The Best De-Stressor

Because I was at a dog agility trial over the weekend (I have some cute photos to share with you, soon!), I didn’t get in my long run as part of my half marathon training. Saturday morning, while we were on our way to the trial site, I couldn’t help but notice all the people out running and it actually made me sad that I was missing a long run. That totally surprised me, but that’s when I realized that on a weekend that I needed to clear my head the most, I wouldn’t be able to use running as the clearing. (Though, I will say I was pretty pre-occupied with everything agility-related while I was with my friends and dogs, so it still worked out.)

Running for me is a de-stressor. I’ve been able to use it to collect my thoughts, or clear my head. I’m able to relax more on a run outside than on the treadmill, and in the sunshine rather in the dark. So when the weather forecast called for a sunny day with a high of 50, I knew I was going to tackle some mileage outside after work!

How awesome is it that the days are getting longer?? The sun was still out when I finished my run after work!

How awesome is it that the days are getting longer?? The sun was still out when I finished my run after work!

My goal was to run 4-5 miles around where I work/where I used to live, I’m lucky with where our building is located that there is plenty of space to run, even during rush hour traffic. So I started out with one earphone in and the Linkin Park channel on Pandora and just ran. I didn’t have my Garmin, so I wasn’t checking my distance or my time, I just wanted to run to see how far I could go. When I started heading back to my office, I checked my RunKeeper app to see my mileage and saw that I was around 4 miles. The circle where my office is is a little over a mile long, so I went around the long way and just continued running. By this point I was starting to feel my legs some, but I wasn’t tired and my breathing wasn’t stressed–I just felt great!

Once I returned to my truck, I walked around the parking lot for a cool-down and then stretched some. My app was acting funky again, so I wanted to go home and use MapMyRun to double-check my distance. It said I covered 6.5 miles in 00:49:47, which would put my average mile at 7:37–I don’t think I’ve ever run a mile that fast, let alone six of them! Once again, the RunKeeper app failed me.

Upon review of MapMyRun, I actually ran 5.52 miles in 0:49:47, which is still pretty darn good! I’m proud of that run because I wasn’t really running for time or for any real distance (I was aiming for around 5), I just wanted to run to de-stress from the usual Monday at work and get in some fresh air.

How did you finish your Monday?

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A Look at the Week Ahead

Mondays are often viewed as a chance to re-start things. You often hear people saying they’ll get back to their diet come Monday. Even though, technically, Sunday is the start of the week, we always view Monday as the stepping stone for the next six days.

This morning I woke up already thinking about how I can make this week better. I didn’t go to my morning spin class because Sunday night I felt like I was starting to get sick and went to bed at 9:30 (!!) and decided I wouldn’t set my alarm for the usual 5 am wake-up. I woke up feeling better, thankfully, and fully-rested to start the week.

So here’s my look-ahead for the week ahead:

Monday – Evening spin class (the legs are feeling good today, after my rest day Sunday that consisted of just a 2-mile walk with the pups), followed by dinner and then tackling today’s HealthysELF challenge of a nagging task. My task is our bathroom cabinet. It’s a cluttered mess! Yesterday M and I bought an organizer for the cabinet in hopes that’ll help things, so I’ll use that to hopefully get the cabinet organized and cleaned.

Tuesday – Morning run on the treadmill and probably weights in the evening. I really need to start working on a couple of freelance articles, so this will be the evening I get that going.

Wednesday – Morning run on the treadmill. I might take the pups to do some agility training after work, so I want to be sure to get a good sweat in the morning.

Thursday – Yoga in the morning, weights/cross-training in the evening. More freelance work, hopefully.

Friday – Run in the morning and maybe a light session in the evening. I won’t be doing a long training run this weekend because I will be out of town for an agility trial, so I’m going to throw in an extra run Friday morning to make up for the lack of miles.

Saturday & Sunday – Kick some doggie butt with my two girls at the agility trial in Ohio and hope for the best!

Another positive start to the week? M and I finally got a new blender with some wedding gift cards and leftover Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons, so I got to have a protein shake for breakfast for the first time in months! Yay! But now I need to buy more protein powder. What’s your favorite?

How’s your week looking?

Taking Advantage of the Weather

TempsHow often does it happen that the weather is in the mid-50s and it’s semi-light when you get out of work in the middle of January? Not often. So I took advantage of the weather Monday by getting in a run in my old neighborhood by my gym after work. I missed out on a long training run over the weekend because I was in Tennessee for an agility trial, so I wanted to push my speed over 4 miles and see how I felt.

My first mile was my fastest in a long time–8:13! After that, I slowed down, but I still ended up running 4 miles in 0:34:19 (8:44 avg min/mile). Not bad!

I cooled down on an elliptical in the gym, then did some upper body with resistance bands, and then some core work before stretching and heading home. I forgot how much I enjoyed using resistance bands–I think I’m going to have to start incorporating them in my workouts for a change from the free weights.

Then after dinner (pasta with meat sauce M had made a couple of weeks ago and we froze, with some Very Veggie salad mix), I decided the pups needed to go on a walk since our lunch walk didn’t happen in the earlier rain. So while M worked on his homework, we set out for a 2-mile walk in pants and a sweatshirt…still warm! The perfect way to kick off the week!