Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Josh Byers Memorial Day 5K

On Memorial Day, I worked the Josh Byers Memorial Day 5K for Not Alone (where I work).  I had been helping coordinate this event since I started working there in March, so it was exciting for race day to finally arrive.

This is the first time we've had a 5K, and we were thrilled to have 270 runners come out!

It was a warm morning, but everyone seemed happy to be there.  We honored the fallen soldiers including Captain Josh Byers and had a great time seeing everyone run or walk and enjoy the race festivities.

My parents, sister and cousin came out for the event.  Here is me and Meredith before she ran the race.


One of the coolest things we coordinated for the event was fire trucks to hang a giant flag.  It looked so cool and was a nice touch considering it was Memorial Day.


We're already planning how to make it bigger and better next year, but I couldn't be happier about how this first year went!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Insanity

I did an Insanity workout today with my sister.  (I think it was Cardio and Resistance, or something like that.)

I really wasn't sure what to expect, but after 40 minutes my muscles were shaking and I was dripping sweat.

It was hard, but it wasn't SO hard that I couldn't at least attempt it.

The biggest thing was that I had done some HARD rock climbing and bouldering last night (it was my last day of membership so I had to make it count!), so my little arms were still pretty sore.  I could NOT handle any push ups today.

I'm thinking about trying to find someone and borrowing it from them... and committing to the 60 day program and seeing what happens. 

I'm still not running enough, but I figure I'm doing better about being more active again at least.  And if I got really fit from Insanity in the couple of months leading up to when I'd truly start training for the 50K?  Well, that wouldn't suck.

It makes sense to do it right now when I still don't need to be doing high mileage.  Granted, I need to be doing highER mileage seeing as I have a 10-miler next month and a half in July... but we'll get there.

I also had dinner with a friend of mine from high school who is two days older than me.  We got to talking about starting the last year of our 30s and agreed we should do something monumental this year.  I need to start brainstorming on this.

Nonetheless, the short list is to run my first 50K (signed up!) and keep trying new things like I have been lately.  I think I want to take a class of some sort.  I have no idea what... but I want to learn something new.  I'm thinking I want it to be something not fitness related - just broaden my horizons or something.

Though trying Insanity for 60 days?  That would definitely count as trying something new, too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running Strangers Are Not Strangers

Since I am going to be running a 50K on trails this summer, I'm starting to think more about training on the trails.

Conveniently, Fleet Feet here in Nashville is doing a summer trail mixer series.  For eight Thursdays in a row, you can meet up at the local park that has a few trails and run either the 2.5 mile trail or the 4.5 mile trail.  Then, everyone brings a snack and enjoys a runner's potluck after.

Y'all. SO. MUCH. FUN.

I went last week, and it was so fun to be running on trails.  I don't think I have run on one much since high school.  I went again tonight - this time without a running buddy like I usually do which forces me to actually talk to strangers.  But running strangers aren't really strangers at all.

Both weeks I ran the 2.5 mile trail.  Before you scoff at the distance, you should know that these trails have some HILLS.  Yes.  All caps.

Plus, I think baby steps are good seeing as I'm just starting to run again. :)

I ended up running into two other running pals along the course and caught up with them, but I stuck around after the run for over an hour after the run!  I was really proud of myself because even though I've gotten better about it over the years, I'm still kind of introverted.

I chatted with my two friends a bit, but then I ended up talking to three others for a while.  Next thing I knew, we were exchanging numbers, finding each other on Facebook, planning runs and talking about doing races together.  And then I got in the car with two people I just met, sharing the seat with another gal while this guy drove us to where our cars were parked.  This sounds sketchy, but other runners will know that it is not.

This is one of the things I love about running.  Community.  Meeting people you have something in common with and them becoming instant good friends.

That and I totally had a deep fried hot dog with bacon and cheese with a side of french fries and a coke today at lunch when my boss took our crew to The Dog.

No. Lie.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

I turned 29 this weekend.

I have to be honest... I usually LOVE birthdays.  I mean, sure my own is fun, but I really love making a big deal out of the birthdays of the people I care about.  Nonetheless, I like to celebrate mine as well and all that jazz.

But this year?  I wasn't really feeling it.

And I had to realize that's ok.

Maybe it's because I'm not where I thought I'd be at 29.  Maybe it's that I have had so many amazing experiences and people come in my life in the past few years and so I feel guilty for still wanting more.  Maybe it's that I feel a lot of pressure to make the last year of my 20s count.  Or maybe it's just that while the 20s are a lot of fun and full of many good things, they're also really hard in many ways and I almost just wish I could turn 30 and get it over with, haha.

I had a fun birthday outing with some friends.  I spent some time with my family.  I took myself to the movies.  I did some rock climbing.

But it just wasn't the same kind of fun I usually feel.  I suppose 25 is really the only other birthday I've had where I felt kind of emotional... And I guess the thing is that I'm feeling some of the same emotions I felt back then.  I've traveled and run races and made friends and dated and loved and lost and so many things in the past 4 years, but it's just tough to realize that despite all of that, I still have some of these same feelings deep down that I had on that birthday.

This is life.  It's not always rainbows and butterflies and unicorns and glitter.  Sometimes it's messy and hard, and even in the midst of SO much good in your life you can still feel a little emotional about it all.

And that's ok. 

I'm good.  There is much to be thankful for.  But it's good to just admit to yourself sometimes that you still want more... and sometimes I think life is about figuring out what that more is and going for it.

I've continued to find myself being a bit more impulsive than usual, but I feel like I have been following my gut... and it feels good.  So I think I'm going to keep that up for a bit!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running for the Troops

Almost two months ago, I started a new job at Not Alone here in Nashville.

Not Alone is a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises funds to provide free counseling and other support services to returning war veterans and their families to assist them in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and other invisible wounds of war.  I have come on board as the Community Outreach Manager to help plan events and get people excited about fundraising to help our troops.

I wanted to let my readers know that I'm putting together a team right now to run and fundraise in the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Chicago on July 22.  You don't have to live in Chicago to join the team - anyone who wants to run the half marathon can be on our team regardless of where you're coming from.

The concept is simple... fundraise a minimum of $350 and receive your race registration, a team teach shirt, a team dinner in Chicago the night before the race, and me as your coach to help guide you through training and fundraising.  If you go above and beyond with fundraising, there are other awesome prizes that can be earned.

If you have any interest in running this race to raise a little money for our troops, you can read more info on our event website.  You can also email me or comment here if you want more information.  I have a whole packet with more details than what is listed on the website.

Finally, if you believe in the cause and feel led to give but can't run in the race, feel free to visit my personal fundraising page and make a donation.

I really believe in the need to help our soldiers and their families after they return home from war.  The suicide rate in the military is much higher than I would have dreamed, and it is by offering counseling, online support groups, spouse retreats, etc. that we can help lower it.  Please consider getting involved in some way if you can.  Definitely be in touch with me if you have questions or want more info!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Committed

Today, I registered for my first ultra.

On October 6, I will be running the Stump Jump 50K in Chattanooga.  I'm pretty excited about taking the plunge and officially committing to do it. 

I promptly went outside and ran 3 miles in between thunderstorms.  I know I have a ways to go before I can run a 50K, but it was great to just get out there and to know that I now have a new goal.

I have managed to convince another friend to plan on running it as well, and I started working on a few others at a Cinco de Mayo party last night.  See? Sometimes peer pressure can be good... getting others to do something active!

I'll eventually sit down and sort out a training plan, but I won't really need to start training until July.  In the meantime, I want to gradually get myself building mileage so that I'm ready for the half marathon in Chicago in July, and then I'll transition to 50K training.

This race is on trails, so I'm also going to start training on trails.  The local Fleet Feet is doing group trail runs the next 8 Thursdays, so I plan on using those to not only start learning the trails at the park nearby but also to meet new people.

I have decided not to pay to join the ultra training group with the running store.  I don't think it'd be worth the money for me when I know I'm capable of setting a training plan and I have a fair number of friends that I can do long runs with in addition to the Nashville Striders marathon training runs that will start in July.

I'm pretty excited.  I think this is just the challenge I need right now!