Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Running Story

The weather in Texas is about as predictable as Britney Spears. We're singing happy pop songs one day and shaving our head bald the next. We had freezing temps, snow on the ground and freakish winds yesterday, and this morning, when I took the pooch for a walk, I couldn't believe I didn't have gloves to cover my popsicle fingers.

So this afternoon, I'm layering up getting ready for my run, throwing on Under Armor and hunting around for my favorite running mittens, when I step outside to see if it's still cold enough for my wool socks, and lo and behold, the sun is shining, and not only is it shining, it's warm and breezy and feels like an Oregon summer day!

Off go the running pants, and on come the shorts! Only in Texas can I catch a tan in the middle of winter. 

I haven't really run since the photo above - my last Half-Marathon in November. It was the Fort Hood Run to Remember, honoring the victims of the Fort Hood Shootings. I think I was just ready for something different after this race - so I took to the gym with my husband and started Crossfit. 

It'd been a solid 3 months since I'd run like I used to. 
Today was the day to dust off the old running shoes.

Lacing up my Mizuno's today, strapping on my iPod, heading out the door, with no real route in mind - was a beautiful, carefree feeling. As much as I love Crossfit and weight lifting and seeing changes in my physique ...

I really, really love running. And damn, I missed it.

Running saved me. It changed me. It had become my moving meditation, and I didn't realize until today how much I needed and have been missing that "me" time. There is no mental clarity like the clarity that comes after a good run.

I have a deeper connection to running than your average joe. Maybe only other runners feel this way, but running becomes who we are. I sound all deep and philosophical here, I know, but running is a spiritual thing for me. I feel the most present, alive and connected while I am running. It has always been there for me - it's my rock. Through breakups, and huge life changes, through quitting smoking, to being laid off, through thick and thin, through snow, sunshine and across state lines, no matter what, running was like there like an old friend. And it felt incredible to catch up today.

I was a little nervous I'd be rusty. But just like riding a bike, we can jump back (onbvvvvvvvvvvfg < that was Elliot walking on my keyboard) on and we always remember how to ride. 

It was an hour of beautiful blue skies, warm sunny rays, cool breezes, and a lot of un-explored Texas terrain. 

James and I re-set out heart rate monitors last night. We calculated our max heart rate (mine is 197 beats per minute) and resting heart rate (mine is 60 beats per minute) and the range we want to be in during various workouts. Surprisingly, this run, I had no problem maintaining almost 90% of my max, for almost an hour! Lance Armstrong, watch your bike-riding bum. I'm going to say I maintained about 9 minute miles, too, for the 6-ish mile run.

So I haven't lost my groove ... totally. :)

Following up that sweet little jogging session, I whipped up some chicken, veggies, sweet potato fries and a dessert to die for.

A little Yaki marinade with some Worcestershire (I really had to look that up for spelling) sauce, makes boneless, skinless chicken breasts baked in the oven decently tasty.

But dessert was where it was at. :) Strawberry/blueberry shortcake. That's greek yogurt on top ;)

A blast from the past:

Brandon and I on my last day in Oregon.
Miss you, little bro.

Hope you're having an awesome weekend! Cheers,

I'm grateful for:
my health
our puppy
my husband that always does the dishes and cleans up the kitchen (!!!)
warm, Texas sunshine in the middle of winter
a hot shower (after being without power, I realized how much I take this small treat for granted)

James says he is grateful for:
the dog
my cooking
my bakin' (even though it means he just has to workout harder)
manchester united
having a roof over our head
our youth
that we don't have to go without


1 comment:

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