A couple of years ago I hit a running wall. I was so sick and tired of running. I didn’t want to do it anymore and when I did it was a CHORE. It was not a fun time in my life, because for years running was my thing. It was what I did when I wasn’t at work, eating or sleeping. I loved it! I loved races, I loved running by myself, I loved running and being with my friends and I loved how I felt after a long run.
Last year I started running again in January. In Boston we had a relatively mild winter last year, and I was able to beg a friend to run with me. It was great, but I never thought I would push myself again as I once did. I would go out for a couple of miles after work and call it a workout. I ran a 5K in March of 2016. Then last summer as I got busy planning my wedding, I ran less and after my wedding I took a break again from running and didn’t see myself going back anytime soon.
This year things were a little different for me. A couple of Saturdays ago I was hanging around the house and it was getting kind of nice out and I felt like I didn’t know what to do with my “free” time. I didn’t feel like reading my books, I didn’t feel like I had anything to write about, and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was shocked when I found myself changing into running clothes and lacing up my running shoes. I had just finished reading a Boston Globe article that had interviewed one of my heroes, Commissioner Evans – and he was giving advice on how to tackle hard hills in your running routes. (This article was geared towards the Boston Marathon and the Newton hills – but it inspired me because my new neighborhood has a lot of hills and I am used to running mostly flat courses…)
I got my stuff together, called out to SC to let him know I was heading out for a walk, and I closed the door behind me. I went out and ran a mile. When I encountered the hills I remembered what Commissioner Evans said: shorten your stride. Don’t attack the hills, and try to stay relaxed while you’re going up them. I listened to his advice (you can find the article here – it is well worth the read!) and it worked. I found shortening my stride to be so helpful. Maybe I had just forgotten how to run hills? I used to do hill drills a lot when I was really running.
A couple of days after that run I found myself buying a new pair of running shoes. I got a pair of Brooks adrenaline 17s and I’m pretty sure they have made me fall back in love with running – and I am so grateful:
Since my first run, I’ve had five more runs. I am trying to take it easy and haven’t gone more than a 5k per run yet. I’m trying to take care and remain injury free if possible. I’ve been making time for pre-run stretching, post run stretching and foam rolling and last night I even iced my knee after a 5k run.
It has been a hard balance trying to get everything together to get my runs in after or before a long work day and a long drive to and from work. But so far it has been worth it and I have been really happy and feeling good. On the nights that I run I try to have a “go to” dinner that isn’t too hard and is nutritious. One of our favorite dinners lately has been grilled chicken breast, brown rice and steamed broccoli (and I always make enough to bring for lunch the next day – less work for everyone involved!) SC always does the chicken for us which is also a huge help!
Another one of my favorite go to dinners (especially when I’m running short on time or energy) is what we call a “flat-out pizza” which is a pizza on a Flat Out wrap – it’s a healthier way to get your pizza fix. Lately I’ve been using chicken sausages for a topping and added protein:
My breakfasts have been either a Siggi’s yogurt or a plain oatmeal with blueberries and a teaspoon of peanut butter. On the weekends I have been loving a return to Barbara’s Puffins cereal, cinnamon flavor.
Well, that about wraps up what is new in my world. Tonight is a rest night for me, thus a perfect night to catch up on the blog. Because I have more time to cook I’m making black bean burgers for dinner – stay tuned for an upcoming post on that!