Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running again...finally!

I'm back!!  Now that we have gotten all the summer trips out of the way, I'm trying to focus on running again.  I managed to get in a few runs even while on vacation.  Let me tell you, running down a beach boardwalk in Hawaii will get me out!  It was kind of a neat way to tour Waikiki Beach!  There were so many runners up and going every morning in Hawaii on both Oahu and Maui.  It was great to see!  People seemed so much healthier there overall.  I would love to live and run in Hawaii year-round.  It would be amazing to say the least!

Now that I'm back in the "real" world, I guess I'm out of excuses.  I've gained about three pounds over the last month and a half maybe.  I fluctuate in a five pound range though, so I'm not too worried.  It will come off eventually, I think.  I'm back to watching my calorie intake and making sure I do something active every day. 

The hard part is that we've been in a heat wave for weeks it seems!  Today, the high temperature will be in the upper 90's, but around 115 degrees with the heat index.  These are the kind of temperatures that kill people.  So, yesterday I hauled my lazy butt out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and did a morning run for the first time in a long time (see, I told you I was back).  The past two weeks, we've done a Saturday long run of six miles and seven miles.  Unfortunately, those were the only miles I got in those weeks.  I did some elliptical and workout videos, but no other running.  This week, I'm trying to run three mile easy runs twice and the long run on Saturday.  If that goes well, I'm going to switch an easy run with some speed work next week.

My next race is going to be a two-mile parade run for the Illinois State Parade.  Then ten days later will be Abe's Amble.  Abe's is a 10K starting at the state fairgrounds, through Lincoln Park and Oak Ridge Cemetery where Lincoln is buried.  There's some good hills in there!  A lot of the course is similar to the roughest parts of the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, so I'm familiar.  We've also done a training run on the course before. 

I'm not quite sure what pace I'm shooting for yet.  With all this time off running, I don't know how much I've lost since the half.  I would hope that I could maintain a similar pace (9:15) for less than half the distance of a half marathon.  I'll see how my speed work is shaking out in the next couple of weeks.  I would probably be happy with that pace, but I haven't ran that pace since in months.

Shane is doing a mini-triathlon at the end of the month.  I've been so tempted to try it, but I'd really like to do a little bit of training before I launched into something like that.  I haven't really done any swimming or much biking.  Plus I don't have a good bike to use.  Maybe next year.  It sure would be fun--everything besides swimming in that gross lake of ours!  That part kind of creeps me out.

On a health related note, today I got the official okay from my doctor to stay off the blood pressure meds I've been on since shortly after my daughter was born three years ago.  One was a diuretic, the other one suppressed my heart rate--both of them not good for people who exert themselves outside in the sun on a regular basis (like someone who runs).  I'm so thrilled about being off of them.  I couldn't imagine taking two pills every day for the rest of my life, which could potentially be another 50 to 60 years or more!  Especially ones that made it harder to run and messed with body functions which are important for running efficiently.  So, YAY for that one!  The doctor took one look at my heart rate (low) while I was showing him my blood pressure history and said that I must be an active person.  I can't help to be a little bit proud of that. 

So, boys and girls, I'm mostly back in the saddle. I'm working on running more and my health.  I'll let you know how speed work goes.  I'm kind of dreading it.

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