Sunday, June 30, 2013

Color me surprised

I think I am actually beginning to enjoy running!  On Friday night while taking a walk with Matt and the boys, I ran a few spurts here and there and I noticed that when I would run, several things happened. 1) I didn't get a stitch in my side anymore 2) my lungs weren't on fire and 3) it felt kind of nice.  I attributed this to the fact that my one particularly long stretch of running was down my favorite hill.  However, tonight when I ran, I noticed that the same things happened on the flat stretches, too!  Items 1, 2, and 3 did not happen so much on the uphills, but I'll take what progress I can!

As I've returned to running, I've strayed from the Couch to 5K program.  Don't get me wrong, I still think it is a great program and I have it to thank for my ability to participate in the marathon relay in April, as well as sparking my interest in running.  This time around, though, I've taken to running for short spurts when I go for a walk, usually anywhere from .10 - .15 of a mile and repeating several times throughout a 40-50 minute walk. I plan to increase the distance gradually and I find this method to be much more manageable for me.  I've started out by doing my running stretches on flat or downhill areas of my favorite trail, but I know the hills will be next!

I also invested in an armband this weekend and it was great trying it out! I used it on the elliptical last night (p.s. I'm getting pretty bored of the elliptical, but sometimes it's the only workout I get, so I trudge through) and I tried it out on the trail tonight.  I love it!  When I first got my iPod years ago, I looked for an armband to use when I worked out and could never find one.  Slightly embarrassing admission forthcoming: it was because most wouldn't fit my upper arm.  Ugh. Although, it seems as though the newer armbands have much more flexibility and stretch to accommodate larger arms and I found a New Balance one that is a gem.

Having my phone out of my reach while I run has been helpful on many levels.  I'm not constantly checking my pace (which has actually made my pace faster, go figure), I'm not constantly changing the song on my play list (an annoying habit, but I have to have just the right song playing to motivate me), and I'm not always looking at my distance and either dreading how far I have left to go or beating myself up about how little I've gone.  I'm glad I made the investment in an armband, but I'm kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner!

I'm definitely enjoying the cooler weather in St. Louis!  It's beautiful outside and has made for some great outside activity this weekend, including swimming, walking, running, and some scooter time for Nick.  I'm hoping the weather holds out for the rest of the week so that a certain birthday boy can have a great party outside without all of us melting!

"It never gets easier. You just get better."