Wednesday, October 31, 2012

100 mile month

100 miles in a month! Pretend you're looking at an artsy photo of my running shoes here because it was too dark for me to take one when I finished!

My cross country partner in (licorice, spray paint and running related) crime Lauren and I had batted around the idea of a 100 mile challenge and October ended up being our month. We both succeeded! Yes, we realize that there are people who can do 100 miles in a week. I'm not ever going to be one of those people, so I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now. My highest monthly mileage previously was 75 miles.

If running bores you to tears, skip the rest of the post and come back tomorrow for cake. 

I basically needed to get in five miles a day five days a week to hit my goal, which is fine except I wasn't doing anything longer than three miles in the beginning because I was coming off a vacation. For the first two weeks, I ran two miles in the morning a M-W-F plus three miles each evening after work. I did longer Saturday afternoon runs with D to get my mileage up. I had Sundays for rest. I honestly wasn't sure my running would improve because of the fast increase but by the third week I was much stronger and could knock out five miles runs each day after work relatively easily (and even had one epic 9 mile run, which is the longest continuous distance I've ever done!). 

I should warn you that this was a straight up challenge with no real planning. There was no end goal and it probably isn't the way you should ramp up your running, but I'm a sucker for a good dare.

I didn't lose any weight and I didn't even attempt to work on my speed. My pace was between 9 and 10 minutes/mile the entire time, which is my comfort speed. I did give up some sleep and I definitely had a lot less free time. During the third week it occurred to me that I could watch TV on my phone during my treadmill runs and that really helped - I can now combine my trashy TV with something virtuous! 

I did feel pretty great about myself (once I got over the first week adjustment where I felt nauseated and tired every single evening). The interesting thing about exercise for me is that the benefits are almost entirely emotional. If I up my exercise, my anxiety decreases, I'm more cheerful and I feel better about my body even if there is absolutely no physical change. 

This month, I'm going to ease back on the running and aim for three 5 - 6 mile runs each week, with at least one being speedwork. I don't think I'll ever be a fast runner, but I like working on it. 

I'm going to use the free days to transform myself into a deadly weapon. I convinced D to buy a Groupon for a month of Krav Maga classes with me and I can't tell you how excited I am. It's a lifelong dream of mine to be secretly awesome at street fighting. We'll see how far a month gets us.

Anyone else planning on some sort of fitness challenge? It's a good time to year to start, I think, because it combats the sluggishness that sometimes comes along with cold weather and dark evenings. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

This month

apple picking 2012
{apple picking 2012}

snow line orchard
{snow line orchard}

apple cider donuts
{apple cider donuts}


hope springs resort - entry
{hope springs resort}

evening by the pool
{evening by the pool}

rattlers in late september
{rattlers in late october}

:: Went apple picking with Emily and had apple cider donuts for the first time. Em and I tried to lobby for a move to Yucaipa (apples! inexpensive houses!), but we got shot down right quick.

:: Spent a whole week planning and executing a very serious cake, details coming.

:: Got away for a weekend at Hope Springs Resort celebrating a friend's birthday.

:: Made the most of every single warm evening, spending as much time sitting on the patio as possible, even though it's covered with leaves and other plant detritus.

I don't want to abandon this space and I don't intend to, but I've been juggling a lot of obligations and I'm trying to prioritize my free time as best I can. So there might be a week where I post every day and then a few weeks with nothing. It's pretty much all dependent on when I can get my photos off my camera and onto my computer and honestly, when I work on a computer all day it can be hard to motivate myself to open up my laptop at home.

This time of year always gets in my headspace. I still think on a school year cycle, and the fall feels like a beginning, a season of change. So I'm thinking and dreaming and we're talking a lot, making decisions, sipping tequila or bourbon and cooking things that aren't much work and trying to figure out where we might be this year, next year, ten years from now. Our year of no decisions is pretty much over and while I'm not sure we're going to make any changes anytime soon, we're ready to start contemplating them. It's good, this marriage thing.