Healthy Balance, Healthy Life

What I’ve been up to: Running

Posted on: November 4, 2010

Hey guys. I know it’s been SO long since I’ve posted. My other domain still isn’t ready and, to be honest, I’m not pushing it because I’m so busy with my first semester of grad school! As crazy busy as I am, I’ve managed to do some fun things in the past few months. Since one post of everything I’ve been up to is too intimidating, I’m going to break it down into separate, themed posts that I’ll slowly write! First up, RUNNING!

I’ve run my first organized races ever in three consecutive weekends in a row in September.

I started with Laura’s March, a very informal 5k on a flat course next to Lake Champlain, and I ran it with Carrie. Easy peasy–I’m used to that distance!

The next weekend, I ran Warrior Dash with boyfriend, a 3.23 mile obstacle course on Windham Mountain in New York.

Psyched to begin! (I'm on the left)

Unfortunately there is no warm up for this particular Warrior Dash. There is no picture of me 30 seconds after this but if there was it would be of me with a pained look on my face walking up the side of the mountain. The boy and I walked quite a bit of the first two miles that went straight up the mountain. Coming down was much easier as we had gravity, and a ton of momentum from the incline, on our sides. We went through tons of obstacles–jumping over hurdles, climbing up a cargo net, running through tires, and then we jumped over fire.

 

After our fire-y leap

 

and then we army crawled through mud under barbed wire

and got a little muddy...

but we did it! (I dislike the bottom portion of this picture because it shows my sway back, which I'm working to correct! More on that later.)

After running a little over three miles up and down a ski mountain, I thought that the 10k (in downtown Burlington) I was planning on running with Carrie the next weekend would be easy peasy.

I was right for many reasons: All I had to do was run– there were no obstacles and little incline. I also had Carrie with me which helped keep us motivated. We were very positive and proud of ourselves.

I was wrong for one reason: I had never run six miles outside with no breaks. I had run that many miles on a treadmill but running on a treadmill is very different from running outside. On a treadmill you can control the incline and you don’t have to worry about wind and weather. I felt great until the last mile of the race. I was pretty much dying. My legs and butt were stiff and achey and I wanted to quit. If it weren’t for people cheering me on and Carrie’s support, I don’t know if I would have been able to finish! Another thing that helped a ton was that I didn’t allow a negative thought to take up space in my head. Any time a negative thought came, I dismissed it and verbally thought of something positive to think or say to Carrie. We really worked off of each other’s positivity. I think that staying positive is what made me decide to sprint the last leg of the race, even if I wasn’t to enthralled to do so. The last part of the race was down the center of Church Street, the big marketplace in Burlington, VT. The center was clear for the runners and people were cheering on the sides. At the end was the finish of the race. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what it felt like to sprint down the street with people cheering, knowing I just ran my first challenging race. When Carrie and I finished, we were so happy that we finished. We were so happy that we ran ten minute miles in our first race (6.2 miles in 62 minutes) but most of all we were amazed that we had run non-stop for over an hour. Such an accomplishment! 🙂 We immediately wanted to sign up for another race. The post-race feeling is addicting!

 

We did it!

We haven’t yet signed up for another race together. Grad school is just too much for me to plan anything like that. I am, however, signed up for a 5k Turkey Trot/Fun Run that I’m doing with my mom and brother (who are not runners) on Thanksgiving day in Maryland!

So, in addition to all this, the boy has also started joining me on some of my runs. I hope this sticks! He was the one who got me into running in the first place. He was on track and cross country in high school and I would tag along when he did his informal summer training runs. Since college, though, he’s been way less active. This past Sunday I made him bundle up and get his butt outside with me for a run. We did two miles and I’m proud of him!

 

Bundling up means letting go of style. I kind of like this athletic-geek-chic look though!

I’m still running on my own, too. As much as I love running with other people, running is my therapy and it’s something that I do for myself. I’ve cut down on the frequency of my runs since starting grad school because I’m just so overloaded with work. Recently, I’ve made the conscious decision to change that. Since I am so stressed I need these runs more than ever. It’s amazing how different I’ve felt since going back to my schedule of running every other day. I have so much more energy, I’m less stressed, more positive, and more present in my everyday life. Running, I love you!

And new music helps re-energize my runs. When I made the decision to go back to my usual frequent running routine I decided that my library needed some new tunes. I checked out Lululemon’s 10k Running Playlist and downloaded Fly Like a G6 by Far East Movement, Club Can’t Handle Me Right Now by Flo Rida, One by Swedish House Mafia (love love love this) from that list in addition to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” because it’s so fun and upbeat. I’m also planning on downloading Will.I.Am and Niki Minaj’s “Check it Out”. It uses a portion of “TV Killed the Radio Star” and has an awesome beat for pacing. I think it’d be perfect for the warm up portion of my runs.

What songs do you love to run to?

It feels really good to be back, both to running and to blogging.

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2 Responses to "What I’ve been up to: Running"

I am STILL so proud of us for that 10k!! 🙂

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alixandra West, Alixandra West. Alixandra West said: What I've been up to: Running http://wp.me/pFlOt-9h […]

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I am a 22 year old social work graduate student living in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. I love do-it-yourself projects, being active, and cooking delicious, healthy food! Feel free to leave comments or email me at AlixandraWest@gmail.com. You can also anonymously ask me questions at http://www.formspring.me/HealthyBalance1 I would love to hear from you!

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