U-City Memorial Day 5K

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I ran a 5K on Memorial Day.  It was the first race I ran since my half marathon a month and a half ago.  I’d only run a couple of times since then. My sister and I signed up to run the U-City Memorial Day 5K together.  I love having races to train for; it definitely keeps me motivated.  Before the race began, Jackie Joyner-Kersee led stretches.  We jumped at the opportunity to get a picture!

How awesome are her pants?  I want them.

I was recently sent a pair of Champion CSX Compression Socks in exchange for my honest review.  I had worn them once before and decided to test them out again during the race. (Never wear something new for the first time during a race!)  I used their sizing chart to determine which size would fit me best, and it was very accurate.  The socks were tight, but not uncomfortable. I didn’t have to worry about them falling down throughout the race either.

I think it’s hard to judge if compression socks “work,” but I will say this: the course was hillier than I anticipated. I think the compression socks helped my calves not scream at me so much during the many uphills.  Afterwards, I didn’t feel any soreness at all.  I actually thought I would be pretty sore due to my lack of running, all the uphills, and just the general post-race soreness that generally occurs.  But I didn’t.  I’d like to think the Champion CSX Compression Socks had something to do with it!

More than just compression: CSX Compression Sport Socks feature built-in arch, ankle, calf, and Achilles support using the most advanced sports yarns available coupled with a sleek, vibrant look. Our socks are designed to give athletes and active individuals the decisive edge in performance, injury reduction, and recover.

And because I didn’t really understand how compression socks work, I found this blurb on their website:

CSX Compression Sport Socks work to reduce the diameter of the superficial veins in the lower leg, thus helping to improve blood flow. This helps to protect, energize, and renew tired leg muscles.

So it all makes sense now.  My legs aren’t magical; the compression socks must have done their job. But….. post-race fro yo probably helped! 😉

I’m all about sweet treats after a race!  Even if it was 8 a.m.!

The results? Our time was 28:35 which was a 9:12 pace.  It’s faster than when I’ve been running by myself, so I’ll take it!  And because I love stats and competition, here’s how I ranked compared to the others:

  • 224th of 645 overall
  • 71st of 348 females
  • 4th of 19 females ages 25-29

I’m happy with it, but I’m definitely ready to improve my speed.  Time to go to work!  I’ve got plans this summer for training and racing and gains to be made. Details coming.

Did you race during Memorial Day weekend?

National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15

I’m so excited to be participating in and sharing the details of National Stroller Running Day #StrollerRun15!  Last year for the first Stroller Run, I wasn’t running and William was too small to take for a jog.  This year, we’re both more than ready!  Read below for all the information:

stroller

ABOUT NATIONAL STROLLER RUNNING DAY

National Stroller Running Day will be held annually. It is a day when active parents everywhere declare their commitment to family fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.

Katie McFarland, an award winning fitness blogger of Moms Little Running Buddies, is the brainchild behind National Stroller Running Day.  She felt that a day should be dedicated to stroller runners and their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle with their families in tow.    A winning team of industry leaders is supporting Katie in her efforts.  National Stroller Running Day is sponsored by the leading manufacturer of high-quality strollers for active families, BOB.

We encourage stroller runners to join in by planning a run with other active parents, spreading the running bug with friends, signing up for a stroller-friendly and/or a family-friendly race, or just getting out and exercising with their family on Sunday, May 31st .  The way we’ll know you’re participating is by posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the hashtag #StrollerRun15.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May 4, 2015: BOB Favorite Photos Instagram Contest – BOB Stroller runners can snap a picture; StrollerRun and Momslrb for a chance to win a cool BOB accessory.
  • May 11, 2015: BOB Fitness Center Introduction – Feature post on Microsite highlighting many of the fitness center features and uses for fit moms and dads.
  • May 18, 2015: BOB Stroller Safety and Fitness BLOG HOP – Blog posts about ways their strollers help them stay fit which will include links to BOB Fitness Center and the Microsite
  • May 26, 2015: Twitter Chat with BOB and Fitness Experts and FitMoms – Highlighting resources of the Fitness Center and MomsLittleRunningBuddy.com (One Stroller and One Accessory Giveaway) More details coming soon!
  • May 31, 2015: STROLLER RUNNING DAY and Club MomMe “Stroll n Run 5K” in Los Angeles, CA
  • June 5, 2015: Event Recap and Winners Revealed

PRIZES & PARTNERSHP

The National Stroller Running Day campaign will include the opportunity to win BOB strollers, accessories and #StrollerRun15 gear.

Twitter Chat

There will also be an opportunity to win a BOB Stroller or an accessory during the twitter chat temporarily scheduled for May 25, 2015.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Who will participate in National Stroller Running Day 2015? #StrollerRun15

Why the Go! St. Louis Course Changed

Yesterday I blogged about my experiences in the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.  Almost immediately, I received feedback from race sponsors about my posting, including comments about the new course, which took racers through East St. Louis.  I wanted to clarify a few thoughts, lest I leave people with the wrong impression of my experience!
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Born and raised in St. Louis – nothing but love for this city!
As a West County girl, I haven’t spent a lot of time in East St. Louis, which is an area of the city that struggles with crime and is sorely in need of economic development.  When the race course included sections of East St. Louis with boarded up shops and chained up businesses, I wondered why race organizers had decided to highlight that part of St. Louis.  Well, race organizers reached out to me to explain why they did so.
Jeff, Director of Business Development for Go! St. Louis, wrote:

“GO! St. Louis is a VERY customer centric organization. We’re all about the runner, sponsor and spectator experience. We’re very dialed into feedback. Candidly, almost to a fault.

When we surveyed the St. Louis running populace over the course of the last couple of years, the most common reasons for NOT signing up for the Half Marathon and Marathon were that the course was ‘stale’ and/or ‘too hilly’. So, we undertook a 10 month effort to organize and align all the political entities to make a new course possible. That process involved a lot of work, a lot of meetings with various factions of the City, the City of East Saint Louis, The East Saint Louis Police Department, The State of Illinois, MODOT, IDOT, the St. Louis Police, St. Louis streets, special events, Lumiere Place, etc.

Given the explosion of running events across the country, most events are experiencing a downward trend in race registration. The new course, in large part, provided GO! with expanded race registration, particularly in the Half Marathon.

East St. Louis has been fantastic to deal with. They were excited about the race coming to town as a chance to showcase their community. They organized their city, their community organizations and fully staffed the first Water Station in East St. Louis. By all feedback, they did a tremendous job!

From a race operations perspective, there are only two bridges we can use, the MLK & Eads. Clearly, volume prohibits use of the Poplar Street Bridge and the Stan Span is federally owned. It takes, literally, an act of Congress to use that bridge.

I can share that I personally spoke to hundreds of half marathon and marathon finishers after the race. The course changes are being very favorably reviewed as evidenced by the comments on our Facebook Page. A litany of people mentioned how beautiful downtown St. Louis looked as they returned via the MLK bridge and how neat it was seeing the Eastbound runners on the Eads Bridge.”

eads bridge

photo from Go! St. Louis Facebook page

After reflecting on this some more, I’m so glad they changed the course.  Here’s why:
First, the Go! St. Louis half celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, and feedback from past races indicated that runners thought the old course was getting a little boring — and way too hilly. The new course took runners across the bridge into East St. Louis (which is technically in Illinois), then looped back around and returned to Missouri for the rest of the course.  The return trip into the city offered amazing views of the St. Louis skyline — a fact which might have been obscured in my memory because that was also a point in the race when it started to rain on us!  But I remember the views, and they really were great.
The second, and more important, reason that organizers chose to take runners into East St. Louis was to make sure that community could be involved in the race, which made the overall experience much more diverse for everyone — always a good thing!  While the buildings and landscape were a little run-down, the people in that community were AWESOME.  There were groups of people from East St. Louis churches (dressed in their Sunday best!) who cheered us along the course as soon as we crossed the bridge into their community.  And the water station in East St. Louis was staffed entirely by volunteers from that community, including high school kids.  I love that East St. Louisans came out to support runners–many of whom (like me!) are from a very different part of the city.
 
I may have been a little too glib in my post yesterday.  I certainly didn’t mean to speak poorly of ESTL.  If anything, the race showed me that the spirit in that community is strong, and that those of us from other parts of the city should be proud of the diversity our city offers and encouraged to get involved to help out when and where we can.

I ran a half marathon that I didn’t train for

So you know how last week I announced my awesome Chipotle sponsorship for an upcoming half marathon?  Well, I may have failed to mention that the race was this past weekend.  Hence the title of this post: I ran a half marathon that I didn’t train for.  But you know what?  I survived, and not only that…  I KILLED IT!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We killed it.  One of my best friends Barbie and I, that is.  The race started at 7:00 am, and we were downtown St. Louis by 6:15.  Talk about an early morning.  We made sure to do our pre-race stretching jumping.  We were excited to be running the same race we ran almost ten years ago.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The Go! St. Louis changed its course to make it less hilly, which was very much appreciated by the runners.  This year, we ran through East St. Louis for part of the race… not very pretty.  It kind of left us scratching our heads (and running faster) as to why they would have taken us through a really crummy part of town.  Regardless, we powered through.

My goal was just to cross the finish line alive.  Since my longest run was six miles, and I had run a total of six times prior to the race, I knew I couldn’t set my expectations too high.  However, I really wanted to complete the race without walking.  A lofty expectation, I know.

The race began and I felt good.  We had great conversation, and before I knew it, we passed mile marker one.  Then, two.  Then, three, four, five, and six.  I was trying not to psych myself out since six was the longest that I had run prior to this race, but aside from my knees feeling sore, I was feeling awesome! I couldn’t believe it, and was excited to continue.  This feeling stayed with me… until we crossed the finish line!

gostl garmin race

Official time: 2:12:39!  That’s about an average of ten-minute miles!  To say I’m proud of myself is an understatement.  It’s amazing what the body can do when you put your mind to it!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Go! St. Louis Finisher

The weather was perfect.  The race began at 50 degrees and finished at 60.  It was overcast, so we didn’t have to worry about the bright sun.  There was a slight drizzle just for a few minutes mid-race, but all in all, I’d say it was perfect racing conditions!

Linking up with Katie and Erin!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I wouldn’t have even raced if it weren’t for this girl.  I thought, “No way!” could I run a half marathon with as little as I’ve run recently.  Barbie believed in me, pushed me to sign up, and stayed with my every step of the way!

Post-race, I headed to Chipotle’s VIP tent.  There was a delicious spread of food, Chipotle swag, chiropractors to stretch you, and this lady:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Katie is a fellow FitFluential Ambassador, and we had a great time catching up.

All in all, it was a fabulous race.  Huge shout out to Chipotle!  They were the best sponsor to one of my favorite races.  I’ve got the gold to prove it!

gostl medal

Not that I would suggest running a half marathon without properly training, but I am super impressed with my body.  I feel like running has finally clicked for me again, and I’ve been bit by the racing bug!  Now to decide which race is next…

Did you race this weekend?  Do you have any upcoming races?

A Big Racing Announcement

Timing is everything.  Figuratively and literally.  In running and in life.  The time must be right.  Well, let me tell you something.  The time is right.  The time is right now!

The time has come.  It’s time for me to run a race.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

A half marathon, to be exact.  Go big or go home, right?

Back in February, my best friend Barbie called me up shortly after I announced my fitness goal for 2015.  She said, “Let’s sign up for the Go! St. Louis half marathon!”  Say what?!?  I hadn’t even run once in three years at this point.  She’s always full of crazy ideas.  In 2006 when we were both away at our perspective colleges and I was feeling homesick, she suggested we both sign up for the Go! half marathon.  Barbie has always been a runner competing in cross country and track throughout high school.  Me?  Not so much.  Running was what I did during sports, not as a sport.  But, since I trusted my best friend and figured I had nothing to lose, I said, “Why not?” and signed up.

I knew nothing about running back then.  The longest I trained was six miles, and that was long for me.  I remember calling Barbie after almost every run and telling her how many miles I completed. She was proud regardless if it was one or five.  She stayed with me that whole race (including the many walking breaks I requested/needed), and even convinced me to sign up again the following year.  We made it a tradition to run that race every year, and it’s happened more times than not.

Fast forward to this year.  First time running in over three years.  I’ve been (mostly) loving it, and have run a total of six times.  And, you bet, they’re all documented!

training

Well, just the other week a company I love reached out for a partnership for the Go! St. Louis Fitness Weekend.  When I explained that I was already registered for the half marathon, they offered a sponsorship.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is sponsoring my comeback half marathon!  To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I was ecstatic before, and now I can hardly contain myself!  Why Chipotle?  Well, Chipotle has an appreciation for living an active lifestyle, just as they have an appreciation for fueling up with food made from great ingredients.  So, it makes sense, and it’s perfect timing!

chipotle

Follow Chipotle on Twitter & Instagram!

Everyone loves Chipotle.  I have never met anyone who doesn’t like it.  In fact, my little brother Justin is so obsessed with Chipotle and eats it so often that he e-mailed them requesting they create a breakfast menu featuring eggs, so he can not only eat Chipotle for lunch and dinner, but breakfast, too.  The love is real.

Back to running.

What’s my goal for this half marathon?  Since my training has been so sporadic (running once a week while training for a distance race is less than ideal), my goal is simply to cross the finish line.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to get close to the two-hour mark, but when I achieved that in the past, I had put in long hours of hard work and many, many miles.  My very first half marathon was two hours forty-something minutes, so I’d definitely like to beat that… by a lot.

Truly, my goal is to cross the finish line.  I’m sure I’ll have to take walking breaks, but that would be amazing if I didn’t or if they were minimal.  Mostly, I’d like to enjoy racing again; it’s something I’ve missed and craved for so long.

In just a few days, it’ll be time to wake up before the sun, tie my shoes, drive downtown, find my spot among thousands of other runners, feed off their energy, dig in deep, and go!  All with this girl by my side…

You better believe we’ll be stuffing our faces refueling with Chipotle right after.

It’s a crazy idea, but I’m up for the challenge, and excited to race!

What races are you signed up for this spring?

Longest Run Yet

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  Whether you were celebrating Passover, Easter, both, or neither, I hope you were surrounded with sunshine, family, and love.  We certainly were.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Silly sleepy smirk from the little one.

My parents hosted a wonderful Passover seder. The table was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the house was filled with love and laughter – just as it should be!

William especially loved my grandma Mama’s homemade gefilte fish.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We are definitely spoiled by my mom and grandma’s cooking.  It literally doesn’t compare to anyone else’s.  We’ve happily enjoyed leftovers for two days straight now.

Here are a couple snapshots from the evening:

passover

And you know we had to take a picture of Audrey holding her baby William…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

…no matter how big he’s getting!

Linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday and Erin for Weekend Snapshots.

So now that we have the holiday highlights of the weekend covered, let’s talk running.  This weekend I ran twice.  Yes, twice!  Two consecutive days!

On Saturday, I went out for a quick jog. And I actually do mean quick!

three miles

3 under 30, baby! That’s a milestone for me!  It was close, but the last mile was primarily downhill, and after the first mile and a half being mostly uphill, I embraced it!

Then on Sunday I really didn’t want to go for a run.  I know, I know.  I’ve talked so much about how glad I am to be running again, but I just didn’t feel like it.  I went back and forth in my mind, and ultimately decided that I would feel better once I got going and would definitely be happy when I finished.  For extra motivation, I drove myself to a nearby park and off I went!

My goal was to run five miles since the longest I’ve run recently is four.  There are a couple of parts where you can decide to take the shorter or the longer route.  I was feeling so good that I chose the longer route… twice!  I actually felt like I got my groove back with running.  It was so nice out and I was feeding off the energy of all the other people out.  Not only did I run five miles…. I ran six!

six miles

And I was happy with my time!  Just over ten-minute miles!  I think, I think, I’m finally getting my running legs back!  I’m definitely making progress and I’m feeling better most runs.  My confidence is improving as is my mileage and my speed.

THAT is a wonderful thing!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

What did you do this weekend?

starting over

So over the weekend I was stoked to run.  It was a little chilly, but nothing too unbearable.  Since I only have time to run once a week, I know I have to take advantage of the time.  I got my running essentials ready:

running essentialsMizuno shoes // Swiftwick socks // Garmin watch // Yurbuds /// Supercandy // Cocogo

Mizuno shoes are comfortable and supportive.  Swiftwick socks are perfect; they stay put and they don’t stink after.  My Garmin watch is old (and ugly, in my opinion lol); I’m definitely in the market for a new one!  Yurbuds don’t move and actually fit in my ears.  Supercandy is my new favorite running fuel.  And Cocogo to re-hydrate with after.

I was pumped.  I was ready to go.  I ate my old pre-run breakfast of oatmeal with bananas, cinnamon, honey, raisins, and peanut butter.  I took my A-Game.  I was out the door and hitting the pavement.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

In the last month, I had run one mile, two miles, and three miles.  It was time for four.  I knew exactly where I would go.  I kept waiting for that point during my run for it to get easier.  You know what I mean, right? The first X amount is really hard, but then finally something clicks and you find your stride.  Yeah.  That.  Wait, what?  That never happened for me.  All four miles were tough.  I wanted to give up.  But I also wanted to make four miles without stopping.  I kept moving even though my heart was beating and my lungs were burning.  It was a rough, slow, four miles.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

But I made it.  I wasn’t impressed or happy with my time, but I was glad to have made it without stopping.  Starting over with running sure is humbling.  Or something.  I keep waiting for that muscle memory to kick in.  For my legs to remember what they’re doing.  It’s not happening yet, but I’m not giving up.

I know running once a week isn’t ideal for building endurance or speed, but right now, it’s all I can do.  I’m hoping during the summer I’ll be able to increase my frequency, mileage, and time.  If I could get my hands on a running stroller, that would be fantastic.  Though I know running with a baby is a whole ballgame.  But still. I’d be running.

The lesson I learned during these rough four miles?

starting over quote

Starting over can be refreshing.  Starting over can be challenging.  The important part is to keep on going!

I’m not giving up.  Running, we’ve had a nice long break, but I’m after you now! I’ll remember what you’re all about one of these days!  Hopefully soon rather than later…

Have you ever had to start over after a prolonged break? What are your running essentials?

Working Out in Scottsdale

I love working out and I love being on vacation, so it only makes sense that I love working out while on vacation.  To me, vacation is all about checking out new cities and being away from “normal” life.  When I was in Arizona, I was able to get in a few workouts.  Working out in Scottsdale made my spring break trip all the more fun!

Justin took me to his CrossFit box: Camelback CrossFit.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

One word?  AWESOME!  The box was super clean which I didn’t even think was possible for a box.  It’s fairly new, so all of their equipment is in excellent condition.  Justin and I attended a midday class which meant it wasn’t very crowded.  The owners / coaches were clearly incredibly knowledgeable and safety was their top concern.  Since I’m not a CrossFit regular, they helped me make modifications and provided assistance when necessary.  Even being a newbie, I instantly got the community feel from this box.  People were supportive no matter what their fitness level was.  During the workout, the handstand push-ups were obviously my favorite.  And the wall balls sucked.  End of story.

PS: If you’re in Scottsdale, you should definitely check out Camelback CrossFit.  New members can take a class for free!

Dana took me to her gym for a hot yoga class.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I always think it’s fun to take classes from various instructors, and this one was great. It was a tough workout that included lots of chaturangas and upper body work.  I told Dana to strike a pose for a photo, and she rocked a strong headstand:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

One day while William was napping, I decided to go for a quick jog.  And by quick I mean short. 😉  I busted out one mile. At the beginning, I glanced down at my watch to check my pace.  I made it my goal to beat nine-minutes since I was just running one.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Missed it by three seconds! Argh!  It still felt good to run though!

So those were all my formal workouts, but I did take William on a few walks and Justin and I went to the park one day to play.  And by play, I mean me and Justin.

I tried out crow…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

But Justin did it way better!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

So strong!

Handstands and cartwheels are more my style…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Weeeeeeeeeee!

Do you like working out on vacation? What do you like doing?

three miles

Last weekend I ran two measly miles (though not so measly since they were my first miles I’ve run in three + years!).  This weekend I ran three miles.  3.24 to be exact.  Every little bit counts.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

My time was slightly faster than last weekend.  Not by much, but the goal, once again, was just to finish.  And finish I did!  Thanks to my sister Stephanie for pushing me through.  Several times during our run she asked, “How are you doing?  You ok?”  NO!  I huffed and puffed back.  Then I told her I was stopping at three miles exactly, so I could walk.  She told me I wasn’t since her house was just a tiny bit further.  She’s always been so bossy.

When we did arrive back to her house, we were greeted by her two kiddos and husband who were playing outside.  As if I wasn’t tired enough, we decided to take jumping pictures.  I love jumping pictures (you know that).  I never say no to jumping pictures.  It must have been the warm air, the bright sun, and the good mood everybody was in as we were totally feeling spring time.  We started jumping…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

And we didn’t stop jumping!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Three is just the right age to start teaching wee ones how to take great jumping pictures.  We jumped, jumped, and jumped.  And when my mini-me was too tired to jump anymore, she hopped right up…

jump aud

And we jumped together!  That was actually really, really hard!

Since we weren’t quite tired enough from all the jumping pictures and running, we decided to give handstands a shot.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Make sure you note Jacob in the background!

Earlier in the day, William and I got cleaned up to attend a lovely birthday party.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I got lots of compliments and questions about the necklace I was wearing.  Yes, it’s a “mom’s necklace” or “nursing necklace.”  It’s from momsnecklace.com where she makes crochet jewelry for moms and babies.  William loves holding it and chewing on the beads.  She has tons of other gorgeous items on the site, as well!

William is just such a stud, I can’t help but take a million pictures a day of him!

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

I just love everything about him!

The weather this weekend was so awesome.  It was perfect, and we spent as much time outdoors as possible.  Sunday included a play date at the park.  Little man looked stylish in his sunglasses (for about two seconds)!  He really did like the swing though!

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

And that’s a wrap, folks!  My weekend in snapshots (well, most of them anyway – I post way more pictures on Instagram, so make sure you’re following me – @itzlinz).

What did you do this weekend? Did you spend any time outside?

Linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday and Erin for Weekend Snapshots!

two measly miles

The sun finally came out this weekend and temperatures were in the sixties!  It was glorious and now it actually feels like spring is around the corner.  On the downside, little baby ran a fever most of the weekend.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We did go on walks both Saturday and Sunday because I figured the sunshine, warm air, cool breeze, and blue skies could only make him feel better.  It has been so long since we’ve been able to take walks!  I’m excited for warmer weather on a daily basis!  I’m also excited for William to feel better because, like any momma, I hate seeing him sick.  He’s been a trooper despite his low-grade fever and few bouts of vomiting.

Friday night was trivia night for the school where I teach, and my co-workers and I always have a blast.  (We didn’t come anywhere close to winning, but it was still fun!  And did you know that it takes about 350 squirts when milking a cow to fill a gallon?)

Afterwards, we went on stage to take jumping pictures because, anyone who knows me, knows that I love jumping pictures!  It was a hilarious site and jumping pictures turned into all sorts of silly behavior including me busting out dancer’s pose:

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Because why not?

Turns out I was really just stretching in preparation for my Sunday plans.  The sun was shining and I was finally, finally going to tackle my one and only fitness goal for 2015: running.  I was nervous and excited all at once.  After all, it’s been over three years since I last ran.  That’s a long time.

I laced up my sneakers.  Turned on my Garmin.  Left the music at home since I wanted to focus on the run.  My plan?  Run two miles.  Two measly miles.  But I wanted to do it without stopping.  And if I’m being honest, I wanted to hold a ten-minute pace.  When I used to run, a ten-minute pace was slow for me.  Not to say I was super crazy fast or anything.  At my best, I ran half marathons and averaged eight-minute miles.  Shorter distances I could go a little faster.  I digress.

Yesterday was a new day.  A new beginning.  I tried not to let my expectations overtake my mind.  My end goal was just to finish, hopefully without walking.

The first quarter-mile of my run is a steep uphill.  It was tough and my lungs were burning.  I’d run this route a million times.  I needed to make it to the stop sign at the top of my street.  That was a mile away.  After the turnaround, it’s always much easier since I can coast downhill.  I tried not to look at my Garmin too often.  The first time I did and saw 11-something was slightly discouraging, but I reminded myself this was just the beginning.  My legs would find their stride.  My muscles would find their memory.

Fast forward two miles later:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I FINISHED!  I was huffing and puffing more than I care to admit, but I DID IT.  I ran those two measly miles without walking.  Not at my eight minute, or even ten minute pace, but I finished.  I went out there, started, and got it done.  New beginnings are always the scariest and the hardest, for running and for life.  But you know what?  In the end, it was ok.  Everything’s going to be ok.

I can’t wait to continue this journey in the new chapter of my life.

Maybe running is more like life than we once thought.  (Kind of like trees.)  Lesson learned?  Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.

Have you ever taken an extended break from something?  What was it?  How was it getting back into it?

// linking up with katie & erin //