Friday, November 29, 2013

Coming out of my Blog Coma....

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!! 

First, an apology. I'm really sorry for my recent disappearance! I know, it has been bad. I've been so absent that I almost forgot my Blogger password.


I was gone so long, that Alicia from In Healthy Habits We Trust asked me where I've been (so nice of her!).

I didn't mean to go AWOL on you...

So what's going on? First off, everything is fine with me, and I'm not going to stop blogging. In fact, I miss blogging. I miss my blog friends. I'm passionate about blogging, I really am.

But blogging isn't the only thing I'm passionate about. I'm also passionate about my job. I'm proud to have received a promotion recently, and I'm rising to the challenge by putting in more hours and mental energy. I'm passionate about running. And spending time with my B and kitties. And cooking healthy meals. And seeing my friends and family (not as often as I'd like). I wouldn't say I'm "passionate" about cleaning and keeping up my home, but it is something I prioritize.

Put all of that together and you can pretty much only find me at home, work, running, and Target if I'm lucky!

The crazy thing is, I'm not as busy as many other people - especially those of you with kids. I have NO idea how you do it all, and I applaud you!!!

I guess you could say I need to learn how to better manage my time. Unfortunately, when I feel stressed, I tend to withdraw from others and spend my time making to-do lists and plowing through work. And let's not talk about stress eating!

Not my healthiest habits.

Throughout the busiest days this month, I still kept up with my running schedule. I'm glad I have, as I enjoyed seeing my running friends, and running just improves my outlook on life. I have tried a few tactics lately that have helped with managing my time - maybe I'll share in a future article!

All of that said, I'm glad to be back! I'm happy to report that I'm in a positive place in my running journey, so let's recap, shall we?

I ran CrossKnox, my 1st 15K race, last month.

CrossKnox is a race that literally runs across Knoxville. It starts just east of downtown and follows interconnected greenways through downtown to Bearden (west of downtown). Prior to this race, I was in a weird place just after my heel had healed and not sure if I wanted to keep working on my 5K pace, or train for a half marathon. During CrossKnox, I felt energetic and confident. I ran the first 10K in 1:10 - a PR! I finished in 1:48, which was faster than my goal of 1:50! I felt so great after this race, I was inspired to get back into the long runs I love and train for a half this December.

I went to Vegas!!

Hours after completing CrossKnox (literally), I hopped on a plane to head to Vegas for a customer loyalty conference. I dragged myself through airports, which wasn't fun!!  I don't gamble, but I love Vegas for the people-watching, sights, food/beverages, and entertainment. The conference was great, and I squeezed in a 3 mi run on the strip one morning.

Meanwhile, everyone else staggered from the bars and casinos to their rooms...

I also saw the amazing performance that IS Shania Twain in Vegas. In case you didn't know, I love 90's music. Even though I'm not a big country fan, I was OBSESSED with Shania as a teen. She will ALWAYS be the ultimate country-pop diva to me.

Sorry T-Swift.

Shania's Vegas show is unbelievable. Yes, it's a huge Vegas-style production with ostentatious graphics, lighting, multiple set and costume changes, and lots of back-up singers and dancers. HOWEVER, she does a fantastic job of connecting with the audience - sharing personal stories and  interacting with and inviting people to come on stage. She sang all of her hits and looks and sounds as amazing as ever! She also shared that she eats a raw vegan diet and power-walks, in case you were wondering why you don't look like her. :)

I'm rediscovering long runs.

Since CrossKnox, I've rediscovered my love of long runs. I've run two 10 mi runs, and one 12 mi run. I love to get in a comfortable rhythm, get lost in my thoughts and music, run a loooong time, and see that calorie burn on my watch!

I'd rather run 10 miles at a comfortable pace than 3 at an aggressive pace. 

I don't love the side effects of long runs, however. I've forgotten how hard it is to move my legs after running 10 miles. It's like they are made of lead. My 12 mi run a few weeks ago was painful. I was fine until 10, then every.single.step hurt. I wanted to collapse. I even considered laying down in the grass in a park at 11.6 mi. 

That was one of those "just because I can doesn't mean I should" decisions. 

I sucked it up and jogged the painful 0.4 mi. Then I wanted to collapse and not move all weekend. 

And eat salt. I forgot how much I crave salt after long runs.

Running 12 mi for the third time in my life reminds me of the first time I ran 12 mi. It was 8 months ago. I felt accomplished, but I hadn't quite figured out a fuel strategy for long runs, and I learned the hard way I wasn't doing a good job at fueling. More on that soon.

We'll call that one a "What not to do" story...

Now it's taper time for my half marathon.

I'm running my second half marathon in South Carolina next month with B. It will be a long weekend before the holidays get hectic. We can't wait! I'm shooting for a time between 2:30 and 2:40 - a PR from my first half time 2:45.

And after that...

I don't think I'm ready for a full marathon next spring, but B has committed to running his first full marathon at the Knoxville Covenant Health Marathon in March, 2014. He's rocking this running thing. He has gotten his 5K time to 22 minutes, and has worked on long runs, too. He ran his first 14 mi run the same day I did 12 mi. I'll probably do a half in Knoxville and cheer B on afterwards.

That's where I am today! I got a pre Thanksgiving run in Wednesday in the SNOW (unusual in TN in November) and spent Thanksgiving with family in rural East TN. 

Happy Thanksgiving from me and B, and thank YOU for stopping by the CSRS blog and sharing in my journey. I'm coming back!

Instead of shopping, B and I ran 6 mi today in our hometown, and spent the rest of the day playing games with my family.

That tunnel goes through a mountain and is about a quarter mile long. It's a little creepy, so I was motivated to sprint, haha!!

Next week, I'll share that story about my first 12 mi run. It's...interesting. Kind of scary (although everything was fine), kind of funny (now), and a good "learning experience". :) 

How has your running journey been this fall? 


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I was not compensated by any of the above organizations for this post, nor are they affiliated with this blog. I am simply sharing my honest opinions and experiences. The views expressed in this article are solely my own. Also, I'm not a health or fitness professional of any kind. See my  Terms and Conditions page. 

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