January 31, 2014

Running to Yoga and Back

I'm really enjoying my resolution of running at least 3 miles each week. It keeps me focused on the week (it's amazing how fast they're flying by now) and it keeps my running fitness in check. Ever since Christmas break in Dallas, however, I've tackled all my runs on the treadmill. I've been itching to run outside, but only in the right conditions and on the right roads.

"The Right Roads" - let me explain. While I was training for the marathon, I felt like I was constantly running the same routes over and over again. Especially when I was running downtown and not on the trail (which got equally as monotonous), I could only run on certain roads because I knew they didn't end in a massive hill. There's nothing more discouraging than trying to run freely (without thinking where you're going), and then seeing a massive hill approach. In Bellevue, they're everywhere! They're sneaky. And there's that moment when you have to decide to tackle it and wreck your legs, or just turn around and try and find somewhere else to run. The latter is the most discouraging, and when it takes a lot of out of me just to get out the door, even the lowest bit of discouragement is enough to make me want to end the run right there.

A massive hill I decided to tackle on a random run last year. This one rose 200ft in .5 miles. MASSIVE.
The other day, as I was driving home from yoga, I decided to take a different way. Suddenly I realized that I wasn't passing over any hills at all. This was a miracle!! Where the hell was I?! It turned out that I was just a little farther north than I usually ran, and this particular stretch of road barely had any hills at all. I made a mental note: this would be my next outside run, once the weather decided to cooperate.

Of course, it's been gross and rainy all week. Even this morning, I woke up and it was so so gross, just cold and rainy and grey on my way to yoga. And yoga KILLED me. My arms are still sore. My poor, undeveloped biceps. But after I came home, had a few hours to rest, the sky started to look wonderful.

I just felt the itch to run so I change clothes, filled up my water bottle, ate an old Clif Shot Blok (ick), and went outside, determined to explore the new street. Well friends, I ended up running all the way to my yoga studio and back, right at 6 miles. Damn.

I could definitely feel my legs struggling - plus the arm holding my water bottle was getting pretty tired just because of the added weight. But I just kept going. I could have stopped and turned around after about a mile and a half - but I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep exploring. So I just trucked along, with no idea how much farther I was going to go, and no idea how much time I was taking to do it.

It really does make such a difference when the weather is nice. I could have taken a couple more pictures when I was running across the overpass of the highway, because you could see the mountains in the distance - but I was getting annoyed at how much I had to stop because of all the stoplights. Damn city. Sometimes I just want to live in the country, you know?

Almost halfway through
The other bad thing about running through uncharted territory is that there's no telling if there will be a sidewalk. I ended up running in the street for about a half a mile, as close to the edge as I could manage, which forced my right foot to be higher than my left foot because of the sloping. Now my leg kind of really hurts. Oh well.

I am so, so surprised by this pace! I mean when I think about it, it really didn't take 54:30 because of the amount I was pausing the workout (you can see midst the green that there are splotches of red and yellow where I slowed down for the lights), it honestly took almost an hour and twenty minutes I would say, but oh well. That pace is awesome and I'm really proud of it, after having done a month of treadmill runs.

Pretty even pacing- I guess I was really ready for the run to be over with after Mile 5, but I'm so pleased to see that my first mile was the slowest and the last mile was the fastest. That's always my goal. I always feel the push to go fast in that first mile, but the rest of my run suffers if I succumb to those urges. You have to start slow to become fast! Warm up is the most important part!!

I'm so happy to be running again and it really reminded me that I need to do it more than once a week, and I need to do it outside. Whenever I see the sun, I just need to go and run - even if it's just a miles or two.

Have you been running outside recently?


  1. The best runs are the spontaneous ones! It's awesome to just keep running without realizing how far you've gone when discovering new roads. I feel ya on the hill thing. i SWEAR no matter the direction I return back to my aptmt I can't avoid this "slight" incline.

    I ran my first outdoor 4 miler last week since the Seattle half, and I think I will stick to 3.5 or shorter outdoors till it warms.

    1. The Seattle Half is killer!! sooo many hills haha. And yeah I can't stand the weather right now - if it would just stay in the 50s, then I would be happy...

  2. Doesn't it always seem like the "right road" changes everything? ;) Yeah, I just got deep right there. haha Glad you had a great run!

    1. haha don't worry, I liked the deepness. :P

  3. 6 miles is great for your first time back outside in awhile!

    No running outside for me either, now that it's starting to stay lighter later I can start running home from work again soon. It's only 4 miles but a slight downhill incline the whole way, so always feels like I'm flying!