Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Running nostalgia and the inspiration bug

Hey guys, hope you had a really wonderful Easter weekend and that your weeks are going well!  We're almost at hump day, which is exciting!  I'll tell you something else that is exciting is that I have been on a running and running friends high lately.  I PRed in a race, accomplishing something that I've been working towards for months and thinking about for years.  I ran an incredibly beautiful and fun race with a friend, helping her achieve her first run.  I have put in many miles with the running group that I'm starting to feel closer and closer with -- and helping make Atlanta feel more and more like my city.  And this past Monday was the 1 year anniversary of running my very first marathon in Paris one year ago.

Monday morning I woke up feeling so nostalgic about that day a year ago.  I posted to Facebook that it was one of the greatest, most challenging, empowering, and fun days of my life so far and that is totally and completely a true statement.  I look back at my blog entries from training for the marathon, the month I spent in Europe before the marathon, and the week with my friends in Paris and it is a true highlight of my life.  That was an experience I will never, ever forget or replace.  It was truly, truly an amazing time of my life, and that day was the celebration of it.

The outpouring of love and support that came in from you, my blogging family all over the world.  My true family.  My friends.  My fellow runners, was just unreal.  I want to say I wish I could relive it all, but some of those training runs sucked.  So maybe not.  But wow, was that day not the most incredible thing in the world?

Anyways, I was actually getting nostalgic about the race day even before the race day.  On Easter Sunday I did a 6-mile run with the Movers & Pacers group which was followed up by some headstand inversions on the lawn of Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

I'm gonna have to dig up the pictures, but it was the day before the marathon that Jess and I attempted headstands and handstands on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower.  It's late this evening and I don't want to go digging, but I have to pull those bad boys up at some point!!  I am pretty sure my headstand has come a long way over the past year.

Sunday's headstands were after 6 miles that were really challenging for me.  My legs felt heavy and I was tired and hot and thirsty for most of the route, but also proud of myself for getting it in.  I hadn't planned on running 6 when I showed up to run that day, but ended up doing it anyways with the support of this encouraging crew.

Right now I am not particularly training for anything, but don't want to lose the distance capabilities that I've built up so the goal that I have set is to try and run 100 miles in the month of April.  In March I ran about 80 and in February I ran about 85, both of those were while in training (although I did slack off for a week or so in March - but I ran 2 half marathons) so 100 during a non-training cycle is definitely a challenge.  It is pushing me to do regular 5-6 mile runs rather than 3-4 and get in extra miles where I can.  I think it is good for me and I have to give credit to the challenge being posted by the running group.  They have a 40 and a 50 mile challenge going on as well and a few brave souls going after 100.  I decided to push myself for that to keep me motivated this month until I can get some races on my calendar.

I also did 6 miles the day before when I joined a group to run a preview race of the Peachtree 10K Road Race that is on July 4th every year in Atlanta.  This will be my first year running the race and it is was exactly 3 months out from Saturday.  It is the largest road race in the U.S. (possibly the world?) with about 60,000 runners!  I am looking forward to being a part of that and it was cool to run the route beforehand.  I have never done that before with any race I have done!  It was a large group out on a somewhat chilly morning to get the miles in.

Oh, and because I hadn't run the race before, I didn't know what the route was like, and I also don't read the fine print apparently, but the course is just a straight out course.  So I ended the run 6.2 miles from my car.  Many people had planned ahead and many people also just planned a 12 mile run and ran backwards.  Since I wasn't mentally ready to run 12, I hopped in an Uber to get me back to my car.  Woops.  I immediately regretted it because I was feeling good and my body probably would have been fine with the additional 6 miles.  Plus it just felt lazy to be driven back the route I had just run when out the window I saw all the people running back as well.  BUT on the good side, the driver of my car and I talked a lot about running and I HOPE that I inspired him to go over the goal he has been thinking about for years of running his first marathon before he turned 50!

I'm getting more into this whole "forcing motivating others to run" thing after having so much fun with Allie, hearing that my friend and his wife out in San Francisco started running, and also just today learning that my friend KDal who did her first Half Marathon in Kansas City took the plunge and signed up for her first FULL MARATHON this fall!!!!  I am SO excited for her, especially after all the nostalgia I was feeling on Monday about my first marathon.  It is an insanely fulfilling experience.  So excited to hear how the journey goes.

Additionally, I am trying to motivate the locals and this evening I got one of my coworkers to come out and join my running group for our sprint night.  The group does 10 x 100 meter sprints and it's always really fun to just have everyone hanging out, music playing, and getting sweaty and out of breathe.

I was so proud of her for coming out and hope that she comes out to run more often!!  I am now officially going to start recruiting everyone I know in Atlanta to come and run with me and everyone I know to just run in general (do itttt!!!)

A few other random weekend happenings & musings to share with you before I go to bed is that.  One, the weather in Atlanta has been great.  Aside from the crummy rain we've had off and on, it's been so nice!  On Friday, I actually got to lay out by the pool in my apartment complex for a bit.  Talk about a Good Friday!

Additionally, all of the running I have been doing has been paired with an equal amount of eating.  Which I don't always write about, because otherwise I don't know how inspiring that is for you guys.  But I have been eating a lot!  Thursday's run was followed by Moe's.  Sunday's run was followed by Tin Lizzy's.  And tonight's run was followed by Noche.  All of these are Mexican restaurants and I have no willpower when it comes to chips being placed in front of me.  Or margaritas.

And if all that wasn't enough, I also ate out on Monday night with a friend, where I licked my plate clean over at Canoe (where I ate all the bread last time... last night I only had two pieces, I held back.)  Then went for a quick drink to watch the end of the basketball tournament (again with the running crew!)

So thankful for the fun times and the non-running opportunities to get to know everyone more.  Looking forward for things to come, and maybe if I can avoid the chips and beer every now and then, all the running will pay off and help me to get to that "Katelyn's HOTlanta Bikini Bod Plan" we discussed back in the day... We'll see what happens!

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