Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pavement Progress Proof

Although it's what got me into fitness in the first place, I haven't thought about going for a run in a LONG time.  I had been overweight for almost all of my life, except for the years I struggled with anorexia. When I made it to the other side of recovery, I had gained a lot more weight than just the recommended amount. I went from underweight to overweight, (you can imagine what that does to a girls self esteem). It was then that I decided to register for my first race.

My brother and sister-in-law had been living in Texas for three years at the time and invited me to run a half marathon in Austin. It was a great idea to get me out of my recovery funk and get me involved more in running. I began training and fell in love. The best part about races, to me at least, is that it's not about competing with other runners, it's competing with yourself. For the first time I wasn't comparing myself to others, I was comparing myself to my previous time. (Hence the term: Personal Best). Since that first 13.1 mile race, I have ran in eight other half marathons. For years I considered myself a runner. I loved everything about it, especially being outdoors. BUT anyone who runs long distance knows how time consuming training can be. 

Between being a student, working full time, becoming a coach, and still having time for personal relationships, carving out more than an hour for fitness wasn't doable. That's when I really dove in to my at home workouts. They were short, effective and ANYTHING but boring. I've used programs like P90X3, Focus T25, The 21 Day Fix and now PiYo. All of them are effective but I've still had the itch to run.  Now that we're heading into the fall (my favorite running season in Michigan), I know that I'll want to hit the pavement more.

Today's weather was perfect to head out. So I laced up my trusty Brooks Running Shoes, grabbed my favorite Nalgene water bottle (in Empowered Blue of course), my headphones and headed up to my favorite running spot across from my old High School. (Insert thoughts of nostalgia) This was my first time running in 16 months. Yes, over a year. I clicked on Map My Run, pressed play on my Spotify playlist and started my LONG overdue run. I started off strong. To be honest, my main goal was to get through a mile without stopping. Before I knew it I was 2.5 miles in and felt great. I didn't want to strain my muscles, after all it's been over a year since I ran, so I decided to stop at a 5k (3.1 miles). I pressed stop on the app and checked how I did. Turns out my at home programs have been paying off. I managed to pull off an 8:42 pace, not too shabby! That's faster than I have ever ran in my years of me considering myself a runner. 

It's crazy to think that working out at home, no gym- no running, has exponentially helped me in all aspects of my fitness and endurance. It felt great to get back out on the pavement and just run. I can already tell that my quads are sore and that my tendonitis in my ankle is acting up, so I'm definitely going to be doing PiYo tonight to keep from being sore tomorrow. As I've come to learn, flexibility and strength training are any athletes best friend.  With that being said I think it's time to find balance with my life and favorite fitness activities, Running in the morning with some PiYo in the evenings. Needless to say, I am one happy athlete, and even better, I'm one happy runner. 

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