Runners Tell All: Favorite Running Memory

 

This months Runners Tell All link up theme is to share your favorite or proudest running moment. While I think completing a half marathon is something to be proud of, it is not my favorite running memory.

Back in 2010, when I was training for my first half, I was a total newbie. I didn’t even know what a Garmin was. I would track my distance and time by creating a route on Map My Run (or similar) and then time the run by using the stop watch feature on my regular Nike watch. Fancy, I know.

I kind of blindly followed my training plan (provided by Runner’s World Smart Coach) and I definitely wasn’t over-thinking anything because I didn’t know there was anything more to training than just running. I almost miss being that naive about the whole process. I think I enjoyed it more because I wasn’t constantly worried about distance, pace, speed, fuel, gear, etc. I just ran. It was nice.

Anyway, I was training for the Cowtown Half which always takes place the last week of February. As a result, my training took place in the cold, cold winter (I lived in north Louisiana at the time, so cold is relative). One particular weekend, weather got really bad and we had icy flurries on and off for a couple of days.

Being the wimp that I am, I had zero desire to run 8 miles in temps that cold with icy flurries/rain coming down, but I was also convinced if I did not complete every single long run I would fail miserably on race day. So I had the bright idea to run the indoor track at the college I was attending. Sounds smart, right?

Wrong. The track is 1/16 of a mile long. I had to buy a pitch counter to keep track of my laps because I usually lose count after 3 and there is no way I would have kept track of that many laps.

I ran 128 laps around this little track. I got a lot of crazy looks from the people lifting down below and the gym staff because I just kept going in circles.

It was completely crazy; I would never do it again. But, it is my favorite running memory. When I finished, I had giant blisters on my arches from the constant turning motion.

I love telling that story. It always makes me smile and shake my head a little. I love how dedicated and “run at all costs” I used to be.

 

So, there you have it. My favorite running memory. What’s yours?

 

[Tentative] Fall Races

I figure it is probably about time I let y’all in on what I have planned for the fall. I hinted at it when I talked about running a 5k and immediately going home to plan more races, but here are the specifics.

August 16: 10 Miler in the Heat

Last years Facebook cover photo.
Last years Facebook cover photo.

Amy actually suggested this race to me, and it didn’t take too much convincing before I was on board. I have never run a 10 mile race so it will be an automatic PR, and I do love a PR! 🙂 August in El Paso will definitely be hot, but if I train outside through the summer, I don’t think heat will be too much of a problem. The race is being held at Fort Bliss which means it will be FLAT! I do love a flat course. To sum it up, flat course with a friend that will be a PR. Yes. Yes, I will sign up for that.

To train for this race, I am following a Smart Coach plan. Runner’s World has this nifty calculator that takes all the variables you input and spits out a training plan “tailored to you.” I like it though. I’ve used it a couple of times now and it is really good for building a base and increasing mileage.

October 25: Flying Horse Half Marathon

Source
Source

Yep, that’s right. I finally have another half marathon on the schedule. I’m pretty damn excited.

Since it looks like Matt will do this Army thing for a while, I’ve decided to take the next few (or 30) years to see how many states I can run a half marathon (or a full, I supposed, if I ever get to that) in. I’m not going to officially announce it as a 50-state challenge (yet), but who knows what it will turn in to (probably a 50-state challenge). That being said, the great thing about this particular race is that it begins and ends in New Mexico but it is about 15 minutes down the road from where I live. Win!

To train for this race, I am going to switch to the Run Less, Run Faster program. I will have 9 weeks between races, and I plan on taking one week completely off. Since I will already have a really good mileage base, I plan on doing the last 8 weeks of the RLRF half marathon plan to build speed and confidence going into this race.

I have considered attempting a full marathon in the spring, but the one I have my eye on (The Cowtown) is at the end of February and I wouldn’t have much time off in between the Flying Horse and the start of marathon training. So that is still way up in the air. I’m going to get through October and see how I feel.

What races do y’all have on the schedule? How far out do you make your race/training schedule? I feel like planning for spring races is getting ahead of myself a bit.

Five Things Friday [Birthday Edition]

Five of the things floating around in my head today:

1. It’s my birthday! 

I’m slowly getting closer and closer to 30. That’s scary and weird and a little depressing all at the same time. I certainly don’t feel old enough to be 28, but then I hang out with someone who is 25 and I think, “Yep, I’m old.”

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2. Someone is stealing from my car port. 

Matt had my birthday present sent to the apartment. Yesterday, we realized it was delivered on Tuesday, but it was nowhere to be found. I can’t even tell you how angry I am about this. Not just because it was my birthday present (and since I know what it is now, I know it was awesome), but because this is the third thing to go missing. In March, I had running shoes delivered to the apartment that I never received. I wrote it off as “shit happens” because it does and I was taken care of by the shoe company. In May, our Gatorade ice chest was stolen from us. I told the apartment manager, but there wasn’t much she could do. Then this week, another package that was confirmed delivered (by a different delivery service) was nowhere to be found. Clearly,  there is a pattern here. I no longer think that first missing package was a “shit happens” incident. I’m pissed. The apartment manager is “looking into it and making some calls” but I don’t know what that is going to do…

3. I’m house hunting! (sort of)

In light of yesterday’s events, I no longer want to live in this apartment. I don’t want to live somewhere where my things get stolen and I can’t have packages delivered. I spent a large portion of the afternoon browsing houses for rent in our area. Matt even seems on board with this plan. Our lease is up in August, but if I can get out of it sooner I would move tomorrow. Even if we end up staying here (because moving is a hassle and we probably live here more than a year), looking at houses is fun. It’s fun to look at the pictures and imagine what we could do with it. Also, I found a house on Fort Worth Street. I want to move there because…duh.

4. I ordered my Erin Condren Life Planner yesterday!

Another reason I love my birthday week is because it’s the week the new Erin Condren Life Planners are released. This will be my third one and I’m still in love. I was more than a little annoyed that they got rid of the academic year calendar option (my favorite option so I can get a new one when the new ones come out) so I had to go with the 18 month planner. I’ve come to terms with it because she now has interchangeable covers. I’m also apparently a drama queen.

The cover I chose for this year!
The cover I chose for this year!

5. TCU’s Baseball team made it to Omaha!

Working baseball at TCU is my favorite memory and my favorite year in college. I have a super soft spot for that team even though the players are different and I no longer on anyone on the team. They have been on a roll since the beginning of April and (something like a 32-4 record).  The College World Series starts tomorrow. I can’t wait!

 

Y’all have a great weekend! Any fun plans to celebrate my birthday for me? 🙂

National Running Day!

In case you missed it, yesterday was National Running Day!

In honor of the holiday, I ran an extremely hot, extremely sweaty 4 miler in the morning. Except I should have run it earlier in the morning because I spent the rest of the day feeling a little crappy. Yay for dehydration headaches!

Temps here in El Paso are already in the triple digits. I think the high yesterday was 108*F. That’s pretty warm… I’m usually not one to complain about the heat (because I complain about the cold) but damn, it got hot really fast! Seems like just last week I could still run in the mid-morning and not feel like I was going to die.

I saw this when I got in my car the other day. I just laughed.
I saw this when I left work the other day. I just laughed.

My plan (tentative plan, mind you) was to get up early enough to start running around 8. Well… I fell asleep on the couch Tuesday night because Matt was out in the field doing Army stuff and I was watching Friends on Nick at Nite (don’t judge me). So I overslept a little and  I woke up at 8:15. I didn’t make it out to run until almost 9:30 am and I’m pretty sure it was already 95* out. In hindsight, I probably should have dragged my butt to the gym, but I’m not always that smart. Also, treadmills suck.

My training plan was supposed to be mile repeats, but no. That certainly wasn’t going to happen. I’m just happy I ran all 4 miles (however ugly the last one might have been).

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already saw this picture. If you don't...you probably should.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already saw this picture. If you don’t…you probably should.

All in all, it was a good day way to celebrate National Running Day! I hear today is National Donut Day… I should probably celebrate that one too. 😉