Derby Strong: Volume II

Katie Health Leave a Comment

Kentucky Derby

This has been a period of training successes and challenges.

Greg and I have run 81 miles since we started training. That has happened while battling nasty head colds, treadmill-induced boredom, and a winter that has made even people who like winter shake their heads.

I have been at my yoga mat 11 times since the first of the year. I would like to average three classes a week. That falls a bit short of that goal. Such is the nature of practice.

Financially speaking, I have been spending more consciously, and making decisions with long-term financial implications in mind. Specifically, I now have been following a monthly budget for two months. (Thank you Greg, for thinking through that part of this process so clearly.) This is different from the traditional ostrich and sand method of financial management I have employed in the past. Mindful spending is new to me.

Things have been a bit less than stellar on the food front. I have not been successfully keeping a food journal, and have not even started my Food Challenge Workbook. I was supposed to start a Food Challenge with a group from Women on Writing on February 1st. I received my Food Challenge Workbook well into the month. So, I just figure I will start it March 1st. (I will see how that goes.)

Derby Strong is really about putting all the pieces of the wellness puzzle together. Each piece is important. It is not just about being ready when the gun sounds on race day (though that is important, too).

I want this post to be about how wonderful it was to run outside last Sunday. I know I am not the only Midwest runner to have struggled to get any miles in outside this winter. I am sad when I think about the fact that prior to Sunday, February 15, we had not been able to run outside at all during 2014. I am not a wimp. It has just been super cold. Running on the treadmill is not the slightest bit joyous. Running on a treadmill is the junk food of exercise. Running on a treadmill beats not exercising at all, but not by much. I was running outside (bundled up, but outdoors) this time last year, so this year has been especially difficult. Let this post be an ode to sunshine. Let this post be a celebration of seeing our breath. Let this post be a love letter to melting icicles.

According to our training plan, Greg and I had to run seven miles. We ran the first mile together, and he started running at a faster pace kinder to his significantly longer legs. I tuned in to Pandora on my iPhone and kept going. I am a tree gazing, snow flake eating, music listening runner. I soak it all in. It is possible to see what kind of music is shuffling through my headphones by looking at the way my head bounces as I run. It was cold enough to see my breath on Sunday. That did not matter. In fact, it was kind of fun to use the corner of my mouth to form letters and spell words with each exhale. The inches of ice on the sidewalk that had complicated our Wednesday and Friday runs was 90% gone. Thanks to the sunny, 60 degree Saturday we had just enjoyed.

I was running a route I knew. I was running a route I had not taken for some time. I knew the smell of the ribs from the Montgomery Boathouse. I knew each section of the sidewalk. I knew the difference between new and old cracks. I new the turns in the road. I knew when I would feel the burn of slowly running uphill. I started to sing when I made the turn at 3.5 miles. Energy filled my legs as I returned to Downtown. The last hill burned. I walked it out the last block. This was my route. I had run 7 miles in about an hour and twenty minutes. I was back running outdoors.

It is now supposed to be really cold again for the next week, or so. (Cold enough that you have to add the numbers together to equal freezing.) It looks like will have to run our 8 mile run indoors this weekend. Having had a brief opportunity to be outside, I think I can handle whatever weather the next few weeks brings.

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