Sunday, February 24th

Life doesn’t always go as planned and that saying definitely applies to my training plans as well. I was optimistic the week of February 11th that I would be able to add in a little extra distance to offset spending the weekend on my yoga mat and driving while attending a yoga training. It didn’t work out due to my workload, PiYo classes, and preparing to be out of town Friday afternoon through Sunday night. I’m thankful that I’m truly not in training mode yet and have plenty of time before that starts or it would have added another layer of stress to my already full week.

I was able to go on two runs for a total of 8.25 miles. The first was just a quick 3 mile run on my lunch break. We had fresh snow and the roads had not been plowed yet. It was very tiring and slippery when I did catch the surface hidden by the fresh snow. The second run was after I had dropped off my boys at school. I thought that the road conditions would be better in town, but they were just as crappy as they were around my house. Many sidewalks covered with snow, snow covered shoulders and snow banks that didn’t help with visibility for me or for cars to be able to see me. In total, I was able to pound out 5.25 around the streets of Brainerd and snap a photo in front of the mural in downtown.

I spent last Saturday and Sunday at a yoga training and learned how to teach Yoga Strong. Yoga Strong is a blend of vinyasa yoga with resistance training and cardio burst segments. As I think about ramping up my mileage this summer, I’m looking for a workout option that is time efficient and helps me continue to build muscle and improve flexibility. These components of fitness are especially important to me as a runner because they help me stay as injury free as possible. I think this is going to be such a good fit for my time and fitness goals.

On Monday, I was invited to lead a yoga/stretching based activity at our local high school for a wellness event. I was so thankful to put this class together and create an inviting space for our teachers to relax and just focus on being present in the moment.

This week I’ve been able to log a little bit more for a total of 16 miles. I enjoyed four miles with my friend Dayle before our PiYo class on Tuesday night. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a wonderful sunset! For a small moment, it let us forget for how sick of winter we truly are. On Wednesday, I set out for a 5 mile run first thing in the morning in heavy snow. I grabbed a hat and wore my buff over it so that I could actually see. Thursday morning I set out again for another run as soon as the boys got on the bus. The roads that I run on had not been plowed yet and I left my tracks everywhere I went.  My last run of the week was yesterday for a total of 4 miles. We finally had a mild temperature day and the snow was slushy and soft. It reminded me of running on the beach in Florida, just much colder and less beautiful. 

This week I am watching my niece while my sister is on vacation. I’m realistic that I won’t get the long runs in that I would like to. My plan is to get up before she does and run 3 miles each morning before my husband leaves for work. That will get me 15 miles for the week, which is better than nothing! I have another 16 hours of yoga training this weekend and I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to get in a longer run on Saturday or Sunday (or both) before or after the training, but not confident enough to pencil it into my fitness planner. It’s being hosted at our local YMCA, so at least I don’t have a lot of driving to do this time!

Total Mileage in 2019 to date: 110.5

Sunday, February 10th

This past week was eventful in a personal way, but less eventful in a running way. Mother Nature continued to send more snow, freezing rain and plummeting temps our way.

I started out Monday by taking my son to take his drivers permit test and he passed! He has had some really interesting weather to learn how to drive on, so he should be a pro when spring and summer rolls around!

I looked at the forecast on Tuesday morning and realized that I better lace up my shoes and get in a run before it turned bitterly cold again. There was moisture in the air and it created a sparkling, shimmery frost on all the surfaces. On days like this, it makes you appreciate the beauty of winter. In a sense, it puts you inside a real life snow globe where the fake snow magically clings to the trees. There is no fakeness about this snow and cold though, it’s bitter chill will reach your bones if you aren’t dressed well enough.

Speaking of that, as I was running, it became apparent that I didn’t choose the right base layer for my shirt and it kept creeping up under my jacket. As I kept tugging it down, I thought to myself that maybe I’d luck out and get nature’s version of Coolsculpting! I believe the concept behind Coolsculpting is that it freezes your fat cells and then your body naturally flushes them out. If I just wear less layers, wouldn’t the same thing naturally happen while running? Spoiler alert – it doesn’t! The fat cells are still there, I just got uncomfortably cold…

My next opportunity to run wasn’t until the weekend. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to stick to a schedule yet when it comes to mileage. I won’t start my training program until the May/June timeframe and the first week of my training program starts with a 34 mile week. Between now and then, I’ll keep gradually building at about 10% (give or take) a week until I’m solidly there.

My running goal this week is to stack the miles on top of each other to challenge myself. I plan on running 3 miles tomorrow (plus PiYo), 5 miles Wednesday, 8 miles Thursday (plus yoga) and 3 miles on Friday for a total of 19 miles. I won’t have the opportunity to run this weekend since I’ll be attending Fit Fest in Minneapolis and learning how to teach Yoga Strong, a strength based format that I’m excited to start teaching in April! 

Keep running after your goals! You only have one life to live, do some epic stuff that you’ll remember!

Total weekly mileage: 16.2

Total 2019 mileage: 86.25

251 Days until race day!

 

February 1st, 2019

Welcome to my blog! I started this blog as a journal of sorts to document my adventures as I train this winter, spring and summer for my longest run yet. I’m not going to call it a race, because I am really in no competition with anyone but myself, but the run that I’m going to be participating in is the Wild Duluth 100K and Terribly Tough 10K (https://www.wildduluthraces.com/). If I finish both successfully, I’ll earn the title of Ultimate Wildwoman.

Initially, my heart was set on running the Superior 100 mile fall trail race, but I didn’t get in through the lottery. That’s okay, I certainly wasn’t the only one. I took the missed opportunity to commit to the next biggest challenge that I had in mind and that was a 100K trail race. In reality, it makes sense to step up progressively from a completed 50-miler to a 100K and then a 100-miler. Perhaps fate or divine intervention played a role in this series of events.

I have one hope with this blog. My hope is that I inspire someone to go after a goal that they can’t stop thinking about. There is a reason that you think about it all the time. It’s in your heart. Stop telling yourself that you can’t and start asking yourself HOW. How can you make it happen? Do you need to take some classes, do you need to get up earlier, do you need to find a mentor? Start thinking through how you can take steps forward to go after that goal.

In 2018, I essentially had a hiatus from running consistently. I had finished up a challenge to run 2,017 miles in 2017 and took a break once I hit the goal. For the first half of 2018, I focused on teaching fitness classes until I had a non-running related foot surgery on June 1st. I recovered and had another surgery in September which required me to not do any strenuous activity for another 4 weeks. In the last week of October, I got back to teaching fitness classes and in November, I started introducing more running, in very short distances, back into my routine to focus on being active over the holidays.

As I get back to running on a consistent and focused basis, I thought it would be fun to share the journey. I’m starting at ground zero. Starting in January, I didn’t have a base established. I started with a mile and built on from there. I don’t have a treadmill and will not buy one. I run all of my miles outside for a number of reasons. For one, even if it’s so cold that your eyeballs might freeze shut, it makes me feel alive! The vitamin D from being outside helps improve my mood. Secondly, it toughens you up and helps you solve problems. Figuring out what to wear in negative temps/rain/sleet/snow/spring/hot as hell, etc. sometimes takes a Google search and lots of trial and error. Third, it teaches you to be resilient and that is definitely a skill that you need when you run distance races. You have to believe that you can get through it. When you put in those tough training runs where you get up at ridiculous times of the day or the weather really sucks, you show up for you. That’s so important. You have to believe in you when no one else will.

My total mileage for January came out to 54.3. I’ll take it. My goal was to run at least 3 days a week and I overall met that with the exception of this last week of the month when our temps dipped so low that I simply didn’t have an adequate base layer when it comes to pants to wear. I had double layered my pants during some -20 degree weather and I had some pretty blotchy, red and cold thighs afterwards. I knew that I wouldn’t be sufficiently dressed for the temps on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I’m hopeful that our coldest days of winter are OVER.