Running on a Rest Day

Today was supposed to be a day of rest. Unfortunately I made the mistake of turning on the news first thing this morning. Not to actually watch the news, but to check out the weather to see if today was going to be a good day to be outside. Since they are supposed to give the weather on the 5’s, I tuned in at 8:04 expecting to hear “go” or “no go” for outside relaxation. Instead what I heard were four minutes of the most depressing news ever – deadly accidents, people getting shot and elderly people being beat. So instead of spending the day relaxing, I went to work instead.

After spending three hours in my quiet office I still couldn’t shake that depression feeling, so even though today was supposed to be a day of rest, I actually went for a run instead. Not a long run, but instead of my usual Jeff Galloway run/walk, I ran for the first mile straight followed by a run/walk for another three quarters of a mile. The exertion was just what I needed to remember that the world may not be a happy place, but my own little bubble can be as happy as I choose to make it and today I choose to be happy.

Hitting my Running Target

I set a relatively low total miles target for the year. I just knew that even I could hit a low target of 500 miles for the year. In fact, that’s less than ten miles per week. Factor in a couple of 5K’s and 10K’s…not to mention the fact that there was also a half-marathon thrown in there, I should have been well on my way. What happened?

So what’s the problem? I think it’s my motivation, or something. In fact, I can’t think of a single week when I actually hit ten miles( OK, except for the half-marathon race).  Today is Monday and I only got in 1.25 miles. There was a bit of motivation to actually get out there though. I went clothes shopping this weekend and couldn’t find a thing that looked good on me…which lead to me stress eating…which probably lead to the extra two pounds I gained this week (definitely not headed in the right direction). All I know is that whatever my motivation is going to be – hitting my 500 mile target, losing weight or being able to find clothes I wear, they are all targets. All I know is I better get it in gear.

Two Mile Tuesday, I Need a Run

To give you a little background, I’m a Human Resources Manager. Human Resources involves the most challenging component of work ever, humans. Sometimes it’s a good day, some days there are days like today. The conversation went something like this… (The names and dates have been changed to protect the innocent and the illogical.)

Supervisor (who has been with the company MANY years): Do I need to write a performance evaluation for Terry Tiger before she leaves on her last day?

Me (thinking mmm, no good can come of this conversation.) I’m not sure when her last day is, but her evaluation date is August 11th.  If her last day with the company is before her evaluation due date, then no you don’t.  (Me, now thinking this is the end of the conversation).

Supervisor: Her last day is April 15th. Do I need to write one?

Mind you, this conversation is via email so if you forgot what I said, feel free to go back and look at the answer, unfortunately that only seems like common sense in my world. The kicker was that I had this same conversation with two long term managers today!

Needless to say, that today was filled with such insane conversations. It’s just one of those days that had me tilting my head saying, “really”. Unfortunately, we can’t always say exactly what’s on our minds (sometimes the response in my head is quite…colorful. I needed an outlet and had the perfect solution. Today was Tuesday, so what better way to burn off some of the confusion and stress than taking it to the streets? OK, it wasn’t quite the streets, it was more like the treadmill, but hey for today, a run was cleansing activity. It was a great way to shake it off…and shake it off I did.  The sun will come out tomorrow (actually it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, but I’m still floating on that runner’s high.) It was a great two mile Tuesday.

Running Inside or Out

I really wish that Mother Nature would pick a season and stick with it for longer than 24 hours.  This week we have had 70 degree temperatures, 20 degree temperatures, rain, thunder, sleet and the threat of snow. It was a wacky, weather week that lead to an emotional roller-coaster week, that had me absolutely exhausted by Friday. Couple the insane weather with the hours and hours of overtime that I put in this week, helped to make it an almost non-existent week of running.

At first glance, today dawned a lovely, cloudless day. It appeared to be the perfect outside running weather, until you stepped outside that is. The beautiful blue almost had me believing that the temperature would be as warm as the sky was high, but one had to just stand outside for two minutes when the wind blew, to remember that it was only a few days into spring and the weather was, in fact, quite cold – 23 degrees.

Today, however, was a must day for getting at least 30 minutes in, since I had pretty much ignored my training plan for the past week. So today’s decision was not whether or not to go for a run, but whether to run outside in the frigid temps or run in the warmth of a treadmill in an empty building. Sure, I could pay to go to the gym, but why pay when there was a free employee gym just a few blocks away?  Sure it was in the basement of an empty government building, but sometimes free is a major consideration.  Needless to say despite my pledge to get acclimated to running in the cold, I opted for the warmth of the empty employee gym.  Besides, there was a Walking Dead marathon on and I could watch it while whittling away the miles (O.K. more just like two miles, but hey “some” is always better than none).

So what did you do today? Outside or in?

Jeff Galloway Tip Day

Hey fellow runners…as promised here are the latest tips shared by the training expert Jeff Galloway! Today’s tips are all about running injury free. The amazing thing about runners, however, is our habit of trying to run through the pain…Well, here is what Jeff Galloway says….

Most injuries experienced by runners are due to 1) pacing long runs too fast, 2) increasing the weekly mileage too quickly, 3)lengthening stride and 4) stretching.

The principle in staying injury free is to balance gentle stress with the right recovery periods-allowing for rebuilding. (for more information, see my book RUNNING INJURIES).

Finding the right Run Walk Run strategy from the beginning of a run has been the best way I’ve found to stay injury free, come back from an injury and in some cases, continue to run while the injury heals. (See my book RUN WALK RUN)—-  (I own this book, it’s a great read)

•Are you concerned that running will damage joints, and other body parts ? I was told this regularly, from my first week of running over 50 years ago but the research shows the opposite result: Runners have healthier joints, etc. than non-runners as the decades go by.

•While researching for my book RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100, I reviewed dozens of studies and could not find one showing that running harms legs, feet, joints, etc. (I have this book too, obviously my Jeff Galloway book collection is extensive.  I bought this book when I was feeling…well about 100)

•It may surprise you to know that many studies show that runners have fewer orthopedic issues compared with non-runners as the years go by.

•A respected and large population study out of Stanford following thousands of runners over 50 who had run for more than 20 years concluded that runners had less than 25% of orthopedic issues compared with non-runners of the same age.

As long as you stay below the threshold of irritation you can often continue to run while the injury heals.

Training Day – Running Hills

Almost sounds professional doesn’t it? Of course, every runner needs to (or should) do hill work. If you know me, however, you know that I try to avoid hills like the proverbial plague. I haven’t quite perfected the ability to run up one without huffing and puffing like the big engine that couldn’t. I realize, however, that in order to be successful, at some point I have to tackle my fear of “the hill”.

It actually didn’t go too bad.  Today was supposed to be a 25-30 minute walk-run (of course I mean run-walk), so I thought I would combine it with a hill or two.  The pace was 1 minute run, 30 second walk.   It was 65 degrees at 6:00, so it was the perfect day to go outside and give it a whirl.  I must say it wasn’t bad; even with the hill, my Nike app made the mistake of telling me it was a 12:49 minute mile run which, for me, was pretty awesome.  But let’s talk about that hill.  I think my biggest problem is forgetting to breathe, I guess the first step is realizing that I actually do hold my breath. If I could offer one tip to a new runner, don’t do that.  I guess I’m lucky I didn’t pass out! Note to self, be conscious of form AND breathing!

I’m not terribly worried, I know with a little practice, I will get over my fear of running races with hills, but for now the tightness in the back of my legs feels kind of good. It reminds me that I tackled a hill today.

Half Marathon Training Day 4

Outside

Today was half-marathon training Day 4. What a mouth-full.  Oh…the temptation was strong. I was inventing all sorts of excuses (I know, here we go again), to not hit the road (or go to the gym). I wasn’t going to totally ignore the training plan; I could cross train or something that would exert the same energy.  The question is, if you’re going to exert the same amount of energy, why not do what you’re supposed to be doing?  As I stared at the training schedule, I noticed that it was supposed to be an “easy walk day”.  Not an easy run day, but an easy WALK day. WHAT? A “walk day” on a half-marathon training plan? Hey, I could do this. I could do an easy walk with my eyes closed; besides it would give me the opportunity to try out my new sneakers. They weren’t running sneakers, but I wasn’t supposed to be running….right?

I drove to the baseball fields behind the government building thinking it was as good a place as any, plenty of shortcuts to head back to the car in the event of an emergency. What happened? For the first time in days, the sun was shining (even at 5:00 p.m.), there were still hours of daylight left. I took a deep breath and kicked it into gear.  So many thoughts were running through my mind; puzzles to solve, plans to make. Before I knew it, a 30 minute “easy” walk had turned into 3.25 miles of an invigorating run-walk (in true Jeff Galloway style).  It’s true, sometimes it’s hard to get out there, but once you do, the time and miles just melt away.

An easy walk? Try 3.25 miles.  #dropthemic