Oppressive Heat

I can’t. It’s too much. It’s too hot!

I’ve been itching to run, but it’s just way too hot after work. By the time it cools down, it’s seriously 8 PM and the parks are closed, and by that point, I’m really just too lazy to run. I need to get some serious mileage going. I’m probably signing up for a 5K in September, so at least I don’t have any races to run this summer. I hoped to wake up early for my run today, but the heat had me feeling sluggish and icky, so I woke up too late to run & shower before work. I did two of my Pilates moves and plan to do the rest later tonight (in the A/C!)

I did a bunch of squats yesterday and my legs are way more sore than I was expecting- maybe I’ll walk a few miles tonight instead of running.

Heart Opening Yoga

My friend Manisha is becoming a yoga teacher! Her last class and graduation were on Saturday, so on Friday, she offered her friends a special class: Heart-opening twilight yoga. I am always down for yoga with Manisha and I’m so proud that she’s following this dream. She’s going to be an amazing yoga teacher.

There were six of us in the class and we met at a friend’s house. They had candles and incense and statues set up on their back patio so we had a truly amazing backdrop for the class. It was getting dark by the time we finished and the flickering candles really added to the relaxing atmosphere. It was about an hour- hour and a half? I felt super relaxed afterwards. It was all about opening up the heart chakra. Manisha did a really great job, she sounded so confident. We did guided meditation at the end and I just stared up at the clouds. It was really fantastic.

Roxbury Color Fun Run! #runforjoey

I had a really good time at this race! I ran it this past Sunday with my mom and my sister, Wendi. It was their first race and I think we all had a good time! My Aunt Daryl and cousin Kimmie came out to cheer us on (and hold our stuff). They took a ton of really great pictures. There were a ton of high school-aged and younger kids there – the run is a benefit to help families in the area, so it was great to have such a big turn-out.

We made such a fuss about buying white shirts, but they gave us cool race t-shirts to wear. Afterwards we sprayed them with vinegar and ironed them to try to make the color stick.

Before All
Me and Wendi, with a photo-bomb from my mom
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Wendi is excited for her first event!

Wendi and I did some running, but mostly walking. There were a bunch of people and clearly, no one was racing, so we just kind of enjoyed it and tried to make the most of the color. We had bandanas (a little trick I learned at the official color run) and almost everyone at the color stations remarked that it was very clever. They helped a lot, except at the blue station where the guy was clearly aiming for faces. I wound up with blue eyebrows which I really, really, really liked. All the dye cleaned off very easily, but I purposely left my eyebrows blue. Oh my gosh, the people at the color stations. Like, my shirt was covered in colors from each station, but those people were colored head-to-toe in whatever color they were throwing.

Running
Picture taken by Aunt Daryl
Running 2
Purple dye in the air!

The paved path at the park is only about 1.5 miles, so I think they intended for everyone to go around twice? We didn’t, but it wasn’t timed, so we didn’t really care. Once we got back around to the beginning, the party was going full-blast. My mom caught up with us and we realized she hadn’t gotten ANY COLOR on her. She kept hiding behind other people at the color stations. We had to remedy that. We walked straight to the purple and blue stations and let them pelt her with color. They were out of red dye, but it was still all over the ground, so we gave her red handprints.

Finishing
Crossing what we think was the finish line
After all 1
Fun day!
After all 2
Mom’s Red Handprints

So my sister is much faster than me. She claims it’s harder and hurts more to run slower. She’s so used to running 1 minute intervals, she can afford to speed up because she’ll recover. I just plod along =). I am going to switch gears to run intervals with her in October. That should be fun!

The Saga Continues

It’s only taken me about two years, but I’ve finally finished one training plan!

No, I haven’t been working on the same plan for two years, but I’ve started and stopped at least four others before I decided to just stick to one.

Now I’m working on the sequel to that training plan. I feel so…. grown up? Like I’m a successful human being?

and I’m pleased to report that the runs are very difficult, but somehow totally doable. The first run was twenty minutes “easy” and it felt anything but easy. My legs got super tired really quickly.  I was worried after working my way up to a long run in the first plan that ALL the runs in the second plan would be long, which I mean, makes sense, but I’m still a little whiny about it.

Run #2 was the one I was more worried about – the fartlek. Speed play. Sounds fun, right? Run faster for a bit, run slower for a bit. I have done fartleks before, but they were always more like walk/run intervals, not one continuous running experience.  I slowed my pace down and was able to run the whole thing on the treadmill last night, sweating my face off the whole time. I’m kind of excited to see what my pace will be like at the end of this training program. I tend to either avoid new things or plunge into them headlong at breakneck speed, which can’t be sustained.

I’m also doing a lot of core work over the summer. I’m getting ready for the wedding of my college roommate, and there’s a dress I’m dying to wear that I need to lose a little bit around the midsection to fit into better.  I’m not interested in losing a ton of weight, but I went shopping last night and it was very disconcerting. I couldn’t find anything that fit well and everything was just a little too tight. I see all these cute clothes that I can’t wear. All the clothes in the women’s section are flowy, caftans of blobby misshapenness. I am too awesome to be forced to wear shit clothes. There, I said it.

I RAN THE WHOLE THING

I ran the “Roxbury Community Benefit 5K” in my hometown on Sunday. I am lucky enough to have some awesome family and friends around that run with me – I can’t remember the last 5K I ran solo! My cousin Adam and Aunt Margaret joined me this time around. I was so excited to have new running buddies! My mom and dad were also there to watch us start and finish. I wonder if they got any good pictures…

I can’t keep in my excitement any longer-  I ran the whole thing! I didn’t stop at all! Aunt Margaret walked next to me the whole time – she stayed half a step ahead of me and helped me push my pace so I didn’t take it too slow. I ran for 3.1 miles without stopping. I’ve come so far – there were times when that seemed completely impossible to me, like unfathomable. I basically ran for an hour straight. (52-ish minutes.. yes, it’s slow, but there are some minor hills and I just didn’t want to run out of energy halfway through.) My cousin Adam finished in 22 minutes. Can you believe that? I can’t imagine zipping through the course so quickly.

My legs were sore when I started out. I hadn’t run for about a week prior to the race, so the day before, I figured I’d get a little cardio. Apparently, running the day before a race might cause you to be tired or sore the next day. Who knew? I should probably taper better next time.

The course was really well laid out. There was one small hill in the first mile, one smaller hill in the second, one killer hill in the third. I knew that killer hill was coming. Aunt Margaret told me that was the only time I seemed to struggle – glad it was at the end! We sped up a little bit for the last quarter mile to finish the race. Adam came back and ran to the finish with us. Finishing the race

Something that my friend Steve said helped me get through this: After having run so many races, I’ve built up the fitness to run the whole way, and now it’s just mental. If I decide to do it, I can. So I did. Toward the end when my quads ached with every step, my brain screamed back: “SHUT. UP. LEGS.” Helpful trick.

It was rainy, so they’d moved the finish party inside the gym of the middle school, but it was too so packed we couldn’t even get in. We went home, and I ate ice cream.

My sister, my mother, and I are running a race next Sunday. I’m SO excited. I’m not sure if my mom is planning to try to keep up with us, or if she’s just going to walk (I hope she has a walking buddy!) but Wendi and I are going to be running!