Contrasts

“One reason you may not be feeling like you are a person of purpose is if you are not functioning as a person of purpose. Live on purpose.”-Dr. Tony Evans

(The above quote only relates indirectly to this particular blog post. I really liked it though, so I thought I’d share.)

Tracked with my Garmin 110 GPS Running Watch:

As of 1/21/2012 I’m 8% of the way to my goal of running 1,000 miles this year.
Over the last 7 days I’ve run 26.31 miles and burnt 3,133 calories running.

YakTrax Snow/Ice “Cleats”. Tried them for the first time this week and they are a worthy purchase if you plan on running or walking outdoors in the winter. They have them for $19.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods and my husband and I are able to share a pair because you just add them to the bottom of your existing tennis shoe. We bought a size Medium.

In Cleveland they say just wait 5 minutes and the weather will be different. I am finding this to be crazily true. Since moving here in 2010, I have started to grow accustom to the fact that there is no normal weather wise. The #runstreak has made this far more clear and plain than ever before. I remember one day in the fall while training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, I made my run plan for the week based on my Weather Channel for iPhone app. This proved to be disastrous. I scheduled a 15 mile run for the day we had a 10% chance of rain and scheduled my cross training on the day my app said an 80% chance of rain. This was prior to the #runstreak (now I run everyday in rain or shine, in sickness or in health) and I was ticked when the rain started pouring about a mile into my 15 mile run and the sun was shining brightly the day I was at the gym cross training. This happened numerous times during my running in 2011. I’ve decided to not make too many plans in 2012 and just go for it. I’ve already run in the worst possible conditions anyway. During a spring run in 2011 I ran in lightening, thunder, hail, and rain. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend putting your life at risk like that, but sometimes you have to get the miles in. I wasn’t the only runner out that day though, so I had other psycho’s to stare at through the hail. Coincidentally, I ran a PR on that 8 mile run. I’m sure it was the fact I felt like I was being chased by lightening bolts that put the spring in my step.

So, in keeping with the spirit of Cleveland winter, over the last 10 days we’ve had glimpses into every season but summer. I’ve run in spring conditions complete with the sun and birds chirping. I’ve run in cloudy, dreary fall like temperatures and conditions. And, finally, I’ve run in brutal winter. I started this last week full of energy and very jazzed about my health and my #runstreak and have hit every high and low in between. First, my running times and mileage were impeded by last weekends snow/ice storm (pre Yaktrax) on Sunday and Monday. Also, whether I run indoors or outdoors is also determined on my children. If they are in school or out of school and if my husband is working from his office at home and can keep an eye on them, or if he is in the community or at business meetings away from his home office. My kids are way too big for jogging strollers and not quite big enough to ride bikes alongside my longer runs yet, so sometimes I go to the YMCA and use the treadmill solely for their free child watch feature. Both of my boys have told me they are running marathons at some point though. I have glorious visions of our family of 4 crossing a finish line holding hands someday at a huge race, like the ING New York City Marathon. A mom can dream can’t she? 🙂

Back to this weeks running story……..I ran 6 miles on the Treadmill at the YMCA on Tuesday and felt pretty good, despite the fact I ran indoors, only to start feeling sick Tuesday afternoon and evening, a feeling that hung on until Thursday evening. I had some sort of stomach virus coupled with a sinus infection and it really sucked the life out of me. It was one of those illnesses though where you have to keep going. I still had appointments to keep, people to host at my house, Foundations classes, music practice, and office work that wouldn’t wait for my illness to pass. I thought if none of this stuff lets me be sick, then I had to keep the #runstreak alive too. I decided to run on the Treadmill Wednesday because I didn’t have the mental fortitude to tough out the rough headwinds while keeping myself from heaving. Two treadmill miles Wednesday felt worse than 6 miles Tuesday. Thursday I was slowly feeling somewhat better, so I went out for another 6 miles and averaged a 9:33 mile overall, which is still slow. Yesterday, Friday, the temperatures were registering -5 degrees, and having come off of an illness, I decided to do the treadmill again and logged only 3 miles. I did 9:22 miles though, so I’m almost back up to my current fitness levels. I am not one that can mentally pull off a long treadmill run very often, especially when I wasn’t completely up to par. Three to Six miles is long enough to stare at a wall while listening to leadership and preaching podcasts. (As a side note, sometimes I listen to music, but I like to run outside with nothing and build up my leadership skills and spirit when running on a treadmill by listening to podcasts.)

Today was warmer, around 20 degrees, but was a winter wonderland. I snapped on the YakTrax and went for a difficult 3.25 miles. ( I found out later that I had inadvertently run the #twitterroadrace In addition to pushing for people to #runstreak and run at least a marathon a week #marathonweek, fitness bloggers everywhere are uniting for 5K’s calling them #twitterroadrace and you just post your time on twitter and see how you did compared to everyone else. I think you have to run with a GPS and be able to upload and prove your time. Twitter is a great way to connect with other runners and athletes and keep motivating and inspiring yourself. You can also do the hash tags #runchat and #seenonmyrun for further help and entertainment)  Nothing in my  neighborhood had been plowed since it is Saturday, so I had to pick my legs up high and try to run in the street in tire tracks. Unfortunately there weren’t lots of tire tracks since no one had been out and about. It was a fun, invigorating run though. Running in deep snow is more difficult than you think. Like I’ve stated in other blogs, it feels like you are running through sand and the headwinds were strong today. A friendly neighbor expressed his concern to me. He apparently didn’t think a little lady needed to be out running post snow Apocalypse. I thanked him for his kindness and just kept running. This week was about contrasts in my attitude, running speed, running conditions, and mileage. My mileage is down overall this week because of the mixture of weather and illness, but my streak is 69 days in with no end in sight.

I went over the hurdle I was most concerned about this week, the hurdle of what happens to my streak when I’m sick. Thankfully, I almost never get sick, so hopefully I won’t have to jump this hurdle often. However, I know that if I am sick I can always head out the door or to the treadmill and at least complete one to two lousy measly miles. I will pull from the mental fortitude and strength I’m gaining from this streak for my marathon this year. When I’m doing a 1:59 half marathon (which will be a PR) and crossing the finish line of my full marathon, I’ll be grateful for every day I slogged through.

2012 will hold my 5 th half marathon and first full marathon since my marathon plans were stolen from me by injury last year. I also plan to log over 1,000 miles over the course of this year. I started the year with 800 miles as my goal, but was already 10% of the way there not even a full month into the year, so I set a new more challenging, yet attainable goal. My Garmin tracks it all for me and I’ll report to you. For now, bundle up and go for a run. The snow never hurt anybody that was dressed appropriately (no shorts and tank tops for January runs).

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