Maybe this running thing isn’t so bad after all

I didn’t know the city very well when I moved here. I had a lot of free time to roam between getting my job offer and when I actually started. I found the best way to learn this city was on foot; specifically by running. I found landmarks, friend’s homes, new neighborhoods and scoped out places I wanted to shop, eat or a venue to host an upcoming Social Impact Project.

But it was strange. Something was different here than it was in Chicago. In Chicago, I would tell people I wasn’t a runner, that “I have exercise-induced asthma” or “I can’t breathe when I run outside.”

Logically it made sense. Every time I ran in Chicago, I would wheeze for hours afterwards.But I haven’t been wheezing in DC.

In fact – I’ve started to enjoy running more.  However, once I started working 8a-6p+, I no longer could go for a run at 1pm on a Tuesday, so I began running on the weekends more consistently. Running in DC is challenging, let’s be honest. There are hills and tons of tourists. Oh, the tourists! I just want to yell at them, “Get out of the way morons!” Instead I find myself doing a quick 2 step dance around them. Usually I would run about 1.5, then walk a bit, then another 1.5 miles and return home.

But this past Saturday, was different. I had the most satisfying, peaceful, and proud running experience.

I woke up at 7am and felt gross from dinner the night before, so I went for a run. I ran from my apartment to the White House and before I knew it, I had 2 miles done. Then I began to run around the Tidal Basin (I had to go back eventually) and it became 2.5 miles, then 3.0 miles. When I surpassed 3.4 I thought, holy cow, I just ran my first 5K without stopping at all! That was the first time I had ever done that and I was proud of myself! I was determined to turn 3.1 instead a 10K! After those 3 miles something magical happened and it clicked. It was no longer UGH running, but I-can-and-want-to-keep-going running.

But then there was that huge blister on the arch of my left foot. And man, did it hurt. So I stopped and walked about a 0.5 mile, but then I thought to myself, Well this is just stupid of you, Caryn. It hurts to walk. It hurts to run. You might as well keep running as long as you’re not tired! 

So I did. I ran about 3 or 4 more miles and despite the pain, I felt great. I probably walked about a 1-1/2 miles but I was proud that I ran most of it. I got lost in the beauty of the day and of the city. Right around 4 miles, the horrible yet catchy fun song “The Tide is High” came on – and the line “I’m not the kind of girl that gives up just like that” really pushed me to keep going, and not give up. (side note: Blondie wrote a lot of creepy stalkerish songs. Have you noticed that?)

I was totally that crazy runner rocking out and head nodding to the music and I think I even fist bumped the air at one point. But I didn’t care. I was so content, totally at peace. It was a beautiful day, crisp and sunny – perfect for running. I just wanted to keep going. I ran for almost 90 minutes! PR for me!

I wanted to keep my motivation momentum going so instead of running home at the end of the workout, I limp-ran straight to Pacers shoe store to get a new pair of running shoes. No more blisters for this girl.

I am so proud of myself for running so long and for completing my first 5K. I might have actually completed a 10k but since I did walk some, and am not 100% sure on the distance, I don’t count it.

Lately, I’ve been inspired. I have many rock star runner friends and after watching them complete a half marathon, I was inspired to take up running more seriously. I always got bored running and wondered how people ran for so long without getting bored but now I get it. Something happened after mile 3, and suddenly I am that girl who can’t wait to try running again. Who am I?! Maybe this running thing isn’t so bad after all. I say that now…

NEW GOALS:

  • Improve PR of 5K from this weekend.
  • Sign up for 5K
  • Sign up for 10K once 5K completed
  • Do Tough Mudder type event with Terra
  • Run 10 Miler
  • Work up to 1/2 marathon
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Give Yoga A Chance!

>Hi there.  Today I’m over at Cait’s blog: Fit, Fierce and Fabulous sharing some tidbits about Yoga in hopes to dispel any Yoga-phobia thoughts and doubts. Be sure to go check out, “Give Yoga A Chance”.   If you aren’t familiar with her blog, she is always cheery, shares a lot of photos, and her fashion thoughts, so be sure to head on over.

Cait, thank you for hosting me and letting me share my post with your wonderful readers. 🙂

P.S. Yes, my title was inspired by John Lennon…. J

Finding Serenity on a Sunday Afternoon

 

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I always told my self I had outdoor induced asthma and that was why running outside and I never got along. Usually I have trouble running outside and find myself coughing for hours even after the run is over. But Sunday was different. It was one of those days that you can only dream of where you wake up with no responsibilities, no chores to do, no phone calls to make and no one to report to.  It was one of those rare days where running actually came easy. On Sunday, I was lucky enough to not be dreaming.

Despite being woken up around 9am because Mr. Boyfriend had to go to work, I managed to get a little more sleep and laid in bed until noon.  I remembered it was supposed to be our first warm summer-like day so I looked outside for confirmation and saw people in shorts and tank tops.  I debated staying home and just relaxing on my balcony (which doesn’t get sun until later in the afternoon) or laying out on the patio downstairs. Seeing the shade on my balcony and no chairs on the patio, I decided not to be lazy. It seemed like a lovely day for some outdoor alone time, away from the apartment. So I got dressed, grabbed my iPod and headed out. What was initially my intention to just walk along the Lake Michigan waterfront path turned out to be a full days adventure! 


I don’t like leaving home without my phone, money or keys because I am always thinking that, What if something happens to me?  So I carried a teeny-tiny backpack. As I walked and watched people practically skipping with happiness, I thought about the blogs I had read like the Girl With the Red Hair or Bun & Burrows, and how they are always talking about their positive running experiences. (Thanks girls for the inspiration!) I thought about how I kind of went on a running hibernation over the winter, as I focused a lot on core and yoga classes, but didn’t run as often as I could have.  But something about the sun shinning, people playing and me being alone, lost in thought, listening to music on an absolutely gorgeous day made me oddly at peace.  So I started just running north along the lake path. I can’t say I ran the whole time, but I ran a majority of it. I am guessing that it was about a 2 mile path, in each direction. I saw a dog swimming in the lake, people playing volleyball, bikers, rollerbladers, runners, people running on a mission, and people strolling just taking in the day. When I got to the end of the path, I started heading back, ran into my neighbor (hi!) and then continued on.  I saw a friend running on a nearby path, so out of nowhere, this energy built up and I chased after her. I didn’t think I had it in me to sprint but I was motivated to catch her. I made it possible.  She was heading in the direction I just came from so I turned around and we ran/walked a bit together.  Since I had already done this path there and back again, I suggested we walk back through the zoo which is parallel to the lake front. ( I love animals so I am a sucker for zoo’s, even though I don’t like that they’re caged.)   We walked back through the zoo, through the park and then headed home. After we said goodbye, I met up with my neighbor again and we walked over to Whole Foods.  My feet and legs were tired, but I just kept walking. After a great workout, shopping for vegetables just completes the healthy feeling of the day. I bought a couscous and cranberry salad that was to die for! 


All in all, I was outside for three and a half hours and covered about 5-6 miles. I went out for some me time and came home completely rejuvenated and sunburned. I did not expect to get burned in April! But LOVE that we finally had summer weather!  Walking is bit rough, though I am not as sore as I expected. The second full day is always the worst, so I will not be surprised if I move a little slower than usual/waddle tomorrow.  


I never thought I would find peace and serenity running but Sunday turned out to be absolutely perfect. Just me, doing what I wanted to do.  I had no time restraints, no responsibilities, no worries. I was able to just be alone with my thoughts, my music and go at my own pace. We all need some alone time from time to time.  Maybe it was a mix of being the first warm day in months or having the freedom to follow my feet wherever they lead me, but it turned out to be the perfect Sunday afternoon!


How do you find time for alone time? What do you do that helps you find serenity?  




Love, Caryn