Today it was back to my everyday routine and running schedule. Jumping back in feels good having just had a week off. I slept like a rock which was much needed after a week of less than restful restless sleep. At 5:30 I jolted out of the deepest sleep which gave me that thick / flu like feel in my head and especially my eyes. I feel tired and I am but a run will make that feel better. I finish my pre-run routine and happily head out to put up 3 easy miles on an all too familiar route. Today, even though my head is in a sleep fog, I course over the neighborhood streets knowing every bump in the road and every rise and fall in elevation. Today, it is easier and the small rises in the road seem almost minute this morning. Almost like someone pulled the asphalt comforter wrinkles out, flattening the surface. Of course nothing is different and the increase in ease of effort is most likely because I have spent a week running the hills of VA. Compared to those elevated roads and rise and fall of the pavement there, this is a cake walk! My pace was in a good place because it was easier to navigate the all too familiar road and that felt great. I may not have gotten to do much interval training / Tabata workouts while I was there but I worked harder and actually put up the most miles of the month last week which is apparent now post first home run. Maybe I should put in more hill running on a regular basis just to add a strength aspect to my routine without having to add in more time. There’s only so many hours in a day so I’ll take whatever increase I can to make me as strong as possible wherever I can get it. I’ll miss the hills of VA as much as I cursed how challenging they felt while I was running them. Now I consider them a little secret like an energy drink or protein packed not so easy to get food that one stumbles upon and has to think about whether or not they’ll share with others. I don’t have to share this and I will put it away as one of my favorite things about my trips to see my family. Like a secret fountain of youth, the hills of VA make me feel strong and young and powerful. Not only do I benefit physically from running over them, I get to see the sin rise like I can’t see at home, smell air that is so fresh your lungs thank you and the beauty of the rolling hills with all its green grass, wild flowers and nature
Today I feel like I’ve made some good improvements.
I started keeping track of what I’m eating with a specific goal in mind (having a real goal is big). I’ve been pretty diligent about sticking to the amount of food I’m allotted based on my goals. The scale is heading in the right direction and my clothes are minutely more comfortable but what really told me things were working right were the hills I climbed in my 4 mile run today. They weren’t “easy” but they were easi-er. I’ve been running more on a daily basis probably because I can but also because I feel like it and I haven’t felt like it in a while. Now if I could just get my butt to do some strength training that would be good. I feel really motivated, in fact I have already signed up for a half marathon in April and am looking to run a 5K (I never did 5K’s until this year) at the college my son will be attending. I’m doing that one and the half more so I have an excuse to see him.
I’ve started laying out my plan for next years races. I’ve missed running races and running with my friend Barbara and hitting the racing scene again reminds me how much I love it. I’m making improvements and as my house gets emptier as my kids get older and start their lives I need to have something for me so I don’t smother my husband. Everyone needs to have their own life and their own friends because it’s just that important. If you don’t, do it. Take it from someone who didn’t for a long time. You’ll need it.