All I want for Christmas…

Is to be able to run, back-pain free, and under a 15-minute mile pace.¬† All I ask is a sub-45 minute 5K. Is that really too much to ask? I’m getting there. It would help to go to physical therapy, but the life and times of a full-time ESOL elementary teacher in North Fulton County sometimes just doesn’t allow for that over Thanksgiving Break.

I’m getting closer to that goal — as I took my feet back on the road for the first time in three months today, very slowly, very steadily, and very mindfully — 30/30 second walk/run intervals all the way. My lungs burned; my throat burned. My back worked its way back into positions it hasn’t seen in months and eventually back to the rightful place. There was a lot of mental screaming and foam rolling after.

I look back at my old 5K race bibs, with times of 34, 33, 32, and eventually 31 and change — never less than that. I have a lot of work to do, both inside and outside of the classroom. Both on and off the running trail. More on that later. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

A little late to the party, but here’s my latest race

you-got-this

Metaphor for running and for life.

October 23, I did run the Atlanta 10 Miler — and I didn’t worry about time. Time in running tends to make me anxious, and since I run to alleviate anxiety it seems counter intuitive. So if you really want to see my time, I trust that you will look it up on the ATC website, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t as fast as last year and you will just have to deal with that.

bling

I haven’t been distance training, so much of this race was taken with the approach of I’m going take it easy and enjoy the scenery and get some fit bit steps in. I did intervals but I can’t tell you how I did them. Mostly walked up steep hills and ran down them.

you-got-this

I do this entirely for the bling. Right? What else is there?

I took lots of pictures, and you can see them here:

https://goo.gl/photos/tToQTU81rUk9UsaXA

I’m upset now because I did something to my foot not running, and now I can’t run for a few weeks. Which means I’ll miss my favorite Thanksgiving Day race, but I wasn’t planning on doing the half anyway. I had downgraded to the 5K because I haven’t been distance training and something is better than nothing. Now I can’t even run the 5K if I want my foot to be OK for a good 2017 running season. So like the country, I’m going to write off this 2016 as a sort of crappy running year and hope for good things in 2017.

But I love when I see things like this at the end of the day.

fit-bit

In other non running news, my MA paper was accepted by my first reader this week and I have a presentation date of December 2 at 1pm. Shit is gettin’ real — which is probably why I haven’t been running as much. You have to make sacrifices, right?

I’ll come back with a goal post for the start of 2017 when I have them. Aside from the MA and my amazing IEP students, I’m ready to write of 2016 as a shit year and start fresh.

Day 4 — Mile 4

I decided to take mile 4 and day 4 over to my local YMCA (my family has been members for years) because I really wanted to test out the pool and my swimming ability (and the hot tub and steam room) so I thought I’d get my mile in around the track. It’s hard to calibrate a GPS tracker around a small track when 19 laps is equivalent to a mile, but I counted 19 laps and the time looks about right for my pace and how my body felt afterward. I don’t particularly like this — but I’m getting tired of humidity and didn’t want to do the treadmill today. Bonus of getting six laps done in the pool and 15 min on the elliptical as a cool down. Plus a soak in the hot tub which felt oh so good . It’s all about wellness and balance, and I’m enjoying not being on campus this week. ūüôā¬†image1 (2) image2 (1)

Day 3/Mile 3

image1 (1)This time a quick run around my apartment complex — up hills and around turnarounds when I didn’t really feel like running. My pants were falling down and I wasn’t wearing the correct bra or underwear. Running is messy. I don’t have any way to sugar coat it — this wasn’t fun but it’s done. Ugh.

New Month, New Goals, New Me

It’s been a while, I know — I haven’t written, I haven’t talked about writing, I haven’t trained, I haven’t talked about training blah blah blah. But it’s a new month, and with all the other standard crap that goes with new beginnings — I thought I’d try one of my own to see if it works. How many days does it take to build a habit? Different sources will tell you different things — but since I’ve been having trouble finding joy in running and thus motivation has been an issue –I’m going back to where I started. ONE MILE per DAY. Just one. If I feel like doing more after that one I certainly can, but I’m telling myself I need to do ONE MILE each day for EVERY day during the month of August. And this is accountability here — I have to upload a picture of my garmin, running app, fitbit, what have you to prove that I’ve done it. Ultimately I would like to record mood and how I’ve felt and all that jazz, but me being me I know that won’t happen. So here’s today’s run.

image2 image1So no, not my fastest, or most fun — but I got it done. It seems like I’m backsliding — I keep telling myself that a year ago I ran a half marathon, but that was a year ago I wasn’t focused intently on moving up in my career or finishing my Master’s degree. ¬†Hopefully, these will get easier — but I have to remember to remove the judgement in running too. I think that may be part of what is making it not fun so much anymore. I definitely feel better than if I had done nothing at all. But I hadn’t hydrated as much as I needed to today and I did have a ton of other crap going on — so I’ll chalk it up to “some days are better than others” and leave it at that and see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Running,

 

Jenn

 

P.S. I did track this on my Garmin too — but because my Garmin is a Forerunner 10 and not a fancy new one — my app refuses to acknowledge its existence¬†anymore. One more reason I call running a first world sport and refuse to buy into the mindset of always needing the next best thing. One of the reasons I started running was because it was cheap — I can technically go out with my clothes and my shoes and get a workout. I’m not going to spend $$$ when I don’t need to spend $$$. Rant over

Just keep moving…

I haven’t posted in a while, but only because I have nothing really to report. Since the last post, I’ve been running on a fairly regular schedule but not distance training. I completed the Atlanta Track Club’s Hearts and Soles 5K, with not a great time but an idea of where I need to do and the work I need to complete before the Peachtree Road Race.

I was happy to boast a 10:59 chip pace per mile for the Hearts and Soles 5K, with an overall chip time of 34:06. I know this has to come down if I want to do the sub-30 5K before the end of the year, but until then I will just bask in the glory that is below an 11-min mile for 5K — and work on the rest later.

 

one mile at a time

 

Photo credit: http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/nikesf13/tinycatherine

 

Coming up (this weekend) I will be running (or walking or moving) in the Publix Half Marathon. I decided to¬†do this back in January. It seemed like a good idea because the Track Club bought it and it was the cheapest half I’ve ever done. But life got in the way, and I have not run more than 7 miles consecutively since the last half last November. Oh well. I will probably do the first 10K at race pace (11:30 or something close) and walk/run interval the other half. If I finish in 3 hours I will be thrilled. I am in no way ready for 13.1 miles, but it ¬†will be a nice day to be outside and enjoy a good walk around the city. So I go.

The following weekend, I will do the Atlanta Women’s 5K for the first time ever. I’ve heard good things about this race. Only women, supporting each other, and a challenging but pretty course through Chastain Park. Stay tuned.

I still have to fit in all the academic stuff I swore I would do over spring break but didn’t. All that stuff for the research assistantship just keeps piling up. But it will get done, because writing is like running. One mile, one word at a time.

Ashes and Dust: On Not Running

Dropping-down-not-out1

Image credit: http://runforyourlifecoaching.co.nz/when-your-running-simply-sucks/

I realize in starting a blog called Jenn Keeps Running I should actually post updates about me and running. The truth is, though, that I haven’t been doing much of that this month. I live in Atlanta and grew up here, and because of this, I hate cold. The race I was going to do this weekend was cancelled for a threat of inclement weather. There was visible ice on the ground and I didn’t leave the house. I haven’t even been motivated to go to the gym except for a few yoga classes. The Hot Chocolate run that some friends did was this weekend and not liking for-profit races and having done this last year and not liking it, I opted out this year and hung out with friends from church instead. But I know that I feel better when I run three times a week. I know that I need to do this.

And I know what you are thinking. These are all excuses. Excuses! They are, and they always will be. Truth is, I didn’t sign up for training with the ATC this Spring because of aforementioned hatred of running in the cold and a number of other reasons. This year is the year of the 5K and I don’t want to be running distances. The track club put all of their runs inside the perimeter and I think it’s ridiculous to drive to run more than I will actually run. Bottom line is, I’m lacking motivation this month, and I’m not doing what I said I’d do. I only rediscovered running a couple of years ago because it’s a good outlet of stress and calories. I discovered this awesome community (a few years ago) but have become somewhat disenchanted with the community as of late. Maybe this is a cry for help. Maybe this is just me posting for accountability. But I have to run more than once a week if I want to get better. But who said I have to get better? The track club has this (somewhat unhealthy) obsession with faster times and more elite athletes. It’s starting to bug me a bit and take some of the fun out of what was once a little more fun. What if I don’t want to be better? What if I’m just stuck in a rut? I feel like my running shoes have been accumulating dust lately.

Bottom line is, I’m lacking motivation this month, and I’m not doing what I said I’d do. I only rediscovered running a couple of years ago because it’s a good outlet of stress and calories. I discovered this awesome community (a few years ago) but have become somewhat disenchanted with the community as of late. Maybe this is a cry for help. Maybe this is just me posting for accountability. But I have to run more than once a week if I want to get better. But who said I have to get better? The track club has this (somewhat unhealthy) obsession with faster times and more elite athletes. It’s starting to bug me a bit and take some of the fun out of what was once a little more fun. What if I don’t want to be better? What if I’m just stuck in a rut? I feel like my running shoes have been accumulating dust lately. Thank you for listening to my whining. I will eventually snap out of it, probably when the cold weather decides to come to its senses. Until then, I’m going to say a bit FU to the cold because this is my blog and I can curse if I want to.

How do you set goals when you don’t want to stress yourself out?

Have you ever been in a similar situation?

What do you do to get yourself out of ALM (acute lack of motivation), for lack of a better word?

What do you do when you feel yourself sinking into a deep, deep hole?

What motivates you to¬†do something you know is good for you but you just can’t seem to find the energy for?