Meg’s Miles

If you’re a runner that is active on social media (which you obviously are because you’re reading this blog) you have heard of Meg’s Miles.  In case you haven’t heard, here is an excerpt from the Facebook event: 

Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere. 

 

Runners everywhere have united today to run in her honor.  I don’t belong to a running group or club, nor do I usually run with a partner.  Running today in her honor got me thinking about several things.

First of all, I am truly blessed to be fortunate enough to get out and run.  I live in a spot where I am able to walk right out my door and run in any direction.  There are beautiful, well maintained trails everywhere.  The scenery is gorgeous.  Not only that, I am healthy enough to get out and run.  Did I feel like running today?  Not really.  It was windy and cold to start but I got out there.  Why?  Because there are people out there who want to run, would give anything to run, but have had it taken from them in one way or another.  I ran for Meg and countless others who have had it taken from them.

Secondly, I ran without headphones.  Normally I’ll keep them for longer runs just to keep me motivated but I wanted to feel connected to everything around me today.  I wanted to be aware.  I wanted to be as safe as I could be.  As runners, we are unprotected.  It is up to us to do everything in our power to make sure we are seen and make sure we are safe.  And even then, something could still happen.  The very least we can do is everything in our power to make sure we get to Point B of our run in one piece.  I ran for Meg and countless others who did everything right.  (Sidenote: to the runner who I saw just dart out into traffic because he couldn’t be stopped by a red light, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!  Pausing for 30 seconds won’t kill you.  Running out into traffic might.)

Third, I was extra diligent in making sure Boyfriend knew my route and expected time of arrival to my destination.  I am guilty of not always doing that.  I try but sometimes think “oh, it’s just three miles, no big deal.”  Wrong.  Always, always let someone know where you are going to be and when to expect you.  I vow to be better at that.  

In addition to this, I always wear a Road ID, carry pepper spray, carry my ID and cell phone.  I wear my Road ID 24/7.  I didn’t always carry pepper spray, but after a strange encounter with a few dogs and some weirdos, I don’t leave home without it.  Some people think I’m weird but it makes me feel better.  I hope I never have to use it.  I run on well traveled roads where there is almost always someone about in a car.  I like to think that if something happened, that would mean someone would be driving by and could help if needed.

 

What do you do to stay safe when running, cycling or whatever your form of exercise is?  

Did you participate in Meg’s Miles today?  

Sweat, Sweat, Sweat

With the increase in strength training over the last few months, I’ve seen a marked decrease in my hamstring and hip flexibility.  I’ve never been someone that was super flexible but flexible enough.  Meaning, I can’t do the splits but I can bend over and touch the ground with my palms.  I’m very aware of changes in my body.  That’s pretty typical of anyone who puts fitness as a priority.  So this change was concerning to me.  You have to work for your flexibility and it can leave you quickly.  

 

I started checking out hot yoga studios in Springfield.  I’ve taken a yoga class or two and countless yoga/pilates fusion classes.  I’m not completely new to yoga but I’m not a yogi by any means.  Always do your research!  Check yelp reviews, talk with friends about which studios they like or dislike.  Luckily, one of my friends has done quite a bit of hot yoga and agreed to attend a class with me.  SO. HELPFUL.  I’d have had no idea what was going on, how or where to set my mat and towel up or how to just breathe in that hot air.  If you’re looking to try out hot yoga and have a friend that has done it, use them as a resource!  Take them with you and be open to their suggestions.  

 

The studio I chose, Pure Hot Yoga, uses infrared heating.  Very quiet and very effective.  I swear, the room really does get hotter as the class goes on.  As soon as we started moving, I was sweating.  That’s one of the coolest thing about the human body.  Did you know that as a runner or other athlete who is acclimated to the heat, your body is trained to respond faster to the heat and stress your body is under by sweating sooner?  This is a fabulous adaptation when working out in the heat.  Not so much in real life.  You know, when that room you’re in is just a little too hot and your heart rate is already up from taking the stairs and you start pouring sweat?  Gross.  That’s me.  Thanks, body! 

 

Back to the yoga.  Parts of the class I felt I might die.  Thankfully, the instructor started out the class by working just on breathing, getting everyone acclimated to the heat and heavy air.  Any time I felt I might be getting overwhelmed, I went back to that initial breathing and was able to calm myself down and get my body back.  At the end, I felt refreshed and alive, not drained and defeated by the work.  To me, that’s exactly what any workout should leave you feeling. 

 

Memberships are expensive.  But if you do your research (which you will, because I suggested it!) you’ll find that many studios offer community classes.  These classes are open to non-members for a minimal fee.  Typical cost around here is $5 per class.  To me, a person who will likely only take one, MAYBE two classes each week, that’s perfect.  No membership required!  

 

Anyone can do it.  There were women and men in last nights class of all shapes, sizes and ages.  Everyone getting their sweat on and connecting with their body.  What’s greater than that?!  Grab your mat and find a hot yoga studio.  

Another runner in the house?

Last spring, Boyfriend got into cycling. It started out just him wanting to ride his bike to work but he liked it so much, that quickly turned into much more. He started riding 15-20 miles or more a day. He completed the MS 150 in September. I cheered him on like the loving girlfriend I am. Me, ride 150+ miles? No, thanks. Perfectly happy with sprint distance triathlons!

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This is how I do 150 miles on a bike. Seated. In the shade. With a cold beverage. Taking selfies.

When he said he was going to sign up for one of my favorite races, Ultramax Shamrox 5K/15K on St Pat’s weekend, I was thrilled! I love sharing my passion of running. Before Christmas, we bought him shoes and he got some nice Under Armor cold gear pants because, duh, it’s cold. And so far, I’ve gotten him out for one training run.

I blame the weather. Yes.

Today was a wake up call. We are two months out from Shamrox. It’s not going to train for itself! So this was my mission tonight…

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The plan is written. Bigger than the “will he complete it” question, is the question of “will we complete training with our relationship in tact?”

As usual, I’ll keep you updated.

Am I Training Again?

Silly me. Things have been so hectic with finishing my internship and the holidays that I COMPLETELY forgot my sub 2:15 half training started…December 22nd.

The good news? My internship is finished! My Intersession class is finished AND I passed! I survived the holidays!

And in all that, I managed to keep running, even if they weren’t training type runs.

I’ll take it.

You know, I follow a lot of body builders on Instagram. Their devotion blows me away. From food to workouts, they are on it all the time when they are training. If they deviate from their plan, that is the difference between winning or losing. Which is why I could never do it.

Running is my passion. I love it. But some days, I want to enjoy my life and I don’t have time for what is in the plan. And I think that’s ok. This is why I love running. She’s forgiving. To a point. I mean, you can’t NOT train and then go try to run an ultra. But you can miss a day or two, eat a burger and fries and not beat yourself up about it. I’m on a mission to enjoy life more this year. And running is exactly what I need to do that.

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