A lesson I keep learning over and over again

Went for a run today and I killed it! No Garmin so no temptation to check my watch every few minutes to see how far I had left or what pace I was maintaining. Just cloudy, drizzly weather and fresh legs to keep me going.

always sierra end of run

That’s what sweaty happiness looks like!

I’ve been facing the motivation blues lately. A physically challenging run is hard enough; but when my mind gets in the way even “easy” runs feel impossible. When this happens, my instinct is to power through the run. (Actually, that’s pretty much my instinct in life too!) Thing is, I can only keep that up for 26.2 miles five minutes before that whole pesky need to breathe thing hits.

Of course, stopping to breathe just opens up an endless loop of failure. (That’s right, failure…forget that whole grateful to be alive business!) Not only am I stuck in a crappy run but I can’t even get through to the end because I can’t run for more than five minutes without having to stop! The endless cycle of can’t can’t can’t starts and I’m doomed!

Eventually, one run later or five runs later, my mind steps out of the way and I shake off the blahs. I remember that a bad run is not the end of the world. That the sun will still rise regardless if I hit 3 miles or 6. That my dog and cat will only judge me if I forget to feed them and not because I can’t hit a 10 minute mile every.single.mile.every.single.run. every.single.day.

Yes, it’s true, I once again come to terms with the fact that I am not a professional athlete whose livelihood depends on running. Hard to believe, right?

My legs take over, business as usual, and I get lost in the rhythm. Faster doesn’t matter, harder doesn’t matter, longer doesn’t matter. The rhythm matters. And once more I find the fun.

Today I found the fun, and it was glorious.

Pillsbury Red Velvet Cookies

I also found these cookies – so delicious hot from the oven! And they’re not just cookies…they’re BIG cookies! 

If you’re having a rough run, having a rough day, having a rough week, it’s okay. Let yourself have it, re-focus, and know that you’ll find your rhythm again.

Always, Sierra

P.S. Can’t front –  I totally used my phone to track my run because I’m addicted like that, but I didn’t check for number’s once while I was running. 3.04 miles in 30.24 minutes…whaaaaaaat! (Did this post just lose all validity?!)

P.P.S. This is my 100th post! Crazy, right?! A shout out to my readers…you deserve more consistent posting and we both deserve to win the lottery…let’s see how that goes shall we?

Check out how it all started, and looking forward to the next hundred!

 

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Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Week 10

Dropping in real quick for an update on half marathon training. Check out this post to see how it all started!

Monday: 3.01 miles, 9.59 min/mile. Great, fast run!

City by the Bay

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 2.93 miles, 10.36 min/mile. First time running in my hilly neighborhood for quite sometime, and man, I thought I was going to pass out!

Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.2 miles, 12.08 min/mile. The goal was to get 6 miles in, but it was just not happening. My legs were still feeling heavy from Thursday’s run, and the headwind I was running into didn’t help. With just under a mile to go I threw the towel in and cloud watched for a bit.

rest

Sunday: Easy hiking. I took a foraging class today, i.e. how to identify some local edible plants and learned so much! Can’t wait to share it with you later this week.

Miner's Lettuce

The rest of the day has been devoted to some much needed R and R.

whiskey kitteh

Running Miles: 11.14

Overall: It was a rough week motivation wise. Now that I’ve seen I can run a 10 minute mile, I’m expecting every mile to be at that pace, which just isn’t going to happen. And when I can’t deliver on that, I start getting frustrated with myself. My goal for next week is to refocus on the fun and forget about the pace!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Always, Sierra

Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Week 9

I didn’t take a single picture while running this week…how’s that for blogger fail? But it makes sense when I look at the week below. I got my miles in but I can’t say any of the runs felt particularly amazing or noteworthy, they felt like I was getting business done.

So because we all know a post without pictures is no post at all, you’re stuck with some randoms. You’re welcome.

Monday: Rest/foam roll. Experimenting with a recipe from The Runner’s World Cookbook.

Runner's World Cookbook recipe

Tuesday: 3 miles on the treadmill, 12.10 min/mile. Mentally draining day at work = a zone out run on the good ole ‘mill. Caught up on some episodes of The New Girl…Prince was pretty awesome.

Wednesday: 9 miles on the bike. I swapped one of my short/slow runs for a catch-up bike ride with a girlfriend and had such a good time! Maybe I should actually do that whole cross-training thing I worked into my training plan once in a while.

Thursday: Rest/foam roll

Friday: 4.54 miles, 10:57 min/mile.

Saturday: 10.01 miles, 12:02 min/mile. This was harder than last week’s long run. Was it because of not taking a rest day Friday to ensure fresh legs? Or was it because I started off mentally struggling to get in the mood? Either way, I was happy when it was over.

Honey Stingers are delicious

I was also happy to recently discover these. So delicious!

Sunday: Road Trip! I thought 8 hours total in the car would make me extra sore after yesterday’s long run, but surprisingly it didn’t. No complaints here!

Run miles: 17.55

Bike miles: 9

Overall: I’m happy with it. Pita thinks I could have stepped up my couch game a bit.

Bitch Please

Always, Sierra

Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Weeks 7 & 8

Let’s breeze through Week 7 recap (Spoiler Alert – nothing much happened), and then rejoice in the awesomeness of Week 8!

Week 7: 2/3/14 – 2/09/14

Wednesday: 3.55 miles on the treadmill, 12:46 min/mile. I think running on the treadmill has been contributing to occasional back pain, so I’ve decided if I’m stuck inside for a run I’m going to take it slow and easy.

Thursday: 3.30 miles, with two miles tempo, 11:25 min/mile.

Sunset Run

Every other day of the week: nada

Run miles: 6.85

Overall: A week of low motivation and the rainy weather we’ve been waiting for coincided with a step back week. I wish I could work up the energy to be disappointed, but I spent it all on setting PR’s in Week 8 :).

Week 8: 2/10/14 – 2/16/14

Monday: 5 miles, 11.19 min/mile. The fog rolled in and made it feel otherworldly.

Foggy Run

Tuesday: Foam Roll/Rest

Wednesday: 3 miles, 9:55 min/mile. PR city (unofficial)!! This is the first time I’ve finished 3 miles in under 30 minutes. I guess there’s some benefit to training after all! I’ve always felt that 10 minute miles were my own personal obstacle to get past, so it felt pretty freaking amazing to accomplish this. Don’t ask me to maintain it for long, but damn it, I can do it!

3 miles under 30

Thursday: Rest. My legs felt good, but I figured I’d give them a day to recover from the faster than average pace.

Friday: 3 miles, 11.14 min/mile.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9 miles, 11:57 min/mile in perfect running weather. This is my longest run to date, and I loved every second of it. From this point forward, every week will be a new personal best for me in terms of distance, which is kind of cool. 9 miles felt better than 8 miles, and I can feel how far I’ve come in terms of endurance and fitness.

Run miles: 20 miles (probably my week of highest run volume?)

Overall: Today marks my two month period of training for my first half-marathon, and it was so rewarding to see how far I’ve come this week. I should have tried this whole concrete training plan thing earlier!

Always, Sierra

Are you training for a spring race? Or planning a spring fling get away?

 

Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Week 4, 1/13 – 1/19

It turned out to be great timing to have an extra stepback week for this week. Work picked up after the holidays, and it was nice to be able to come home and indulge in a nap instead of pushing for the mileage.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles, 11:10 min/mile.

Wednesday: Walk with Pita, rest

Thursday: Walk with Pita, Rest

Friday: Rest (notice a trend here?)

Saturday: 3.49 miles, 14:29 min/mile, trail run. I’m loving my new “backyard”. It’s so awesome being able to walk out the door and hit dirt in just a few.

trail run bay area

After I got my run in, the rest of the day was spent with good company and good food. That was the first plate of many, and we even shared with the coots. True story: Safeway makes delicious fried chicken.

Picnic lake merritt

{top pic courtesy of Sho}

Sunday: Guys, I’m struggling. I finally subscribe to a newspaper, and love it, and what happens? Unreliable delivery. I walked out my door this morning hoping to see a big fat paper to indulge in over breakfast, and nada.

Le Sigh.

The only solution was to console myself with pancakes. Denny’s has a new “monthly specials” menu and I went with the Baja Skillet. Pretty tasty and not too horrible nutrition wise. I had to sub the egg whites for real eggs tho – the yolk is the best part!

{source}

Pita and I headed out for a hike in the afternoon.

sunday hike

A slight breeze kept it from getting too toasty, and the only thing I regretted was forgetting my binos on the way out the door. I’m loving the gorgeous weather, but all that brown grass means trouble come summer.

sunday hike2

We covered 3.64 miles, 23:53 min/mile.

Running miles: 6.49

Total miles: 10.13

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Always, Sierra

What’s your favorite picnic food?