Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Saturday -- 9 miles down!!

Hey everyone, I hope you all have a great Saturday and have some fun weekend plans.  I'm having a bit of a "Girl's Night" tonight -- which I'm actually really looking forward to.  For a long time living in Albany I had mainly guy friends (I work with a lot of engineers...) and I have really high standards for my girl friends (ehem, some pretty awesome ladies in my life set the bar high!)  However, over the past couple years I've really come to be close and LOVE the girl friends I've made here in Albany.  I'm looking forward to hanging out and catching up with some of them tonight over food and drink.

Why I'm really excited right this moment though is that it is just after noon and I've already finished my long run for the weekend!  Nine miles!  I've been scared about this all week.  Especially since I really wanted to do it outside and the stupid snow we got this week wasn't really helping.  I also was feeling light-headed and not my best this week, for whatever reason.  Anyways, I had a low key night last night... actually ate some pasta mixed with steamed broccoli and chicken sausage, as I thought that'd be good fuel!  This morning I got up and stretched and went out and drove the course I'd looked up and figured out on Google Maps.  I wanted to make sure that the sidewalks were cleared and non-icy.

I was glad I took the time to drive the route because I actually ended up switching it up a bit after seeing some of the roads.  I drank some water this AM, had a Nutrigrain bar, and made myself a new playlist.  I also spent sometime messing around with the Garmin Forerunner watch that I asked for and received for Christmas.  I hadn't used it yet since I've just been on the treadmill but got it all ready to go.  Oh, and I went back to Fleet Feet the other day and returned the first pair of new sneakers and had gotten new ones... that are pink!  So, I was really ready to go and pumping myself up to be in the best position possible to complete this training run!

New sneakers, take 2!
Ready to go!
The first 2.5 miles of the run I felt okay... it was tough getting used to the cold air, changes in elevation, and the wind.  In all my mental "you can do this" talks I'd been giving myself I'd only been thinking about the 9 mile distance and totally forgot that in my first run outside of the season.... I was also going to be really affected by the wind and elevation!! So I am pretty bummed to have to say that I did walk portions of the run.  I made it to about 2.5 miles then I walked up a hill.

However, I am REALLY proud of myself that I started running again and completed the 9 miles!  This is something else that has been a change in me over the years.  I mean, this isn't the first time I've set out to run a certain distance and not been able to make it.  However, a lot of times if I were to set out to do a certain distance... say it's 4 miles and I have to walk at 2... I would probably end up walking the rest of the 2 miles, rather than take a little break and keep going.

Sometimes I have that self destructive mindset of, "Well, I already ruined my run for the day by walking, I might as well just give up completely on this run and try again another time."  It's also the same thought process that sometimes sends me on spirals of, "Well I've been eating like crap for the past couple days so I might as well keep eating junk food for the rest of the week and start over next week."

These little patterns/habits can be really harmful and something I'm working a lot on is not getting down on myself for little bumps or rough patches such as these.  So yes, at 2.5 miles I walked.  I mean, I've been running 3 miles or more for a while now... on the treadmill.  But my body was feeling different running outside, my butt was killing me!  I let myself walk a little, then I kept going.  I had to walk a few other times, but every time I kept running again.  And what I'm most proud of is that I finished the last three miles of the run without walking at all -- miles 6 to 9 I didn't stop at all, and trust me, I wanted to!

I have to say also, I really liked running with the Garmin.  It was so cool to be able to look down and see the exact distance I'd run, my pace, and how long I'd been running.

When I got home and got it connected to the computer and synced too, it was even cooler all the data I was able to get on my run!  I also used a heart rate monitor for the first time.  Here are some of the screen grabs I pulled:

I picked a route to run that was out 4.5 miles then back, which is cool to see how the elevation is a mirror image of itself.  You can also see where I stopped to stretch for a second right after I turned around to return home.  Pretty cool!

And one other thing about the heart rate monitor... I've seen people use these a lot, they go right around your chest, under where your bra sits for the girls.  I always imagined it being tight and uncomfortable, but it really wasn't at all.  I didn't even notice it and totally forgot it was even on.  I also will admit that I smiled a little bit when I went to put it on because I didn't need to adjust the sizing at all.  It fit me perfectly.  Which, I translate to meaning that I am the exact "average" size that they imagine runners to be.  I know, that their market includes men and women so maybe that's not as exciting as it should be to me.  But as someone who spent the majority of my life as a bigger girl, I'm used to most "average" sized things being to small and having to adjust things to fit my bigger size.  To fit into things off the shelf or out of the box in this case... is still an exciting feeling for me :)

Well, I am going to go get something to eat and get ready to hang with the girls tonight.  Happy weekend everyone!


  1. That is so awesome that you started running again after a walk break...AND that you did nine miles!

    I am the exact opposite. I can get into the zone when I'm outside, but on a treadmill, even at a relaxed pace, I find it difficult to keep running after around two miles.

  2. Way to go!! I loved this post. I'm headed out for my first nine miles ever (and first long run of the season outside,) and I too have been scared/dreading it for the past week. It's so good to read stories of those who have gone before! Thanks :-)

  3. Good luck Emily!! You can do it!