I am officially one week into the #mayruneveryday challenge I am participating in, which you can find here. I’m impressed I’ve made it this far, running every day really is a challenge! At best, I’ve been doing 4 days in the last few months, but it’s usually more like 3. The hardest days so far were Friday and Saturday, just because they are normally rest days and busy days in my world. And yesterday, I so badly wanted to skip it because I came home to deal with an itchy dog and a plan to wash the bed linens and laundry, vacuum, and bathe Blue in hopes of helping whatever skin allergy he has going on. The last thing I wanted to do was run after all that. But hubby, who is doing the challenge with me, got home from work, and off we went.
The challenge is to run at least a mile each day and we’ve done just that. Here is my first week in review… Two of my runs were on the treadmill. I am more consistent with my pace on the treadmill but I much more prefer running outside.
That’s a total of 12.14 miles for the first 7 days… I would love to hit 50 for the month! I have run every single one of these miles, no walk breaks! Something has clicked and I am pushing myself harder than I ever have. I feel great after each run. If anything, this challenge will help with conditioning of my runs.
Are you taking part in this challenge or have you done a similar one?
One day, I would love to have longer weekends. A 5-day weekend and 2-day work week would be fabulous. <sigh> A girl can dream, right? I guess the second best thing is to have a great weekend and enjoy every minute. This past was weekend was just that…
After a mile run Saturday morning, hubby and I went to Fit2Run so he could have a gait analysis done for new running shoes. He is now the proud owner of a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus. I love that he wants to run with me, it’s another way we can spend quality time together. After shoe shopping, we headed to Hooters for lunch with our friend Ashley. It was such a nice day, we sat outside. What is it about a good meal, ice cold beer, and nice weather that makes the perfect lunch?
We also ran into this adorable face at lunch… My most adorable niece! Her mom and dad apparently had the same idea for lunch after purchasing tickets for Autumns upcoming dance recital.
After lunch, we went into Wal-Mart as quick as possible, and then headed home for a a couple of lazy hours. Later, hubby went to a graduation party and I met my mom at Ozona Pig for dinner. Seriously, my favorite pulled pork ever. And deviled eggs. And green beans. Yea, it’s THAT good….
After BBQ heaven, we headed up to Crystal Beach for sunset, it was the 4th after all. We love to get up there about an hour before sunset and enjoy the breeze and the view. There are always dogs up there, since it’s right in the midst of a small community. We see many of the same people up there every month. It never gets old. This particular evening, the sky was a gorgeous blue when we arrived and then as the sun set, the clouds rolled in. Every sunset is always unique.
On Sunday morning, hubby and I headed to Memorial Causeway for an early run. There is something so calming about a run as the sun is rising. It’s not something I can do during the week, so it’s a treat to do on Sunday. I ran a a full 3.20 miles without music.
A late breakfast at home, some blogging, reading, and a nice nap, and then it was time to head out to family dinner to celebrate my mom’s birthday was which Friday. She wanted to go to Longhorn Steakhouse which made everyone happy. Another food my family loves is steak! I also tried the Skinny Blackberry Sangria which was VERY good. I would definitely have it again.
And how do you follow up a nice birthday dinner? A trip to Cold Stone of course! Conveniently, there is one right behind Longhorn so we walked. I had Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt…. Oh yummy chocolate gooey Oreo goodness in a cup. I should have taken a picture of it. But, I did take a picture of cutie-pie Autumn with her cotton candy ice cream and being silly with her Uncle Mike. Fun times!
Hubby and I ended the evening at home and watched The Blind Side. Obviously we are way behind on seeing it since it came out in 2009, but it was such a good movie! Perfect end to a great weekend.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
It’s become a nice tradition for hubby and I to get up Sunday morning and head to Memorial Causeway to run over the bridge. Last week, we changed it up and went over the whole causeway to the beach and then turn around and head back. We ran a good bit of it with walk breaks. This morning hubby had the brilliant idea that when we got over to the beach, we would take our shoes off and walk the beach for a bit before we head back over. I used to be such a beach girl so I was all over this and loved him for thinking of it.
I took this amazing shot of the Clearwater from the walkway leading up to the bridge…. I am currently obsessed with the panoramic feature on my iPhone.
Our run started at the beginning of the Memorial Bridge and it was my goal to run the first mile before I took a walk break. Hubby runs ahead of me (darn my short legs!) but I knew I would catch up to him at some point if he took a walk break. Up and over the bridge was great and the first mile was done. I didn’t want to stop, I didn’t need to stop. I kept running. And I ran over the the entire causeway all the way to the beach. My Garmin said 2.15 so I ran a full 2 miles without stopping. I can’t believe it did it and it felt so amazing.
The beach was not busy yet… We took our shoes off and walked on the soft cool sand for a mile. We have the best sand here in Clearwater Beach. The beach is so pretty here and I once again asked hubby why don’t we ever go?!?! We need to! Look at this view….
They have the sugar sand festival going on still and we saw some of the sculptures on our walk back towards the pier. Amazing! And of course I had to have my picture taken with the dolphin, everyone knows how much I love dolphins.
And then we were back to the round-about and it was time to head back over the causeway. I told hubby I was going to see if I could run back over the entire distance again. And I did it. Today was one of those days where everything clicked and felt right and I ran my heart out, without stopping. I felt great the entire time, even running back up the bridge. Hubby snapped a picture of me while I was running…. I think he might be just a little proud of me, one of my biggest supporters.
I ran the exact same distance headed back over, 2.15 and did it faster than the first time over. I was well within my half marathon pace the entire time, even a little faster at some points.
Another thing that made this run nice… I didn’t have any music. I have always had music when I run, except when hubby and I go out because we can chit chat along the way if we’re keeping the same pace. We weren’t together for much of my run and it was just me and my breath. I think it made a big difference.
Best run ever… It’s the kind of run that makes me really look forward to the next, the kind that reminds me why I love it so much. Running is my way of getting out of my own head and all the worries and stressors that I have for that small bit of time. And it reminds me that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Anything.
Do you run with music or without? What makes for a great run for you?
When I signed up for the Iron Girl Half Marathon I was already thinking about the bridges that would set this race apart from any other I had done. Not just one, but two big bridges. I had walked them before, but I had never run over them. I openly admitted that I was afraid of those bridges.
At the beginning of March, I decided it was time to tackle those bridges and that started a weekly workout that I hope to continue. Hubby and I went out to Memorial Bridge 5 times and Sand Key Bridge 2 times over the last 5 weeks. We would run the full length of the bridge, over and back, 3 times. The very first time at Memorial Bridge set the tone for every other time. We walked and ran it and, being totally honest, I huffed and puffed my way over that bridge. It was hard. And then I started to question how I would handle the Iron Girl because of that. Those thoughts turned into determination and each time we went out there, I got stronger and better and by the time we finished up this last week, I was *almost* running over the whole thing. Our times got better and better each time, with the exception of the last time thanks to it being hot and humid out. Ironically, that is how it’s supposed to be on Sunday for race day.
Sand Key Bridge
I am the worst at following any kind of set training plan, so the fact that I kept up with this over 5 weeks is huge. Things always have a way of happening or getting in the way when I try to make a plan but this worked out well. We would go on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday after work. The Wednesday ones were harder since it was after working all day and for the most part, warmer than the morning runs.
I am also thankful to hubby for going out there with me. I told him he didn’t have to, but he stuck with me the whole 5 weeks. He pushed me when I needed it and reminded me every time that I could do it. Thank you, honey!
So, I think I am as ready as I’m going to be for Sunday. It’s supposed to warm and humid with a good chance of rain. This will be the warmest race I’ll have done and the hardest. But I am going to give it every thing I have. Here’s the route for the race…. It starts and ends at Coachman Park, over the causeway, along the beach, over Sand Key, and then back. Bring it on!
(Source: Iron Girl)
Are you running an Iron Girl event this year? Tell me where and what kind of training you’re doing!
We had more fun yesterday, with dinner at a family favorite, The Ozona Pig, which my niece calls The Pig. It was great evening, we sat outside at dinner and enjoyed the breeze, the food, and ice cold beer. I love family dinners, and this week has been extra special with my Aunt Darlene here.
After our delicious meal, we headed north a few minutes to our beloved Crystal Beach. It was cloudy and overcast when we arrived but the sun kept peeking out of the clouds during sunset. Autumn and I had a fun time playing in the water (chilly!), finding shells and rocks, and running along the sand. Autumn always makes me laugh… She fell in the water at one point and then took off running towards the steps yelling “Um, I have a problem!!!”. That kid cracks me up.
Our evening ended perfectly with a trip to Cold Stone for ice cream. I haven’t had Cold Stone in quite awhile and it was GOOD!! Hubby and I shared a Cake n’ Shake milkshake. Oh heavenly sweetness in a cup. Cutie pie Autumn had a cotton candy milkshake that was almost as big as she was!
Do you have a family favorite restaurant that you go to? What do you do for fun when you have family in town?