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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The Power of Speaking Up

Just a quick note to let y’all know, once again the power of social media has surprised me. Remember my post on Sunday about how my RunKeeper GPS app on my phone said that my 8 mile run was actually 20 miles? Well, after walking my dogs on Sunday and having what I knew was about a 1-mile walk turn into a 2-mile walk (that started across the 4-lane highway half a mile from my house), I was irritated and blasted that blog post a couple of times on Twitter, hoping to call out the makers of RunKeeper.

Well, lo and behold, yesterday I got a tweet from @RKSupport: “Good call out Megan. Accurate tracking is everything. Hoping the latest update cleans up errors, but let us know if it continues.”

Sweet! I noticed an update for my app on Monday, and a little part of me wondered if my post had anything to do with it, and apparently it at least helped spur it on!

Here’s the convo:

TwitterConvo

So, moral of the story is, if you want something fixed, stand up and let someone know about it!

(Now if only I can get LA Fitness to fix their equipment so my friends and I can run together in the mornings! Sheesh!)

8 Miles that Turned into 20!?

Saturday dawned with a lot on my plate. I woke up early, dressed in my winter running pants, short sleeve tech shirt, zip pullover and fleece, and headed out to meet with the LexRunLadies at yet another new running spot. My plan was to run 8 miles, and the leader of our run said it’d be easy with a down-and-back course.

This time I was smart and took my fleece off before we started running–it was 34, and I knew I’d warm up within the first mile. Great thinking, because I later even took my pullover off after the half-way mark and ran in my short-sleeved shirt (thank you, sun!).

The run itself was very nice–we ran along part of a road that then turned into a running trail along some horse farms (this is horse country, after all, so most of my runs are along horse farms–I won’t complain!). We crossed one major road, but it wasn’t too bad because it was pretty safe. I was able to run with two other ladies who were at my pace, which was great! It was a lot of fun to be able to chat with someone throughout the entire run–it made it go by so quickly!

Only one time did I stop to walk, and that was when Jill and I took off our extra layer when we were about 3/4 of the way back. We knew where the 2 mile mark was and we were completely surprised at how quickly we were already done with 6 miles. At this point, I should have checked my GPS on my phone, but I didn’t. (Once again, I forgot to charge my Garmin, so I was just using my RunKeeper on my phone.)

It was fun talking with Jill because she had finished an IronMan, so she was telling me about training and her and her husband’s experiences with the races. She’s training for the Run the Bluegrass too, so we talked about future training runs, etc. When we finished our run, she pushed me to run two short cool down laps around the parking lot and then walking–which I needed. Usually I’ll walk to cool down, but I really need to think about making myself run a little longer to cool down after my runs, no matter how tired I am. (I totally forgot to take any photos from our run! The weather was perfect with sun and clear skies and a bit of a stiff wind at various points.)

RunKeeper

RunKeeper

So why does my title say 20 miles when I said I was running 8? Because, according to RunKeeper, we ran 20 miles in 01:15:08. That’s like a 4:30 mile! Crazy, huh?? I don’t know why it messed up so badly like that, but it frustrates me because I couldn’t see my splits and accurately record my miles and pace to go with my training. Has anyone else had any problems with RunKeeper?

So, we believe we ran the 8 miles in 01:15:08 (rough estimate, since I don’t recall the total time, and we weren’t sure exactly what time we started our run). Not bad. I felt great! I came home, quickly foam rolled and stretched a little more (I had stretched in the parking lot before I got in the car), showered, and then I was off to meet with a couple of friends for a presentation.

That afternoon I went to work the dogs in agility at an indoor facility (I was totally rocking my ProCompression socks all day after my run to help my legs recover). I was hoping to be able to rest more after my run, but the only time to work the dogs was Saturday afternoon. I did my best to not push myself too much, and I think it worked.

Then it was time for a date night with the hubby–using up wedding gift cards for dinner and then we saw “Broken City” at the theater with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe–definitely recommend it.

How was your weekend?