Saturday, September 8, 2012

Runner's High

As if it couldn't be deciphered from the first post and title of this blog, I have a bit of a love affair with running. It wasn't always that way. It definitely used to be a love/hate, with a lot more of the hate thrown in there.

As I mentioned, I used to be very overweight. We are talking about 240 pounds (I seriously have no exact idea I didn't actually weight myself until I had already begun losing) or so kind of heavy. Not oh I'm a little overweight I need to get in shape. I was athletic growing up but in college and post college really gained. It was in 2006 that I decided enough was enough and started my weight loss journey. I will go into that later but I have come a long way. I got myself to a decent place then put some on through a bit too much partying and late night eating again, and at the end of summer 2010 I knew that I had to make a change that would be permanent. This was my life I was dealing with. Enter in running consistently.

At first I used it because a) it burns a crap load of calories in an extremely efficient manner b) I could take my work out outside and c) I have always envied that "runner's" body. Sleek and toned and in my opinion, just gorgeous.

So I started running, and running a lot. Fast forward to the end of 2010 and I am consistently dropping weight and alternating days of running 3-4 miles and 6 miles. One of my younger sisters was going to be running a half marathon again that spring and mentioned to me over the holidays that I should do it as well that I was already logging the mileage and would be ready for it in the spring. The type A researcher and planner in me immediately looked up training plans and realized that yes, I had plenty of time and to go for it. I signed up immediately.

Type A, overachiever is pretty much me to a T. I have a VERY addictive personality. I do not half ass anything. If I decide to do something, I go for it 100% and throw myself into it. I tend to overload myself and this was no different. I immersed myself in the training plan, figuring out the nutrition for running and all of that. I researched, read and just learned as much as I could about distance running.

Enter race day. My first half marathon was the 13.1 New York run in Queens in April 2011. My sister and I made the trek to Queens together and it was a gorgeous day. Expected to be in the 60's and clear, could not ask for a better race experience. I was a mixture of excitement and nerves. While most people just want to "finish" their first one, I had of course imposed a time goal on myself to pace at least 10 minute miles. I am no speedster by any means, which is one reason that I enjoy distance so much.

My sister and I started together but were going to be running our own races (I really am not a fan of running with anyone, I enjoy the solo aspect of it). I was pretty amazed by how well the race was going. I remember thinking half way through just how much fun I was having. I was running well, not tired, enjoying the race and the people cheering along the way. In the last 3 miles or so I knew I had it kicked up the pace and just ran knowing that I was not hitting a wall and the finish was in sight.

I wound up completing the race in 2:08:43! And, I was hooked. To date my PR is 2:07:33 a time which I plan on blowing out of the water in two weeks. My goal is to sub 2 hours and we shall see. I am the healthiest I have been in a while (injuries sidelined me for about 2 months in each spring 2011 and 2012). I am leaner and training smarter. When I first trained it was cardio cardio cardio. Last summer because of injury I started weight training in body pump and when injured this past spring I began really lifting, and lifting heavy. I have dropped body fat, am more muscular and toned and have definitely gotten faster. How fast will be determined on 9/23. I plan to actually taper for this one, I have an extremely hard time not working out for a day so it might kill me but I am determined to try for this goal.

I am running 2 more halfs this fall, after, but this course is flat and fast and can't really go all out and race multiple in a season that is a recipe for injury as I learned the hard way this past spring.

In the meantime, I guess yesterdays impromptu half marathon of fun in San Francisco wasn't the smartest idea; not shocking for I am running the Bronx 10 mile tomorrow! Figured mine as well combine a long training run with a race, not thinking that I would run 13+ a couple days prior. Oops. But, I would like to throw out there that my body feels AMAZING today. Even after being couped up for 6 hours on my flight last night. No soreness or stiffness. Again confirming, I am in GREAT shape. And damn proud of it. So with that, it's time to treat myself and head to Fleet Feet for some new gear! Happy Saturday and Happy Running! And, a few of my favorites:

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