2017: April Running

April, I’m glad you’re over! I ran 52 miles in April, which is my lowest mileage for the year. In fact, it’s my lowest mileage since January 2016! You can check out my recaps for JanuaryFebruary, and March if you need to catch up!

I really have no good reason why my mileage was so low. I just wasn’t feeling running in April.  The month started off with the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. That race kind of led me into a downward spiral, with lots of emotions in many different aspects of my life bubbling up.  I’m fine, nobody needs to worry, but my running has definitely been slacking.  On top of the emotional issues I’ve been dealing with, I’ve been super swamped with wedding planning, moving prep, and work.  None of these things are good excuses, and I’m not trying to write them off, it’s just what happened in April.

I’m glad for May, a clean slate, a fresh start, a new month.

Back to April.  Rock the Parkway was the second Saturday of the month.  I didn’t write a race recap, but basically it was the slowest half I’ve ever run. I walked more than I’ve ever walked, and Chris stayed by my side for every single step. Emotionally, I went through happiness, sadness, frustration, hope, disgust, thankfulness, gratitude, rage, envy, hopelessness, shame, joy, love… the list goes on and on and on…  The race is over, I’ve dealt with a lot of my emotions, and still dealing with a lot more, but I’m in a much better place than I was at the finish line of that race.

Photo Apr 08, 11 23 40 AM

I only ran 11 times in April, the lowest in a long time.  Running is always there for me, and will always be there for me, whether or not I take a break.  I’m ready to get back on the horse and start putting in the mileage again.  I got a nice fun run in St. Joseph while Chris had band practice one Saturday, which was a fun way to explore a bit.

Photo Apr 23, 9 44 56 PM

Chris and I had some good runs too, the weather was really nice for part of the month, really hot and windy for part, and then at the end of the month, got cold and rainy.   I didn’t cycle at all in April. I need to work on that for May, and plan to go to cycle tonight.  I’ve added in some Group X classes, mainly a strength class during lunch once a week, and hope to add in a second day per week soon, and also get back to lifting on my own once a week or so.  Baby steps!

Photo Apr 30, 8 27 33 PM

I finished out the month with the Trolley Run, which is one of my very favorite KC races.  It was Chris’ first time doing the Trolley Run, and my third.  It was cold and drizzly, but we had a great run. I’ll be writing a recap this week.

Photo Apr 30, 7 48 06 PM

Looking forward to May: I have no races, but hope to get in some solid runs. My goal for the month is 75 miles for the month, and at least 1 strength session per week at the gym, and at least 3 cycle classes for the month.  How was your April? What does your May look like?

April stats:
Running:  11 runs, totaling 52 miles
Longest Run: 6 miles, April 23rd.
Races: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and the Trolley Run

MM: April 24

Apparently the theme of this week’s post is Jasper! I have so many photos of him from the last week!  I also forgot to post last Monday, but I only had 1 picture, from Easter Sunday. We drove to Columbia to spend the day with Chris’ best friends and their family.

Photo Apr 16, 6 50 54 PM.jpg

Last Monday, I got some sweet cuddles from Jazzy when I got home from work.

Photo Apr 17, 8 29 41 PM

Wednesday night, I had a great progression run, each mile faster than the previous mile. I’ve had some great runs lately, which is definitely needed after some not so great runs in the last few weeks.

Photo Apr 19, 6 28 19 PM

Jasper, doing what he does best.

Photo Apr 21, 10 23 04 PM

Saturday morning, Chris had band practice in St. Joseph, so I went along, and while he was practicing, I ran a bit around town.  I actually was stopped by a train with about a half mile left in my run. In 5 years, I’ve never been stopped by a train during a run.  First time for everything, I guess!

Photo Apr 23, 9 44 56 PMPhoto Apr 22, 9 39 20 AM

The relationship Jazzy and Chris have is so special. Jasper LOVES him so much.  Jasper jumps up and cuddles on him every day. I will admit, I’m a bit jealous of all the snuggles Chris gets.

Photo Apr 22, 8 35 31 PM

Sunday, Chris and I hit the trails, and had 6 sunny and beautiful miles.

Photo Apr 23, 1 36 16 PM

I’ve seen this on the internet several times lately…. if you put a square on the floor (with tape or rope or something), cats will flock to it and sit in the square.  It didn’t really work with Jasper. He laid in the square after I put him there, but he didn’t stay long.  Chris, however, was drawn to the square… so I guess it did work?

Photo Apr 23, 9 43 52 PM

Oh Jazzy.

Photo Apr 23, 8 18 12 PM

Trolly Run is on Sunday! I love this race, I can’t wait for it! Have a great week!

Running and Other Things

I’ve spent much of my running career, if you will, comparing and contrasting myself to others.  Am I running fast enough? Am I running enough miles?  Am I signed up for enough races?  Why doesn’t my running form look like hers?  Why do I sweat more than them?  The questions and insecurities continued and continued, until they stopped…

It’s not that I have felt burnt out, per se, but I’ve either felt like I’m not doing enough, or not doing the right things, and I have been feeling stuck.  Over the first couple months so far of this year, I’ve done a lot of reflecting and thinking about my expectations of myself and my running, and have realized some things, and I feel like I need to get them out on the interwebs.

Don’t get me wrong, I love running, and don’t want to stop anytime soon.  Like, not ANYtime soon.  I want to still be running in my 60s. I want to be able to for years and years.  But I also like doing other things. I really like the cycle class I’ve been going to. I really like riding my bike, taking walks, lifting weights… I know everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, and some people can workout for hours each day, but I’m not that person. I can, and want to continue, to work out daily, or 6 days each week, but I don’t think all of those days can be running days.

My knee often doesn’t like running, and will tell about it for days after.  I’ve been running consistently 4-5-6 days per week for 5 years now; 5 years!  Over these last few months though, I’ve been taking more days off, and sure, some of that is adjusting to engaged life, adjusting to living with Chris, adjusting to more work at work, adjusting to wedding planning, and being sick for a couple weeks, or spraining my ankle… but some of it was also that I didn’t FEEL like running that day.

I’ve struggled with this, because I’m supposed to run.  But why?  Why can’t I be satisfied and fulfilled with being active? Running and being active?  I most definitely still want to be a runner, at my core. But I’m happy right now, NOT running a full 5-6 days each week.  I plan to go with my gut on this, and branch out and not push myself to run all the time if I don’t feel it.  I think it will make my runs more meaningful, my miles more fulfilling.

Photo Mar 10, 7 52 01 PM

I have 5 races planned for this year, and will probably add a couple 5k’s here or there.  But this is going to be the first year since I started running that I have less than 10 races on my schedule.  And I’m really excited for fewer races, and for my first full marathon this fall!

My knee is doing much better than it was doing last year, or even last month, and I’m continuing to make it stronger, and adding in other activities along with running, and not running so many miles will do nothing but help my knee.

This is a lot of rambling, but I felt like I wanted to get my thoughts out. I’m really excited to run, to bike, to hike, to walk, to lift, to see where my strong and awesome body will take me, without putting irrational stresses and expectations on myself for no reason except to live up to others’ dreams and expectations and goals.

Always with my brave wings, Renee  =)