Sunday, March 11, 2012

Am I a runner now?

Am I a runner now?

During my last run, Thursday, I was contemplating this exact question. I used to see running as the third of a triathlon that I HAD to do to complete the event. I have always enjoying swimming and biking, but running....sometimes it feels like stabbing myself in the eye- or legs for that matter. It's something I need to suffer through because it's a GREAT workout and my heart rate stays constant at 155-170 the entire time which I can't accomplish doing anything else except P90X plyo. Although I love me some Tony Horton, you simply can't do that three times a week if you don't want to have injuries.

But, for the past couple weeks I've been pushing myself way out of my comfort zone and stepping OFF the treadmill for my runs and forcing myself to run outside. For runners this sentence makes no sense, because real runners prefer running outdoors leaps and bounds above the "dreadmill." But, I've clung to the treadmill for 2 years now because it gives me control. If you feel a recurring theme from my last post, it's not a coincidence. I am a control freak, I admit it. I like that on the treadmill you can set the speed, time, incline (or lack there of) and just go. You can just zone out to good tunes and I can even read my kindle while running on the treadmill which makes the dreaded time go that much faster.

But I had a moment last Sunday on the road where something major happened in my brain. I don't know how to describe it, but I could actually feel a change. I had just run 3 miles and was approaching my parents house to be done with my run. Let me first say that this was the first time in my life I had run 3 miles without walking at all on the road. I've completed 5ks but I always took walking breaks. I have done it once on a treadmill and felt like I was going to die when I finished- but again, only once.

I'm approaching the house and suddenly I don't want to stop, I want to keep running. After this fact seeped through my legs into my brain and I fully registered it I almost tripped I was so surprised. Not even 10 minutes ago I had to convince myself to finish the hill on 272, and now I was ready for more? Who is this person and what did she do to Colleen?

So, I did what any sane person would do- I kept running. I did another full mile before I realized I actually had plans so I had to get back home. O snap!!

And if it wasn't a fluke at ALL but actually a shift, I ran again on Thursday and my "quick mile run" because I wasn't feeling very good but wanted to do something turned into another 4 mile jaunt that was only ended then because I was meeting Jen for dinner and needed to get clean. And it was a killer run- I took a different route that was all hills, including the Thankless Lane hills and 273 hills that are brutal and never end. The hill I was running on 273 isn't the steepest grade on 273 but it is so long, it's almost a mile of hill. Best part of the run- I got chased by a dog. Except not. Have you ever been chased by a snarling dog? He actually almost got me a few times. Lucky for me he was a little chubby guy that couldn't run very fast and had his owner yelling after him. After I lost the adrenaline from sprinting away from the dog it did make me laugh and feel like a real runner though. I have been chased by a dog, honked at by cars and a tractor trailer (that one really startled me), and actually ran because I wanted to- for the sheer joy of running.

A lot of changes this week, now if it will only show up on the scale....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who needs a gym?

So today I was all wrapped up in a big, lame excuse: I'm staying at my parents and therefore can't go to my gym. Not even a hotel gym.

I am a self proclaimed gym rat- I LOVE the gym. I particularly love the control of the gym. Temperature and weather control, plus all the fun toys that encourage my muscle soreness loving brain. All that said, the prospect of over 2 weeks away from access to not only MY gym but any gym has had me searching hopefully for another solution. Saturday I ran 4 miles which was awesome and the longest straight run I've ever done- zero walking! Then Sunday I horseback rode for 3 hours (if you don't think that's a workout you haven't ridden). So, I can enjoy workouts outside but now I need to work during normal working hours- butt early in the morning before work or after work.

I wasted at least 30 minutes of my life trying vainly to find a gym I could use this week...with no luck. I was feeling all blah and annoyed for my luck because I don't want my weight loss to get stalled.

Then I got my head out of my ass, looked at myself square in the mirror and told myself to get over it and figure out another way to work out. So, I dug my sister's elliptical out from behind stuff at my parents place where I had forgotten it was even there and did that for 30 minutes. And since I haven't done any strength training since Thursday (bad Colleen!), I did a 30 minute death by squats and lunges lower body strength training workout that was tougher on my legs than any machine.

Mission accomplished- Colleen can officially workout without a gym....although I still prefer it, DUH!!