Stagnant

The best way I can describe how I have felt my running has been lately is stagnant.  With the stress of moving from my hometown, losing my daily running partner, starting a new job, and getting used to a new city with hills and humidity, my running has truly taken a backseat.

I feel as if I need to write it down, see it on the screen, and let it go.  I must let it go, progress, and move forward.

In April, I completed my first half marathon.  At that time, I had been in training for 6 months, and my body was tired.  I was unable to run it all, and I was frustrated that I couldn’t do it, but confident that I would achieve that goal.  After the half marathon, I took a little time off, and slacked a bit on the running.  I never stopped running, simply took it easy for a few weeks.

At the end of my “break,” I told myself I wanted to build a strong base for my running.  It was right about that time that my husband and I began seriously looking for jobs and apartments in KC.  Cut to July, and we had moved to KC and began new jobs.  The stress of packing, moving, and getting settled meant my running was down on the list of priorities  Again, I didn’t stop running, but I certainly wasn’t putting in the mileage I should have.  I’m ok with that, and thought I could simply pick it back up and train for my next half marathon, in October.

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It is here that I hit my wall.  I know it is a fact that you lose fitness, and it is a fact that I lost fitness.  Add that to the hills and humidity of KC, and I found myself struggling with the most simple of runs.  Adjusting to the new city life and trying to fit in runs that felt harder than they should have has seriously injured my running confidence.  I managed to put on a brave face and plow through as many runs as I could over the first month of living in KC.  I ran in new places, beautiful places, and saw other runners, and was motivated to get back on track.

James and I went home last weekend, to visit family and unfortunately attend a funeral.  I had planned on running a 5k with Mom that weekend too.  The race did not go as hoped.  The entire summer of running collapsed on me last weekend.  During a short run with Mom the day after the race, I cried, I laughed, I was upset, but most of all, I was relieved to talk it through, and get it off my chest.

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I knew, deep down, that it was all ok.  I had been through many changes, and it is totally understandable why my running had taken the turn it did.  Tonight, I talked to my sister and trainer, and again, got it off my chest.  I am now letting it go, moving on, and beginning from where I am, not where I want to be or think I am.

I know the half marathon I am running in October will not be perfect.  I am not going into it wanting to run it all, or wanting to beat my first half marathon time. I am going into it knowing it will be the largest race of my life (so far), and knowing that it will be a fun and amazing weekend with my mom and sister, and knowing that I am enough.

I am enough, and I am running again with brave wings.

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Four on the 4th Race Recap

On July 4, I ran the Four on the 4th race in Kansas City.  For the past 3 years, I have ran a race on or around July 4.  In Hays, the Wild West 5k is on the Saturday around the 4th of July.  Since I was not in Hays (OMG I still can’t believe I live in KC now!), I had to find a new race! I ran the Ward Parkway Four (Miler) on the 4th.  It was a blast! A hilly, humid, hot blast, but a BLAST!

For comparison’s sake, I believe last year the Hays 5k had about 300 people running/walking.  In KC this year, I think there were just over 1000.  CRAZY amount of people.  Also, in Hays, the elevation gain is super tiny, and there 2-3 big hills, and a couple smaller hills at the KC race.

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Needless to say, my body is going to acclimate to hills very fast, or I will die.

This race was my second run in KC since I moved last week.  I also ran last night, and have been taking it a little easy, because I didn’t run a lot in June (because of the packing and the move), and I am not used to the severe humidity or hills.  I am glad I did this race, I met a lot of cool people, had a good fun run, and was able to take part in a 4th of July run for the 3rd straight year.

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Things I learned while doing this race:

1.  Fitness is lost FAST.  I skipped a ton of runs in June due to limited time while packing, moving, and traveling back and forth.  I managed to get almost 40 miles in for June, but I was hoping for closer to 100.  I can definitely tell I ran less.

2.  I need to get in some serious hill practice.

3.  I shouldn’t wear my hair in pig tails.  Cute in theory, but a hassle when they stick to my neck.  And they don’t look cute when I’m all sweaty.

4.  I need a flag shirt (sorry Mom, I always hated them growing up, but now I ‘d really like one!)

5.  Runners are family.  I made some sweaty friends while running, and encouragement, even from a stranger, is awesome.  I was really missing my Mom, and running partner, but having such a “family” of runners around made it a little better.

6.  The SEE KC RUN fellas are pretty great, and they take really good race pics, FOR FREE! Who does that? Their website is pretty 1990’s, but the guys are a class act, really cool.

And 7.  I like race bling. =)  Cool medal for finishing the race.

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I’ll see you again next year, Four on the 4th! Thanks Garry Gribbles for putting on a great race! Did you run to celebrate the 4th?