-entered that beautiful wooded area of the road again. As beautiful as it was, I just couldn't enjoy it anymore. By this time, the dog and I were both so miserable that we had been pushing the pace and I ended up having to stop and walk multiple times. What is crazier than running in a blizzard...why, of course, walking in a blizzard! We spent the rest of the time alternating between walking and running just trying to get back to the car as quickly as possible. Then I tried to stretch without the wind blowing me over and we were on our way back home.

Funny, looking back on it, it doesn't seem that bad. But at the time, I know that those park rangers that drove by me were not the only ones who thought I was nuts for being out there. Oh well, at least I didn't have to do my long run on the treadmill.