Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weeks 6 & 7: A Very Unrefined Balancing Act

It's safe to say that these last two weeks have been a bit of a balancing act for me. For a person that craves structure, routine, is never easy to deal with the roller coaster of decision, pressure, emotion that sometimes enters ones life. But no matter how brittle I may appear, I am determined to stay strong & focus on my big picture goals. And although I may not be the most graceful person I know (quite possibly the least graceful), I do believe I have the ability to control my own destiny. And what better grounds that belief than running. Running shows me that I can push through, that I can go on, that I do have a something inside of me that is willing to take on any battle. And probably most of all, that no matter how hard I think I need to become to survive, it is much more about letting go, opening up, staying true to oneself that matters most of all.

Week 6

Monday: Did an easy 4 mile loop around Woodinville, Monday's are becoming a challenge for me as I just don't feel the motivation that I once did.

Wednesday: 6x1000's w/ ESR, it is amazing how the first 1000 felt like a breeze yet the last repeat felt like I was sprinting to save my life. Either way, it doesn't matter as I held the same exact time (1:42 a lap) for all 6, never losing control. Much thanks to my new gf A.

Thursday: Did an easy, emotional yet joyful, 6 miles with J.

Saturday: Ran Medina. Which reminded me so much of my old days in the beach front town of, clean, beautiful. Got to the meet up early to do a 6.4 mile loop on my own & met up w/ ESR for another 6.4 mile loop. Felt kind of badass. 13 miles complete.

Distance: 29 miles, uck, need more
State of Mind: The beauty of Seattle is so amazing to discover...

Week 7

Monday: Spending a long weekend in my family's lakeside cabin near Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, the hubs, my uncle D & I took on the 8 miles of gradual yet painful hills surrounding the lake. The pace was hard but it didn't even matter as we were surrounded by the majestic of such a quiet, beautiful area.

Wednesday: Same workout as last week, except should have been easier. 5x1000's w/ ESR. Problem was my lack of miles showed. Held strong times until the 5th where I once again blew up. Not exactly what I was expecting.

Saturday: Recovering from being sick, I tried to pretend that I felt okay & joined ESR in Kirkland for a 10 miler. Except about 4 miles in I realized that my 8:30 pace should feel like the 5:30 pace it did & cut it short. Which, for once, was a very smart move on my part.

Sunday: Joined J & the hubs for an easy 8 miler around Seattle. Felt much better but craved hard miles.

Distance: 28 miles, more of the same
State of Mind: Wanting more (hmm, isn't that quite the common theme)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 5: Discovering Seattle

Well, this week I knew I wanted to put some miles in...and that I did. Although not all the miles came as easily as I wanted them too, I have to say that if there is one common thread this week it is how running helps me find lightness when I am left in the dark. Something I am eternally grateful for.

Monday: Monday was hard. Not sure if it was just from being tired from work, from walking the 3 miles to/from the bus or from stair climbing at work. My body just fought a workout. So I tried to fake it by joining the hubs for INSANITY again, which failed after about 15 minutes. I ended up doing a mile with my niece (well, his niece) at the local track & enjoyed kidding around instead of sweating it out.

Tuesday: Determined to run hard, I tried a new route that is going to become a regular for me. See the thing is, where we are staying right now, no matter how far N-E-S-W I go, I can't get away from the fact that we live on top of a very big hill. Very big. But I did find a way that turns my usual Red Hook Brewery run into a loop, making it a 7.3 mile run, and ending with what seems to be the least scary hill so far.

Wednesday: From an amateur running front, I couldn't ask for me. Here I am running alongside some amazingly fast athletes, I mean the type of women that are running 17:30 5K's. Tonight was a typical track workout for me, totally in control the whole time BUT not able to push it hard in the end like the more gifted people around me. Still, proud of what I was able to do, doing 8x400's @ 1:32 pace with a mile warmup/cooldown to start & finish off the workout. For the record, when I say alongside, I mean within 400 meters.

Saturday: Met up with an early morning group of ESR's to do my longest run in Seattle so far. The group I met up with are known as the "long runners" of the club, meeting earlier than everyoe else, but there pace didn't quite vibe with me as much as I would have liked. Nonetheless, having a handful of runners to lead you around the many, many bridges & waterfront neighborhoods of Seattle was priceless. We ended up doing about 14.4 miles.

Sunday: Inspired by the route yesterday, J & I ran around Lake Union. More industrial & city running than lakeside viewing, but definitely very cool. Finishing up the week with 6 hot hot hot miles.

Distance: About 33 miles this week
State of Mind: Beating up my body never felt so good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 4: Feeling Oh-So-Easy

A few weeks back, I started an 11 week training program getting me to the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon on September 26th. This week, technically week 4 of my training, provided some great insights. Here is how the week went:

Monday: Joined the hubs for his new workout routine called INSANITY, which it pretty much was. It was fun to do something together, but it became obvious later in the week that our goals are so very different (his is to have a six pack for our holiday vacay to Sayulita). So although I enjoyed our time together, I realized that my body needs miles, straight up miles. Not cross training.

Tuesday: Mentally & physically tough 6 miles out & back to Red Hook. My legs were especially tired after contuining my daily 21 flight stair climb, which I may need to rethink.

Wednesday: Took on another grueling track workout, but wasn't able to complete it. Our intended workout was a 3 mile tempo followed by a slightly faster mile. After keeping the pace for the first 2 miles of the tempo, I mentally fell apart. Stopped believing in myself. Gave up. So I dropped off the pack & ended up running the final mile with one of my new gf's A. It is so strange how much confidence plays a role in running.

Friday: Met up with J after a long week at work to put in an easy 8 miles. It was so fun to explore the city with her, to chat & enjoy each others company. I would rather run with her any day than do the typical social gatherings that have come to define us.

Sunday: Raced in the Redmond Town Center 5k. This is a fast race. Quite small, very flat & full of amazing talent (the leader finished in 15:12). Even though I was majorly intimidated...I really loved the race. The faster runners pushed me & the course was mix between a suburban maze & a rich utopia. And although I wasn't super fast, I was proud of my control & 22:09 finish time. I know the time is nothing special, but for some reason I don't care all that much. Maybe I have lost some of my competitive spirit...

Distance: 23 miles
State of Mind: Time to up the miles, although I have to say this was a perfectly enjoyable week of running. My body feels great, but my mind is begging to release the anxiety of my life on the road. Something I need more than physical happiness.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What a fun-filled weekend! There is part of me that is so very much enjoying the various activities, friends, environments that I am throwing myself into, but another big part that miss the regular, the routine, the Brooklyn. I guess it comes with the territory of taking the risks I have taken, but it is one hard pill to swallow sometimes.

But this weekend I had the pleasure of running doing two fantastic runs. The first was Saturday evening when my cousin, the sixth child & I ran the Seafair Torchlight 8k. Both of them are fairly new to running, as my cousin is just on his second year in x-c & my little brother only runs when I beg him to join me. But I somehow convinced both of them to head into Seattle on a beautiful Saturday evening to enjoy in the fun of such a well known Seattle celebration.

The beautiful thing about this particular race is the spirit surrounding it. It is the precursor to a huge parade (the route we run along), it is filled with hundreds of people dressed in pirate outfits & it is on a spectacular course. And although I struggled a bit with my pace in the middle, I finished strong (early to mid 7 minute pace) & am please to say both my teenage "dates" had a wonderful time.

Today, I met up with RLS, the person who most say molded me into the unique person I am today. Since she is too training for the B'ham half, we did a 4-5 miler with her brothers wife around her former neighborhood. I will never get over the feeling I have being with RLS, it is as close to "home" as I have ever found.

Later on in the day, the sixth & I played a healthy set of tennis...something we both are growing to enjoy more & more.

State of Mind: Desperately needing more miles, but seriously fulfilled with my amazing adventures.