Thursday, July 19, 2012

Off and Running...

As Stephen Tyler said... "I'm BACK in the saddle agaaaaain."  Not that I really went anywhere per se but I am finally back on a regular workout routine since my bikini show in April and it feels fantastic. I love looking forward to my workout each day... even if it means practically waking up with the sun rising sometimes (although I tend to have a slightly different opinion within the first 10 minutes of that alarm going off).

My weekly program includes:
~ 2 conditioning workouts at the Harvard Stadium stairs
~ 2 running workouts (1 fartlek or sprint day and 1 endurance day)
~ 3 strength workouts (primarily focused on bodyweight training so far)
~ 1 easy cardio workout (weekly 4-mile walk with friends)

The secret is to run these while the football team practices on the field... extra motivation :)
Running had been the least consistent of my weekly workouts until recently... but it's really fun to be running again... finally! After completing the Boston Marathon in 2010, I participated in a few 5K and 10K races that summer/fall but found myself so burnt out that I decided to take a break from running.  Back surgery in June 2011 extended that "break", as did this year's fitness competition training (I did minimal cardio during training).

I started to ease back into my running shoes in May but have stepped it up now that I'm registered for the Falmouth Road Race in August (yayy!), and have my 20(in)12 goal of beating my 5K PR!  (Pretty ambitious goal seeing as it was set in 2007 when I was running more but, hey, go big or go home!)

2nd place finish in my age group! (aka the 5k PR that  I'm aiming to beat, 5 years later!)
Although my dad really wanted me to take up track and field in high school (I gravitated towards cheerleading), I didn't start running until college.  Two of my close friends inspired me to begin and I still remember the very first time I ran... I decided to join one of my friends on her run and, although we didn't go far, I remember feeling pretty proud of myself.

We ran a few times after that but I didn't really get into a routine until a few months later when I was living with the other friend.  She ran constantly and inspired me to start "run-walking" (as I called it)... I'd walk a mile out from my apartment, turn around and run it back.  I gradually started adding distance until I was doing about 3-4 miles of consistent running. I even remember my first runner's high... needless to say I was hooked after that!

I continue to run not only because I like to but for the health of my lungs, to have some alone time, to give myself an opportunity to think about things that need sorting out and just to get outside and appreciate a beautiful summer/fall/winter/spring day :)

I've been lucky to live within walking distance from the beach almost my entire adult life, which is a component of my runs that I couldn't live without.  One of my favorite waterfront loops is around Castle Island... I get to enjoy glimpses of the Boston skyline, picturesque views of docked sailboats and the occasional doggy-paddling dog... all while inhaling that saltwater smell that I love so much (I SWEAR it has healing properties).

I actually started today out with a Castle Island run... yup, feels great to be back!

Yummy protein/fruit smoothie... today's reward for a run well done :)

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