Random Thoughts

The Happy Running Hermit

I think I’m turning into a Running Hermit.  What I mean by this is that my entire life is seemingly revolving entirely around my running schedule.  I’m scheduling things around when I want to run like taking senior pictures, returning my son to college and getting my family fed.  If I wasn’t a crazy organizer before, I certainly am now.  Every night I think about the next day’s schedule and confirm in my mental calendar when I will do my exercise for the day.  This would actually be the second time this is done because I do it on Sundays as a preliminary process first.  If I have to go to a meeting I’ll get up early and do my run first.  If my kids need something I mentally rearrange my plan so I still get my stuff done. If I have to run dinner to my family while they are at the High School rehearsing, I start thinking about the easiest thing I can make so I can get it up to them on time and get home so I can work out without finishing at 9pm.   I seemingly have an unending number of calendars both mental and actual that I schedule my workouts on.  One for my stuff, one for my running friends plans to run together and all on a calendar that I can also see the family commitments to make sure things don’t clash.  In my head and until I actually start my workout, I’m deciding what to do if it’s a strength training workout.  Changing exercises and reps and duration depending on how brave I am feeling.   I must do a calendar every single month with the latest updates. Organizing for me is like an OCD issue.  I might have it on paper but it’s always open for refinement.  I look out to the scheduled group workouts at my gym because you never know when you might change your mind on the class you want to take.  If that changes then my plan might need adjustment so nothing falls through the cracks.  Then of course there’s the chart that I keep for all the strength exercises I do each week so I can keep track of that too.  All this in addition to the mental struggle that goes on while I’m working out because I’m thinking about and confirming the next day’s activities to ensure that they work.  Some days I wish I didn’t care if I was fat and out of shape but life 6 years ago blew that option up for me forever.  Never again to get lazy or be a slacker.  Depression is a very bad place to be so I’ll die working out before I give up on anything ever again, especially myself!  I can’t really organize beyond a month at a time because as we all know things can change or go to hell in a New York minute!  If that were not bad enough, all this scheduling I’ve noted here, I also find the crazy need to color code the damn thing!  What?!  Having a bloody packed schedule just isn’t satisfying enough so I add a colorful Crayola Crayons vomit explosion to the mix!  It’s just what I do!  It makes me happy and feel like I have control over something in a world where my kids are getting ready to leave for their own lives within the next 5 or so years.  It’s how my world rolls and as long as no one else in the world gives a shit, I am a happy Running Hermit!

HAPPY RUNNING!

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Random Thoughts

Hills

Today for the first time ever I ran hills on purpose.  I run them when they are on my routes and I know when I’m running them so I guess I plan on running them every week but every week I don’t repeat them unless they are on my route back.  I started my hill training for November’s Vermont innaugural 10 mile race.  That race is straight uphill for 4 miles.  The hills I ran today are comparable in incline to what I’ll be dealing with there.  My two month plan is to eat hills until November for all my long runs… gonna get boring in terms of scenery but I need to do the hills.  Squats are also on my plan.  Flat ones, one legged lunges, raised leg angled squats and a ton of core core core.  Between these two initiatives and maybe a bunch of Pound! classes and maybe some spin stuck in there for good measure I think it might just get me ready for such a big challenge.  I have no intentions of walking these hills unless I absolutely have to.  I could but the fact is that I don’t want to because I signed up for this race as a challenge to myself.  I knew it would be hard and wanted to take it on for that reason.  The bonus here, the thing that is going to make this all a great experience is that my friends signed up to run it with me.  

So I purposely ran the two biggest hills (almost 100 ft inclines over 1 mile and .63 mile) in my town.  Over and over again it got progressively harder on each incline run.  I feel like the homeowners were all wondering what the hell I was doing but more than likely no one noticed me.  I did it 3 times and then decided it was all I cared to do today.  I only needed to run 7 miles today and I ended up with 7.36 total for the day.  I feel really accomplished running hills.  I ran the entire way even when I was running slowly on the third time up.  There’s something so affirming about not only running a long way but purposely tackling hills all before noon or at all for that matter.  I hate hills but I will just say that I hate them less with all the core I do.  I couldn’t say it enough about how much easier it is with a strong core.  I wouldn’t have bought that two years ago but I’m a believer now.   So for now it’s hills / core | hills / core  | hills / core and some other fun stuff thrown in there for good measure.  Now if I can just stay away from the amount of junk that I have had lately it would be good!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Random Thoughts

Pound!

I tried a new class last night, it’s called Pound!  The description that my gym puts up about it is this:

“POUND: A full body cardio jam session combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. It fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric poses and plyometrics into a 45 minute series. Get ready because this class burns 400-900 calories, per class!!”

Now I’m not sure about 900 calories but I liked the class for the most part.  This picture is one that is used on the internet for advertising Pound!  I can tell you that NO ONE looked like that in class!  We (as  a whole) were fatter, sweatier, more covered up, there were no guys in class and although it did seem as fun as this picture seems to show, no one looked like that!  There are things about the class that I wasn’t crazy about like sitting on the floor while leaning back and holding up my legs and drumming side to side.  That position gives me butt road rash and it hurts my hip ligaments holding my legs up like that.  It’s hard to move properly when you’re struggling to hold a position that is difficult.  So I didn’t like that.  I did like the music and I did like the drumming and the instructor, Tabitha, was super energetic.  She’s young and cute and holding her legs up is easier for her so smiling and drumming and singing with raised legs looks easy.  It’s like one of those memes that say “what I think I look like vs what I really look like”.  That just makes me feel old but it will happen more and more as I age.  I did like that many of the people in the class were my age and doing their own struggling like I was.  It wasn’t a difficult class in general, more like difficult for me being able to figure out the moves.  By the time I got it right they did two more moves and then it was on to another combination or song to learn.  That’s normal for me though and the up down up down I find that it’s harder and harder for me to actually get down the way the instructor does.  Again, mostly an age thing I think.  Overall it was a good class that I may go back to again just to see if persistence will breed improvement.  Switching things up is good.  I was able to do some strength training before class as well so it was a good night!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Random Thoughts

So what do you want to do now?

So this year I have had a record year.  I have run more races with two more coming up which is a big leap from my 2 or 3 that I usually run.  I’ve run more miles as of today than I ran all of last year.  I have added strength straining which I probably should be doing right now.  I’ve added a gym group exercise class to my weekly routine and I’ve been able to ride my bike more since I got it at Christmas.  I’ve met my goal more and more for the bike.  So what’s left?  Well, I have a new 10 miler coming up in November in VT which is wicked hilly and will be hard.  I’m looking forward to working on getting ready for this one because I really have to work on squats, legs and core quite a bit.  I may want to try foam rolling if I buckle down and train hard but I hate foam rolling!  It’s not fun or easy and I just hate it even though it’s supposed to be good for me.  HATE IT!  So there’s that goal.  I also have another race in Oct which is a half in RI.  That is just an excuse to go see Johnny afterward.  If I’m super motivated I’ll find a little race in September and one in December and that will give me 6 straight months of races which would be kind of fun to say I did.  I’m not super excited about that one but it would be cool if I feel like doing it.  It’s been a big year this year for me and I’m proud of what I’ve done.  I’m looking forward to how the year will finish and how much further I can make myself go.  You don’t know until you try right?

HAPPY RUNNING!

Random Thoughts

Smacking 2016 in the Face!

Today I officially surpassed last years total miles!  I know many people probably do it, and at some point I am sure last year I ssurpassed 2015 so this is probably not as big a deal as I feel like it is.  I am supposed to be off from running since it’s Monday and on Monday’s I do strength training to give my legs a break.  I was too close not to kill it off today.  Exactly .08 miles from goal which I just should have done yesterday but whatever….spread the wealth around I suppose.  So I headed out at lunch for this milestone which was the most motivated and excited for a lunch run that I’ve been in a while.  All depends on what the outcome is I would imagine.  I felt like a superstar running along being the only one out there that knew what I was about to do.  I contemplated doing the happy dance right there on the side of the road but decided against it.  LOL that would have been so funny!  So onward to the next 2017 goal which I’ll have to chronicle in my next blog since this achievement deserves it’s own moment to shine.  Boo Yah!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Random Thoughts

Sometimes You Have To Make Fun Out Of It

Today I definitely did NOT want to go on a run long or short.  I sat in my bed whining about it for a while dragging my feet.  I watched my friend Sharon’s snapchat from yesterday and laughed because she used one of the face and voice filters that makes me laugh.  Then I thought that this run doesn’t have to be awful…it could be made into fun.   So I did a bunch of filter videos all along the process and at every mile along what turned into 8 miles instead of 6.  I’m glad I went because I feel better about getting more done, I got pancakes which is what I wanted and I laughed.  Life is short.  What makes me smile about today si that my son laughed at my video and when he laughs, I laugh and laughing makes you live longer so there you have it. Laugh a lot! Enjoy my silliness and have a wonderful day!

HAPPY RUNNING!

 

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts

Life is Good

Fall is here.  The season for layers and long sleeves, lights for morning runs and clouds of smoke that come out like some demon horse from a horror flick.  The air is cool and wakes up the goosebumps from head to toe the moment I step outside the door.  Not a soul in sight down either street I could choose to begin this morning run.  I feel a little stealth without my headlight.  I didn’t even look for it today even though I should have had it.  I’m still in Summer mode where you don’t need layers or lights.  The air is what keeps me moving not only so I can warm up asap but also so I can get back inside in the shortest amount of time.  I feel really good today in terms of my legs holding me up and pulling me along.  Today I am not struggling to breathe like yesterday’s lunch run.  Cold air feels good in my lungs and drives out a night of sleepy air.  I can feel yesterday’s Tabata squats high in my thigh, just outside my groin.  I guess I did a good job with them because that’s right where I was targeting.  I have to work on legs and abs and hills for my November race that starts with 4 miles of a 700 foot elevation gain.  Not walking even if it means just jogging.  Getting up those first four miles will deserve a medal in and of itself so I’m down to give it as much as I can without selling out everything I have.  I’ll have another 6 miles to do following that so I have to keep something in the tank.  So crunches and squats and weighted twists are the plan until then.  As I head along thinking about my running friends and the hill repeats we’ll be doing to prepare, I see a few people headed to work and one walking his dogs but not many more than those few.  I see the creepy guy in the silver pickup truck who insists on parking in the lot to the elementary school every day before 6.  I don’t know if he is homeless and is sleeping there hoping to avoid getting kicked out but why doesn’t he park at Shaws or Walmart?  Why the elementary school?  It’s wierd to me and I stare him down every single day I run by hoping that the next morning he’ll not be there.  Who is he and why is he there.  It’s probably nothing except me being creeped out in the early dawn hours.  I never see him exit his truck but I always am super alert just in case.  He’s not close enough to me for me to have to cross the road.  Just the fact that he’s there is a little bothersome.  As always my last mile of 3 is my best and happiest because I feel all warmed up and I’m almost done.  I feel strong and happy and fierce knowing that I’ve accomplished more already than many do all day.  Now my day can begin because I’ve settled my thoughts, worked out the night from my joints and said a silent thank you to the Lord for all that I am lucky enough to have and be able to do each and every day.  Life is Good!