Inchworms and sprints and plies squats!

I feel so happy.

This morning we had a sub trainer, and she kicked our asses!!

We ran a mile around the track, then the bleachers, then one more round. Then we took the bleachers two steps at time– that small change gave me a terrific burn.

I was third-to-last running the mile– Tuesday I was dead last. My competitive spirit kicked in when I saw a shadow to my left. Nuh-uh, not today!

The biggest surprise was doing sprints– probably about five times.

Kelly yelled for us to”Give it all you got!!”

And I found myself third from the lead while sprinting?! Something changed with my body– I felt sleek, powerful, energized. We didn’t need to go far. But it helped me realize that I’m capable of more than I think, physically.

The inchworms were so hard! I loved every minute.

And afterward I had zero craving for a donut. I’m changing. ❤

Good morning to all, time to get ready for the work day!

The Trails Taken

Today I ran after work, starting at 6:30. I had a somewhat frustrating day and knew this was the stress-reliever I needed.

I returned to yesterday’s location, but took a different route. It was mostly road– I recognized I was running the periphery of the forest from yesterday.

I made a decision again to just let go and try something new, though this time I was on a time crunch, and it would be dark soon. It was a bit windy and overcast– felt like fall!! How I relished that flirtatious breeze hinting of a chill.

This time, I happened upon a group of kids, who seemed to be having a race of some kind. Adults were standing near a stretch of road as kids crossed over and others cheered. I wanted to go where they were going.

I saw a newer friend from this year– turns out she’s involved with a kids’ cross-country team. Her daughter was in it!

It just felt like I was going the right way. My running app announced I’d hit my first mile and I kept going for a bit, but couldn’t resist the pull toward the woods.

This time I DID put on OFF! The last thing I need is a bunch of bites.

Ahh, a hill descending! I skipped down it precisely, angling to the side so that I didn’t fall or slide. And at the bottom, there was my uprooted tree again. I hauled myself up again and this time balanced across it without slipping. I was getting mud all over me– my shoes, hands, legs.

Glorious!

And then the climb back upwards. A short wooden bridge!

Today I had programmed a Prince track into my Pandora– so perfect. I got “Dirty Diana,” and “Jungle Love,” while navigating that tree and the hill and meeting the trail again.

I exited the forest quicker this time, and sensed I was close to getting back to where I began.

I was right– I saw my car but kept going because I wanted to get at least 2.5 miles. I had wanted three, but was already almost late for my plans and it was getting dark.

But 2.55 miles in 43:04 isn’t so bad! It’s only half my distance from yesterday but considering I started early evening after a full day’s work and didn’t have the sunshine, I think that’s pretty dang good.

The biggest change is that it didn’t feel so rough. I remember when I could barely breathe after that distance.

And I got in two runs on consecutive days.

I still had to walk a few little times. But my body is getting acclimated to running.

It’s happening! There’s no going back now.

And it totally worked. I was a little muddy, just sweaty enough, and smiling by the time I ended my run and got in my car to drive home.

I realized I didn’t need to talk out the things that had bothered me, or at least not all of them. Running just made me at peace and renewed my faith that tomorrow will be better.

Yay for endorphins!

Daredevil Run

I am one stubborn woman.

Tonight, that was manifested in running with Eleise during a storm– though mostly humidity, thunder and lightening. Just a sprinkle of rain. We both considered rescheduling for tomorrow, but in the end we were game for the challenge.

It was only a short mile anyway! We reasoned if we stayed close in her neighborhood, we should be fine.

All I can say is, WHAT A FEELING! The wind was so loud and strong I couldn’t hear anything she said.

And to my absolute JOY, there was no awkwardness. No pain in my legs or feet, no trouble breathing. It didn’t feel like I had taken a running break. I didn’t feel I had to start over– it was easy. It was probably the easiest run I’ve yet had.

We made it .91 miles before the lightening was getting brighter and closer, and we returned to safety at her home.

Our time was 10:48.

So close.

But sadly, the sound is now iffy on my phone. I put it in some couscous, since I don’t have any rice. Hope it works by tomorrow!

That’ll teach me to stuff my phone in my sports bra when it’s raining!

The bottom line was that I missed running for 9 days, and I wasn’t about to allow 10 to happen.

Today was my return and I wanted to stay on schedule. Mission accomplished!

Up a Hill, Down a Hill: and Cheryl Strayed

Tonight I ran my fastest mile, at 11:55!

I’m not yet advanced to overhauling my diet to all healthy/fitness-based meals or doing strength training. It sounds great, but for now I’m just concentrating on running and building up endurance.

But I have been switching up my routes and running on different surfaces: trails, sidewalks, grass, asphalt. Tonight I drove to a totally different location and started out with a big hill, crossing over to the other side when I ran down it. I then ran across a bridge, a little farther, and then back up the hill.

When I hit one mile at the top of the hill the second time, I stopped my run.

I felt like a gladiator! And then a friend called, and I was happy to report what I was doing.

I just felt healthy and happy and great.

The best thing? This morning when I woke up, I was able to button a pair of pants that a month ago I had no hope of wearing. I was so annoyed I almost gave them away. I’m so glad I kept them and didn’t give up on myself. When I wore them today they were a comfortable fit!

FEELING the results is the best part about making these lifestyle changes. I’m eating better, a bit at a time.

Tonight is the big Strawberry Moon. I didn’t see anything pink about it, but I was happy to see it there regardless.

I’ve been reading “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail,” by Cheryl Strayed.

It’s been months since I was this engrossed in novel. Actually, this is a memoir.

Reading about how weak she was starting out– how she did everything wrong, over-packed, and somehow hiked an insane mileage in boots a size too small that gave her myriad blisters and caused her to lose toenails.

How she was reeling from the death of her mother by cancer– at only 45; the dissolution of her family, following; a divorce she never wanted from a husband she still loved. And she worked out her grief one step at a time.  She outlasted several other, more experienced hikers, (mostly men) who gave up because of record snowfall. She had to re-route her hike several times and hitch a few times after deviating from the trail to get around the snow.

Her constant ambivalence about her her ability to complete her hike. The many chances she could have taken to quit– all legitimate.

Every time I run, I doubt myself. Can I really do this? Can I make my goal? How hard can I push this time?

But reading about Strayed centers me.

Because she continued. I’m on page 206 and I will be sad to finish it.

How her mantra was “I’m not afraid,” and “Who’s tougher than me?”

I find myself underlining and circling words and writing notes– just like I conversate with all my favorite books.

A passage I particularly like, from page 69:

“The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail , the thing that was so profound to me that summer- and yet also, like most things, so very simple-was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. …. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go. The bull, I acknowledged grimly, could be in either direction, since I had seen where he’d run once I closed my eyes. I could only choose between the bull that that would take me back and the bull that would take me forward.

And so I walked on.”

A Soul on Fire! Singing, Sushi and Running

This was a great week for me– I gotta tell you!

Yesterday morning on the way to work I was listening to Christian radio and heard the perfect song– “Soul on Fire,” by Third Day. Even better, the lyrics talk about RUNNING!

I felt like God was telling me, “Keep it up, kiddo!” That’s the song I’ll be thinking of as I run.

It was a bit chilly tonight but I put on a stocking cap and a hoodie and I was good to go.

I took two days off running this week, Thursday and Saturday, to give my feet a break. Eleise and I kept to our schedule of three runs, and tonight I did .96 by myself without stopping! I checked my phone at the end of the block and then kept going till I hit 1 mile! And then I walked a bit, and ran to finish my goal of 1.75 miles– I made it 1.81 by the time I got home.

I’m getting mindful of what I’m eating, as well. I had a good lunch with my Dad today after Mass, and later tonight I passed on cheesecake and coffee.

Wednesday night was our choir’s last rehearsal of the summer! I had such a good time and will miss them for the next few months! Our choir director, David, ran threw several songs so that I could get up to speed and they could review. Rehearsals are laid-back and equal parts fun and music education.

The best part of our rehearsals is always at the end, when we stand in a circle, hold hands, and pray for whomever we feel called to with our intentions, be it out loud or just in our hearts. I specifically asked if we could get all of us together after Mass today and take a few quick pictures of us looking all spiffy in our choir robes! This is also the last week we’re wearing them– they’ll be taken to get cleaned and we’ll resume them when it cools off. Although I’ll miss the pride of wearing one, I do admit it’ll be a nice reprieve in the coming heat!

The whole choir (those I’ve met, some are currently not singing right now) wasn’t quite there today, but we got most of the group who have regularly been at rehearsals since I joined. I asked a tall gentleman to take pictures of us and he did! He was kind enough to take several, and I found two I really liked. We are diverse, happy, and coming together to share our joy in the Lord! I was so proud to post it today on Facebook.

And as for the sushi, I declared last night Date Night for myself and my book and went out for sushi! Why not? I got a lot done this week! I wanted to celebrate. I put on a cute outfit, a bit of perfume, and brought a book with me. Between the meal and the words, I had a great time.

Today is just one of those days that I feel grateful, motivated, and healthy.

I’m ready for June!!